Why is a healthy sex life important?
Updated: Apr 26
My original title for this blog was "why is sex important?". Then I realised, it's not some generic version of sex that is important. In some instances, sex can be very damaging - hence why sexuality education is so necessary. A 'healthy sex life' is something else. It can be deeply nourishing and is achievable, especially with the right tools and the right people.
Sure, sex is not important to all people. There are asexual folk who don't have feelings or a drive for sex or sexual relationships. There are people who prioritise different things. For some it can be too challenging or triggering. The amount of sex different people want and need can be wildly variable. And what sex is can also be a huge range of things, depending on what turns someone on.
All these things aside, there is still a fundamental drive within most humans to want to get physically intimate with each other. As animals, our primary function on this planet is to procreate in order to sustain the species. Is it no wonder then that sex can inspire us to go to extraordinary lengths to get it and, in doing so, can also generate all sorts of complexities?
This primal instinct has inspired so many things: we have developed elaborate rituals and customs that vary widely from group to group, we use it to define our lifestyles, we have invented extraordinary accessories to aid it and generated ridiculously lucrative industries around it, we use it as a source for art and entertainment, we use it to assert power, inflict pain and incite fear.
I believe a lot of harmful, inappropriate behaviour stems from unhealthy relationships with sex and sexuality. These behaviours not only affect the conflicted individual but also those connected with them and can extend out into wide cultures of oppression. In contrast, imagine a world where leaders and citizens were happy in their bodies, gratified in their sex lives and supported in their relationships... it would be quite a different world, wouldn't it?
A healthy sex life can:
Make you feel really good, which in turn ripples out into the way you perceive and relate with the world;
Charge up your vital life force;
Foster positive relationships
Cultivate deeper awareness of self and self-love
Remind us of our humble status in the ecosystem
Sounds like a sweet place to be, doesn't it? But what is a healthy sex life and how does one go about cultivating one?
Firstly, it starts with you. It may help to reflect on the following questions:
How do you feel about your body?
Do you enjoy being in it?
What attitude do you have to sex and pleasure?
Can you identify your turn-ons?
Are you free to express yourself and realise your desires?
Are there things that prevent you from enjoying erotic experiences, either with yourself or others?
Have you worked through any trauma or difficult past experiences?
Are you able to regulate your thoughts and emotions in relation to sex and eroticism?
Asking yourself these questions will reveal a lot about where you are at in terms of sex positivity and sexuality health. Once you start introducing others into the equation, things can get a bit more complicated...
How do you treat other people in your intimate life?
Do you feel encouraged and supported to be exactly as you are and explore the things that interest you?
Is sex available to you in the way and frequency you desire?
Can you communicate openly and safely about sex?
Are boundaries understood and respected?
Of course, how we feel about ourselves and others can change and continues to evolve throughout the course of our lives. We are also affected by changing life circumstances so an ebb and flow with erotic fulfilment is to be expected. The fundamental question to ask yourself is:
Am I satisfied with my sex life?
- and if not,
What can I do to improve it?
I can recommend all sorts of ways to improve your sex life and teach you all sorts of techniques to address a range of interests or challenges. You can also attend workshops, talk to people you trust, read books, sign up to newsletters and/or seek therapy. Activating the sex life you want is possible and it is important. It'll make you feel good. And who doesn't want that?