When someone mentions sexual health, it’s usually to talk about condoms. Or the pill. Or if you’re really unlucky, abstinence! (Whaaaaat).
But sexual health is SO MUCH MORE than just lube and diaphragms.
Keeping sexually healthy involves looking after both our bodies, our minds and our environments. To ensure a good level of sexual health, that means we need to keep an eye on three things:
The Sexual Health Triangle
This includes things like:
- Personal hygiene
- Feeling well in our bodies
- Lack of STDs
- Reliable contraception
- Diet and nutrition
- Getting medical help if needed
This also includes our emotional health, and includes things like:
- managing daily life stressors
- mental illness like anxiety and depression
- our attitude about life
- how we express emotions
- body image
- attitudes/beliefs/views about sex
Our social health is all about:
- our ability to communicate our wants and needs, both to our partners and to sexual health services.
- our relationships with our sexual partner(s)- e.g. feeling loved, attracted, safe, supported, able to say no
- the wider representations of our gender and sexuality/sex drive
Maintaining the balance of our physical, social and mental health is so important because of the direct link between them and our sexual health.
I know if I feel stressed my want to have any sex at all or have the boyf within 3 feet of me is tepid at best, as well as if we’ve got a spot of thrush or cystitis I DO NOT feel like getting my knickers off. How about you, do you notice any impact if any of those areas are off kilter?