What is sexual health?

Sex means different things to different people

It is used as a broad term for different activities between people, such as:


  • Oral sex
  • Vaginal sex
  • Anal sex
  • The use of hands and other body parts
  • Talking
  • Sexting

Sex should always be consensual, fun and based on mutual enjoyment and pleasure. 


The type of sex people have will vary from relationship to relationship. It is up to the people involved to decide what sex is for them, and their boundaries. 


One part of being sexually healthy means taking steps to avoid getting any sexually transmitted infections. This includes getting tested and getting treatment if there is a problem. 


But it doesn’t end there! Good sexual health is also about:


  • Taking care of our personal safety
  • Practising consent
  • Feeling confident about our sexuality
  • Knowing how to treat others with respect
  • Being able to talk about likes and dislikes

By taking care of your sexual health you can keep both you and your partner safe.

It’s completely okay if you don’t want to have sex. There are many reasons why you may not want to have sex. Some people may never want to have sex and they may identify as asexual. 

Choosing to have sex is a personal decision and you have the right to decide this in your own time, whenever you’re ready. 


If a partner makes you feel pressured to have sex or makes fun of you for not being ready to have sex, then this is wrong. Sex should be consensual and enjoyable. There is no rush to start having sex and some people may decide they never want to have sex.

You have the right to access sexual health services even if you’re under 16. Your appointment will remain confidential unless a health professional felt you or someone else was at risk of harm.

You may be interested in...

harmful relationships

Harmful Relationships

sexual health clinics

Sexual health clinics

sexually transmitted infections

Sexually Transmitted Infections