Each one of us should strive to enjoy healthy sex as it leads to a healthy body and mind. Healthy sex calls for a positive and respectful approach to sex and sexual relationships including safe sexual experiences. You will know you have a healthy sex life if you are aware of what you do, don’t want to do and being confident enough to communicate the dos and don’ts with your partner.
Not only does healthy sex increase your chances of enjoying the experience, it is also vital for your overall health and well-being. Studies show that the feel good hormones released during sex including oxytocin and endorphins can boost mood, alleviate pain as well as induce sleep. A study published in the journal Cephalagia found that having sex when experiencing migraine or headache led to partial or complete relief for some patients in a headache clinic. So this effectively makes the ‘I have a headache’ excuse ineffective.
Characteristics of healthy sex
It is consensual for both partners and doesn’t involve abuse, coercion and aggressiveness: Be that as it may be, many people approach sex with a feeling of guilt or shame, thanks to our conservative upbringing that presented sex as something evil. If you are to enjoy healthy sex, then you have to free yourself from this kind of thinking. A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Healthy Psychology found that freedom from guilt equals more satisfying sex. In order to have healthy sex, we need to deal with/or heal from past trauma, disappointment or embarrassment. If you do not recover from these, you may not move forward in your life and sexuality.
While still on the topic of guilt, there are people averse to self-pleasuring yet self-propelled orgasm has the same benefits as partner sex. In a nutshell, healthy sex is about knowing that you are in control of your own sexuality and you will be held accountable. It means taking responsibility of your sexual actions and choices.
It allows for communication
Like in many aspects of life, communication is key to a healthy sex life. When chatting about sex with your partner, ditch being superficial and really go deeper into matters of intimacy. Be free to speak about your innermost feelings and thoughts and your sexual desires. Frequently share your sexual expectations and if these are not met, remember to let your partner know in a tactful and sensitive manner.
It accepts self
One should have a positive attitude towards their own sexual identity and self-image in order to enjoy the benefits of healthy sex. This is an intrinsic part of sexual well-being – that you are comfortable in your own skin irrespective of someone else’s idea of how you should feel, look like or function. In the same breath, and echoing sentiments expressed in the preceding paragraphs, healthy sex comes with the acceptance that sex can be pleasurable. Therefore, seeking and experiencing sexual pleasure with your partner shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. It is a healthy, happy part of life.
It seeks help
By now we understand that a healthy sex life is good for your body and mind. However, there are times that the mind might be willing but the body isn’t. Our sex drive can ebb and flow depending on so many factors. For women, it could be hormonal changes as she is approaching menopause, childbirth and exhaustion, as well as psychological factors including stress, anxiety and depression. For men, the sex drive dip could be as a result of illness, medication and the normal age-related decline in testosterone. Besides seeking medical attention, a visit to a sex therapist could be what you need to get things up and running. A good sex therapist will help you explore emotional and psychological issues that could be keeping you from a vibrant sex life.
Medically speaking, there are certain drugs, for example, for blood pressure and antidepressants, which can make sex more difficult. If your sex drive nose-dived after taking medication, its best you share your concerns with your doctor, who might switch to a medication that doesn’t have the same effect. Even then, you need not sacrifice your health for sex; you may need to adopt different kinds of stimulation in order to enjoy sex.
Takes into consideration birth control
You may not have the best sexual experience if you want to avoid pregnancy yet you do not have a reliable contraceptive. There’s no one size fits all birth control method and your gynaecologist will be best placed to recommend the right one for you after a physical examination and taking into account your medical history. To sum it up, there are both non-hormonal and hormonal methods of contraception. Non-hormonal methods generally create a physical barrier between the sperm and the egg. There are also two permanent methods requiring surgery: sterilisation, or tubal ligation, for women, and vasectomy for men.
Hormonal methods generally make it less likely that a woman will release an egg, that an embryo will form, or that an embryo will be implanted.
It avoids sexually transmitted diseases
This might be the crux of healthy sex. Healthy sex means practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly for STDs especially if you are not in a long-term, monogamous relationship. Safe sex is all about protecting yourself and your partner(s) from sexually transmitted infections and one of the best ways to do this is by using a barrier – condoms (both male and female) – every single time you have oral or vaginal sex. Barriers are helpful in that they protect you and your partner from body fluids and skin-to-skin contacts, which are two ways in which STDs spread.
Being tested regularly for STD is also equally important as some STDs may not show any symptoms and the individual may end up passing it to others unknowingly. Luckily, many STDs are curable. For those that aren’t curable such as HIV or herpes, the patient can go on to enjoy a healthy sex life by treating the symptoms, always using condoms and dental dams and using medications that can help lower your chances of spreading it to a partner. It is courteous to inform your partner that you have an STD before having sex so that you can both plan for safer sex.
It uses the right products
Managing sexual problems is now much easier thanks to revolutionary medications. Whatever method you choose, be sure that you use the right products. For example, vaginal dryness can easily be corrected with lubricating liquids and gels. There are two types of lubes to look for: water-based or silicone-based. Water-based ones are usually more comfortable and less sticky or tacky. However, silicone is good for menopausal women who have general problems with vaginal dryness, on top of needing lubrication during penetration. Silicone is also good for shower sex since it won’t wash off easily.
For men, many seek medication for either erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. It can be dangerous to take sex enhancement pills without full knowledge of what they contain and how these can react with your body. If you want to safely and effectively use pills to improve your sex life, then take medicines prescribed by a doctor and purchased from reputable pharmacies.
Other factors that promote healthy sex include:
Trust and emotional security: It’s hard to have a carefree sex if you feel disconnected from your significant other or worried about your partner’s fidelity.
Exercises that strengthen the sex muscles: Kegel exercises can work wonders to strengthen the pelvic area, making for better and more intense sex and orgasms. Doing exercises properly can deliver results such as heightened arousal during sex and better blood circulation.
The right diet: Studies show that loading your plate with certain foods can help you feel sexier as well as provide the nutrients that can perk up your libido.