Intimate health and sexual education are an essential part of general personal wellness. Valuing and feeling good about yourself. Having peace of mind. Positive and satisfying relationships. Avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies. These are just a few of the important benefits of good sexual health.
Good sexual health is dependent on several factors, such as:
- A safe environment and a view of self that affirms and promotes positive views of sexuality.
- Access to sexual health care.
- Easy access to comprehensive, helpful and factual resources and information on sexuality which leads to healthy behaviors.
- Knowledge and understanding of the risks of unprotected sex and the actions that you can take to be as safe as possible.
In a study of more than 50,000 adults, researchers asked men and women to estimate the percentage of time they reached orgasm during sex in the last month. For heterosexual males, the number was 95%. For heterosexual females, it was just 65%. This is known as the orgasm gap.
Racism and sexual health are also closely linked. Discrimination based on race and ethnicity may result in difficulties accessing effective treatment and education for sexual health conditions among Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This can result in higher rates of illness or harm.
Therefore, providing high-quality sex education that reflect their experiences is key. This body talk blog is here to educate vulva owners so that they can better prioritize their intimate health and improve their general well-being.
Below are three things that you can practice to make your intimate health a priority and close the orgasm gap.
If you are sexually active, getting tested regularly for STIs is very important. During the test, make sure you have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about your sexual history. If you are not comfortable with talking to your regular doctor about STIs, there are several clinics that offer free/low-cost and confidential testing. With an annual exam, you will receive counselling on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize health risks. Without an annual speculum exam, vaginal cancers can easily be missed. Regular screening makes it easy to detect this kind of cancer much earlier.
An annual exam may also show hidden issues that a patient is too embarrassed to bring up, for instance, urinary incontinence or bladder prolapse. Vulvar pre-cancer and cancer usually have no symptoms and they can only be detected as part of a thorough annual preventive exam. Screenings on perimenopausal vulva owners may show dry vaginal tissue on the exam. When this is detected, therapy can be started before the symptoms become worse.
To close the orgasm gap, the simplest thing that you can do is concentrate on understanding yourself first. Just like every other part of your body, every vulva is different and worrying about what is really ‘normal’ is common across the board. We usually refer to the external genital organs as the vagina, however, this is actually known as the vulva. As part of your vulva, there are two sets of labia – the outer labia that is covered in pubic hair and the flesher and inner labia that does not have any pubic hair. Labia size varies from one vulva owner to another.
Using a mirror to do a vulva self-examination may help you better understand your body, the changes that take place during the menstrual cycle, and any problems that may need medical attention. The best time to do this is between your menstrual periods. A self-examination should not replace a regular pelvic examination by your doctor.
Understand your sexuality and how politics and culture have shaped it. After doing this, share what you have learned about yourself with your partner. The process of knowing yourself will involve masturbation. If you have not done it in the past, do not be overwhelmed or feel intimidated. To get started take a look at these tips for getting it done. When it comes to sex, make sure that you and your partner are always on the same page and getting what you both want. Do not be anxious or uncomfortable when it comes to discussing sex or your pleasure. Push through the discomfort and with the constant communication, you will slowly improve your sexual experience and intimate health.
When we talk about health, we need to include sexual health, which plays a crucial role in our well-being. Taking care of your sexual self takes intention, practice, and commitment. It’s an important part of who we are, and an area of life that we can greatly benefit from when we show up and open ourselves to all that sex, intimacy, and relationships have to offer.