What is sexual wellness?
Sexual wellness is the condition of our physical, emotional, and social wellbeing with respect to our sexuality. It is related to our relationships and how we feel physically and emotionally connected with it. It is different from what you see and perceive from porn content and media.
Therefore, if you are not sure of sexual wellness, you are not alone. The concept is yet to generate steam in the mainstream of wellness. Although the global sexual wellness market is very much product-oriented, there is a need to understand sexual wellness deep within, a need to develop collective consciousness and understanding.
Sexual wellness is not all about talking of sex, having sex, masturbating or consuming sexual content though all these do have a role to play. Neither is it the mere absence of any sexual illness or dysfunction. It is about taking a positive and respectful approach towards sexual relationships devoid of any coercion, oppression, and abuse. Giving sexual wellness the priority does not mean one has to be sexually active or indulge in promiscuity.
Sexual wellness is very much related to our overall wellbeing
Amid all talks of wellness enhancement and preservation, sexual wellness does not come to the limelight. When we read and talk of various wellness retreats how often do we come across sexual wellness retreats or the like? Sexual wellness, in the modern age, remains an enigma. Unless we dare to remove the cloud surrounding it, we will miss a vital aspect of wellness – the sexual wellness.
Breaking myths and false notions, the initial step to sexual wellness
Just like mindfulness was not given the priority that it needed to be, there is a need to build healthy conversations and engagement about sexual wellness rising above myths and misconceptions. We need to be mindful of our sexual wellness.
The media and porn since long have contributed to inaccurate and misconceptions of sexuality and sexual wellness which perhaps did more harm than good. Mindless consumption of sexual content can be harmful to relationships and self-esteem and have a serious impact on the overall quality of life. The worst thing, these unhealthy and unwarranted conceptions gradually pass through generations.
Thinking of a bigger picture
There is a bigger need for sexual wellness for the posterity where sex should not be a taboo shrouded with mystery and embarrassment. The future world should be able to identify and embrace individuality in sexuality and handle it in a mature way. Every individual should be aware of their sexuality and free to make informed choices for fulfilling sexual experiences and relationships. This can only lead to ultimate sexual wellness.
Connecting to sexuality- Every ‘body’ is unique
Your sexual thoughts, feelings, attractions, and behavior towards other people define your sexuality. You need to connect with your sexuality before exploring sexual wellness. Not everybody will feel sexual, some may be asexual. It is totally an individual’s trait and orientation which should not be based on conventional social norms.
What is your sexual orientation?
An individual can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual. It may take time to identify your sexuality. Your sexuality can change over time creating confusion. A person may feel drawn towards the opposite or same sex. There is nothing wrong in it. Social fabric may prevent a person to express freely his/her sexual orientation which is normally the biggest obstacle to sexual wellness.
Heterosexual and homosexual
If you feel attracted towards the opposite sex, you are heterosexual or straight. If you feel attracted to the same sex, you are homosexual. If a person identified as male feels attracted to the same sex is termed as gay, whereas women of a similar category are termed as lesbians.
This can be more complicated. A person may feel attracted to both men and women but the level of attraction may not be similar. He/she may feel attracted more towards a specific gender. The person may also have sexual feelings towards both sexes but will engage in sexual activities with only one sex.
Asexual persons also termed as ‘ace’ are those who do have zero or very little sexual feeling to people of any sex. One should understand asexuality is not a choice that is abstinence from sex. Some people identifying them as asexual may occasionally feel sexual attraction. Some asexual people may develop sexual feelings towards a person after developing a strong emotional relationship.
However, some may feel these sexuality classifications too rigid and may prefer to identify themselves as queer or pansexual. Pansexual means they can be attracted to different people regardless of their gender and sexual identity.
Sexual wellness is for all irrespective of sexuality
For sexual wellness, one need not carry the tag of specific sexuality, it is just for self-realization. There is nothing right or wrong in a person’s sexuality, its just the individual’s type. It is true that sexuality-based discrimination has a serious impact on social and mental wellness but it is up to you to accept and understand your sexuality to enjoy sexual wellness. Our society also has an important role to play. You need to be in charge of your sexual wellness instead of being governed by others.
Define your sexual well-being
Sexual response is not the same for everybody. Every ‘body’ is unique regarding this. It is all about listening to your own body with proper mental orientation. What it is telling? What makes it feel good or bad? This is where you need to experiment a bit. You learn what turns you on. Your desires are unique, acknowledge it. It is you who should carve your sexual interest.
Essential tips to enhance your sexual wellness
There are various ways by which you can enhance your sexual wellness. Let us start with the basics.
Know your body and its needs
This is the most essential part to enhance your sexual wellness. Your body is unique. It needs love, attention, and care. Expand your knowledge about the body parts and their functions. The more you know about it more you will take care. Accept the sexual feelings and your body’s response without any guilt and shame. It is natural for every human being. As you listen to your body, your confidence will support you to be more creative in responding to your bodily needs properly. You can try new methods without hesitation.
Train your mind
Mental blocks are big hindrances to your sexual wellness. Read good books to gather knowledge about sexuality and related things. Do not allow shame to take over your sexual feelings. Grow your logical reasoning to remove false notions about sexual wellness. You can seek help from a sex educator or counselor to remove confusion.
Take enough care of yourself
Another essential step to enhance sexual wellness is to take care of yourself. Give yourself enough time to relax and rejuvenate. Take out some time to spend entirely with self and understand its various needs. Pay attention to your nutrition and physical activities. Most importantly, keep yourself free from stress and anxieties to the best possible limit.
Get into regular masturbation
Well, it may sound weird to you but this has many benefits so far your health and sexual wellness is concerned. Whether you are single or in a relationship, it does not matter, you get sexual pleasure in the safest manner. It lifts your confidence and self-esteem that work well in relationships. If you masturbate in intimate moments with your partner, it strengthens the bonding as you get to know of each other better.
Practice Kegel exercises
These exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles are beneficial to both men and women. You develop better bladder control and enjoy orgasms better. You can do these exercises anytime anywhere. Clench the muscles that control the flow of your urine for 3 seconds and release them. Create a 3-repetition set and practice 10 times a day. Gradually, increase the number of repetitions and intensity of clenching and releasing.
Move your body more
Exercises help in better sex lfe. The more you work on your blood circulation better is your sexual arousal. Your blood gets more oxygen to keep you energized. Most importantly, exercise reduces your stress, the dangerous libido-killer. Various yoga postures help in increasing sexual vigor and overcoming sexual dysfunctions. With regular exercises and yoga, you will look good, feel better, and perform the best.
Being mindful during every moment of sex contributes to your sexual wellness. Pay attention to your feelings and that of your partner during arousal. During lovemaking, free the space from external disturbances like taking phone calls or peeping into mobile devices. Focus your mind on your sexual activities only. This will help you to identify each of your pleasure areas heightening your sexual experience. Think of your sexual behavior during lovemaking with great intent. Mindfulness also helps in masturbation. You can play selected erotic music to get into the mood if you are experiencing a momentary dip in your libido.
Get some sunlight
Sunlight can do wonders in your sex life. It increases the synthesis of Vitamin D crucial for male sexual health. Sunlight reduces the production of melatonin, a suppressor of sex. It leaves you energized especially during dull winters. More you spend under the sun (without causing dehydration or sunburns) better is your sexual health.
Try herbal and natural remedies
Traditional and herbal remedies for sexual wellness are time tested. This is because the treatments take a holistic approach factoring in various conditions of mind, body and the surroundings. Herbs like Ashwagandha, Korean Ginseng, Maca root are great sex-boosters for men. Similar herbs are available for enhancing female libido. However, one should consult a licensed therapist before taking these remedies.
Get yourself tested for STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
This is another vital step that you must consider for your sexual wellness. If you are sexually active and take to unprotected sex, this is a must. You can take the test annually. There is nothing to be embarrassed. A clear test result is a big relief and is important for your relationship too. This shows your responsibility towards your actions. You display sex positivity.
Other vital tips to consider
Communication is the gateway to sexual wellness. Whether you are single or in a relationship, talking of sex helps in connecting with the sexual preferences of self or that of the partner. In a relationship, it helps in understanding the partner’s likes, dislikes and fantasies breaking all sorts of mental barriers. Unless the channel of communication is set properly, physical intimacy does not generate the desired level of sexual wellness. That is why foreplay is so important before sex that sets the communication as well as releases stress.
Schedule your sex
Some love this while some may feel uncomfortable. But scheduling sex has its share of benefits. It keeps you in the rhythm. You will automatically get into the routine of enhancing sexual wellness. Your mind gets tuned. But do not make it a mundane job, you will miss the flavor.
Do not wait for the urge but create it
Sexual urge or desire does not come on its own. You need to create it. Simple touching and kissing your partner or enjoying relaxing moments together can cook up the desire for sex. There is nothing abnormal if you do not get the natural sexual urge but there are always ways to create it.
Keep things simple
At times you may have dashing sex and at times you may feel like talking to each other lying side by side. There is no hard and fast rule to have sex every day. Give priority to the quality of time at night that you spend with each other. This counts more than the number of times you have sex.
There is no fixed or ideal duration of lovemaking, it varies with couples. What matters most is your inner sense of feeling. Choose simple ways to enjoy sexual pleasures. Experimenting is great at times! Simple changes in sex routine or space can make a difference in your sexual pleasure.
Use sex toys and other products
Sex is a natural act that comes from your desire but there is no harm to add variations with sex toys and other sexual wellness products. You and your partner may find more fun in it. Products like lubricants, gels and perfumes help in sexual arousal and orgasm which might not happen naturally owing to several reasons. Keep these products in your sexual wellness kit.
Do not hesitate to consult a therapist
Your sexual wellness can go through rough times. But there is nothing to lose heart neither you should give up. Thanks to the growing number of sex educators, counselors and therapists who are providing valuable guidance to maintain healthy sexual relationships. If you feel something is amiss, reach out to a therapist.
Take a sexual wellness vacation
Why not plan one such itinerary? Yes, there is nothing wrong to go for a holiday aimed at sexual wellness. Opportunities are plenty. In fact, it is fast emerging as a wellness travel trend where people are booking sexual wellness retreats. Wellness resorts around the world are launching tailor-made sexual wellness programs to address specific sexual issues of couples and singles. Right from yoga, meditation, nutrition and activities to special hands-on sessions on sex, the retreats offer every support that you need to enhance sexual wellness.