I certainly hope you’re feeling dandy on this super sexy Saturday! Practicing self-care is a great way to maintain that feeling. People often speak of practicing self-care, but what is it? Let’s say you have an important final tomorrow. It would be good self-care to get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast to ensure optimal brain function and performance during the final. Self-care can be thought of as things you can do to promote and maintain our own health and wellness. “Self-care” and “health and wellness” have been buzz words for the past few years. However, less often we speak about sexual self-care; yet, this is an important aspect of general self-care. When I say sexual self-care, I mean taking active measures to ensure your sexual health and wellness is on point.
Though there are multiple reasons to maintain good sexual health and wellness, two simple but important ones immediately come to mind. The first reason is that you want your goods to work when it comes time to use it. Your sexual health can impact your overall health and wellness. For example, if you get an STI, you may have negative thoughts and feelings about it. Such negative thoughts and feelings could lead to sadness and possible depression. The second reason that comes to mind is that one day you may meet someone with whom you’d like to have a child. If you are in good sexual health, it will likely be much easier to conceive children.
Good sexual health and wellness is the goal, self-care is how we get there. With this in mind, there are many things you can do to practice sexual self-care. To some these things may be more obvious than to others. I’m not just talking about masturbating, either. Though, that is a pretty solid suggestion for sexual self-care. To be sure that we’re all on the same page I propose the following as a good starting point to maintaining good sexual health and wellness:
- Practice open and honest communication with your sexual partners. This includes specifically asking for what you want and saying no to things you don’t want. The latter can be hard to do. This is a good time to remember the wise words of Maggie Kuhn, who said “speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” It is generally a good idea to listen to your gut. While it may be a little uncomfortable at first you’ll likely find that communicating your sexual desires to your partners can be a very sexy experience.
- Use protection each time you engage in sexual activity. This may mean something different depending on the types of sex you may be having. For oral experiences this may mean using a flavored condom or dental dam, while for penetrative experiences it may mean using traditional or insertive condoms. With this in mind think of the sexual experiences you enjoy then educate yourself on ways to practice safer sex. Carry your preferred safer sex method whenever there’s a chance you may get some.
- Get regular sexual health check-ups and testing. Your primary care doctor or local family planning clinic can help you determine how often you should have a physical examination of your external genitals and internal reproductive parts. These types of exams may or may not include testing for common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, it is a good idea to also get tested for STIs regularly if you are sexually active.
- Know when to say no. While sexual experiences can be fantastic, there are also a few times that having sex may not be the best idea with regard to health and wellness. For example, if there’s a good chance that having sex may have a negative emotional impact on you, your partner, or someone you care for strongly (e.g., sibling, best-friend, etc.) it is likely in your best interest to say no. Another great example is if you don’t have safer sex supplies and/or are unsure of your partners STI status, it is better to get blue balls or blue clit than to put yourself at risk. If you find yourself in this last situation, it may be a great time to limit yourself to a PG-13 make out session and get some practice kissing.
There you have it! A few quick and simple ways to practice self-care to help maintain good sexual health and wellness. Whew, that was a mouthful! Pun may be intended. Until next time…
Keep it safe and sexy,
Ms. Robin, the Sex Goddess
Have a topic or question you’d like me to address in a future Sexy Saturdays article? Send it to me at RMills@sexucation.org.