The World Sexual Health Day is observed on September 4th of every year. It is an initiative designed by the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) to raise awareness and promote healthy sexual practices.
According to Dr (Mrs.) V.O. Abah. Consultant Family Physician and Coordinator Adolescent and Youth Health Clinic, Department of Family Medicine. University of Benin Teaching Hospital; “Sexual Health which is in line with the sexual reproductive health refers to the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of an individual as related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity”.
Sexuality in itself refers to all things in terms of an individual’s own concept of his or her self in relation to the gender or genders which they are typically attracted to. This recounts to the intimacy and psychological state of being able to interact with any other human being as regards to intimacy.
In plain English; to be Sexually Healthy requires both psychological and physical well-being as regards intimacy.
In view of the psychological well-being of an individual, being sexually healthy can be viewed as the extent at which one’s mental health is being affected positively or otherwise by relationships that leads to intimacy.
Psychologically being sexually healthy requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
For absolute sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”
Sex and existence go hand in hand, discussing about sex has been a taboo across generations, nations, religions and cultures. In the absence of a free and safe platforms to discuss sex, people especially the youth and the budding generations, often indulge in unsafe practices, that is detrimental to their physical and mental health.
Here are some measures to an effective Sexual Health life by Dr (Mrs.) V.O. Abah
- Discuss your sexual preferences with your partner so that you know about each other’s expectation.
- Discuss with your partner or other learned persons about your fear and anxieties, your limitations when it comes to sex and intimacy. Your mental health is important.
- Approach an expert – counsellor, Medical or clinical doctor or if required, sexologist if you happen to face an issue like being unable to achieve or gain satisfaction in your partner or if you encounter displeasure, fear, anxiety, shame, hesitation about physical intimacy or even if there’s body image issue.
- On the subject of physical intimacy, do not shy away from asking what you need from your partner
- Avoid being careless or carefree. Follow safe sexual practices and be conscious of good hygiene.
- On the subject of sex education, parents and guidance should imbibe the culture of teaching their children the subject of sex.
Please Remember; Sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and countries. Sexual health, when viewed affirmatively, requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence