In order to have an enjoyable, fulfilling, and safe sex life, it’s important to understand women’s sexual health. The primary topics to focus on are protecting yourself, making clear, informed decisions, and fostering healthy sexual relationships. Of course, every woman is different in their beliefs, values, health, and body, therefore, we must discover what works best for us as individuals. That said, here are a few things that I believe help to make sex safer and more satisfying.
Safe sex is one of the most important things you can do to promote sexual health. It’s crucial to know your partner’s sexual history and whether he/she poses any threat to your sexual health. You have every right to ask for proof that they are clear of any STIs before engaging in sex. Do also have your STI panel results ready to share because it’s a two-way street.
When having sex with a new partner or in non-monogamous situations, always use a condom. It’s also important that you use a condom size chart to ensure that your partner uses the right size. Many men use condoms that are the wrong size, and, unfortunately, this practice can lower effectiveness and raise the risk of slippage or tears.
Communication and Boundaries
If you’re going to have a happy, active sex life, clear boundaries must be set and enforced. The only way to do this is by quality communication between you and your partner(s) is vital. Yes, I did add that “s” on the end because not everyone is monogamous. Regardless of your lifestyle, it’s imperative to understand and express your sexual needs and concerns, as well as those with whom you engage in sexual activity.
This is a big part of consent as well, which is obviously a boundary that every person on the planet has a right to exercise. Communicating well helps to prevent being in situations that compromise your values and comfort level. If someone ever tries to keep you from expressing yourself and doesn’t listen, it is time to evaluate your relationship. Try to be more communcitive about sex if you’ve struggled with confidence or embarrassment in the past. By all means, if you find it too difficult, consult with a therapist or counselor who specializes in sexual topics.
Work on Relaxation
Relaxation and being comfortable is important if you’re going to have any chance of really enjoying sex with your partner. Try to work on ways to relax with each other and diminish any tension, whether it be physical or emotional. It’s best to work out any problems or misunderstandings before engaging in sex with your partner.
Get Regular Checkups
If you’re not getting regular checkups that include, cancer screenings, cultures, STI panel, and a vaginal exam, you could be at a higher risk for some serious problems. Your doctor will let you know what is recommended for your age, lifestyle, and medical history.
Remember, it’s not just your health that is at risk, especially if you are not in a monogamous situation. If your primary doctor does not do these exams or tests, seek out a women’s sexual health specialist or gynecologist. They can be a priceless resource to make sex safer and more satisfying, especially if there are medical reasons you are not enjoying sex.
Understand the Role of Lubrication
If you are at the age that natural lubrication is less than it once was, sex can become uncomfortable and even painful for some women. It’s a common problem experienced during menopause and after. That said, any woman can benefit from using additional lubrication during sexual intercourse.
Using lubrication is not just used for added pleasure but to help protect both you and your partner from unnecessary friction that can actually do damage and cause pain. It is also believed by some that using personal lubricants, such as coconut oil, can help ward off infections, although, this claim is not supported by scientific evidence. Keep in mind that your vagina has a delicate Ph balance and can be sensitive to anything that changes that. Research lubrication products thoroughly before using them.
Remember, your sexual health is vital to not only improve the quality of your sexual experience but for your overall health. These tips are just the basics, so make sure to talk to your doctor and, of course, your partner(s) about how to make sex safer and more satisfying.