Everywhere you look, people are talking about sex. Movies, books and media are filled with sexual references – the fashion industry is all about sexiness, and even our food has sex appeal. Yet when you consider the number of STD cases and abortions, it’s clear that, in this sexual soccer game, so many of us are forgetting our shin guards. How is it that, in a society obsessed with sex, we oftentimes forget to prioritize our sexual health???
So, how exactly can we start making healthier, safer choices? Here are a few tips…
Come prepared. Good sex is about way more than just the people involved. In order to prepare yourself to have the best sexual experience possible, you should be bringing a few goodies along. Condoms, lubricant and cleansing wipes should be on the must-have list because being safe, clean and prepared help not only to keep yourself sexually healthy, but reduce any anxiety you may have about your experience.
Talk about expectations and boundaries. In order to make sure both you and your partner are having the most enjoyable experience, talk beforehand about your expectations. This way, you don’t have any awkward miscommunication during, and you can set the scene in a sexy way.
Know your worth. To be comfortable with your partner you must first be comfortable with yourself. Knowing your worth means knowing how you deserve to be treated, your own expectations, and your value as a person. Before you get intimate, spend a little time reflecting on these things.
Know your resources. Sex often begs many questions. And a lot of the time, it can be difficult to know where to direct your questions. Here are some educational, clinical, testing and violence protection resources.
Use contraceptives. Contraceptives provide varying degrees of protection from pregnancy. External (“male”) and Internal (“female”) condoms are the only forms of birth control, however, that will protect you from both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)! Have a quick look at your options to choose the best for you.
Respect consent. Don’t know what consent is? Remember the word FRIES. Consent is Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific. Following these guidelines when having sex allows for an enjoyable experience for both you and your partner, and allows for open communication, making sex that much better.
Keep communicating. Tell your partner what you like and don’t like, what turns you on — and ask questions, too. Being open, sharing and caring will lead to greater intimacy.
Use the bathroom. Though it may seem unnatural, peeing shortly after sex flushes the bacteria from your vagina instead of allowing it to travel up to your bladder, protecting you from suuuper painful UTIs.
Get tested. Each year there are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. By using protection and getting tested at local clinics after every partner, not only are you protecting yourself from dangerous diseases, you’re also protecting your partner.
Get your checkup. Honestly, the gyno is a girl’s best friend. Checking in with yours regularly will help you make sure you’re not missing anything in your usual wellness routine!
So there you have it folks! Follow these guidelines and you’re well on your way to your best sex life yet!