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What is Sexual Health ?

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Raise sexual health awareness and integrating sexual health into the general health system is key to achieve a holistically balanced healthy life.

ZaZaZu

4th of September is World Sexual Health Day. To be in good health, we must pay attention not only to our physical health but also other aspects such as mental, emotional, spiritual and sexual health.

Sexual health covers not only medical or reproductive issues but all aspects of sex like sex education, sexual behaviour and sexual attitudes. We at ZaZaZu believe that sexual health includes far more than avoiding disease or unplanned pregnancy.

We also believe that having a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy does not prevent someone from being or becoming sexually healthy.

WHO says

Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health 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 sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.

Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives,however our society does not give us oftenl the stage to do that, as the topic is so stigmatized. Therefore, to be sexually healthy, we should have positive and respectful attitudes towards sex, sexuality, and sexual relationships.

Here are four most important ways to achieve sexual health:

1. Understand Your Sexuality

  • Your sexuality is defined by your attitudes and values regarding sexual matters. It spans across a range of issues — from sexual thoughts and actions to gender identity and roles. These issues are influenced by many factors, from biological, economic, and psychological factors, to social, ethical, and religious ones.
  • Understand that you have sexual rights.
  • Singapore laws protect us against sexual violations and discrimination. You also have the right to choose whether you want to be sexually active or not, and you have control over who you want to have sex with and how it is practiced.

2.     Understand Your Partner’s Sexuality

Because everyone is unique, you’ll have attitudes, feelings and desires that are different from your partner. You can improve your sexual health and pleasure when both of you understand and respect each other’s sexuality. So it is important to try to communicate your views to your partner, and vice versa. When you share what you’re comfortable with and what you want, you are both better prepared for sex.

3.     Develop a Healthy Self-esteem

Having a healthy self-esteem is to feel good about yourself and be comfortable with who you are. If both partners in a sexual relationship have a healthy self-esteem, acceptance and enjoyment in each other’s presence is increased. In contrast, poor self-esteem often leads to unhealthy or even abusive relationships.

4.     Practice Safe Sex

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are contracted during unprotected sex and their symptoms vary widely. You can reduce the risk by practising safe sex, through the use of condoms. However, as condoms do not offer 100% protection, a better option is for a couple to be in a monogamous and faithful relationship. With a reduced risk of contracting STIs, the couple can relax and enjoy a pleasurable, healthy sexual relationship.

In summary, to be in good health, we must pay attention not only to our physical health, but also other aspects such as our mental, emotional, spiritual and sexual health. It is only when we take care of all health aspects which includes sexual health then can we be whole and complete.

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