YES, YES, YES! Sexual wellness tips to turn sex from OK to OMG With Sex-educator Ruby Rare

YES, YES, YES! Sexual wellness tips to turn sex from OK to OMG With Sex-educator Ruby Rare

This week, we’re joined by #EthicalHour sponsor YES to discuss “how can we bring more eco love to our relationships?” This guest post is part of the #EthicalHour sponsorship programme – written by Sex-educator Ruby Rare.

Throughout May #EthicalHour are starting conversations that matter and breaking down taboos to help us be more happy, healthy, ethical and sustainable when it comes to sex, wellness and our bodies! Join the conversation every Monday 8pm UK time on Twitter using the #EthicalHour hashtag!

 

Sexual wellness goes beyond the bedroom. It isn’t just about being sexually intimate, it’s thinking about what’s best for your physical and mental wellbeing, as well as making ethical decisions on a personal and societal level.

After 5 years of faking orgasms and sex being all about my male partners’ pleasure, I discovered the sex positive community online and things really began to change (side note – having sex with women helped a hell of a lot as well!).

It was through embracing this community that I discovered my sense of agency when it comes to sex, and a big part of that was considering my sexual wellness as well as my pleasure.

Sexual wellness is about self-esteem, the quality of our relationships, and the connection we feel to ourselves and others in sexual and sensual settings. It’s something that can impact all aspects of life, which is why it’s so important to stay curious and find new ways to care for your body and learn about your desires.

So what kind of choices can you make to achieve good sexual wellness?

Sex toys that include phthalates (a chemical used to make plastic more flexible) can be harmful for your body and can put your sexual health at risk. Sticking to toys made of silicone, glass, porcelain or metal is a safe bet. And some lube can harm the body too; when choosing a lubricant, avoid anything that contains synthetically derived ingredients, parabens, silicone and glycerine or glycols.

These ingredients can cause skin irritation, encourage bacterial infections and even smother the skin, inhibiting its ability to stay hydrated – none of which is going to help your sex life!

Having the confidence to have conversations about pleasure, with yourself as well as partners, is key to embracing your sexual wellness.

I used to feel too shy to ask for what I wanted sexually. Now, I take joy in learning about my body through solo sex, and showing partners what I like, as well as bringing out lube and my favourite toys – even during casual sexual experiences. Reshaping your version of what’s ‘normal’ when it comes to sex can also improve your wellness: the notion that you shouldn’t need lube to have good sex is outdated and unhelpful. For me, great sex always involves lube. I like to think of it as the ultimate sex toy, because whatever you’re doing, a good dollop of lube is guaranteed to heighten the sensation and get things feeling good.

I discovered YES (www.yesyesyes.org) last year, and it’s really changed the game for me and my genitals. There’s all the science-y stuff that makes me feel confident I’m making healthy choices for my body: YES lube is hypoallergenic, contains no synthetic chemicals, and is manufactured in a sustainable and ethical way. Its acidic pH is matched to typical vaginal (or in the case of their anal lube, rectal) pH, which is incredibly important in keeping your vagina healthy and can actually help to prevent infections and irritation. On top of all this, it just feels bloody great! Finding a lube that lasts, doesn’t get tacky or smell a bit grim has been a real game changer for me.

Because I use condoms and silicone toys, I use water-based vaginal and anal lubes for sex that includes penetration and/or toy use. Fun fact: water-based lube won’t cause condom damage, so you’re protecting your sexual health as well as making things more pleasurable! Oil-based lube isn’t compatible with condom use, but I have a lot of fun using it for erotic massages on myself and my partners – YES has one of those too if you’re interested, but theirs is plant based, no nasty petroleum based ingredients. Really, no-one needs that stuff in there. The brilliant things about YES OB is that even though it’s an oil-based lubricant with all the benefits of that, it can be used with silicone toys. It’s a winner for water play too – a real all-rounder, as long as condoms aren’t an issue.

Sexual wellness isn’t just about having sex though. It’s about taking care of your body, staying healthy and being aware of how your body changes and reacts.

Regular STI screenings, smear tests, and prostate checks; these are the not-so-sexy aspects of wellness which make all the difference in the long run.

Then there are things you can do about those odd days when you experience a bit of dryness or itching. The days when you’re just a bit uncomfortable (which tend to happen mid cycle), or when you’re recovering from an infection or just feel a bit off colour. I love the YES vaginal moisturiser (YES VM), it keeps you comfortable day to day and is just as essential as their lubes. As someone who uses a menstrual cup, I’ve also found it really helpful to use when I insert my cup; it makes it that bit easier to manage inserting it and taking it out. 

Finally, there’s social ethics to consider.

Are your toys made in factories that treat their employees fairly? Do you pay for the porn you consume to ensure the performers are paid for their content? I recommend buying from smaller sexy businesses when possible. It’s also worth looking into the sustainability of your products. Brands like Fair Squared create biodegradable condoms, YES products are certified organic, vegan, plant-based and sustainable (www.yesyesyes.org), whilst Fine Bone create porcelain sex toys which double up as works of art!

Sexual wellness looks different for each of us and will change throughout our lives.

By considering what’s best for our bodies and making conscious choices before, during, and after sex, we can keep our genitals happy and ensure the sex we’re having is a nourishing component to our lives. Remember that you are worthy of sexual pleasure, and by taking these steps into consideration, you can achieve the fulfilling and pleasurable sex you deserve.

A bit about Ruby

Ruby is a queer, non-monogamous sex educator who has been educating others about sex and relationships for 4 years. She speaks about all sorts of things: from solo sex, to non-monogamy and embracing your queerness, and even how to consume porn mindfully. You can find her at @_rubyrare (twitter), @rubyrare (Instagram) or @Ruby Rare (facebook).

More about YES

To find out more about YES products visit their website www.yesyesyes.org of check out their socials

@yes_organics (Instagram) | @yesyesyesco (Facebook)  |  @YES_Lube (Twitter)

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