February 1, 2023
As an LGBTQIA+ person, I have seen firsthand how not attending to my sexual health can have a damaging effect on relationships. At the time, I didn’t think my choices were having any consequences, but it turns out they were. This is my story and why I now prioritize sexual health in all my relationships.
To start, let me say that this wasn’t a deliberate choice; it was simply something that was done out of ignorance and lack of information. When I first came out as queer, there were still many unknowns in terms of what it meant to be a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. It felt like every day I was learning something new about myself and all the different aspects that come with being queer. During this time, talking about sexual health wasn’t really on my radar. Sure, we talked about things like safe sex and being tested for STDs, but there was so much more to it than that.
I started to find out about these other factors when I got into my first serious relationship with another woman. We had been dating for some time before she opened up about her own experiences with sexual trauma and its impacts on our relationship. This was something entirely new for me - something that I hadn’t even thought about before - and it made me realize just how important it is to consider your sexual health when engaging in intimate relationships.
After this experience, I started doing more research into how sexuality intersects with mental health, consent practices, communication styles between partners, and so much more. What started as an exploration soon became a passion project - one that has helped me build better foundations for all of my relationships since then.
My journey has taught me a lot about the importance of taking ownership of our sexual health and well-being to create healthy partnerships with those we love most. By paying attention to our own needs and desires when engaging in intimate relationships - no matter who we are or whom we love - we can cultivate stronger connections with ourselves and others around us. Sexual health is an integral part of our overall well-being and should be prioritized accordingly!