Healthy sexual relationships can positively impact our well-being. Use these strategies to help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Only you know when you’re ready for sex. Listen to yourself and consider your motivations, feelings, and boundaries. Sex comes with inherent risks – are you comfortable with the potential consequences? Are you clear about what you hope to gain? Remember that learning about intimacy and your own sexuality is a lifelong process.
What is sexy to one person might not be sexy to another. The best way to find out what a partner enjoys is to ask. It can feel difficult to talk about sex, but communication is critical and can also be hot. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues from your partner. Tell your partner what makes you feel good and also what doesn’t. Ask and listen for the same insight from them.
It’s critical to establish clear and enthusiastic consent from all parties involved and to communicate about boundaries, preferences, and desires. It’s best to talk about consent when clothes are on and emotions are chill. That way, no one feels rushed and everyone can voice excitement or concerns that they might have. Everyone deserves to know what they are consenting to, so reflect on what your partner may need to know before sex, like your STI status, how you protect yourself from STIs, and which contraceptives you use.
Reduce Your Risks
You can use a latex or polyurethane barrier to help prevent sexually transmitted infections. You can get free latex or polyurethane barriers at Campus Heath, Student Stores Pharmacy, Student Wellness or in the Carolina Union. If you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, use a form of birth control. At Campus Health, contraception can be prescribed by a gynecology provider, primary care provider, or a pharmacist.
By prioritizing sexual health, people can enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of intimate relationships while reducing the risk of potential health issues. Check out S.H.A.R.E. for additional sexual health education and resources.