What Is Sexual Health?


In today’s world healthy sexuality is becoming more and more difficult to define. As sexual images become more frequently common place and expression of sexuality through dress and words begins at an earlier age, people become confused about what is “normal” and what is “healthy.” We all know that these terms may not be equal. So for people suffering from sexual compulsive behaviours and/or the impact of someone else’s compulsive sexual activity it can be even more confusing. We have reviewed some references in the field and have summarized two of our findings for you to peruse.


Dimensions Of Healthy Sexuality

The following is from Dr. Patrick Carnes

  • Nurturing: The capacity to receive care from others and provide care for self.
  • Sensuality: The mindfulness of physical senses that creates emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical presence. 
  • Self-image: A positive self perception that includes embracing your sexual self.
  • Self-definition: A clear knowledge of yourself, both positive and negative, and the ability to express boundaries as well as needs.
  • Comfort: The capacity to be at ease about sexual matters with oneself and with others.
  • Knowledge: A knowledge base about sex in general and about one’s own unique sexual patterns.
  • Relationship: A capacity to have intimacy and friendship with both those of the same gender and opposite gender.
  • Partnership: The ability to maintain an interdependent, equal relationship that is intimate and erotic.
  • Non-genital sex: The ability to express erotic desire emotionally and physically without the use of the genitals.Genital sex: The ability to freely express erotic feelings with the use of the genitals.
  • Spirituality: The ability to connect sexual desire and expression to the value and meaning of one’s life.
  • Passion: The capacity to express deeply held feelings of desire and meaning about one’s sexual self, relationships and intimacy experience.

Milestones Of Sexual Development

The following is from Dr. Zoldbrod & SexSmart.Com

In order for you to feel comfortable letting go, going into what is called a “sexual trance” and experiencing deep sexual pleasure with a loved partner, you need to have had certain things happen in your family-of-origin during your childhood and adolescence. Dr. Zoldbrod calls these the Milestones of Sexual Development. They include:

  • Being loved
  • Being touched
  • Receiving empathy
  • Learning to trust
  • Learning how to relax and be soothed by the person you trust
  • Developing a good body image
  • Becoming comfortable in your gender identity
  • Developing self esteem
  • Feeling good about the way your parents handled their power over you and each other
  • Feeling that you own your own body 
  • Having permission to explore yourself, your body, and your sexual feelings
  • Learning how to develop social skills and make friends