Sexual wellness is a part of overall well-being and encompasses the
- emotional and
- relational aspects
of sexuality. Practicing sexual self-care can lead to a more positive and fulfilling sex life. Here are some things I encourage my Charlotte area sex therapy clients to explore:
Self-awareness and -acceptance
Knowing your own desires, boundaries and preferences is crucial for sexual wellness. Take time to explore your body, desires and fantasies through self-exploration and -pleasure. Engage in practices that promote self-acceptance and embrace your unique sexuality without judgment or comparison.
Share what you learned in above with your partner. Include your sexual needs, concerns and preferences, and create a safe space for your partner to do the same. Regularly check in with each other to ensure ongoing consent and satisfaction.
Body positivity and self-image
Cultivate a positive body image and practice self-love. Celebrate and appreciate your body for its unique beauty and capabilities without comparing yourself to anyone else. Engage in activities that promote body positivity, such as
- self-care rituals and
- physical activities that make you feel good in your body.
Stress can knock you off your sex game. Try stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises and creative outlets. Less stress can improve overall well-being and promote a healthier sexual response.
What is self-care? It can be different things to different people:
- Taking a bath
- Reading a book
- Enjoying hobbies
- Practicing mindfulness
Anything that helps you relax and enjoy life counts! Far from being selfish (which some people think), self-care helps reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and promote a positive mindset, all of which aid sexual wellness.
Sexual education and exploration
Most of us were not taught much about sex growing up, except maybe to avoid it until marriage. Educate yourself about sexual health, anatomy and pleasure. Read books, attend workshops or listen to podcasts that provide accurate and evidence-based information.
Explore different aspects of sexuality, such as
- sexual techniques,
- erogenous zones or
- new sexual experiences.
Ongoing sexual education and exploration – especially with your partner — can build your confidence, expand your sexual repertoire and help you have fun in the bedroom!
Boundaries and consent
Trying new things doesn’t mean ‘anything goes.’ Establish clear boundaries and practice enthusiastic consent. Understand and communicate your limits and expectations, and respect the boundaries of your partner. Consent should be freely given in any sexual encounter. Prioritize consent as a foundation for healthy and pleasurable sexual experiences.
Intimacy and connection
There’s a lot more to sexual pleasure beyond intercourse. Foster emotional intimacy and connection every day with cuddling, holding hands or discussing deep topics. Strengthening the emotional bond with your partner can translate to higher levels of satisfaction between the sheets.
Regular health check-ups
Visit your primary care physician or gynecologist/urologist at least annually for a sexual health check-up. This should include screenings for STIs if you have more than one partner. Take charge of your sexual health by staying informed about prevention, safe-sex practices and contraceptive methods that suit your needs.
Almost every couple needs a little intimacy tune-up every now and then. If you have persistent sexual difficulties, concerns or emotional challenges, consider calling counselors who help with sex therapy in Charlotte. We can provide guidance, support and communication/behavior practices tailored to your needs.