Make looking after your sexual health your New Year’s Resolution
Navin Khosla has been a registered Pharmacist since 1995. He obtained his B.Pharm Degree in Pharmacy from the London School of Pharmacy, University of London in 1994, and has built a wealth of experience by working across the community pharmacy retail sector.
“New Year, New Me”. We’ve all said that one before, haven’t we? You hit the gym, start eating right and try your hand at Dry January, but what no one ever seems to say is that they’re going to work on improving their sexual health. In fact, you hardly ever hear anyone talk about sexual health at all. Why?
We’re going to change this. We’re aiming to raise the level of sexual health awareness amongst men across the UK. At FROM MARS we want more men to focus on their sexual health and make it a part of their resolutions for 2021. To help out here we explain what men’s sexual health is and how you can look after your own sexual health.
What is sexual health?
Sexual health used to be about keeping yourself free from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV, gonorrhoea and genital herpes. Today we recognise that there’s a lot more to it than that. Sexual health is a broader concept. It includes the physical, mental and social health of your sex life. It’s about recognising what you enjoy as well as your hang-ups. It’s about feeling safe and comfortable while having mutually satisfying experiences with your sexual partners. Let’s break it down.
Why is sexual health important?
As well as protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) taking care of your sexual health also means focusing on other areas of your physical health, such as the quality of your erections. It also involves looking after your mental and social sexual health. This can help you overcome any sexual problems you may have, embrace the quirks of your sexuality and make the most of your sexual relationships by ensuring you and your partner(s) have safe and mutually satisfying sex.
How does sexual health affect health?
Taking care of your sexual health reduces your chances of catching STIs and suffering the damage they can cause. But focusing on aspects of your physical and mental health that affect your sex life can generate rewards for your general health too. If you lose excess weight, eat a healthy diet, get fitter, address any mental health problems you have and focus on your relationships with sexual partners, you’ll enjoy improvements to your physical and mental health.
How to take care of your physical sexual health
We don’t need to tell you that you should practice safe sex. If you don’t you’re putting your health and your life at risk. If you’ve had unprotected sex, even if you don’t have any symptoms of an STI, you should still visit a sexual health clinic to have yourself tested. This is because some STIs can be symptomless but still harmful.
Other aspects of physical sexual health include your stamina and the condition and quality of your erections. If you’re overweight or unfit, or if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or chronic diseases, these can interfere with your erections. The likes of smoking, recreational drugs and alcohol can also all limit your sexual ability and erections. And although erections aren’t the be-all and end-all of sex, they’re important.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man can’t get or maintain an erection that’s hard enough for sex. There’s a lot you can do to improve your physical sexual health and keep ED at bay, including:
- Adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as losing excess weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and cutting back on alcohol. Learn about healthy lifestyle habits that can improve your sex life.
- Eating a diet rich in the nutrients that can improve the quality of your erections. Read about food that can help you stay erect.
- Trying Kegel exercises. Read more about Kegel exercises and erections.
If you do develop ED you can take care of your sexual health by seeing your doctor to talk about it. ED can be caused by some serious medical conditions, so you need to have yourself checked out. If lifestyle changes and Kegel exercises aren’t enough to keep ED at bay you may want to try an ED medication like Viagra. If you’re interested in trying one of these you can order them directly FROM MARS after an online consultation. The ED medications we offer are:
How to take care of your mental sexual health
The physical side of sex is important, but the mental side is even more so. Your mental sexual health is tied to your overall mental health. Nothing can kill your desire for sex faster than mental health issues like depression, anxiety and stress. They’re also common causes of ED. Other mental sexual health issues that can harm your sex life include performance anxiety and addiction to pornography.
You can’t ignore any mental health problems you have. Not only can they take a toll on your sex life, but they can also harm your health and overall mental wellbeing too. A good first step to addressing mental health problems is to talk to your doctor. They can refer you to mental health specialists and discuss treatments such as antidepressants with you.
Another aspect of mental sexual health is sexual awareness. This means taking the time to consciously focus on your sex life and open up to yourself about your likes, dislikes and what you want from sex. The first step to achieving rewarding sex is to firstly be honest with yourself.
How to take care of your social sexual health
Your social sexual health is the health of your relationships with your sexual partner(s). It’s about understanding what each of you want and don’t want, as well as respecting each other’s boundaries and understanding consent. Social sexual health is about making sure everyone involved in a sex act is safe, respected and having fun.
The most important way to look after your social sexual health is to be open and communicative with your sexual partners. Talking about sex and opening up about your desires and boundaries isn’t always easy, but it’s the foundation of fantastic sex. It’s going to help you and your partner better understand each other and it’s the first step to both of you getting what you really want in bed.