Sexual Health and Staying Safe
Sexual health is about having a healthy sense of your sexuality, having healthy sexual and reproductive organs, and feeling good about your sexuality and sexual experiences. It can be hard to feel you have good sexual health when society doesn’t seem to have a positive and respectful approach to your sexuality and when laws, social norms and/or cultures prevent all of our sexual rights from being respected, protected and fulfilled. Unfortunately we can’t snap our fingers and change this (though there’s plenty you can do in your community and activism to promote this change). But this makes it even more important for us to maintain our sexual health to the best of our ability.
An important part of maintaining your sexual health is having safe sex. Safe Sex is using condoms and water-based lubricants as well as a range of other things (eg. latex dams and gloves) you can do during sex to help reduce the risk of catching or passing on STIs or HIV.
Safer sex can help:
- prevent HIV
- prevent pregnancy
- prevent STIs
Many people also think of safe sex in a broader way; including consent and emotional safety as a factor of safe sex.
Sexual Health Testing
Everyone who’s sexually active needs to have regular Sexual Health tests. To find out about sexual health testing go to FPWA website or M Clinic website for info about the WA AIDS Council’s testing services.
If you’re in a trusting, monogamous relationship and want to have unprotected sex, make sure you and your partner have been tested and given the ‘all clear’ for STIs and have had a sexual health check up to know for sure if you are at risk of transmitting STIs. For more info on relationships and communication check out our Relationships Info Page.
Visit the Safe Sex No Regrets website www.safesexnoregrets.com.au for heaps of great info on keeping you and your sexual partners safe from STIs and BBVs. Also see FPWA Sexual Health Services’ website for more info on sexuality and sexual health. Some of their information that we recommend you check out can be found with the following links;
The following info & resources may also be interesting and useful for you to check out;
- Our Sexuality Info Page
- The WA AIDS Council’s website www.waaids.com
for info about their services such as sexual health testing, LGBTIQQ friendly counselling, sexual health education & trainings, HIV/AIDS Facts talks, and Peer Support services for men who have sex with men.
sexual health info for lesbian and bisexual women
(go to ‘the issues/select an issue’ and click on ‘sexuality and coming out’)
- I think I Might Be Gay, Now What Do I Do?
- I think I Might Be Lesbian, Now What Do I Do?
- I think I Might Be Bisexual, Now What Do I Do?
- I think I Might Be Trans, Now What Do I Do?
- QAHC Fact Sheet about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Young People
- QAHC fact sheets, What’s Out There?!
which has a list of resources and websites on sexuality and gender identity for young people
- LaTrobe University’s Same Sex attracted Youth Site and the publications in it.
- Thriving as a Bi or Queer Woman which can be found at
- Lesbian Zest – how to thrive and flourish which can be found at
- Opening the Window which is about lesbian health and can be found at
“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”
Source: World Health Organisation’s draft working definition
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