On behalf of Healthier Scotland: Scottish Government.
The four-week campaign entitled: ‘Sex. It’s Healthy to Talk About it’, aims to raise awareness of the roles that respect, communication and confidence have in helping to achieve good sexual health and wellbeing, as well as assisting people to make positive choices about their own sex life.
What are the key messages of the campaign?
1. Good communication between partners is the secret to better, safer sex.
2. Being more aware of your partner’s needs and feelings and negotiating with them will benefit your relationship.
3. Leaving worries unspoken can get in the way of your relationship.
4. It’s important to listen to your partner as well as talking.
5. Communicating means you might have to compromise – but that doesn’t mean you should ‘give in’ about things that are really important to you.
6. It’s ok to talk about sex.
7. It’s best to start talking in the early stages of a relationship – but it’s never too late to start at any point in your relationship.
8. Participating in other risk behaviours like alcohol and drugs can impact on your sexual wellbeing.
Doctor Lyndsey Myskow, a sex therapist told me that: “When adults are in an established relationship with a partner they talk easily about where they want to go on holiday, or what they want for dinner that night. We manage this easily and often in great detail to be sure that both partners have their needs and wants met. Somehow, though, sex is an area we don’t communicate well about. This is hard enough when we’ve been with a partner for years – but it’s even harder in a new relationship, particularly if the adults in the relationship are young.
“It’s not because we feel sex is not important but it’s more to do with embarrassment. There is so much guesswork going on when it would be so much easier just to have a straightforward conversation about condoms, about contraception, about preferred positions for sex and other sexual likes and dislikes before we get started.
“I see couples for sex therapy where one partner discloses that she has endured a partner’s sexual foible for years just because she’s too embarrassed to say she doesn’t like it.
“How much more sensible just to be clear about it all from the start in the same way you would say “I don’t like to eat fish,” says Dr. Lyndsey Myskow. “Keep things easy and clear and leave no room for misunderstanding.”
Advice, guidance and tips are available from Sexual Health Scotland – the definitive information hub for Scotland on sexual health and wellbeing.
We have put together a short survey – click on the link below to take part – deadline for responses is 31st March 2013.