Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Sexually healthy individuals

2006 June 20

Sexual health and well-being covers more than “birth control”:/birthcontrol/ and “infection screening”:/infections/. Here are some goals for sexually healthy people:

h3. Appreciate their sexuality

* appreciate their own bodies
* enjoy sexual feelings without necessarily acting upon them
* identify and understand their values
* decide what is personally “right” and act on these values
* demonstrate tolerance for people with different values
* understand the impact of media messages on thoughts, feelings, values, and behaviors related to sexuality

h3. Communicate effectively in relationships

* interact with both genders in appropriate and respectful ways
* avoid exploitive “relationships”:/sexual-identity/relationships/
* are able to communicate with a partner about sexual activity before it occurs, negotiate boundaries, and discuss physical and emotional consequences (positive and negative) of sexual activity, contraception (if applicable), “safer sex methods”:/sex-safety/ and meaning in the relationship
* communicate desires not to have sex and accept refusals to sex

h3. Learn about sexual health

* understand the consequences of sexual activity
* ask questions about sexual issues
* seek further information about sexuality as needed
* are aware of sexual health resources in their communities (like “our ISHS clinics and programs”:/about/!)

h3. Take responsibility for sex safety and health

* take responsibility for their behavior; communicate effectively with family and friends
* if sexually active, understand and control fertility to choose pregnancy, or use contraception effectively to avoid pregnancy; and use condoms and safer sex practices to avoid contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted infection
* practice health-promoting behaviors, such as “regular check-ups”:/exams/, sexually transmitted “infection screening”:/infections/ and “breast”:/exams/female/ or “testicular”:/exams/male/ self-examinations

Adapted from “Canadian Sex Research Forum”:http://www.csrf.ca/index.php?m=1&s=2