September is Sexual Health Awareness Month. Celebrate this year by learning the 5 steps to good sexual health! Being sexually healthy means enjoying your sex life, having positive relationships and peace of mind!
1. Value who you are and what is right for you
It all starts with believing that you are valuable, that you should be treated with respect and that you have the right to express your true self. Because guess what… YOU DO! When we feel good about ourselves we tend to make better decisions which leads to feeling happier, having healthier relationships and a fulfilling sex life. Here are some reasons to take this step:
Improve your sex life – say no more…
You’ll feel more comfortable with who you are
You can get more respect
You’ll feel more confident in your relationship
2. Get smart about your body and how to protect it
Sex is a natural, positive and enjoyable part of life! It can have many benefits such as pleasure, intimacy and joy - just to name a few. Unfortunately, it can sometimes result in things like sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unintended pregnancy, and worry. Have no fear though! The good news is there are simple and easy steps that you can take to protect yourself- like using protection to prevent any infections or pregnancy and getting tested regularly to strip away that anxiety! Here are four good reasons to take this step:
It can make your sex life more interesting- With different types of protection like flavored or textured condoms and dental dams there is always something new to try – Spice it up Saturday anyone?!
Help put your mind at ease- worrying about STI’s and pregnancy can definitely put a damper on things. By practicing safe you can ease some of that worry.
Reduce your risk of STI’s- diseases are out there and they can be sneaky, a lot of them show no symptoms. To reduce your risk use condoms and get tested at least once a year.
Be able to have children if and when you want to- using Birth Control allows you to make that decision. Visit Family Planning to learn about the methods.
3. Treat your partners well and expect the same from them
Every one of us deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. Am I right? Of course I am! All of us can and SHOULD enjoy safe, healthy and satisfying experiences with our partner. Here are some reasons to take this step:
Be more confident talking about sex- it may seem awkward at first but the more you do it the easier it gets! Advocate for your needs and let your partner know what you like, what you love, what you don’t and what you want more of. You know YOU better than anyone.
Have more satisfying interactions with your partner- a good partner will ask for consent and respect your boundaries. You should always feel safe and comfortable.
Learn the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and learn how to get help- if you feel pressured or forced to do something you don’t want to this is a red flag. For more info visit www.verahouse.org
4. Build Positive relationships
Having a healthy relationship is and should be a priority for many individual. Building relationships that bring positive things into your life is a major component to your sexual health and well-being. It’s easy to talk about healthy relationships but often it can be hard to tell what’s healthy or unhealthy. Good news—here is a list of what to look for:
You both respect each other- that means your values, goals, opinions and beliefs. You don’t always have to agree on everything but they respect WHY you feel that way.
You feel safe- even if your partner is angry or upset you know your partner won’t do anything to harm or hurt you, whether that be physically or emotionally.
You can be open and honest- your partner knows the real you and isn’t running for the hills!
You may get into arguments but you fight fair. That’s right, some give and take.
Most importantly- they bring you joy!
5. Make sexual health part of your routine
You’re at the right place! Did you know you can receive confidential and free or low cost sexual health care at Family Planning Service? Getting this care can help prevent STI’s, unintended pregnancy, cancers and help you plan to have children if and when the time is right. Some of the things you can get here at FPS are:
Pregnancy testing and counseling
STI testing and treatment
The HPV vaccine
Free condoms, dental dams and lubricant
Referrals to other services
Come see us at Family Planning Service on the West Side or in North Syracuse or give us a call to schedule an appointment today. Most importantly- ENJOY Sexual Health Awareness Month!