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Sex and Relationships: A Sex 101 Blog Series

Updated: Aug 8

Sex and Relationships

Over the years, I have sat across from many different individuals and couples who have shared with me their sex stories. Like many, their introduction to sex occurred primarily through their peers, personal exploration, movies, or the discovery of pornography. A rare few have had the opportunity to experience open and transparent conversations with their parents. Chances are you can relate to the common experience of discovering sex and sexuality on your own or through other sources than your parents.

If you are here, then you are seeking information about ways to better yourself sexually, and I am glad that you are here. As a Sex and Relationship Therapist, I aim to provide you with valuable insights and practical advice to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of intimacy. Whatever that means! Together we will embark on an enlightening journey through the world of sex. In this Sex 101 Blog Series, we will cover a range of topics, from the basics to advanced techniques, to promoting healthy communication, exploring desires, and nurturing fulfilling connections.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “I already know how to have sex. I don’t need any help with that.” And though you may be confident in the ways you have sex, I’d like to challenge you by saying that, “there is more to sex than just the act of DOING IT.Today, I will introduce you to five important factors to establishing a healthy sexual relationship. I will expand upon each of these five factors in the Sex 101 Blog Series. These five factors will be of benefit to you no matter your relationship status.

1. Understanding Sexual Health:

The foundations of sexual health include the importance of consent, boundaries, and safe sex practices. Sexual health also includes your state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sex. Reproductive health is also a part of sexual health, and it is crucial for individuals of all backgrounds. By being informed in the areas of sexual health, individuals can make choices about their bodies, about their relationships, and about their overall sexual well-being. By promoting education, open communication, and respecting boundaries, individuals and relationship partners can foster healthy relationships and can enjoy a fulfilling sexual life. I will expand upon the foundations of sexual health, starting with consent, in my next Blog of the series.

"By promoting education, open communication, and respecting boundaries, individuals and relationship partners can foster healthy relationships and can enjoy a fulfilling sexual life."

2. Enhancing Communication:

Communicating effectively in a relationship about everyday topics can already be a challenge, so factoring in topics or issues related to sex can make the conversation more complex. Effective communication is key to satisfying sexual experiences. Over the years, I have asked couples to define what communication means to them and everyone’s definition varied. Generally speaking, communication is when there is an exchange of feelings, ideas, or thoughts between self and others that is met with understanding, clarity, and purpose. In order to be an amazing sexual partner, one must know how to communicate — verbally and non-verbally. It is important to learn how to have open and honest communication about your boundaries, needs, wants, and desires in your sexual relationship(s). Open and honest communication is also essential in addressing common challenges related to sex and how to resolve those conflicts when they arise. I will elaborate on how to enhance communication with each topic that I cover in the Sex 101 Blog Series.

3. Exploring Pleasure:

“Sex is explorative,” is something that I say quite often in therapy with clients. There is a diverse spectrum of pleasure and expanding out of a singular path of pleasure can be liberating. Getting in tune with different forms of pleasure can enhance your own satisfaction as well as your partner's satisfaction. From understanding each other’s erogenous zones to experimenting with different techniques and positions, being knowledgeable and aware of the art of pleasure, provides a healthy guidance for exploring new horizons.

4. Overcoming Challenges:

Sexual challenges can arise at any stage of life or relationship with any individual and relationship persons. Common issues that arise can range anywhere from erectile dysfunction, low libido, pain during intercourse, and mismatched desires. It is important to uncover mental and emotional blocks that may have been embedded by others such as society, religion, or significant people in your life whose opinions mattered deeply. In the blog series we will explore different strategies, and possible treatment options, in order to overcome these challenges and foster a healthy sexual life.

5. Embracing Diversity:

Sexuality is a diverse and inclusive realm. We celebrate different identities, orientations, and lifestyles, promoting acceptance and understanding of and for all. We each have fostered our own way of conducting ourselves sexually while also navigating through the sexual experiences of ourselves and of others. Sex deserves to be fun, exciting, and filled with laughter! Don't take it too seriously. Embrace the awkward moments, laugh at the silly mishaps, and enjoy the journey together. A sense of humor is the secret ingredient to unforgettable experiences.

Sexual health and sexual well-being are both ongoing explorative journeys. The Sex 101 Blog Series aims to be your trustworthy companion on this journey. Keep in mind that everyone's experiences are unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always aim to keep an open mind, to be empathetic, and to make a commitment to personal growth. We can create a more fulfilling and positive sexual landscape!

Stay tuned and subscribe to receive updates on the Sex 101 Blog Series!

Ms. Ashley D. Murphy, Sex + Relationship Therapist

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