A better approach to sexual wellness

In my decade as a sex educator, I’ve noticed there are two main ways people approach their sex issues: they either want a quick fix like a toy, tool, or technique OR they want to get to the root of the problem. 

So who’s correct? Both.

Sexual issues—especially within a relationship—often are symptoms of something else going on

Some of these things are in your control. Others, not so much. The solution isn’t to get rid of the things holding you back from your desires, but rather to understand their impact and manage it as much as possible. 

What is holistic sexual wellness?

It’s looking at sex from a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual perspective, whatever these words mean to you. It allows for the full range of sexual expression and enjoyment, without shame, shoulds, or judgment. 

Specifically, holistic sexual wellness…

Focuses on pleasure

Sex is a major way people experience pleasure, and you deserve to experience all the pleasures sex has to offer—no matter your size, gender, sexual orientation, or ability, and whether you’re with a partner, in a group, or self-pleasuring.

Pleasure is a major reason people have sex. More than that, pleasure heals. Orgasm, for example, is associated with a ton of health benefits including reduced pain and stress, better quality sleep, and improved mental health, among others. You see most of these benefits in other pleasurable experiences too, sexual or otherwise.

Addresses trauma

Only recently has mainstream science come to understand the long-lasting and broad implications of trauma on individuals, particularly their sex lives and relationships.

Holistic sexual wellness also takes the long view–what ancestral trauma might someone be carrying that impacts their ability to give and receive pleasure? 

Examines the impact of marginalized identities on sex and relationships

Holistic sexual wellness looks at the ways in which one’s identity shapes their sexual experience. From the hypersexualization of black women to the infantilization of people with disabilities to those raised in Purity culture, who you are and the communities you’re part of impacts how others interact with you, the messages you received about sex and pleasure, the ancestral trauma you carry, your mindset around sex, and so much more. Naming, making space for, and addressing these differences ensures no one’s pleasure gets left behind.

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