sexual health, couple in bed

Prioritising Sexual Health and Intimacy with Sexology

Prioritising your sexual health can be empowering.

Whether you are facing specific challenges in your sexual relationships, grappling with questions about your sexual identity or simply seeking to better understand your sexuality and learn more about finding pleasure, you can benefit from speaking to a sexologist.

In fact, sexuality is an integral part of the human experience influencing your relationships, well-being and overall quality of life. In fostering a healthy approach, you can experience improved mental and emotional well-being, more satisfying relationships and an overall higher quality of life.

However, many people struggle with prioritising their sexual health as part of their overall wellbeing and are often unhappy or stressed about their sex lives.

A recent study found that more than 50 per cent of Australian women experienced some form of sexually related personal distress relating to feeling guilty, embarrassed, stressed or unhappy about their sex lives.

Sexual health and the need for intimacy plays an important part in your mental and overall wellbeing and there has been a greater focus on research and understanding in this area in recent years.

Combining psychology with sexology can provide a comprehensive and empathetic approach to addressing the intricate connections between mental health and sexual well-being.

Psychological Health Care now has a registered psychologist and sexologist offering services in this area.

In this article we’ll look at reasons why you should prioritise your sexual health, how a sexologist can help and when to consult a sexologist.

Why Prioritise Your Sexual Health

Prioritising your sexual health is important for many reasons that extend beyond the physical.

A holistic approach to well-being encompasses emotional, psychological and relational aspects with sexual health playing a significant role in each of these domains.

Here’s why it’s important:

  1. Overall Well-Being: Sexual health is an integral component of overall well-being. When individuals experience satisfaction in their sexual lives, it positively contributes to their mental and emotional health, leading to a more balanced and contented existence.
  2. Quality of Life: A healthy sex life can enhance your quality of life by promoting a positive self-image, boosting self-esteem and fostering a sense of connection with yourself and others. When you feel confident and secure in your sexual identity, it often translates into increased happiness and life satisfaction.
  3. Emotional and Psychological Health: Sexual health is closely linked to emotional and psychological well-being. Intimate connections and positive sexual experiences can contribute to lower stress levels, reduced anxiety and an overall improvement in mental health. Conversely, unresolved sexual issues or dissatisfaction may lead to emotional distress and psychological challenges.
  4. Relationship Satisfaction: For individuals in relationships, sexual intimacy is a vital aspect of connection and bonding. Prioritising sexual health can strengthen the emotional ties between partners, fostering a deeper understanding and creating a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.
  5. Communication and Intimacy: Addressing sexual health promotes open communication about desires, boundaries, and expectations in relationships. Improved communication around sexual matters can lead to better understanding and increased intimacy between partners.
  6. Prevention of Sexual Dysfunction: Proactively addressing sexual health can contribute to the prevention of sexual dysfunctions or the early identification of issues. Timely intervention by a sexologist or healthcare professional can help manage and treat potential problems, preventing them from escalating.
  7. Positive Body Image: A healthy approach to sexual health involves embracing your body and accepting yourself. Cultivating a positive body image is not only beneficial for sexual well-being but also contributes to overall self-confidence and self-acceptance.
  8. Reproductive Health: For those considering starting a family, sexual health is directly linked to reproductive health. Ensuring optimal sexual health can positively impact fertility and contribute to a healthy reproductive journey.
  9. Social and Cultural Well-Being: Cultures often have varying attitudes and beliefs about sexuality. Prioritising sexual health involves acknowledging and respecting diverse perspectives, promoting inclusivity and advocating for sexual rights, contributing to a more inclusive and accepting society.
  10. Long-Term Relationship Satisfaction: In long-term relationships, sexual satisfaction tends to play a crucial role in maintaining connection and preventing relationship strain. Prioritising sexual health involves ongoing communication and adaptation to changing needs and desires throughout the course of a relationship.

In essence, prioritising sexual health is about recognising its impact on all aspects of your life.

sexual health and intimacy, a couple hugging

What is Sexology?

Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, encompassing a wide range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, medicine, anthropology and biology.

By employing a holistic approach, sexologists aim to understand and address the complexity of human sexual behaviour, attitudes and relationships.

Combining psychology with sexology can provide a comprehensive and empathetic approach to addressing the connections between mental health and sexual well-being. This allows an in-depth exploration of sexual concerns and the underlying psychological factors that may contribute to them.

Sexologists aim to foster a safe and non-judgmental space where individuals can openly explore their concerns, gain valuable insights and embark on a path toward greater sexual satisfaction.

What Conditions do Sexologists Address?

Sexologists are trained to address a wide array of sexual concerns, providing support and guidance to individuals or couples facing challenges in their sexual lives. Some common conditions treated by sexologists include:

  • Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation: Sexologists can help individuals experiencing difficulties with sexual performance by exploring psychological, physiological and relational factors that may contribute to these issues.
  • Low Libido: Sexologists assist individuals in understanding and addressing factors influencing low sexual desire, such as hormonal imbalances, stress, or relationship dynamics.
  • Sexual Pain Disorders: Conditions like dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) or vaginismus can be addressed by sexologists through a comprehensive assessment and tailored treatment plans.
  • Communication Issues: Sexologists help couples improve communication around sexual matters, fostering a healthier sexual relationship.
  • Sexual Orientation and Identity Concerns: Sexologists provide support to individuals questioning or exploring their sexual orientation, identity or gender expression.
  • Relationship and Intimacy Challenges: Sexologists offer guidance on enhancing intimacy and addressing relationship issues that may impact sexual satisfaction.

How Sexologists Provide Treatment

Sexologists employ a variety of therapeutic approaches to address the conditions mentioned above. These may include:

  • Psychoeducation: Providing individuals and couples with accurate information about sexuality, fostering a better understanding of their concerns.
  • Counselling and Therapy: Engaging in one-on-one or couples therapy sessions to explore and address psychological and relational factors contributing to sexual difficulties.
  • Behavioural Interventions: Implementing behavioural techniques to modify specific behaviours contributing to sexual issues, such as performance anxiety or avoidance.
  • Medical Consultation: Collaborating with healthcare professionals to address underlying medical conditions impacting sexual health and function.
  • Sex Education: Offering comprehensive sex education to individuals and couples to promote sexual health and well-being.

Why Consult a Sexologist?

Individuals or couples may choose to consult a sexologist for:

  • Improved Sexual Functioning: Seeking guidance to enhance sexual performance, satisfaction, and overall well-being.
  • Relationship Enhancement: Addressing communication and intimacy issues to strengthen the emotional and physical connection in a relationship.
  • Sexual Identity Exploration: Understanding and navigating questions related to sexual orientation, identity, or gender expression.
  • Overcoming Trauma: Seeking support to cope with and overcome past sexual trauma or abuse.
  • Fertility and Reproductive Concerns: Exploring the impact of sexual health on fertility and addressing concerns related to reproductive health.
  • Sexual Education: Gaining accurate and comprehensive information about sexual health, pleasure and contraception.

How Can Sexology Help You?

Engaging with a sexologist can offer benefits, including:

  • Increased Understanding: Developing a deeper understanding of one’s own sexuality, desires and boundaries.
  • Improved Communication: Enhancing communication skills around sexual matters, leading to healthier and more satisfying relationships.
  • Stress Reduction: Addressing and managing factors contributing to sexual difficulties, reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Relationship Strengthening: Building stronger emotional connections with a partner through improved sexual intimacy and communication.

When to See a Sexologist

Regardless of what sexual challenges you may be facing, a professional sexologist can help empower you to learn more about your body, reclaim your sexuality and prioritise your happiness.

Consider consulting a sexologist when:

  • You are experiencing persistent sexual difficulties or concerns that impact your well-being.
  • There are communication or intimacy issues within your relationship that you want to address.
  • You are navigating questions related to sexual orientation, identity or gender expression.
  • Past sexual trauma or abuse is affecting your mental and emotional health.
  • You seek comprehensive sex education to enhance your sexual health and satisfaction.

Book A Session With our Perth Sexologist

If you’re struggling with your sexual health, related issues or are ready to start exploring your sexuality, help is available.

Make your sexual health a priority today by booking a consultation with our Perth sexologist.