Sexual Wellness

Aerial photo of two sets of legs intertwined on a bed with white sheets
Source: iStock

Regardless of sexual orientation, gender, religion, political stance, background, et cetera, roughly 99 percent of people have natural physical urges, desires of the flesh, a hunger for fun between the sheets — we’re all just horny sexual beings at the end of the day. We’re built to experience arousal, unspeakable thoughts, an unexplainable heat between our thighs; it’s in our biology. Lucia Alves da Silva Lara's 2023 scholarly article, "Sexual Wellness: A Movement Happening Worldwide," details that sexual drive (which amps up during puberty) is the byproduct of a "motivation and reward" operation linked to both the limbic system and parts of the prefrontal cortex. As put by a 2019 study published in the Wiley Online Library, sexually-charged activity is “a fundamental behavior, as it supports the interactions aimed at reproduction, which is critical for biological adaptation and species self‐preservation.”

But there are so many different variations of sex, so many avenues for exploration, and many engage in sexual activity with no intention of reproducing (according to Vox, the birth rate in the U.S. has been decreasing since the Great Recession). With so many reasons to traverse the sexual landscape, so many erogenous zones, so many physical and mental benefits, so many risks, so many unique kinks, so many taboos and misconceptions, sex is something we at Green Matters believe should be talked about. When it comes to sexual health and wellness, open conversation and education is vital. The aforementioned study details that sexual arousal is both subjective and physiological, and we aim to tour both ends of this spectrum.

What is the meaning of "sexual wellness"?

According to the World Health Organization, the current definition of sexual health, released in 2006, refers to the "state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity." Additionally, there's a morality aspect, as WHO mainstains that "sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach ... as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence."

Lucia Alves da Silva Lara's text tackles sexual wellness within a modern lens, specifically mentioning the clear existence and importance of pleasure (we all love dopamine). The article notes that pleasure "is essential for physical and mental health, as well as for people's quality of life" and that a fulfilling sex life "promotes assertiveness in social and marital relationships, contributing to the longevity of interpersonal relationships." On the opposite end, sexual dysfunction and a poor, unfulfilling sex life can negatively impact overall health and well-being. Additionally, sexual dysfunction is associated with mental and physical health issues like "anxiety, emotional stress, depression, cardiovascular disease, [and] chronic pelvic pain."

Sexual wellness extends far beyond contraception, teen pregnancy, and risks of sexually transmitted infection and disease.

How do we expand our knowledge and acceptance in the realm of sexual wellness?

Films like 2004's Mean Girls get it right, poking fun at the fear-mongering and mixed messages associated with modern public school sex education. Since then, sex ed has presumably evolved, but abstinence, shame, and heteronormativity still tend to weave their way into teachings. We aim to speak with "sexperts," researchers, doctors, and company founders about a range of sexual wellness topics that align with all individuals.

The American Academy of Pediatrics wrote that girls, youth from communities of color, youth with disabilities, and youth who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community are "particularly impacted by inequitable access to comprehensive sex education," which can damage their health, impact their safety, and cause unwelcome feelings regarding identity.

That being said, jokes about adults not knowing where individuals with vaginas urinate from or where the clitoris is have become tiresome, only proving that sex education often fails people of all ages. By having open conversations, we can slowly dissolve countless years of shame and embarrassment in the sexual arena and encourage insightful questioning. From there, we can only hope that more people will feel comfortable having honest and vulnerable conversations with their partners, and speaking with their doctors about sexual health and function — which is extremely important, as discomfort during sex and changes in libido can signal something larger in your body, as per the Visionary Centre for Women.

From stories on toys to period sex, fetishes to vegan condoms, we strive to empower people to confidently nurture their own sexual wellness.

Latest Sexual Wellness News and Updates

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Green Matters. Green Matters is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.