The Basics*

Sexuality is part of being human. Love, affection and intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships.

You often hear about the importance of physical health, mental health and spiritual health, but feeling confident about your sexual health also is very important. Achieving sexual health allows for:

  • Healthy relationships
  • Planned pregnancy
  • Disease prevention

That’s why it is essential to be well-informed about all aspects of sexual health and what it takes to have a fulfilling sex life. Similarly, it’s important to be aware of factors that can complicate your sexual health. Don’t let embarrassment to keep you from bringing up concerns or asking questions of your partner, doctor, and other health care providers.

Entering into a sexual relationship with another person can be extremely exciting, difficult, scary, or intense. Like any big, important decision, it is one that requires you to gather a good deal of information beforehand so that it is an educated decision (this does not take the excitement away, can you imagine going skydiving but not checking your parachute?).

It is important to figure out what your own beliefs are conclusions are before you make the choice:

  • Will my behavior harm me or the other person, physically or psychologically? Will I still like myself? What are the possible outcomes that could arise (emotional concerns,pregnancy,STDs)?
  • Does my sexual expression enhance my self-esteem, self-respect, positive feelings about myself?
  • Do I believe this will be enjoyable and gratifying to me?
  • How will having a sexual relationship with this person affectour relationship beyond sex?
  • What precautions will I take to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases? What will I do if I or my partner gets a STD or becomes pregnant? 

*Taken from the Mayo Clinic