Health Services has Wellness Educator/Counselors who are available to meet with UNH students to discuss an array of sexual health topics – relationships, communication skills, sexual pleasure, contraceptive choices, safer sex, and much more!
Sexuality is a healthy and natural aspect of who we are. Sexuality is many things, including having sex with ourselves and others. Sexuality is the expression of our gender as well as the expression of emotional feelings for others.
What does it mean to be yourself as you express your gender? How have you come to learn about being female, or male, or transgender? We each learn gender roles through society, including family, peers, schools, and other social institutions. Learn more about women’s health, men’s health, and transgender health.
Relationships with oneself and others are the foundation of being in the world. Developing a healthy relationship with yourself may help you develop healthy relationships with others. Knowing yourself well including your likes and dislikes, your values and beliefs, and having positive self-esteem will assist you in fostering healthy and meaningful relationships with others.
Sexual orientation refers to whom we are physically, emotionally, erotically, and spiritually attracted to. The term “sexual orientation” often brings to mind gay, lesbian, bisexual, omnisexual, pansexual, etc, but also includes heterosexual. This happens in a culture such as ours that values one sexual orientation (heterosexual) over other sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, omnisexual, pansexual, etc).
Many college students are sexually active, and for heterosexual and bisexual students who do not want to have children while they are in college, choosing and using a contraceptive method is essential. Emergency contraception is also available if a method of contraception you are using has failed or if you were sexually assaulted.
Essential if you are sexual active. This means protecting yourself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The only Safe (no “r”) sex is either masturbation or abstaining from vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Learn more about STIs...
Sexual abstinence means making a conscious decision to not have sex with another person. For some people, this also includes self sex or masturbation. Individuals can be abstinent for a number of reasons, including religious and moral ones. Abstinence from sex with another person is the one sure way to protect yourself from pregnancy (for opposite sex couples) and sexually transmitted infections (for opposite and same sex couples). Abstinence is sometimes a difficult choice to make, especially in a college environment, because there is often a great deal of social pressure to be sexual. Sometimes we have sex with another person because they asked us to, not because we want to or are ready to have sex with them. Know that you are not alone if you are choosing to abstain from sex.
There are many reasons we seek out sexual and intimate contact with others. They might include the pleasure of physical touch, the pleasure of being held and holding, the pleasure of emotional closeness and intimacy, the pleasure of two (or more) physical bodies enjoying each other, and the pleasure of sexual release, or orgasm. Some of us learn good and accurate information from family, teachers, and peers about what it means to be a healthy sexual being, and some of us do not. Some of us have positive and healthy sexual experiences, while others do not. Either way, these learning experiences teach us and inform our future decisions about whether or not to be sexual and with whom we might share this potentially wonderful experience. Our experience of gender also has the potential to inform our notions of sexual pleasure. One sexual health pioneer, Betty Dodson, has created educational environments that help women learn about and celebrate self sexual pleasure - masturbation. For men who want to learn more about enhancing their masturbation experience, check out Joseph Kramer’s work on what he calls evolutionary masturbation.
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