Across the globe, public discussion and approach towards sex have been characterized by a high level of openness than ever before. This open approach has resulted from increased sex education, social activism, active participation of experts on sex and sexuality, successful advocacy on sexual wellness-related policies, and increasing awareness regarding how to have safe sex.
In the past, open discussions about sex and sexuality were taboo as the topic was considered sacred and could only be discussed in private. People have learned that there are so many health and social benefits in advancing public discussions about sex and sexuality than the taboo-based approach practiced in the past. Openness in sex conversations is more of a necessity than a risk.
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What is Sexual Wellness?
Sexual wellness refers to a blend of mental state, social wellbeing, and physical state linked to sexuality. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual wellness as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing concerning sexuality. And sexual wellness does not mean the absence of dysfunction or disease.
As mentioned above, there is a sharp rise in public discourse, awareness, and advocacy about sexual wellness, which has excited open and positive schools of thoughts and actions about sex, sexual relationships, and sexuality at the personal, family, community, national, and global levels.
Sexual wellness is an essential component of our emotional, mental, and physical health, so it is an integral part of us as individuals and society. Sexual wellness improves our wellbeing as a whole.
Individuals struggling with sexual wellness usually face challenges understanding or accepting their sexual selves. Some of them involve unhealthy sexual behaviors and practices.
Education on Sexual Wellness.
Education on sexual wellness revolves around disseminating knowledge, skills, and best practices needed by individuals to make well-informed decisions about their sexual selves and sexual health.
Besides, Education on sexual wellness would, for example, help people learn, understand and act on good practices such as testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), avoiding risky sexual behaviors, accepting individual sexual identity and orientation, and involving themselves in sexual relationships that align their values.
The following are sexual wellness themes advanced by education on sexual wellness:
- Healthy relationships
- Sexual health education
- Sexual orientation
- Sexual assault resources
- Promoting a culture of consent.
- Risk-reduction around pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
- Gender identity, gender non-binary, and transgender information.
Like comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), public conversations about sex and sexuality needs to:
- Age and developmentally appropriate
- Based on gender equality
- Based on a human rights approach
- Culturally relevant and context-appropriate.
How Can You Be Sexually Healthy?
Sexual wellness takes a holistic dimension of human and societal development, including physical, spiritual, psychological, intellectual, emotional, and psychological perspectives.
Sexual wellness training is about understanding that sex is beyond intercourse, but it is about the general health of ourselves about sex and sexuality and how we do connect to others about sex and sexuality matters.
And also, Sexual wellness is comprised of several factors, which include the following:
- Developing friendships that are not hinged on sexual motive
- An individual need to be sexually intimate without being physical
- Avoiding exploitative relationships
- Selecting partners who are safe, responsible, and trustworthy.
- Taking individual responsibility for their limits.
Self-worth and self-esteem
- Understanding who they are.
- Feeling happy in sexual experiences they have chosen to be in
- Appreciating their bodies and skins.
- Knowing of the consequences of negative sexual experiences such as sexual abuse.
- Appreciating refusals of sex without any form of hostility or feeling demeaned.
- Exercising tolerance for people with different values.
- Respecting others with different ethnic heritage, cultural values, age, religion, and gender.
- Appreciating other people’s sexual orientation and healthy lifestyle choices.
- Doing what you know is right by subscribing to a specific value system.
4.Contraception, protection, and body integrity
- Taking full responsibility for your orgasms and body
- Using contraception effectively to avoid unplanned pregnancy and using condoms diligently to avoid getting or spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
- Practicing healthy behaviors such as routine testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
- Knowing the impact of sexual activity – sexual behaviors and practices.
- Appreciating the integration of sex into one’s life in positive and healthy ways.
- Understanding the effect of media information on thoughts, feelings, values, and behaviors related to sexuality.
- Respecting other people’s decisions on sex and sexuality matters.
- Interacting with all genders responsibly.
- Communicate with partners about their intentions for the relationship
- Respecting sexual boundaries.
- Expressing their desires to have sex and not to have sex.
- Understanding and appreciating that sexual union is one-way human beings connect body and soul.
- Honoring the spiritual perspective of sacredness on sexual union
Education on sexual wellness is an integral part of one’s life and should be embraced by everybody in our societies.