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Healthy Sexuality & Relationships

Healthy Sexuality Encompasses Many Aspects of Sexual Life:

The World Health Organization defines sexual health as "a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.  Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experienes, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."  Healthy sexuality means that we express our sexuality in ways that are positive, enriching, mutually beneficial and harmful to no one.  It involves enjoying and controlling our sexual and reproductive behavior without guilt, fear or shame

Healthy Sex requires:

  • Consent
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Safety

Being in a Healthy Relationship Means:

Mutual Respect:

  • Have discussions about issues important to both of your lives
  • Allow for (and even celebrate) individual differences
  • Accept each other as you are and do not try to change each other
  • Make compromises
  • Have separate identities
  • Allow for Private time/space
  • Respect sexual boundaries
  • Be able to say no to sex
  • Practice safe sex

Equality:

  • Take turns on making decisions, both big and small
  • Give and take in terms of tasks

Honesty:

  • Share personal sexual history and sexual health status
  • Be open about how you feel about the other person/their behavior and about other issues in your life
  • Share what your limits and boundaries are

Trust:

  • Believe your partner when they tell you something
  • Be dependable--if you say you'll do something, do it

Support:

  • Be there for one another during good times as well as bad

Good communication underlies all of the above:

  • ASK if you're uncertain what someone means, or what someone wants or needs
  • "Listen" both to words and to nonverbal communications
  • Share information about your own desires, needs and intentions