What Does Healthy Sexuality Actually Look Like?

People tend to take sexuality to one of two extremes: a pious, prudish, and shame-based approach or a hypersexualized, reckless, and sexually liberated approach. Both of these extremes can negatively affect the relationships people have with themselves and others.

By Marina Camacho3 min read
What Does Healthy Sexuality Actually Look Like? shutterstock

Being able to embrace sexuality in a healthy and responsible way can improve the way someone views themselves and boost their confidence levels. It’s important we find a middle ground between being overtly sexual and completely repressing our sexuality. So what does healthy sexuality look like?

Making Smart Sexual Choices

Poor sexual choices can damage the relationship people have with both themselves and others. One study conducted with college students in Canada showed that 78% of women and 72% of men who had uncommitted sex reported a history of experiencing regret afterward. Another study found that both men and women who had ever engaged in an uncommitted sexual encounter had lower overall self-esteem scores compared with those without uncommitted sexual experiences. 

It’s also known that people release oxytocin, the bonding hormone, during sex. If someone isn’t cautious about who they choose to have sex with, they can potentially confuse their ability to pair-bond and end up bonding with people who aren’t good for them. The emotional baggage associated with poor sexual choices can damage the view someone has of their body and self-image, causing problems in relationships down the line. 

Understand that you and your body are precious and should be valued and protected.

It’s important to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself by understanding your energy and body are sacred and valuable and should be protected as such. Taking agency over your body and energy, and understanding that not just anyone should be able to have access to them, can feel much more empowering than just treating your body and energy as if they’re free game. Your body works every day to repair itself and keep you alive, so think of it as a treasure, one of your most prized possessions. Would you allow just anyone to have access to your most prized possession? Probably not. You’d want someone who you knew you could trust with it, so treat your body the same. Understand that you and your body are precious and should be valued and protected.

Being Sexy Yet Classy 

Women have traditionally been known to be highly sensual beings. This can be seen in observing the seductress archetype in cultures and ancient myths. Stories of sirens, succubi, and nymphs all have the common theme of women using their beauty and sensuality to lure people to them. It’s no question that there’s power in a woman’s sexuality, but what happens when we overexploit that sexuality and broadcast it to the world without a filter? Sex becomes less sexy. 

The normalization of hypersexuality and sexual liberation can desensitize people from the genuine sensuality and desire that should factor into sex. This doesn’t mean we should have to cover up from head to toe or completely avoid our sexuality, but that we should work at finding the balance between being sexy and just being outright explicit.

The attitude and language seen in songs like “WAP,” for example, can push the narrative that a woman’s sensuality is determined by her ability to be an object of pleasure. This way of thinking can disconnect women from their bodies and inner sensuality. Learning to be sexy without being openly sexual and explicit can empower women by teaching women how to embody sexiness with their energy rather than their body. This can help restore the way women view sex and their bodies, and it can also be a huge confidence booster. 

Balancing sexiness with classiness can make women feel more confident while still having their dignity. 

In fact, in the middle of writing this article, a rerun episode of the Trisha Goddard Show just so happened to come on my grandma’s tv. The episode featured children with overtly sexual mothers who wanted to see their mothers tone it down. The show gave each mother a classy makeover, and after each woman received her makeover, the difference in her glow and confidence was astonishing! Each woman said she felt so much more beautiful, sexy, and confident than when she was dressing purposely for sexual attention. Women can be sexy in their natural feminine state without having to be revealing or explicit. 

Women like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn are good examples of women who were admired for their appeal and allure without having to be overtly sexual. Knowing how to balance sexiness with classiness can make women feel more confident while still having their dignity. 

Loving Your Body the Right Way

It’s hard to feel sexy if you aren’t confident in your body. So many girls today have self-esteem issues that manifest as being a shy, covered up, shut-in or alternatively, an open, hypersexual wild girl. Girls will either hate their bodies so much they’re ashamed and embarrassed to show any of it, or they will overexploit their bodies, showing them to the world to feel accepted and validated. Neither of these is healthy for the psyche of women. 

People thrive when they’re able to feel confident and beautiful in their bodies. Today’s society attempts to teach women to do this, but in a way that ultimately disempowers women. It seems that society has equated “loving your body” to “never change your body, overexploit your body, and recklessly give in to your body’s every desire.” This mindset disempowers women by making them comfortable with being stagnant, teaching them it’s okay to indulge in gluttonous behavior and lack self-control, and encouraging them to be reckless. The consequences this approach offers can ultimately drive women to hate their bodies more than love their bodies. 

It’s important to accept yourself for who you are while still focusing on who you can become.

Today’s society teaches people that self-love is supposed to be comfortable, but I’d argue it should be more uncomfortable than anything. A person who genuinely loves themselves should always want to pursue growth, and growth is never comfortable. It’s important to accept yourself for who you are while still focusing on who you can become. The more you put in real, genuine effort into strengthening your relationship with your body, the higher your self-esteem will be and the sexier you’ll feel. 

Closing Thoughts

There can be a happy medium between sexual liberation and sexual prudishness. Women thrive when they feel confident and desirable and can do so without objectifying and overexploiting their bodies. Learning to value, care for, and protect your body can make you feel genuinely empowered and strengthen the relationship you have with your body. Learn to love and accept your body for what it is, while also keeping sight of what it can become. Growing and learning to love your body will not always feel comfortable, but the confidence you’re able to feel is worth it.

There’s no shame in being a naturally sexual being, the power is in being able to harness and manage that sexuality in a way that’s genuinely empowering. Making smart sexual choices, loving your body, and feeling sexy without being explicit can allow you to view sexuality in a positive and empowering light without contributing to modern-day sexually liberated ideals.

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