Self-Care Tips for Maintaining Sexual Wellness

Self-Care Tips for Maintaining Sexual Wellness

Making your sexual health and intimacy literacy a priority through education, prevention, communication, self-love, and healthy habits is critical to ensuring your physical and emotional wellbeing as it relates to sexuality.

Taking proactive steps to care for your sexual wellness can help you maintain fulfilling, vibrant intimacy as you age, avoid common issues like infections or dysfunction, and give you confidence in safely expressing your sexuality.

With some concerted effort towards understanding your body's needs and nurturing self-care rituals, you can optimize your sexual vitality and satisfaction throughout life.

Get Educated on Core Sexual Health Topics

Sexual Health

Making informed choices starts with taking Time to get knowledgeable on the breadth of issues related to sexual wellbeing. Expand your knowledge in these areas:

Sex Education

Brush up on reproductive anatomy, STDs, birth control, consent, sexual orientation, and more through books, videos, classes, and trusted online sources. Clarify any gaps or misinformation you may have from earlier sex ed. Share what you learn with partners to spread awareness.

Signs of Potential Medical Issues

Know what symptoms require a visit to your OB/GYN, urologist, or another doctor, like pain or irritation during/after intimacy, unusual discharge or odour, skin changes like growths or rashes on genitals, frequent urinary problems post-sex, unexplained bleeding between periods, erectile difficulties, and emotional issues like shame or avoidance. Catching problems early leads to better outcomes.

STD Transmission and Protection Methods

Understand precisely how infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes, and HIV spread through unprotected sex, and how to effectively guard against them using prophylactics like condoms/dental dams, getting regularly tested, receiving vaccines, taking PrEP medication if appropriate, asking about partners' status, etc. Get the facts so you can accurately assess risks and prevention needs.

Birth Control Options

Familiarize yourself with the myriad forms of contraception available, from barrier methods like condoms to hormonal solutions like the pill, patch, ring, IUDs, and implant to permanent solutions like vasectomy. Understand effectiveness rates, side effects, and convenience factors to choose what suits your lifestyle.

Sexual Dysfunction

Learn about common sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse, loss of libido and vaginal dryness following menopause. There are many medical solutions, lifestyle changes, and coping techniques that can dramatically help manage or reverse these conditions.

Normal Anatomical Diversity

Penises, vulvas, breasts, and bodies, in general, come in a vast range of healthy variations in size, shape, colour and overall appearance. Understand the wide diversity across anatomy to recognize that there is no single "normal" or "abnormal." Appreciate your unique configuration.

Gender and Sexual Orientation

Read up on human sexuality beyond the binaries of male/female and heterosexual/homosexual that have defined attitudes in the past. Gender and orientation occur across infinitely nuanced spectrums. Open your mind to diversity.

Make Preventive Sexual Healthcare a Priority

Sexual Health

Preventing issues through regular medical care, vaccines, at-home techniques, and protecting yourself during intimacy is far easier than reacting after the fact:

Get Checkups

See your gynaecologist, urologist, primary care doctor, and any other relevant specialists like endocrinologists or dermatologists for annual checkups, cancer screenings, STD testing every 3-6 months if sexually active, birth control needs, and any concerning symptoms. Don't be afraid to bring up issues impacting your sexual health - providers have heard it all before.

Get Vaccinated

There are safe and effective vaccines that protect against HPV and Hepatitis A, B and C - diseases often linked to sexual transmission. Your healthcare provider can recommend vaccines based on age, relationship status and sexual orientation. Staying current prevents infection.

Perform Self-Checks

For those with breasts, a vulva, testicles, or a prostate, doing monthly at-home self-exams to look and feel for any abnormal lumps, bumps, skin changes, or discharge can help identify early warning signs of cancer or infection. Report anything that concerns you to your physician promptly.

Use Protection and Get Tested

Consistently using condoms, dental dams, and other barriers during intimacy significantly reduces risks. Combine this with getting STD tested every 3-6 months (or more with new partners) and asking partners early on to share their recent results. Testing and prophylactics together offer excellent protection.

Discuss Contraception

If preventing pregnancy is needed, speak with your doctor about options like the pill, patch, ring, IUD, implants, injections, emergency contraception, etc. Relying solely on condoms or the withdrawal method is risky. Using two forms of contraception together enhances effectiveness.

Practice Open Communication with Intimate Partners

Sexual Health

Having honest, judgment-free dialogue lays a foundation of trust, comfort, and safety with partners:

Share Sexual Histories

Before becoming intimate, ethically discuss any relevant details in your sexual past. Topics may include several past partners, protection habits, previous infections or pregnancy, sexual interests or fantasies, boundaries, gender identity, traumatic experiences, or anything else substantial for new partners to be aware of. This allows both people to make fully informed decisions.

Express Your Needs and Desires

Have ongoing open conversations outside the bedroom about what brings each of you satisfaction and pleasure during sex, what techniques you're curious to explore together, any discomfort you experience, and your emotional needs around intimacy like foreplay, positions, intimacy after sex, variances in libido, etc. This prevents guesswork for partners.

Give Loving Feedback

If something is painful or not working for you, gently guide your partner with clarity and care regarding how to adjust - more lubrication, less pressure, slower pace, different spots, etc. Also, suggest techniques that do feel pleasurable. Providing instruction helps partners learn your body's needs.

Seek Medical Advice Together

If sexual problems like pain, erectile dysfunction, or low desire persist and affect your relationship, consider seeing a doctor, sex therapist, or counsellor together to get to the root cause and determine solutions. Tackle it as a team - this destigmatizes the issue. Get any needed support.

Discuss Boundaries

Be very clear about what you both consent to related to sexual acts, protection requirements, exclusivity expectations if monogamous, comfort with pornography, touching when not in the mood, etc. Check-in occasionally to update boundaries as needs evolve. The mutual agreement creates a safe environment.

Destigmatize Sexual Dysfunction or Health Issues

Sexual Health

Letting go of shame, secrecy, and stigma regarding your sexual health promotes intimacy and happiness:

Put Your Wellbeing First

If you develop issues like pain or discomfort during sex, STDs, changes in function, mood changes negatively impacting libido or arousal, unwanted side effects from medication, or any other medical or emotional concern impacting your sexuality - do not let embarrassment prevent you from seeking help promptly. Your health and fulfilment come before stigma.

Offer Only Support to Partners

If a partner divulges sexual side effects from medications, past abortions, trauma, or abuse, be compassionate and comforting. If someone discloses an STD diagnosis, offer only empathy, not judgment. Help them get proper care if necessary. Accepting partners' vulnerabilities openly keeps communication thriving.

Avoid Language that Mocks or Stereotypes

Use discretion with sexual language, jokes or innuendo that could mock or shame people (whether present or not) for their appearance, performance, sexual choices, identity or natural variations in their sexuality or anatomy. Respect that healthy, intimate lives look different for everyone.

Share Your Experiences Candidly

Open up about your sexual health situations whenever relevant and appropriate to help normalize topics like therapy for intimacy issues, positive STD tests, fertility treatments, sexual side effects of medications, or honest details about the reality behind undesirable symptoms women face, like yeast infections. Your vulnerability and honesty help demystify sensitive challenges others may face.

Advocate for Comprehensive Sex Education

Vocally support policies, legislation, curriculums, and programs that dispel myths and destigmatize issues by teaching medically accurate, holistic information on sexual health. Reliable, thorough sex education from an early age fosters healthy attitudes, prevents misinformation, and encourages those facing challenges to seek care.

Practice Self-Love, Body Positivity, and Relaxation

Sexual Health

Cultivating confidence and comfortability with your body and sexual responses unlocks greater fulfilment.

Explore Self-Pleasure

Take Time to explore your body solo through masturbation. Learn how you most enjoy being touched without pressure to please partners.

Do Things That Make You Feel Sexy

Wear clothes that boost your confidence, move your body in energizing ways, pamper yourself with relaxing beauty rituals, or whatever uniquely helps you connect with your sensuality. When you exude self-love, it manifests as sex appeal.

Tune into Physical Sensations

During intimacy, try to zone in on how everything feels physically in the moment - the textures, temperatures, pressures, friction, and rhythms. Tune into your bodily sensations versus getting stuck in your head. Bask in arousal.

Focus on Pleasure Over Appearance

Judge your intimacy experiences based on fulfilment, passion, and enthusiastic consent - not superficial aesthetics. Don't fixate on flaws. Prioritize sensual bliss and emotional connection over perfect bodies.

Incorporate Mindfulness

Incorporate breathing, meditation, and mindfulness practices to reduce sexual anxiety by calming the mind and nervous system. This helps facilitate authentic arousal and pleasure.

Use Lubrication and Take Time

Utilize lubricant to increase comfort and sensual sensations. Spend ample Time on foreplay before penetration to allow natural vaginal lubrication to occur. Rushing can cause tension or pain.

Give Partners Feedback

Use verbal and non-verbal cues to guide partners regarding the pace, pressure, location, and techniques you enjoy most. Be present and let yourself fully immerse in pleasurable sensations without inhibition.

Address Critical Self-Talk

If negative thoughts about your desirability or performance creep in, actively reframe them with gentler self-talk. Don't let past body image or intimacy issues intrude on your present sexual experiences.

Connect Emotionally

Discuss your affection, share funny moments during lovemaking, maintain eye contact, and cuddle after sex. Intimacy thrives when there is a profound emotional and spiritual connection beyond the physical.

Don't Fake Orgasms

If you're not fully satisfied, don't fake it and pretend your partner satisfied you. Instead, communicate what you need more of and coach them lovingly. Faking it leads to nasty sex and fosters insecurity.

Explore New Things Together

Try not to get stuck in a bland routine. Open your mind to new positions, role-playing, toys, locations, pillows to adjust angles, watching ethically produced erotic videos together, taking intimacy workshops or classes online, and more. Novelty and adventure keep the passion alive.

Make Sex About Connection

Rather than focusing on orgasm as the goal or worrying about "performance," shift your mindset to simply enjoying intimate connection. Relish touching, kissing, holding each other. Lose yourself in the experience.

Prioritizing sexual self-care across mental, physical and emotional realms amplifies intimacy and romantic fulfilment throughout all of life's stages.


Q1. How can you boost a lagging libido?

Strategies like reducing stress, getting enough sleep, exercising, improving body image, setting the mood, honest communication with your partner, addressing pain issues, and consulting doctors about hormones or medical conditions affecting desire/arousal can help increase low libido.

Q2. What foods or vitamins increase blood flow for better arousal?

Foods containing nitrates, like beets, leafy greens, bananas, pomegranates, garlic, and walnuts, improve circulation for arousal. Antioxidants in berries protect blood vessels. Vitamins E, C, and D also optimize blood flow. Limit sugary foods that restrict vessels.

Q3. Is frequent painful intercourse regular?

Occasional minor discomfort can happen, but consistent painful penetration or burning indicates a medical issue needing evaluation. Common causes include infections, vaginismus, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, menopause, and many other conditions. Don't ignore chronic pain.

Q4. How can men improve sexual stamina?

Pelvic floor muscle exercises, cardio workouts, strength training, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, getting enough sleep, breathing exercises during intimacy, extending foreplay, and trying different positions/angles can help men last longer before reaching orgasm.

Q5. What does healthy body image mean sexually?

Having a positive sexual body image means fully appreciating your body's sensuality and worth beyond just appearance. It's accepting yourself as worthy of pleasure and intimacy without shame about normal imperfections. Confidence and self-love breeds passion.

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