September is National Sexual Health Awareness month. In honor of the time, we thought we’d talk a little about what sexual health really means and how you can take control of yours. From safe sex practices to open communication, taking care of your sexual health is a multifaceted issue. We’d like to touch upon some of the areas people commonly struggle with and hopefully shed a little light on these issues!
Have you gotten yourself tested lately? Many people feel ashamed to get regular STD/STI screenings, but the stigma is completely unfounded. If you’re sexually active, you should be getting yourself tested—it’s really that simple. We can tell ourselves that we’re being careful, and that’s probably true, but we can’t account for everything. Getting tested can bring you a lot of peace of mind, and give comfort to your partners as well. If you don’t know where to go, we’ve included a great CDC resource to find testing centers near you.
Of course, regular testing should never be seen as a replacement for proper protection. It’s important to remember that a physical barrier is the best way to protect yourself and your partner from infections. If you enjoy anal sex, proper use of lubrication is very important. We have to remember that those tissues are generally somewhat delicate and can be prone to developing small tears or fissures. Not only can this be painful, but it can also increase the risk of contracting or transmitting STDs/STIs.
Taking proper precautions can not only protect you from infection or injury, but it can also make sex more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your partner.
Many people will suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction during their lifetime. Many conditions are far more common than you’ve probably assumed. In fact, a study conducted in 2018 showed that erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about 40% of men in their 40s and about 70% of men in their 70s. Other problems that are also fairly common include premature ejaculation and low libido. Both of these sexual dysfunctions can be caused by a number of factors, some as simple as a high level of stress and anxiety.
Studies show that about 30-40% of men experience premature ejaculation at some point during their lives. Fortunately, this is something that’s also very treatable. Like ED, early ejaculation is usually a result of stress and anxiety and can often resolve itself over time. If you’re struggling with this sex-related problem, talk to your doctor. They’ll offer some insight along with recommended solutions. They may simply suggest some minor lifestyle changes, or in some cases, they could also recommend a medication for premature ejaculation. These can come as a topical or a pill, but they all serve to delay climax and have been shown to be very effective.
Are there things you wish your partner(s) did during sex? A lot of people find it difficult to articulate their needs and desires, but talking openly can make sex far more enjoyable for everyone. There are a number of things you can try to make your sex life more exciting. Many people struggle with the emotional side of intimacy. If this is the case for you, try planning a dinner or a night out beforehand, this can create emotional bonding that often makes sex much more enjoyable. Another important thing to remember is not to rush things. Even if an experience is spontaneous, take the time to make it truly enjoyable. Foreplay is incredibly important, because it can help to make the whole experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
September may be almost over, but it’s never too late to take control of your sexual health. We want everyone to lead a happy, healthy, and fulfilling sex life. Get tested, use protection, and talk openly and honestly, you’ll thank yourself— and your partner will thank you.
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