Sexual health is an important part of your overall health. You probably know, you should always "wrap it" with a condom if you’re with a new partner or aren’t sure of your partner’s sexual past (or present). But your sexual health is much more than avoiding disease and unplanned pregnancy. Also, your sexuality is just as unique as you are. 

So how can you ensure you are sexually fit as a fiddle? Here's 7 easy steps to help you out!

Get yourselves checked out

get yourself checked by a doctor - wellness is important

If you think getting checked out by a doctor is just for STDs, think again – that’s just a small part of it. Getting checked for STDs is still important to do, but there are many other things your doctor can check you for which can impact your bedroom business. For instance, did you know that cardiovascular problems – heart disease, for instance – can cause erectile dysfunction? And the same advice goes for women – pain during sex could indicate a problem such as interstitial cystitis. Don’t second guess what’s going on; see your doctor, that’s what they're there for.

 

Manage your Meds

manage your meds for your health

If you are experiencing a low sex drive, it doesn’t automatically mean you just don’t feel it anymore with your partner. Did you know that many medications can have an effect on libido, such as (ironically) birth control pills and anti-depressants? There are usually many different types to try, so if one isn’t working for you, ask your doc for another.  

 

What goes in affects, well…what goes in

    Eat healthy for your sexual health

    Eating healthily may sound like an old cliché, but if you are looking for ways to keep your sex life healthy, look at what you’re eating. If you’re packing a few extra pounds it might be affecting your self-confidence, and as confidence is one of the sexiest things a person can wear, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It has nothing to do with how your partner sees you and has everything to do with how YOU see you.  

     

    Bin the booze

      Drink less to have better sex

      Ok, so we know a glass of wine can help to relax you and put you in the mood, but too much alcohol can have a massively detrimental effect. You’ve heard of Brewer’s Droop, right? It happens because too much alcohol actually decreases the blood flow to the penis, and let’s just say, it’s no good taking the car out for a drive if you can’t park it in the garage.  

       

      Don’t moan about hormones

        Sexual wellness stay balanced

        Pesky little suckers, aren’t they? But without them, there would be no sex. However, an imbalance can seriously put a dampener on things and cause feelings of rejection. Men – keep stress to a minimum, because stress creates cortisol, and cortisol is like the kiss of death to doing it. Likewise, women – a hormone imbalance, such as thyroid problems, or polycystic ovary syndrome, can cause the urge to disappear altogether. That friendly doctor we mentioned earlier? Go get checked!  

         

        No ifs or butts

          Smoking can decrease your sex drive

          Cigarette butts, that is. Guys, did you know that smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict? Everywhere? Now, we know you know how an erection works, but just in case you need reminding: when blood flows to the penis, you get an erection. Restrict that flow, and guess what? Nada. Plus, they really do stink.  

           

          MOST IMPORTANTLY: Indulge in a little DIY

            Masturbation is a very important part of your sexual health

            Knowing what you like and don’t like between the sheets is a must-have for a healthy and satisfying sex life, and the best way to discover those preferences is to masturbate. Lovers don’t come with a manual, so it’s up to us, as individuals, to show our partners what we need. Nobody’s advocating barking out orders like an army general - unless that’s your thing, in which case go for it ;) but if you haven’t a clue about how to bring yourself to climax, it’s going to be a little like the blind leading the blind.  

             

            The thing is, we all need to take control of our own sex lives and be proactive in making things happen. Book that appointment, buy just one bottle of wine, slap on the stop-smoking patch – because really…what’s more satisfying – 2 minutes of inhaling smoke, or an evening of great sex? 

            Next: The No Shame Guide to Buying Bedroom Toys