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Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center

Sexual Health

Basic Guide for Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life

What do you want from a relationship? It is up to you to get what you want. It's also up to you to avoid getting what you don't want. If the relationship is one that might involve sex, don't do it too soon. Make sure that both of you are ready for sex. Have each other's consent and decide what you want in a sexual relationship.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Sex should be guilt-free. If either of you are feeling uncomfortable, wait.
  • Sex should be something you can talk about. If you can't talk about sex openly, STOP, you're not ready. Issues such as protecting each other, likes and dislikes should be discussed.
  • Sex too early in a relationship can actually prevent intimacy. Waiting builds intimacy and deepens a relationship.
  • Sex in a relationship should be associated with pleasant things such as respect, trust, love, happiness, and fulfillment, if these things are not present, you are not ready.
  • Sex is also associated with unpleasant things such as STI’s, a shallow relationship, unplanned pregnancy, and feelings of guilt.
  • Relationships can be challenging and confusing. Getting what you want from sex and relationships depends on you.
  • Communication is essential for a good relationship.
  • Talk to your partner effectively by listening and speaking honestly.
  • Talk openly about sex.
  • Discuss likes and dislikes.
  • Do you and your partner want the same commitment?
  • Always bring up what is bothering you.
  • Talk about protection.
  • Talk about your limits.
  • Share values that are important to you.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infections transmitted through sexual contact including vaginal, anal, or oral contact. Some can even be spread through skin to skin contact. STI’s can cause many complications from lesions, pain, secondary infections, infertility, and death.

Youth Risk Factors for STIs GraphicCDC Youth STI Infographic

Youth Protection from STIs GraphicIn order to reduce your risk of contracting an STI practice the following prevention methods:

Know the signs and symptoms of STI’s.
Know that complete abstinence is the only 100% way to protect yourself.
Be monogamous.
Always use a latex condom to significantly reduce your risk of contraction of an STI.
Use only water-based lubricants.
Don't have sex if you're drunk, high or under the influence of any drugs.
Know your status, get tested.

Proportion of STIs Among Youth Infographic

Many times STI’s show no symptoms, so it is important to be checked if you are at risk. View the list of symptoms for various STIs as it is provided by Mayo Clinic. It is important to note that many STI’s have similar symptoms so testing for STI’s on a regular basis is key to staying informed about your sexual health.