Sexual Pleasure

Whether we’re attracted to the opposite gender, the same gender or both, the truth is: We learn how to experience sexual pleasure for pleasure’s sake by understanding our own sexual desires and responses.

Our enjoyment of specific sexual behaviors and practices varies from one individual to another. No matter what stimulates our individual sexual desires or which sexual practices we use to satisfy them, we are all sexual beings. How we choose to behave as sexual beings is up to us.

Health Benefits

Sex has been shown to promote better sleep habits, less stress, more happiness, etc. Sex is a healthy bodily function. Our bodies thrive on the chemicals released during orgasm, so a healthy sex life is indeed part of a healthy body.

How will you experience sexual pleasure?

There isn’t a “right way” to experience sexual pleasure. Start with that rich fantasy life you’ve written in your head. If you have a partner, he/she might enjoy it as much as you do! Talk about it with your partner. Understand that sexual pleasure is a matter of mutual interest. Remember that consenting adults can be as sexually adventurous as they please. And don’t forget that your partner is likely to have an entirely different set of favorite stimuli.

Communication is Key

Successful, long-term relationships are based on communication. Feeling safe from disease and trusting our partner is the foundation for comfortable, relaxed healthy sex. Safety, comfort and trust allow us to freely discuss our sexual needs and limitations with a partner. Be direct! Speak up!

“I like it when you touch…”
“I really enjoy…”
“Would you like me to…”

Open, frank communication with a partner is mandatory to giving and receiving sexual pleasure.

It’s About You

Everyone doesn’t have a partner. Not everyone wants a partner. Some people are between partners. The reality is: You don’t need a partner to enjoy great sex.

It’s okay–even healthy–to masturbate regularly. Orgasm not only relieves stress; it also boosts the immune system and burns calories! Indulge in whichever solitary sexual behaviors bring the most pleasure. It’s up to you to choose how or if you reach orgasm. There are no rules, no “right ways” to achieve sexual pleasure as long as there’s no danger to you or anyone else.

A satisfying sex life begins with an understanding of our own sexual needs and responsibilities. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own sexual pleasure. Then, we can acknowledge the needs and responsibilities of our partners.
Declaration of Sexual Health

In 2019 the World Association of Sexual Health held their 24th World Congress where they published the Declaration on Sexual Pleasure. You can read more about that here.

Talking about Pleasure on the Podcast

Listen to episodes of our Sex+Health podcast focused on sexual pleasure.

30 Days of Pleasure

ASHA social content on sexual pleasure can be shared at any time, but may be especially relevant during Sexual Health Month in September or Sexual Pleasure Month in March.

Five Tips for Keeping The Sexy and The Passionate in Long-Term Relationships

By Pamela Madsen