Do You Have What It Takes to Be Sexually Healthy?
Peel back your skin of virtually any adult connection and you will find a pounding core of libido. You might deny this on first reflection, but give me one minute.
Don’t consider the surface, but see what’s actually happening as two emotional and physical beings get in touch with each other.
Go through a list of people you know in your head and consider the possibilities. The dynamic boss, always ready with a new idea or strategy; the kind schoolteacher, nurturing and always available; the neighbor who teaches aerobics, fairly pulsing with dynamism as she walks down the street.
What gives them their spark? Partly, it’s creativity, and an ability to reach out to others. But it’s also an energy, an appetite for life.
These people exude an aura of life-affirming spirit that makes them look good, feel good, and appear in harmony with those around them. They are excited about what they do in the world, and this excitement pervades every aspect of what they see, touch, feel, and do.
Whether they are lying in bed with their lover or are standing up at a town council meeting expressing an opinion, they are filled with physical, mental, and emotional drive.
They attract—perhaps even entice or seduce-others to their way of thinking because they have that certain something. They are permeated with a glow of good health that works for them and for everyone who comes into contact with them.
We desire the touch of others from our first moments on earth; without touch, we would never have the will to take our first steps, speak our first words, or join in with the rest of humanity to make our mark on the world.
The sexual act is just one way that we touch, but the part of our personality that makes us sexual beings is working constantly. And it is this amazing, mysterious, powerful element that cleanses our body, sharpens our wits, warms our soul-total sexuality.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be Sexually Healthy?
If you want to be sexually healthy, you must first be comfortable with your chosen gender and sex role and accept yourself without shame, guilt, or fear.
• be able to maintain good relationships with both sexes, regardless of whether they are platonic or intimate.
• have the ability to become aroused–if you choose to be-when given any form of erotic stimulation-tactile, aural, visual, and so on.
• have the ability to make mature judgments on your sexual behavior and choices that coincide with your personal values and beliefs.
• be free of organic disorders and diseases that may interfere with your sexual or reproductive capacity.
• be conscientious about protecting yourself and your partners from any disease transmission.
It is quite a responsibility, then, to be sexually healthy You must be sound of body and mind, and even be mature. It’s much easier to get into good cardiovascular shape or take care of your bones- no one ever questions your moral values when you sign up for a fitness program.
I think one of the reasons it’s hard to put a finger on the exact nature of sexual health is that we have no guidelines to govern it.
Despite the fact that we condone and sometimes watch NC-rated movies, wear highly suggestive clothing, and feel comfortable discussing who slept with whom at the office, the real information about our sexuality is still kept in the dark.
If we only knew what everybody else was doing in bed or what their fantasies were like, we wouldn’t feel so strange, awkward, and out of line. Are we repressed? Are we perverted? Do we want sex too ranch or too little?
There’s no barometer. We know that our cholesterol level should hover around 200 and that we should engage in some form of daily physical exercise.
We’ve been told that we can avoid cancer if we do self-exams and have mammograms and prostate checks on a regular basis.
It is drummed into us from childhood that we can keep our teeth and gums healthy by flossing and brushing twice daily. But no one ever tells us What to do about sexual health, and they don’t even divulge what other people are doing.
We can not find out about our sexuality by comparing ourselves to our friends, relations and movie stars. If we’re looking to be-or to sleep with-“a perfect 10.” we’re doomed. Because nobody, except in fantasy, is perfect, at Makes Sex Sexy?
There’s so much going on at once! The experience of wanting and pursuing sexual intimacy is fascinatingly complex. Sex is a multi-layered, multi-leveled experience that takes place simultaneously on biological, psychological, emotional, and social planes.
Personality – The way we feel about ourselves governs the way we perceive our attractiveness to others. Our fears, hopes, dreams, stresses, mental state, and other factors allow us to go toward or retreat from a potential loser.
Shy people may have torrential sexual feelings that can emerge only when t_hey truly trust their partner. Those who tend to be gregarious in everyday life may turn into quiet, receptive sexual partners.
You may find your personality changing in bed-some of your problems dissipating, others magnifying. But if you are able to stop relying on your image of what makes you interesting or appealing, you get to break the chains that may hold you back from freer expression of the way you feel.
The bedroom is one place where you can play with your personality and try on lots of new hats. They may not all fit, but your willingness to explore will give you a wider perception of the person you are.
Life Experience -If we’ve had a childhood trauma such as incest or abuse, if we are physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged or disabled, if we’ve had an accident or illness or are in chronic pain, if we are succumbing to the aging process, these things will play a large part in our sexual options.
Your Early sexual years may be a big determinant of how you mature sexually. If you had a wide variety of sexual experience in your teens and twenties, you may have trouble adjusting to a monogamous life-style later on.
You can never forget your past or the positive and negative sexual choices you made-but that’s a good thing, When you allow these choices to inform your future, you grow immeasurably as a sexual being. There is always room to make yourself sexually healthier than you have been if you keep your mind and heart open.
Social Factors – Our family background, our moral and religious beliefs, our conviction and comfort about our sexual preferences and orientation, the relationships that we choose, and the overall wash of our response to society’s expectations for us will shape and define our behavior-at least for part of our lives.
The Victorians covered sex with heavy drapery, but their bizarre practices are legend. The commune-dwellers of the 1960s cried “Free Love!” and wailed bitterly twenty years later when the first cases of HIV infection were diagnosed. Those who dare to reconfigure the notion of sexuality always learn that this precious gift cannot be taken for.granted.
But the curious and wonderful thing about society’s self-correction is that we are able to prove, over and over, that no one group has the right idea or the right to say they have a right idea.
And although we’re all so terribly influenced by what our bunch, our clan, or our neigh6ors are doing, there’s no way we can function in a sexually healthy manner when we rely solely on the rules of the group.
We have to be brave enough to dance around the borders of society’s expectations..
Life-affirming sex with a compassionate partner is good for you. It can take the place of medicine, and its effects can be long- lasting. It can quell such demons as loneliness, anxiety, tension, timidity, depression, touch deprivation, psychological trauma, and alienation.
It can actually relieve chronic pain, stiffness, body ache, and insomnia and alleviate certain skin disorders. It can restore you to yourself.
If you perceive sex as beneficial, it can enhance your feeling and body st,ate of comfort, excitement, closeness, and bonding.
If you’ve been abused or conditioned to react with fear or anger to a sexual encounter, then sex won’t be good until you have the right partner and circumstance to change the way you see yourself in this type of situation.
Sexual behavior is the type of participation we have with our- selves or others involving the genitals and other erogenous zones.
Sexuality includes the first two elements as well as the emotional, social, and spiritual components–the complex personalities, relationships, and feelings involved that draw us together on a human level.
The Four Elements of Sexual Power
Being sexually healthy means that you know how to use the four elements of sexual power:
1. You have a well-developed sense of self.
2. You are able to establish and maintain good relationships.
3. You have an internal and external obligation to your partner to keep both of you physically and emotionally well. This means that you not only practice safer sex, but you also have a respect and reverence for your partner’s feelings.
Finally, to be really sexually healthy, you must exude a positive energy that is catching-others see you as attractive because you radiate this ecstasy for life that goes beyond what you look or sound like or how much money you have or whether you’re gay, straight, bi, married, single, or still considering your options.
Positive Self-image and Healthy Sex Go Together
If you don’t like yourself, how can you offer your mind, heart, and soul to another? You’re on shaky ground when you begin to trust enough to make the decision to sleep with another person, or even to take him or her in your arms.
Suppose they don’t like the way you move or smell? Suppose they want to do something you find repellent or frightening?
What Is Unhealthy Sex?
Sex that is nonconsensual is unhealthy. Any sexual act that injures, degrades or humiliates another individual is unhealthy.
Any sexual act that involves an adult coercing a minor child to perform with or for him or her is unhealthy But hugging and touching a child is wonderful-too many adults avoid embracing children because they fear their own sexuality and think that anything physical may be regarded as erotic. Not so.
It can be extremely unhealthy to avoid any contact with others just because you think it may be construed in a sexual manner in this day of overabundant lawsuits, we are all being careful.
If you are able to expand your view of yourself as a sexual being, someone who doesn’t just “have sex” but “is sexual,” you will simultaneously develop a greater ability to enjoy life.
Sex is good for you because it reinforces everything else you are and you do. If you eat a well-balanced diet, exercise daily, take some private time to meditate or simply be by yourself, you have gifted yourself with a healthy life-style.