Sexual Health

A sexually healthy person is someone who is, in the mind and body, generally healthy. A physically healthy person can be aroused sexually, remain interested during intercourse, and have a planned orgasm. Someone who is mentally healthy can get sexually excited (but also have the ability to “turn-it-off”) and be satisfied from the sexual experience (performance wise, as well as fulfilling his or her own sexual desire). If a person doesn’t fully experience one or more of the above, he or she is suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunctions are the result of physical and mental disorder. Since no one is in perfect mental and physical health for life, sexual dysfunctions are common.

A physically healthy person translates into a sexually healthy person. To be physically fit, one must take good care of his or her body by constantly exercising regularly, eating a healthy and balance diet, and keeping a close eye on what is being put into the body (i.e. drugs, medicinal and recreational, as well as alcohol and smoking). Exercising helps regulate blood-flow throughout the body, including components needed for sexual activity. Exercising can also ensure that all component of your body is healthy and that nothing is physically wrong with you. A normal person who has a regular job should have full-body workouts about one to two hours a week. Eating is also important to the body. A healthy and balance diet also helps regulate-blood flow in the body. A high fiber diet, for instance, clears through the system without being absorbed into the body. In contrast, a high cholesterol diet will clog the blood-flow of the body, causing erectile as well as other problems for the body. Other than food, a person must be wary of what substances they put into their body. Smoking increases erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease, as well as other bodily harm. Excess drinking results in sexual arousal and performance disorder. Although recreational drugs (LSD, marijuana, etc.) can enhance sexual pleasure, it can also decrease the interest and desire in sexual activity. Medicinal drugs have variable side-effects that may involve changes in sexual activity. Steroids, for example, can shrink the testes as well as decrease sperm count for males. When taking medicine, always check the side-effects on the label of the medicine container.

Most physical diseases and conditions also have an effect in sexual activity. Sexual dysfunctions results from cardiovascular disease, injury to the spinal cord, surgery complications, neurogenic diseases, diabetes, cancer, eating disorders and more. Diabetes, for example, causes different sexual problems for males and females. Diabetic males suffered from erectile disorder; a small percentage of these men also suffered from retrograde ejaculation, where ejaculated semen goes into the bladder instead of the urethra. Diabetic females sometimes suffered from sexual arousal and orgasmic disorder.
To be a mentally healthy person (at least sexually), one must be well-off socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Socially, one must communicate trust, respect, commitment and love to their sexual partners. Although love and commitment aren’t really required, it is important to associate “sex” with “love-making” because it further enhances your relationship with your partner. Sex is important, but by itself it accomplishes nothing for you or your sexual partner psychologically. Sex should be used to further strengthen the relationship between you and your partner. Emotionally, one must approach sex with positive emotions. Negative emotions (hate, disgust, anger, etc.) developed into stress, causing the person to lose sexual desire. Positive emotions (love, trust, respect, etc.) allow the body to relax and enjoy the sexual experience. Intellectually, you must know how to pleasure your sexual partner because it shows that you really care about him or her, not just only caring about how your own feelings during intercourse. Some have sex just for the physical pleasure. While they might be initially satisfied with the experience, it does nothing for them emotionally in the long run. They view sex as only a physical activity; it really should be treated as an expression of love.

Sexual dysfunctions are a result of physical and mental problems of the male and female. It needs to be treated because sexual dysfunctions indicate that something is wrong with a person physical and/or mental health. Physical sexual dysfunctions can often be treated with medicine. Erectile dysfunction, for example, can be treated with Viagra and Levitra. Psychosocially sexual dysfunctions are more complicated and required sex therapists. Sex therapy combines education and medicine with psychotherapy. Therapy sessions involve the patient giving permission and personal information to the therapist. Based on the patient’s information, the therapist gives specific suggestions, like learning how to communicate with his or her partner and using masturbation to improve sexual activity, to the patient. Patients must be self-aware when giving information to the therapist in addition to accepting the tasks the therapist asked them to execute. Sex therapies also involve sexual partners. Couples who have sexual problems need sex therapy because they aren’t sure who is suffering from what sexual dysfunction. The female could be suffering from orgasmic disorder or the male could be suffering from premature ejaculation or maybe they just needed better communication during sex. They might never know unless they see a sex therapist.

Although not categorized as sexual dysfunctions, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are far more dangerous. STDs includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, venereal (genital) warts, syphilis, chancroid, hepatitis B, crabs and HIV/AIDS. It is important to get tested for STDs (especially if you have many sex partners) because many of these diseases are asymptomatic; its symptoms lay dormant for weeks, months and, in the case of HIV, years before becoming active. By the time the symptoms are active, the STD infected individuals would have unknowingly spread the disease to their sexual partners. Most of the STDs, like venereal warts and HIV/AIDS, have no known cure, therefore the infected individual are infected for life. As a result of being incurable and asymptotic, many STDs have become an epidemic around the world.
Abstinence, the withdrawal of sexual activity, is the best prevention against STDs. If you chose to engage in sexual activity, knowledge is the best option. Knowledge of STDs (answers to questions like if there is any cures, what kinds of treatments, what the symptoms are, what body component is affected, what probability of infecting others is, and how wide spread diseases are) would go a long way in preventing being affected by STDs. When you decide to have sex with someone you don’t really know, try asking your sexual partner about his or her sexual history. If your partner seemed uncomfortable talking about it, try revealing your sexual history first. Make sure your partner is truthful and comfortable talking about sex and STDs. If your sex partner refuses to give you any information, then the decision is up to you as to whether or not to have sex with someone who has a suspect sexual past.

If you choose to have sex with someone who has a suspect sexual past, always use protection. Condoms are the best protection against STDs that infect through bodily fluids, but it is not as effective against STDs that infect through skin contact. Unless you wear a full-body latex suit, the only way to prevent STDs that infect through skin contact is to be extremely careful not to make skin contact or abstain from having sex with the infected individual.

Being physically and mentally healthy enhances the sexual experience, but it also requires a great deal of effort. Not only do you have to keep your body in shape, but also be mentally prepared for sex. People should have sex for the right reasons, not just because they feel so horny and have to “get-off.” None of us are perfect; all of us have suffered, is suffering, and/or will suffered some kind of sexual dysfunctions. If you feel something is sexually wrong, whether if it’s a sexual dysfunction or a STD, go see a physician or sex therapist. Sex is great; but by being physically fit and mentally prepare, sex can be an incredible experience.

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