Understanding and achieving sexual health
How would you define sexual health? For many people, sexual health is considered simply as a sexual life without violence, diseases or unplanned pregnancies — but from a holistic point of view, sexual health is much more than that.
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) extends the definition to additional layers including the ability to embrace and enjoy sexuality, the respect of sexual rights, access to sexual health education and care, and the ability to talk freely about sexual health.
The definition of the World Health Organization includes a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality, a positive and respectful approach to sexuality, the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, and the respect of sexual rights.
8 ways to achieve sexual health
Despite the different definitions, we can all agree that sex is an important part of life, and it is a natural human need. Whether you are single or in a relationship, it is essential to take care of your sexual health. If you are experiencing issues in your sex life, follow these tips:
Make time for sex
As we get older and responsibilities increase, it is easier to neglect sex. Scheduling sex might sound unromantic, but it is an effective way to make it happen. It is also important not to rush the sexual practice — women, especially, need to be relaxed before their libido kicks in, and as we age, our sexual responses slow down.
Exercise contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and it can help men with erectile dysfunction. The practice of yoga can also improve libido. According to a study, an hour of yoga each day increased the average scores on a sexual function questionnaire filled out by 40 women. Some yoga postures may improve pelvic muscle tone, release tight hip joints, and boost mood.
Our awarenow guide Marina Kush distilled years of experience of working with top celebrity fitness coaches to make this knowledge easily accessible to you, so you don’t have to waste your time on trying it all by yourself.
The quality of sleep impacts libido. This happens because the body’s internal clock controls the hormone secretion and determines when to release certain hormones related to sex. Feeling tired lowers sexual desire, and getting enough sleep can boost the level of testosterone in men. A study found that a lower level of this hormone may cause sexual dysfunction.
Getting in touch with your feelings, mastering mind-body connection to improve sleep is a must. Julia focuses on mindfulness-based practices to help with all of it.
Practice sensate focus
The technique of sensate focus involves a series of behavioral exercises that couples do together to improve their sexual lives and promote intimacy and connection. The exercises may vary depending on the therapist, but the most important elements are the acceptance of mutual responsibility and a willingness to commit to the work.
Danny Morris implements different techniques in his coaching practice, such as embodiment, which plays at the intersections of meditation, somatics, healing and interpersonal relating.
Write down your fantasies
We all have sexual fantasies, but for some people, it might be hard to talk about them with others, partners included. Writing down your fantasies is a good exercise to set them free and explore your sexuality. After writing about your fantasies, you may want to let yourself go, and masturbate. Touching yourself is a great way to stay connected to your body and learn what you like.
Exploring your sexuality starts with self-love. Drew guides people to the ultimate love for themselves utilizing hidden power from body, mind, and spirit that are intricately connected and works with clients’ whole self for sustainable & longterm results.
When practicing sex it is essential to stay present and enjoy the moment fully. Many people get easily distracted during sex — research showed that some people even look at their phones. Mindfulness exercises can help you stay focused on the present and improve your sexual life. Keeping your attention on your partner and the moment leading up to orgasm are powerful ways to enhance pleasure.
We’ve got the best experts in mindfulness that can save you years of self-search by packaging their knowledge into what will work exactly for you. For example Daron Larson - watch at his amazing TED talk!
The practice of acupuncture, in which the practitioner places needles in the body, may improve sexual health. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that acupuncture may help people with sexual dysfunction. After nine acupuncture sessions, the women who participated in the study experienced an increase in libido, while erection, timing of ejaculation, and ability to orgasm were enhanced in men.
Talk to a therapist or a coach
If you are experiencing issues in your sexual life, talking to a therapist may help you. On our wellbeing on-demand platform you can find coaches specialized in sexuality, who would be delighted to guide you and support you.
Anya Laeta, for example, is an intimacy and embodiment coach, and she teaches people how to use their sexuality to connect deeper with themselves and others.
Matt Sturm offers coaching and bodywork that’s safe, slow, and listens to your body. We’ll tune into your desires and celebrate them find respectful and authentic ways to connect and explore sexuality as a pathway into the sacred.
Orlando is a therapist who has a unique blend of background in therapy and integrative approaches, as well as spiritual guidance.