Sex has been shown to provide a myriad of health and wellness benefits – from reducing stress to improving sleep and boosting immunity. That “after sex” glow people talk about, that’s another benefit of the feel-good hormones that are released after sex that also boost our moods. What if we told you can heighten these sensations even more? Sex educator, coach, and content creator Sara Tang explains how…
Our sexuality is a natural and healthy part of who we are. It is an intimate expression of our personal beliefs, emotions, and helps us connect better with the people and world around us. By increasing our sexual wellness, we bring our bodies in tune with their full potential and boost our overall health. Sexual health and wellness are also closely tied to other decisions we make in our lives. It’s easy to forget how impactful simple habits can be in increasing our wellness in this area of our lives. Just a little bit of intentional focus can bring about great results.
Here are five simple habits to boost your sexual health and wellness:
1. Masturbate regularly
Maybe you weren’t expecting this one, but this is something that delivers many health and wellness benefits whether you’re single or in a relationship. It’s also one of the safest and most reliable ways to experience sexual pleasure. In addition to the physiological benefits, masturbation helps to increase self-esteem and body confidence. It helps you explore your body and figure out what turns you on. Doing it together with a partner can increase intimacy while you learn more about each other. And while you’re at it, be sure to look up sex toy brands like Leaf Vibes which use body-safe materials and eco-friendly packaging, as well as organic lubricant lines like Sliquid Organics and Yes Organics. Coconut oil is also gaining popularity as a natural lubricant.
2. Do Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises strengthen and tone the pelvic floor in both men and women, which improves bladder control and also gives you better orgasms. The best part is that they can be done almost anytime and anywhere. Find the muscles that you’d use to stop your flow of urine mid-stream, and then clench them for three seconds and release for another three. Now perform three sets of ten repetitions every day. Build up the number of repetitions and also the intensity and duration of each clench-release cycle as you get stronger.
3. Move your body
On a recent episode of the Better in Bed podcast, we talk about the many ways that exercise and sex are linked. Exercise is a major contributor to sexual arousal as it increases blood flow and energy levels in both men and women. It also decreases stress, which is the number one libido killer for most people. Along with an increase in strength, flexibility, and stamina, exercise also enhances self-esteem and body image, which makes you more likely to engage in sexual activities.
4. Practice mindfulness
Be fully aware and in the moment during a sexual encounter increases pleasure, intimacy, and connection. Create a sacred space where electronic devices are not allowed and that will help you really focus on your sexual wellness. Think purposefully and intentionally about your behavior in a sexual situation instead of acting out of a sense of habit or complacency. Increase your awareness of what your partner is feeling and get in touch with your senses. Breathe deeply from your belly and slow everything down (an interesting exercise you can try is exchanging and syncing breaths with your partner). Look deeply into your partner’s eyes and really see them as they are, as well as let yourself be seen. These are all ways you can try being a little more mindful in bed but if your mind wanders somewhere else, don’t judge it, just call your thoughts back to your body and the experience of lovemaking.
5. Get tested
Getting tested regularly for STIs is part of taking care of your overall health and body. If you’re sexually active, then do this at least once a year or more frequently depending on the amount of unprotected sex you’re having. There’s nothing embarrassing about having a medical professional take care of any issues or answer any questions you may have. A clean bill of sexual health is a stress reliever and a green light. Ideally, you also want to be honest and upfront about your sexual health with your partner, so that you both can enjoy sex responsibly without sacrificing intimacy. Sexual wellness isn’t just about the absence of disease and dysfunction, it’s about the positivity and respect required to have safe, pleasurable sexual experiences. It’s a state of physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing, that is closely tied to overall health and wellness.
All wellness is a practice, and these simple habits are forms of self-care that when implemented regularly, will increase your happiness, sense of satisfaction, bringing you to new sexual heights.
Sara is a sex educator, coach, and media influencer. Having received an inadequate sex education growing up, she founded Sarasense to provide tools and resources for people to have a more satisfying sex life. She is also the creator of the Better in Bed podcast, where she hosts frank, informative, playful conversations about sex and shares inspiration on how we can all get better at it. Currently based in Hong Kong, she has previously been a student of human sexuality at Stanford University, an erotic writer and a sex toy party entrepreneur. You can also find Sara on IG and Facebook, and listen to The Better in Bed podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
You can also catch Sara at The Conscious Festival Hong Kong where she will be leading a discussion on a panel called Sexual Power. The Conscious Festival by Green Is The New Black takes place on Saturday 13th April & Sunday 14th April 2019 at the Kerry Hotel 38 號 Hung Luen Rd, Hung Hom Bay, Hong Kong. Find more information on talks, speakers, and the festival schedule here. Don’t forget to register for free entry to the festival here and pick up tickets for TALKS here.