Sex is a natural and important part of the human experience. And how we navigate sexual health, intimacy, and pleasure can impact our overall health and well-being in many ways.

But we haven’t always had the tools to address these topics with our safety and enjoyment in mind. And the truth is there’s still a lot work to be done to reduce sexual shame and stigma at individual and collective levels. That’s why it’s important to unlearn the misinformation and re-educate ourselves about what it means to have “good” sex.

In honor of Sexual Health Awareness Month in September, we’ve partnered with Planned Parenthood to create a content series called “Mood, Mind & Good Sex” that does just that.

In this collaboration, we interview experts from the Planned Parenthood team and other sex educators to answer questions related to sexual health such as:

  • What does sex have to do with self-care?
  • How can you get tested for STIs and disclose your status to your partners?
  • How to overcome sexual shame to prioritize pleasure?
  • Does your body image impact your mental health? If so, how?
  • What birth control methods might be right for you based on your lifestyle?
  • How can we normalize menstruation and the reproductive rights of menstruating people?

Here’s how you can get involved and celebrate with us throughout the month.

Consider reading the following articles to learn more about sexual health and intimacy.

Menstruation and Mental Health: Q&A with Planned Parenthood

Medical Review by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST – Written by Maisha Johnson

Find out how social stigma and cultural shame around menstruation can affect your physical and mental health.

Safer Sex as a Form of Self-Care

Medical Review by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST – Written by Morgan Mandriota

The key to safer and more pleasurable sex is to be mindful and take care of each other’s health and well-being. Find out how to practice sexual self-care.

Sexual intimacy: the link between mental health and body image

Medical review by Jennifer Litner, LMFT, CST — Written by Alex Carroll

This article explores how sexual health and mental health are linked, and how talking about the two can make a difference.

How to Keep Shame Out of Your Sex Life

Medical Review by Jennifer Litner, LMFT, CST — Written by Taneasha White

Sexual shame negatively impacts us and our mental health, especially for members of marginalized communities. Here’s how.

How to Disclose Your STI Status and Why It’s Important

Medical review by Emelia Arquilla, DO — Written by Morgan Mandriota

Talking about STIs may seem awkward, but knowing and disclosing your status is an important part of having safer sex. These tips can help you.

How Birth Control Can Affect Mental Health: Benefits and Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Fernando Mariz, MD – Written by Morgan Mandriota

With so many different birth control methods, how do you know which one is best for your physical and mental health? Here we describe the pros and cons of birth control methods.

At 4:30 p.m. EST on September 22, 2021, Psych Central Editor-in-Chief Faye McCray will be live with Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Sara C. Flowers on our Instagram @psychcentralofficial. The event is titled “Stripped Down: A Candid Conversation About Sex & Mental Health”.

Join us for an engaging and educational conversation on all things sexual health and wellness, including topics such as birth control, sex positivity, the impact of mental health on intimacy, etc Feel free to bring your own questions and share them during the session as well. .

On behalf of the Psych Central team, we wish you a happy Sexual Health Awareness Month. We hope we can guide you to the information and resources you need to have enjoyable, safer sex and more fulfilling intimate relationships – this September and always.