In our daily lives we hear about sex a lot. On the TV, the radio, at the movies – wherever you go, people seem to be focused on sex. But how many of these sources emphasize the importance of having sex that is not only safe, but comfortable and enjoyable for all people involved?
Sex can be an important and wonderful part of intimacy. For a variety of reasons, however, it can also be unpleasant, unsatisfying, unhealthy and even dangerous. As a result, it is important to consider some of the factors that define many healthy sexual relationships.
Physical safety – Is your body and your partner’s body ready to have sex? Do you have access to contraceptives such as condoms? Do you know how to correctly use a condom?
Emotional safety – Do you and your partner feel comfortable having sex? Do you and your partner respect each other’s thoughts, values, and feelings?
Psychological safety – Do you or your partner feel pressure to have sex? Are any outside forces (such as drugs or alcohol) influencing your or your partner’s decision?
Many people have heard about potential consequences of sex, such as sexually transmitted diseases and/or unintended pregnancy. But there are other consequences as well, like unsatisfying sex undermining the quality of a romantic relationship.
Sometimes people feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking to their doctor or psychologist about the sexual or intimacy problems they may be experiencing. While it is okay to feel uncomfortable, don’t let these feelings prevent you from getting information you may need to improve your sexual safety and/or satisfaction. If you have questions about sex or intimacy, contact your doctor or one of our licensed psychologists to find support.
If you are interested, please consider reviewing the following resources: