Sex is one of the most important parts of being human. It’s how we reproduce (for the most part), how we connect, and how we immerse ourselves in pleasure and ecstatic states.
Sex is a powerful way to deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you, how you relate to others, and break free of previous stories and scars.
Sex is another tool we have on our wellness journeys.
Merriam-Webster defines wellness as “the quality or state of good health, especially as an actively sought goal”. If we are actively trying to improve our health and wellbeing, why not use every tool we have?
The “wellness industry” is one of the fastest growing and most profitable areas in the world, but when it comes to sexual health, there seems to be a void.
Holistic sexual wellbeing
There often seems to be a gap between talking about “sexual health” topics, such as sexually transmitted diseases and birth control, and the idea that sexuality can be used as another device in your wellness toolbelt.
To bridge the gap between these conversations, it is necessary to shift the lens to view sexual well-being as a holistic practice.
In formal or informal sex education, there needs to be space for people to make connections between pleasure, what it means to be “safe,” and the relationship with their general health.
When it comes to sexual education, learning about reproductive health is too often associated with layers of fear and shame. Young people are taught to fear the possible consequences of sex, such as sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, without the proper tools to deal with or even openly discuss them.
Approaching sexual wellbeing from a holistic standpoint means understanding the large number of layers that go into a person’s sexuality and how they practice them.
Which means to have an understanding of their anatomy, especially the reproductive organs, practical information about STIs from a destigmatized lens, Practices that not only focus on heterosexual experiences, but also focus on pleasure and consent, and more.
The ability to have these conversations openly gives people space to see how all facets of their sexuality fit together to create a well-informed and empowering sexual practice.
Power in pleasure
Another critical aspect of understanding sexual wellbeing is recognizing pleasure as a central tenet.
Enjoyment is a human right.
The pleasure is revolutionary.
Joy is power.
But too often the pleasure is ignored.
Because a fear-based model of sexual education doesn’t leave much room for pleasure.
Sex is an enormous amount health benefits. Having a healthy sex life can help lower blood pressure, improve sleep, boost the immune system, and reduce stress.
Ok, sex can literally improve your health – if that isn’t wellness I don’t know what it is.
But we don’t need scientific studies to understand that we have to experience pleasure in order to do our best. So it is important to have accessible tools that you can use to do this, such as: B. Sex – with yourself or with others.
Being able to tap into a state of pleasure will help you manage stress, let off steam, and break up any rut you find yourself in.
Think of all the benefits you can get from yoga classes, massages, hikes, or other wellness tools. Can you apply this understanding to your sex life?
That is power in pleasure. This is the power of sex as a wellness tool.
Emphasizing the joy of sexual wellbeing means there doesn’t have to be a rhyme or reason for how and when you have sex. Just wanting to feel good is reason enough.
Emphasizing pleasure resolves the awkwardness, stigma, and discomfort of speaking and learning about sexual health topics.
Because when it comes down to it, sexual wellbeing cannot be divided. Joy is just as important as security. Holistic sexual wellbeing includes all of this and more.
Now that you have a clearer idea of what sexual wellbeing means, it’s time for a little self-reflection.
Take your journal and give yourself space to ponder these questions. You can then discuss them with friends or your partner to have a dialogue about tricky questions.
As you navigate your ever evolving journey to sexual wellbeing, there are some great questions you should ask yourself:
“What does sexual well-being mean to me?”
“How does my sexuality and the way I express it affect my general well-being?”
“What Sexual Health Topics Do I Need to Learn More About?”
“What sexual experiences do I want to have?”
“What feels good to me?”
Be honest and have mercy on you. Sexual wellbeing is an ever-evolving journey, after all.
Natasha’s passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.