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Sexual Health

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) defines sexual health as “the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives.” As an important element of physical and emotional well-being, sexual health is a positive, safe, and respectful approach to sexuality, sexual relationships, and experiences that are free from discrimination and violence.

Quick Hits

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) notes that being sexually active means:

  • Understanding that sexuality is a natural part of life and involves more than sexual behavior.
  • Recognizing and respecting the sexual rights we all share.
  • Having access to sexual health information, education, and care.
  • Making an effort to prevent unintended pregnancies and STDs and seek care and treatment when needed; but that having a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy does not prevent someone from being or becoming sexually healthy.
  • Being able to experience sexual pleasure, satisfaction, and intimacy when desired.
  • Being able to communicate about sexual health with others including sexual partners and healthcare providers.

Dig Deeper

Sexual experiences are a natural and wonderful part of life! Having positive experiences comes with understanding, communicating, practicing safe measures, gaining comfort, exploring, and maintaining a sense of fun.

As part of the process, consider learning as much as possible about healthy relationships and sexual activity, safer sex, and reproductive decisions.

If you have a partner, consider having a conversation about your relationship, sexual expectations, needs and desires.

  • Explore your own sexual feelings fully and understand how your desires and fantasies may influence decisions.
  • Stay in control of your feelings and decisions by not allowing drugs and alcohol to impair judgment.
  • Understand that there are more ways than sex to show someone that you care about them and make sure to give and get respect from your partner in your actions. 

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