Five Action Steps to Good Sexual Health

Being sexually healthy means being able to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind. There are five key steps you can take to help you achieve good sexual health.

Scroll down for practical tips and advice, conversation starters, real-life examples, and resources. Start today by taking the first step.

Value who you are and decide what’s right for you

It starts with believing that each and every one of us is valuable. And, that we all have the right to be treated with respect, and to express who we really are. When we feel good about ourselves, we usually make better decisions. And, there can be big benefits — feeling happier, and having better relationships and sexual health.

Get smart about your body and protect it

Sex — which can be expressed in many ways — is a natural and positive part of life; it can bring you pleasure, intimacy, and joy. But, it can also bring unwanted things — like sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unplanned pregnancies, and worry.

Yet, there’s no need to panic. Simple steps can protect you and your partner. And help you both enjoy a healthier and more satisfying sex life.

Treat your partners well and expect them to treat you well

It all starts with our expectations. When it comes to how sexual partners treat each other, do we have low or high standards? And, do we believe that every one of us deserves to be treated with respect and kindness?

We all have the right to safe, healthy, and satisfying experiences with partners — whether they are short-term hook-ups or on-going relationships. This holds true even if you've had bad experiences with partners in the past. Yet, most of us lack a rulebook or "know how" when it comes to partners.

Build positive relationships

For most people, good relationships are essential to a happy and healthy life. And, for many of us, romantic relationships are at the top of the list. Building relationships that are healthy and positive is key to our sexual health and well-being. But, when it comes to this important life skill, many of us don’t feel prepared. The good news? It’s never too late to learn.

Make sexual health part of your health care routine

Did you know that sexual health services can prevent serious health problems, lifelong illnesses, and even death? Yet, over half of us — both men and women — are not getting these highly recommended services, which can include vaccines, screenings, contraceptives, and counseling. Are you one of them?