May is also Mental Health Awareness Month and our mental health is just as important as physical health, but the stigma surrounding mental health prevents people from wanting to discuss it – let alone ask for help. Why does an adult toy store feel the need to cover Mental Health Awareness Month? Because mental health and sexual wellness go hand-in-hand. Some ways they are connected include:
- a lack or increase in libido (due to medications or disorder)
- lack of self-esteem (due to pregnancy, menopause, weight fluctuations)
- trauma /PTSD
- exploring your sexuality
There are so many scientific articles and research based around mental health and sexuality (maybe too many with differing opinions). Here are some things to consider when it comes to mental and sexual wellness:
What Could the Reason Be?
There are more reasons for struggling with your mental health out there than there are bones in a human body – so the first thing you need to do is really sit down and ask yourself “what is it?” I know that can seem like a lot, but it is more of a general question to yourself: “Does my mood constantly feel off? Have I noticed any physical changes in my body that are unusual? Did I have an experience recently that made me feel unsure or unsafe? Maybe I am not into something I last experienced?” Low sex drive is not a medical condition within itself, so once you start asking questions like this, you can start diving into the “Okay, it might be [this], but where do I go from here?”
Whether you are going to therapy, receiving education, or taking medications, all the professionals you meet will likely ask this questions: “Do you have a good support system?” Getting to a healthy place can be a bumpy ride and it is extremely important that you have a good support system to help you. You do not have to tell disclose to anyone what you are going through, but peers can also be a great support system to have because they can empathize what you are experiencing. Having open lines of communication will be beneficial, especially with your partner. Whether it is the fear of judgement or losing your partner, in strengthening your relationship, but also finding intimacy in ways that is not just about sex.
Intimacy Outside of Sex
When trying to get back to the feeling of being intimate with your partner, there is no need to rush back into sexual activity, especially any full blown intercourse. Start slow by reading a book together, play some games, or even just give your significant other a foot massage. There is no rules on what intimacy can or does looks like – it is ultimately agreed upon between you and your partner. And when you are ready to get back in the sack, Fantasy Gifts NJ will be here to help guide you through all the other intimacy products we carry.
For more information on mental health, finding support, or volunteer opportunities you can visit NAMI for more information.