What is sexual health? According to the WHO (2002), Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.
Sexual health is an integral part of living an authentic life. Making it a priority can significantly improve an individual’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being, as well as enhance their intimate relationships and even lower the risk of developing certain diseases. Yet, without knowing how to maintain your sexual health, you may not enjoy the pleasure and satisfaction that sex can bring.
Here are following ways to keep a fulfilling sexual life.
1. Speak With Your Partner About Sex: Keep open communication about sex and other aspects of intimacy with your partner. Don’t allow work, family responsibilities and stressful situations to prevent you from discussing your sexual health issues. It’s important to sort out issues that could hinder your sexual pleasure such as conflicting work schedules and personal sexual preferences. When you speak with your partner in a relaxed and courteous manner, you’ll be able to discover the cause of any sexual problems you have and agree on how to resolve them.
2. Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your sexual life. While drinking a small glass of red wine can help increase your libido, alcohol can affect your ability to make sound decisions. This can also lead to indulgence in casual, unprotected sex. Drinking a large amount of alcohol can also alter the functioning of your nervous system. Consequently, poor responses from your nerves can reduce sexual pleasure and even lead to erectile dysfunction in men.
3. Keep Fit With Regular Exercise: Maintaining a good exercise routine is beneficial to your sexual health. Exercising raises your body’s production of endorphins and sex hormones, which improve your mood and boost your sex drive. Working out increases your self-confidence, so you can enjoy more sex. Always remember that your physical and mental fitness is connected to your ability to have a satisfying sexual life.
4. Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Infections: If you aren’t in a stable relationship, always use a condom when you want to have sex. This is still the most effective contraceptive method that also prevents sexually transmitted diseases. So, it’s wise to keep a condom with you if you’re sexually active. If you get into a steady relationship and you want to stop using condoms, consult a physician to prescribe an effective birth control method so you can avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is also recommended to get STD tests every 6 months even if you’re in a steady relationship. It’s always better to stay on top of things and have the peace of mind that neither you nor your partner has an STD than to go blind.
Also, maintaining one sexual partner can help increase your chances of achieving good sexual health. Please see a doctor should you begin to feel a decline in your overall sexual health.