Many of us are so focused on our physical health and mental health but neglect to check-in on our sexual health. Even helpful tools like The Wellness Wheel fail to include sexual health in their pillars of wellbeing.
But sexual health is important for your overall wellbeing. So if you need a place to start, here's a framework for you to check-in with yourself. We like to think of it as "The 5 P's."
The 5 P's include: Partners, Practices, Past, Pregnancy Prevention/Planning, and Protection.
It's worth noting that medical professionals typically use the 5 P's to help assess your sexual health. However, their questions are just meant to gather important information on your sexual history and won't go as deep as the ones listed below. For example, a doctor might ask you about your number of sexual partners, whether you use protection, when you were last screened for STIs, etc. We've taken the categories of the framework and made the questions a bit deeper and more personal for the purposes of your own self-check-in.
- What’s your communication like with your intimate partner(s)?
- Do they make you feel supported?
- Are you equals in the bedroom?
- Is there anything you could work on together?
- Are you happy with the actual act itself?
- Are there new things you want to try?
- Are there things you’re doing that you actually don’t really like?
- Do you have a self-pleasure practice? Do you want to explore that more?
- Are you stuck in a routine and wanna mix things up somehow?
- What about the actual act of sex is working vs. isn’t working?
- What does your sexual history look like?
- Have you experienced trauma?
- Have you experienced pregnancy?
- Have you been tested recently?
- Are there things you need to work through with a professional like a therapist or a healthcare practitioner?
- If you or your partner can get pregnant, how are you planning around that? What forms of birth control do you use, if any?
- Are you trying to get pregnant?
- Will you want to be soon?
- Are you planning on being child-free?
- Overall do you feel like you're on track for your plans whether that’s effectively preventing pregnancy or focusing on fertility?
- Are you effectively preventing STIs?
- Are you taking care of yourself physically for preventative healthcare
- Note: If you’re looking for a new form of protection, Slipp condoms are ultra-thin, pH friendly, and made with simple ingredients for optimal intimate health.
When you're using the above framework, feel free to take what's useful and leave what's not. This is just an overarching guide to help you check-in with yourself and figure out what's working and what isn't.