Healthy Sexual Relationships
When thinking about good sexual relationships, the most important relationship to consider is the one between you and your own body.
A lot of the time, young women are given messages to look a certain way, dress a certain way or act a certain way to be accepted.
All of these messages are confusing, and can make us feel like sex is about what is expected of us or what is forbidden from us, and not actually about what we want and how we feel. Being in touch with what makes us feel good physically and emotionally is our best guide when it comes to sexual relationships with others.
- What is sex? Let’s start with the basics. There is a good guide here.
- When should I have sex? Remember there is no rush, no deadline. Having sex isn’t something you should do because you are under pressure, or for any other reason than you want to.
- Good sexual relationships are built on safety and freely given consent. Consent can feel a little confusing sometimes, so it is easiest described as an enthusiastic “yes!”. Bodysafe has good guidelines for thinking about consent. Sex can be really exciting and enjoyable if everyone involved feels safe, respected and keen.
- Sometimes it feels like sex is everywhere, however for all the play sex gets in the media it is often poorly represented. TV shows, the internet and movies often depict unrealistic sex scenes in which there is little foreplay and no discussion of contraceptives and sexual safety (read more here). They also often describe sex as being 100% awesome all the time, which can make us feel pressured to act like this is true for us, or doubt ourselves when it isn’t.
- The porn problem. Some of the most damaging messages about our sexuality come from mainstream porn, in which sexual activity is unrealistic and depicts very aggressive attitudes towards women. Porn features activity that isn’t always safe or about the pleasure of those involved. To learn more about how porn is problematic you can visit It's time we talked.
- What even is sexuality? Sexuality refers to who someone is attracted to sexually, emotionally, physically and/or romantically. If you want to learn more about gender and sexuality, go to Rainbow Youth.
- What is sex positivity and how does it apply to me? Sex-positivity celebrates healthy sexual relationships and empowering individuals to control their own sex life (or lack thereof). It does NOT mean that all sex is positive, and everyone should be having lots of sex all the time. If we think of sex as something that is bad, then it makes it hard to have a healthy relationship with sex.
- If you've had a negative sexual experience it might put you off sex for a while, and that's okay. However, it doesn’t mean long term you can’t have a positive relationship with sex, because sex can be great. Check out this article to read more.