With the new year right around the corner, many of us are putting extra thought into what we can do better in the coming year than we did in the last. Healthy living, personal improvement, and losing weight accounted for an incredible 64% of 2024 new years resolutions. Clearly, health and well-being are on a lot of peoples’ minds, but what about prioritizing sexual health?
Maybe for some people, sexual health is kind of wrapped up with the other kinds, as though healthy living, personal improvement, and losing weight will improve sexual health by default. For both men and women, that’s true to a degree. Dietary choices and losing weight can make a physical difference, and personal improvement can also lead to huge psychological improvements that affect self-image and sexuality.
But assuming that your sexual health will simply take care of itself could lead to disappointment, especially if you’ve set unrealistic goals for your new year lifestyle changes. It takes effort, so why not get ahead of the problem? Whether it’s shopping for dildos for sale or having an honest conversation with your partner, let’s take a look at four ways to prioritize your sexual health.
1. Get an STI Test
For both women and men, getting an STI test is vital to your sexual well-being. If you’re sexually active, there is always the possibility of an STI, even in a long-term relationship. Not all STIs have symptoms. You can transmit gonorrhea or syphilis without any outward symptoms at all, and of course, it can take years for HIV to show symptoms.
Knowing that your status is negative will give you peace of mind and improve your confidence going forward. It’s even more important to know if your status is positive so you can immediately explore treatment options with your doctor.
2. Get a Checkup
For men, any problems with getting and maintaining erections or premature ejaculation should be addressed with your doctor. Though it’s normal to feel embarrassed when talking about sexual performance issues, there is no shame in either of these conditions. Trying to keep them hidden from your partner will make matters worse, and erode your confidence if you’re looking for a new partner. If you’re looking to have a child, a sperm count is a good idea, too.
For women, a checkup may include a pelvic exam, pap test, breast exam, and pregnancy test. This is also an ideal time to explore your birth control or family planning options. Hormonal birth control in the form of pills or shots is the most popular, and effective anywhere from short or long-term depending on your needs. IUDs are virtually maintenance-free, and of course, condoms help with both preventing pregnancy and STIs.
Any sexual dysfunction issues should be brought to your doctor’s attention, as should irregular periods.
3. Get to Know Yourself
Many people today still have hangups about masturbation. Yet it’s not only normal and natural but vital to your sexual health. This is your opportunity to explore every way that rings your bell without judgment or pressure.
Getting to know what you like, don’t like, and are curious about can have great benefits when you have a partner, too. It isn’t fair to expect your partner to read your mind about your preferences. It starts with you knowing yourself.
There’s a great, wild, wide-open world of ways to masturbate that go beyond just what your own hand can do… and with the internet, you can avoid the awkwardness of shopping in person if you wish.
Dildos can come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. Some dildos also vibrate, and some vibrators aren’t dildos. There are countless sleeves or other toys men can use for masturbating. Like nipple play? Enjoy butt play? The choices are endless.
4. Communicate With Your Partner
If you have a partner, it’s essential to regularly check in with them. Long-term relationships frequently suffer from a decline in intimacy as jobs, family, and other responsibilities draw your attention. It takes effort to maintain an intimate relationship, and sex isn’t the only way to do it. Whatever your love language is as a couple, make time for it. Sex will come more easily and be more rewarding if you’ve been staying close in other ways.
And remember all that stuff about masturbation and sex toys? Those don’t have to be relegated to solo play. You can open up amazing new horizons using them as a couple, too.
Make It A Priority
It’s all too easy to put off prioritizing your sexual health, but it’s an essential component of your life whether or not you have a partner. It isn’t an exaggeration to say, “use it or lose it.” The longer you go without making it a priority, the harder it will be to get back into the groove.