Hi everyone. I’m Kayla, The Millennial Therapist and owner Reclaiming Stories Therapy and today I’m going to talk about six things that you should know before having sex. Let’s get into it. So I have some notes in front of me, just like usual in my videos, um, to make sure that I have all the information that I want to give you. So if he catches me glancing down, that’s why, but, um, I’ll try to engage you as much as possible. So, um, these six things that I’m going to talk about are also known as the six principles of sexual health. Um, and they come out of a man named Doug Braun-Harvey, um, his work that he has done. He co-created the Harvey Institute, um, that helps individuals and organizations integrate sexual health principles and practices to improve wellbeing and rethink their organizational practices. Um, and he is a sex health, sexual health author, trainer, and psychotherapist.
So he is very prominent in, um, the sexual health and therapy community, um, and does a lot of trainings and has written books. Um, so this is, or, these are some of the core principles that he talks about in having, um, good sexual health. And so the six principles are kind of more aspirational, um, aspirational in the sense of, hopefully we can consider all of these things before we go into a sexual encounter. Um, I definitely think that doesn’t mean like it’s kind of a lofty goal that these are very practical things that should be considered. Um, but just kind of overall thinking about these are the things that we should be considering when we are having sex and going into sexual encounters with somebody or multiple somebodies.
So the first one is you could probably guess it… Consent. Um, consent is so important because it is somebody voluntarily saying, I am wanting to engage in whatever sexual, um, aspects of the situation that are going on. Um, whether that be, um, I also kind of want to like preface that sex is a very broad term. Um, most of the time when we say sex, we are thinking penetrative sex. Um, but as a lot of times that come up in my videos, this could be a totally separate video, um, which it will be eventually, um, but sex can mean multiple different things. So all the way from kissing to foreplay, which can be, you know, any touching of the body underneath the clothes, um, chest and genital area touching, um, to mutual masturbation, to oral sex. Um, and then kind of at the very end of the spectrum is penetrative sex. So anything in that realm needs to be consensual. Um, and it really helps anybody involved to feel comfortable and feel like this is something that can be a positive and, um, you know, sometimes even like transcendent experience. Something that they are wanting to engage in, um, versus it being something that can be scary and traumatizing of being touched in very vulnerable places, by somebody that you don’t want to actually touch you there. So consent is extremely, extremely important.
The second one is it being non exploitive. So you really want to take into account, is somebody being exploited in this situation or in this encounter. Um, and that just means like if somebody’s being taken advantage of, for the benefit or to push the agenda of someone else. So an example of this in more of a minor situation could be somebody saying like, I’m not going to say, I love you, or I don’t love you unless you have sex with me. Um, and kind of making it something that is, um, kind of like a transactional thing, or I’m totally blanking on the word for that. Um, but basically having a power, uh, difference where one person has power over and the other person is being taken advantage of by the other person that has the power. Um, another more extreme example of this would be somebody that is in some type of abusive relationship and just kind of saying yes to sex because they know if they don’t, that that could lead to, um, worse consequences, like being beaten up or something like that. So, um, making sure that a sexual encounter is non exploitive. That everybody again, is able to make, uh, the judgements that they need to give consent. Um, and there is no power imbalance that is creating a false ‘yes’, I guess, to, um, saying yes to sex. Um, I do want to note with this though, that this shouldn’t be confused with BDSM relationships. Um, some people might think, well, those are exploitive relationships and actually they are not. They are completely, um, agreed upon and consented to, and they are for the mutual benefit and pleasure of everyone that is involved in that. And so, um, I just wanted to make sure that that is noted.
Um, the third one is to be honest. And so this is, you know, are you being honest with yourself about what you want and need, um, what your desires are? Are you allowing your partner or partners to also be honest about those things? Um, it’s really important to have conversations about what you want and need from sex, and that takes a great deal of honesty. And sometimes it really takes you looking at those things for yourself first. Um, cause sometimes we can get caught up in what we think that we should want or have been told that we should want, um, before actually looking at what do I actually want to need from a partner or from this sexual encounter. Um, and being very upfront about that because even like a one night stand, that’s totally okay. As long as you’re upfront and honest about the fact that like, this is really all that I’m looking for, being very compassionate and understanding if that is not something that the other person is looking for. Um, and just really being clear and upfront about your intentions and what it means to you.
Um, the fifth one or fourth one, sorry, um, is shared values. So this one’s a little hard to conceptualize. I think even for myself when I was reading through it for the first time, um, but it’s kind of looking at what are your values and ethics around sex. And this gets kind of into the broader conversation about our ethics and values around sex in society and in our culture in general. Um, and on more of like a basic level, just different things that turn people on or different sexual acts can have different meanings and have different values around them to different people. So being clear on, you know, do we both want the same thing out of this sexual encounter? Um, is this thing that we’re going to do may be comfortable to me, but is it going to be something that’s uncomfortable to you because of your values and ethics around sex?
A broader way of looking at that is looking at our culturally shared values around virginity. That that is a big moment and milestone and our lifespan around sex and sexuality. And there’s no real consensus around what age that should be at, that we lose our virginity, um, and have our first sexual experience. So that is something in a broader term in our culture and society that we look at as where do we have shared values on that, um, in looking at values and ethics around sex.
So number five is, are you being safe from STIs, HIV, and lowering your risk for pregnancy? So this is kind of the one that we all are taught. If you got any type of sexual education outside of just abstinence only. Um, that usually we’re taught, don’t get pregnant and try to prevent from getting any that used to be called STDs. Now we call it STIs for infections because most of the things that we can get through, um, being sexually transmitted are infections that can be treated and cured. Um, but things such as HIV, um, are definitely not a death sentence anymore and are definitely manageable. But you do have to manage those for the rest of your life if you are infected. Um, so thinking about, am I using condoms or are we talking about using condoms to have a dual purpose of preventing pregnancy? If you were having sex with somebody that has a vagina and uterus, um, and can get pregnant, um, and then also preventing the spread of any sexually transmitted infections, um, or HIV. Um, are we using birth control of other forms if we are choosing not to use a condom.
Um, are we using prep and prep is preexposure prophylaxis, and that is for people that do not have HIV, but are, um, at risk to the exposure of HIV, through a partner or shared needles or something like that. It’s a medication that’s taken daily, um, to help prevent getting HIV. Um, so those are things to consider in being safe and making sure that, um, everybody is understanding of if there are any STIs that a partner has, um, their risk exposure to something and what are the barriers that we are going to use to mitigate that risk.
Um, and then last one is mutual pleasure. So this is really important because pleasure is not usually something that is talked about like ever, um, for anyone kind of across the spectrum. I think, um, it’s just something that we tend to shy away from around sex because that means that we actually enjoy sex. OH MY GOD. Um, and that’s usually not something that we talk about. So no matter who you are, what partners you have, um, having everyone partake in pleasure and have that pleasure be, um, considered and also attuned to, attended to, um, making sure that, you know, if one person gets off, then they are trying to do whatever they can or ask how they can help the other person get off as well.
But it’s not just getting off and having orgasms, but still, um, you know, not just having it be solely focused on one person unless that’s already agreed upon. Um, so really just taking, taking into account, um, what pleasure looks like for everyone in the situation. And I think this is especially important for heterosexual couples, because again, we tend to only hear about male response and sexual pleasure and still as a society, we do a horrible job in talking about female pleasure. Um, and so oftentimes unless boys and men grew up with women in their lives that talked about sex and were open about their sex and sexual pleasure, or they have had relationships where they started to understand that them having an orgasm is not the end of a sexual encounter, um, that they also need to be, um, looking at what their partner needs and what is going to help them have pleasure, um, is very important.
So, um, that is the last principle. Um, so those are the six principles to sexual health and what you should really be thinking about before entering into a sexual encounter with somebody. Um, and some of these things are more things that you can kind of process on your own and understand, okay, how can I then bring that up with a partner? Um, or how can I make sure that that’s something that I am holding accountable in myself, um, to getting consent, to making sure that’s non exploitive, to being honest about what I need, what I want, seeing, if there are shared values from your conversations with that person. Um, definitely having the safety conversations. That Is a conversation that you need to have with every sexual partner, um, and then making it mutually pleasurable for everybody. And that does take conversation too, because everybody’s body is different.
Um, and what is pleasurable for maybe a previous partner may not be the same for the current partner that you’re wanting to engage with. So, um, those are things to think about. Um, that’s it for me today. Um, ways that you can find me if you were wanting to inquire about my services, my website is reclaimingstoriestherapy.com. Um, and if you go to my contact page or any of my service pages, there is a fillable form that you can fill out. And I would be more than happy to get back to you and talk to you about therapy services and if we could work together. Um, you can also find me on Facebook and Instagram @reclaimingstoriestherapy. Um, and my YouTube channel is The Millennial Therapist – RS for Reclaiming Stories. Um, and I hope you all are doing well. I know it’s still really hard time out there. Um, but hopefully this gives you some things to think about, okay, until next time take care and I’ll see you then. Bye.