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How Can I Tell If My Sexual Activities Are Healthy and Normal?

teenage sex

Feel like your mind and your body aren't exactly in sync with each other? Maybe you can't figure out why you're getting aroused for no reason, or maybe you're in a situation where your mind is saying "no" while your body is saying "yes." Your body's responses are totally natural, and you're not alone in having them.

When we describe the ways people behave or relate to each other as "healthy" or "normal," we probably think they are okay for us. We approve of them. Saying something is "unhealthy" or "abnormal" suggests that it is not okay. Sexuality is often strongly tied with how we see and accept ourselves. So using these types of words can raise strong emotions in people.

How we each define what's healthy and normal for us and for others will depend on a few factors. These include:

  • how we were brought up
  • what religion we follow
  • what culture we are from
  • any other factors that affect our beliefs and values.

One definition of sexual health comes from the Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education. They suggest that it is a balance between these two elements:

Seeking the positive from sexual relationships, including:

  • self-esteem
  • respect for yourself and others
  • sexual satisfaction without harming anyone.

Avoiding the negative results, including:

  • unwanted pregnancy
  • sexually transmitted infection
  • pressure to have sex when you don't want to
  • problems having sex.

Questions you can ask yourself

Based on this, here are some basic questions you can ask yourself:


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My sexual behavior

  • Is it helping or hurting the overall quality of my life?
  • Does it give me pleasure?
  • Is it putting me, or others, at risk of harm (for example, sexually transmitted infection)?
  • Do my partner and I only have sex when we both want to?
  • Do I lie to anyone when it comes to sex?
  • Is it causing me, or anyone else, physical or emotional pain?

My sexual relationships

  • Is my relationship equal, honest, and respectful?
  • Does it make me feel good or bad about myself?
  • Does it follow my personal and family values?

Asking these kinds of questions can help us sort out changes we might want to make in our lives. It may also help us decide whether to seek professional help to make these changes.

Read more about the range of teen sexual behavior here.

next: Sex Risks: Accidental Pregnancy and Sexual Diseases

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 23). How Can I Tell If My Sexual Activities Are Healthy and Normal?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/psychology-of-sex/how-can-i-tell-if-my-sexual-activities-are-healthy-and-normal

Last Updated: August 19, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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