With so many mixed messages around how to promote sexual health, it can be tricky knowing where to start.
At Kiiroo, we're all about pleasure - it plays an important part in healthy sexuality. But there’s more to keeping your sexual health in great shape than that. And we believe everyone deserves access to that information.
While the thought of asking where to get a sexual health check alone can be daunting, not doing so can be worse. Let’s take control. Here, we’ll show you how to stay aware and take care, so that you can continue living your best, most pleasurable life.
What is sexual health?
The World Association for Sexual Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) answer the question of what is sexual health by defining it as:
“A state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality”.
Physically, this includes staying free from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and preventing or treating sexual dysfunction. But sexual health isn’t just about keeping your intimate parts safe, it’s also about having pleasurable, consensual, safe sexual experiences. It’s about positive, respectful sexual relationships, both with yourself or with a partner. And it’s about freedom.
Why is sexual health important?
There are more forces of social control around sexual health than anything else, which makes knowing how to promote good sexual health a radical act of self-care.
Knowing how to improve your sexual health means you know you’re worthy of being respected, protected, and sexually fulfilled - and that goes for any partner(s), too.
It helps give you the confidence to make choices that work for you, whether that’s checking a partner’s sexual health before you sleep together or fulfilling fantasies with new male or female sex toys. Put simply, good sexual health makes you a better lover.
How to improve your sexual health
There are a number of simple steps you can take to check in or take care if you’re confused as how to improve your sexual health. From seeing a GP to speaking with a partner, we’ve broken sexual health down into three main areas: education, communication, and celebration.
Smarten up on sex and STIs.
The first step in knowing how to improve your sexual health is knowing a few facts on sex and STIs:
- You can acquire an STI by having sex with someone who has an infection - through vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, or skin-to-skin contact.
You can reduce this risk by wearing a condom or barrier. These can also be used to prevent infections when sharing sex toys.
Sanitizing your pleasure products with a premium cleaner after use is another smart method of protection.
- With more than one million STIs acquired every day across the world, they’re more common than you may be aware of. And most of them can be cured.
According to WHO, there were 374 million new infections of four curable STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis) estimated in 2020.
- While some STIs may show symptoms, the majority show none at all, which is why knowing how and where to get a sexual health check is vital.
Where to get a sexual health check
You can get a sexual health check at a doctor’s office or sexual health clinic known as a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. Either make an appointment or drop in if possible - these services are fully confidential, straightforward, and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Knowing where and how to check your sexual health is just the start - making it to an appointment can be the place many back out. It can be intimidating, but your doctor or nurse will have seen it all. And knowing what to expect can help alleviate any worries:
What does a sexual health check involve?
- When you arrive at a sexual health clinic, you’ll be asked for your name and contact details. You don’t have to give your real name if you don’t want to. But in order to receive test results, you should leave either your phone number (for a call or text) or address. It’s completely your choice.
- A doctor or nurse will ask you about your sexual history. This includes questions about when you last had sex, whether it was unprotected and whether you have any symptoms.
- Next, the doctor or nurse will explain what tests they think you need. These might include a urine sample, blood sample, swabs (if you have a vagina you can often do these yourself) or an examination of your genitals.
- Some test results will be shared on the day, others may take a week or two. If you tested positive, stay calm. Many STIs can be cured. For others, such as HIV, treatments are available.
Everyone, no matter what age, gender, sexual orientation, or whether or not they have STI symptoms, can have confidential testing, advice, and treatment (if needed) at a sexual health clinic.
If you have a vagina, you’ll be invited for a cervical screening every 3-5 years between the ages of 25 and 64. This is a test to check for certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in the cervix. It’s crucial that these appointments aren’t missed, because HPV can cause cervical cancer, which leads to more than 300,000 deaths annually.
You can also do certain sexual health checks yourself. For example, women can examine their breasts for potentially cancerous lumps, and men can improve their sexual health by feeling for any lumps in their testicles.
If you’re looking into how to improve your sexual health with a partner, communication is number one. It takes both of you to have a nourishing sex life, from expressing your fantasies respectfully to being transparent about your sexual health.
The most important aspect of sex to communicate is boundaries. Before you even remove each other’s clothes, take a few seconds to check a partners sexual health history. If you’re not convinced, you have every right to not go ahead. Adult stars are required to practice the highest standards of safe sex and sexual health disclosure - something we can all get behind.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an STI, you need to tell any partner you’ve been sexually active with about this. Depending on state law, it can be illegal to withhold this information. Be clear, confident, and proud of yourself for being safe and respectful.
Sexual health is about pleasure and joy - something we’re huge advocates of at Kiiroo. And safe sex = happy sex. Steamy sex. Passionate sex. Earth-shattering, mind-blowing, stress-busting sex.
Explore, express yourself, experience orgasmic heights. Whether you’re trying a vibrator for the first time or getting started in BDSM, nothing's off limits in the bedroom - so long as sexual health, consent, and cleanliness is up there with pleasure in the list of priorities.
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