Sexual Wellness: Not just sex and sex toys

Sexual Wellness BannerSexual wellness is something we often don’t prioritise in our overall well-being. It’s not just about having sex and sex toys. Why is it important? We all know about the Gender Pay gap, what about ‘The Pleasure Gap’? Why is talking about sex sometimes “taboo”? These are some questions that this blog hopes to discuss and address, with some of my personal input and experiences shared by various individuals.

Image from Smile Makers Instagram

Sexual Wellness - What is it?

Let’s be honest - it takes a while to think of an answer for that one. Perhaps it’s because the question is too broad or it could be because people don’t talk about it enough and nobody really knows what it is. 

Here are some responses I got from asking “What is your understanding of your sexual wellness?”:

“I was just about to ask you what do you mean by sexual wellness - let me google that real quick. Um...maybe sexual wellness is your need for sex and doesn’t have to be with anyone…? It can be masturbation - knowing what you like and how it affects your mood and mental well-being.

“Having your sexual needs met?”

“To be sexually in tune with oneself - knowing what you like and don’t like and also understanding one's sexuality.”

One person even got it confused with “sexual awareness”. Defining sexual wellness is an understandably difficult task and that could be because of different societies, cultures and individuals having different perceptions of sex. In more conservative, Asian societies (e.g Singapore), sex remains a relatively taboo topic amongst families and friends. Some reasons for that could be:

    • Upholding conservative values: being against premarital and casual sex
    • Lack of access to sex education / Sex-Ed not in depth or taken seriously
    • Between parent and child: lack of a close relationship to talk about private and personal topics such as sex
    • Culture of Shame
    • Pornography: the outright ban of certain websites in Singapore, even for good reasons, contributes to the notion that sex and masturbation is a menacing evil

  Well, according to WHO, sexual wellness is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being concerning sexuality. It is important because it’s a crucial factor for our physical and emotional well-being. What does it really mean to be “sexually well”? 

Intimate Photo of Woman holding flowers

Image from Smile Makers Instagram

Sexual Wellness is comprised of several factors, including:

    • Recognising and respecting the sexual rights we all share
    • Having access to sexual health information, education and care
    • Practising safe sex and seeking care when needed
    • Experiencing sexual pleasure, satisfaction and intimacy when desired
    • Communicating about sexual health with others, including sexual partners and healthcare providers

Source: GR8NESS

I will be focusing primarily on the last two pointers: experiencing sexual pleasure when desired and being able to communicate about sexual health with others. 

THE PLEASURE GAP

Studies have found that 39% of women regularly orgasm during sex, this is in stark contrast to 91% of men. This disparity in reaching orgasms between males and females is termed as the “pleasure gap”. It is also worth mentioning that cis heterosexual women are the least likely demographic to orgasm during sex. Achieving orgasm for women in general has always been rather difficult and rare. Some prime reasons could be the lack of self-exploration and lack of communication between partners. This is where sexual wellness products like sex toys come in handy and serve a great purpose: helping to bridge the pleasure gap. Furthermore, sex toys are a means for couples or people of the same sex to have fun in the bedroom too.

Sexual Wellness Products from Smile Makers

Image from Smile Makers Instagram

GUILT AND SHAME - EXPERIENCED BY BOTH SEXES

Personally, I am still quite closed off and shy when talking about sex and my sexuality. A lot of it, I believe, stems from being brought up in a conservative family and society where conversations about sex with family primarily revolves around “Don’t ever have premarital sex” and a woman’s virginity could mean more than her intelligence and achievements. Girls are often told and groomed to wear modest clothing, not be too opinionated and maintain a certain “innocence” about their sexuality. 

Coming from that type of environment has made me feel rather hesitant and embarrassed to explore my sexual needs. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t even engage in acts of self-gratification. But at the same time, (strangely enough) I also don’t feel the need to. That's just me. 

What I do feel is important and needs to change though, is the abandonment of the shaming culture and creating more open and comfortable spaces for us to talk about sex as a healthy means to our physical and emotional well-being. The science behind sex and its positive impacts on our well-being is there afterall.

Interestingly, I discovered that it is not just females who experience guilt and shame but some males do too. "Post-nut clarity", according to the Urban Dictionary, is the ‘immediate clear mindedness or soberness an individual gains after orgasming. The term has been defined and used in varied contexts over the years. Sometimes it’s used to express regret after having sex with someone but often times it’s used to describe the ‘feeling of being awaken’ (mostly guilt and disgust at oneself) for engaging in acts of masturbation.

I asked a few male friends of mine about post-nut clarity and their experiences with it. One friend mentioned that the guilt was so strong when he was young that he couldn’t even look at his parents at the dinner table. Another friend said he had a friend who took out the Bible and started reading it right after masturbating. This was primarily because they grew up being taught that masturbation and sexual thoughts are bad or a sin. Perhaps this feeling is more common amongst those brought up in conservative, religious families or in Asian societies. However, over time and as they’ve gotten older, they’ve grown to become more comfortable with their sexuality and recognise that masturbation is natural and healthy. Instead, post-nut clarity is more of an issue when it comes to casual sex. The guiltiness lies in viewing one’s partner as an object to satisfy sexual needs.

 There was an exception though. One friend also told me that he has never experienced post-nut clarity in his life. He mentioned that it is probably owed to the fact that he had social proof the first time he masturbated ( he discovered it with his friends ), he isn’t religious and he is rather very comfortable with his sexuality.

SEXUAL WELLNESS IS IMPORTANT

Ultimately, I think we all just have to recognise and embrace the fact that we’re all human and we all have sexual needs - it’s all natural. Engaging in safe sexual acts is healthy and learning to be comfortable with your body and sexuality is good for your well-being! The most relevant chemicals released during sexual activities are endorphins and dopamine. Endorphins are stress-relievers and mood-boosters while dopamine is a confidence-booster. I’m sure all of us could really use some of the chemicals when we go about our busy schedules. For most of us, sexual wellness is undoubtedly a work in progress. 

TLDR:

  • Masturbate. Explore what you like and don’t like. Listen to and get to know your body. It’s stress-relieving too!

  • Here are some sexual wellness products at our shop that you can try:

    SMILE MAKERS THE FIREFIGHTER

     

    NEWER VERSION of THE FIREMAN

    • A rounder tip and softer edges for an optimal touch on the vulva

    • A heavier spinning weight for more powerful vibrations

    • An optimised rotational diameter for smoother vibrations

    • An AA battery instead of AAA to power up this new technology 

    SMILE MAKERS THE BILLIONAIRE

     

    NEWER VERSION of THE MILLIONAIRE

    • A larger body for deeper satisfaction
    • A heavier spinning weight for more powerful vibrations
    • An optimised rotational diameter for smoother vibrations
    • An AA battery instead of AAA to power up this new technology

     SMILE MAKERS GENEROUS GEL

     

    Shop our full selection here!

  • Communicate. Tell your partner what you want. Ask your partner what they want. Create candid conversations about sexual wellness!
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    Here at WYLD, we want you to be THE most confident and comfortable you can be with your true self and we're very proud to carry products that help you achieve that, including Smile Makers’ sexual wellness products. We hope you like our selection and enjoy the products as much as we do!


    With love and on behalf of the WYLDcrew,

    Havel

     





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