Sexual intimacy and fulfillment are a natural part of the human experience. Some people believe sexual activities should be reserved for monogamous, married couples. Others may be open to having one or more partners in or outside of marriage. Regardless of beliefs, it’s important for all partners to be open and honest, explicitly consensual, age appropriate, and feel comfortable telling their partners what they need and want from a sexual relationship (i.e. what feels good, or what doesn’t). Exploration should be encouraged, but it’s also important to respect boundaries of all partners. No means no.
Human sexuality encompasses a range of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual attractions. When people are primarily attracted to the “opposite sex”, they are called heterosexuals. When people are primarily attracted to the same sex, they are called homosexuals. When people are attracted to both men and women to some degree they are often called bisexuals. When people have an attraction to multiple gender expressions beyond “male” and “female”, they are called pansexuals. And when people’s sexual attractions are based primarily on emotional, rather than physical, connections, they are called demisexuals.
To avoid pregnancy and/or STD’s, condoms or other forms of protection should be used each and every time. Monogamy between partners without STD’s is the most effective way to prevent them without a condom. In some cases, such as with HIV/AIDS and HPV, vaccines or prevention-based drugs are available. If one partner has not been monogamous, it’s their responsibility to inform the other partner before having sex.
Sex is a natural part of life and is not shameful in any way. Healthy sexual activities are those where partners feel satisfied, and mutual agreements are honored. In relationships, sexual activities may also include greater degrees of intimacy and affection, such as cuddling, kissing, touching and hand holding.