Today, many sexual health educators stress the importance of a “healthy” sex life, but this term might seem a little vague if you’re new to the topic. What makes sex healthy? And isn’t everyone’s sex life different? Without a clear answer, this term can easily be misused and misunderstood.
However, having a healthy sex life is necessary, even if your intimate play looks different to someone else’s. In this blog, we’re looking at what this term really means and strategies you can take to ensure your sex life is satisfying. Hint: It’s not always about how you get down and dirty.
This World Sexual Health Day, we are looking at what a healthy sex life is and how you can recognise if your sex life is healthy.
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What does a “healthy” sex life mean?
A healthy sex life isn’t about how often you have sex or reach orgasm. Rather, it’s focused on the quality of your intimacy and how much you enjoy having sex. It should also involve consensual sex between two trusting partners caring for each other’s physical and emotional well-being.
Don’t think we’re only talking about romantic sex, though. A healthy sex life can include kinky dynamics, polyamory, etc. It’s all about approaching sex with your own well-being at the centre of the action.
Signs you have a healthy sex life
Are you curious about revamping your sex life? Use these strategies to check whether your sex is healthy or if it could do with some improvements.
You talk with partners
Honest and open conversations are crucial to fulfilling sex. So, if you’re jumping into bed without discussing consent, boundaries, and expectations, you might be setting yourself up for disaster.
Try discussing sex with partners to learn more about their desires while expressing your own. Remember, this conversation is best had in a private and safe space. AKA not in public or on a stressful day.
Being open-minded is another crucial part of having a healthy sex life, as this allows you to explore new ideas and have different experiences. Whether you want to spice up your routine or boost your arousal, it’s always a good idea to explore.
But don’t push your boundaries if you’re not comfortable. Being open-minded means different things to everyone.
You’re confident in your body
Feeling good about your body makes a significant difference to your sex life. In fact, a University of Texas study even proved that women who scored higher on a body image scale were more sexually satisfied than those who didn’t.
Good sex centres around letting go and enjoying yourself, and this is tough when you’re focused on how you look. Working on your self-esteem and confidence is super important and will help you mentally, physically, and sexually.
You don’t count sessions
A common misconception is that you must do it as often as possible. However, this simply isn’t true.
Counting how often you have sex puts pressure on the situation and often turns it into a “to-do” activity. Instead, you should embrace sex when it naturally comes up, which often makes it more enjoyable and increases your arousal.
You sometimes schedule sex
This might sound like it goes against the previous point, but hear us out.
While you shouldn’t count and pressurise sex sessions, it’s also important to be realistic. From demanding jobs to raising children, our time isn’t always free as adults. In extremely busy periods, scheduling sex allows you and your partner to have intimate experiences and release steam.
Curious? See when Brits have sex here.
You can ask for what you want
Okay, so maybe you’re up for trying new things. But are you asking for what you want? Or do you focus on your partner’s desires?
Expressing your desires and fantasies is essential to a healthy sex life. After all, pleasure is a part of good sex, as is clear communication. You can’t expect partners to read your mind.
You skip pity sex
Have you ever had sex because you knew your partner wanted to, even if you didn’t? We hope not. But this scenario is common with couples.
Feeling lukewarm about sex but still having it causes your brain to categorise sex as a chore. Instead, it’s best to only engage in intercourse when genuinely aroused.
If you say no, make sure you let your partner down politely, and in the future, make sure you initiate sex to remind them that they’re desired. Otherwise, they may feel less confident after being turned down. Open communication about your sex drive can also help.
This is a simple one, but one of the most important. If you’re happy with your sexual satisfaction, how often you have it, who you’re having it with, and your sexuality – you likely have a healthy sex life.
If you’re not smiling when you think of sex, it might be a sign you need to explore your desires or have an honest conversation with your partner about your needs.
You understand there’s no normal
Sex looks different for everyone. For some, it involves toys. For others, it’s about power. Whatever interests you, it can be considered healthy if you centre your own and your partner’s well-being.
This means you use consent and boundaries and prioritise safety in every session. For example, this could look like using safe words, practising aftercare, or simply checking in with your partner to ensure they’re having a good time.
You can survive dry periods
Even if you’re in a relationship, the frequency of your sex life will change. Some months might be filled with eroticism, and others might be slower. If you’re realistic about sex, you’re likely okay with these changes. However, if these fluctuations make you nervous, you might need to readdress your relationship with sex.
There’s no right or wrong way to have sex, but there are some healthy ways to approach the act. Hopefully, this blog has helped you consider your relationship with sex and informed you about a healthy sex life.
Learn more about sex and relationships here.