When most people teach about safe sex, they are often focusing on preventing infection and promoting birth control. Yet, there is another, overlooked aspect of safety in sex that can have as far reaching an impact as any physical one – that is the importance of developing an emotional safety net to protect your evolving erotic self.

The profound emotional scarring that can occur in the early years of sexual exploration can have as big an impact on your ability to engage in healthy sex as unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While it is important to be aware of the life-changing physical consequences of sexuality, it should be just the start of the discussion. Safe sex isn’t just about your body. It involves your mind and spirit as well.

Going with the flow in the sexual culture of your peers can introduce you into many situations that can be initially very compelling, yet quickly become bewildering and disconcerting. Ensuring that this exploration remains safe requires the skills to measure both the physical and emotional benefits against the potential risks. One idea is to take a moment to weigh the potential pleasures of a new encounter with the real gravity of opening ourselves sexually. This improves our choices that can lead to mind-blowing experiences while also evolving our trust in our sexual selves.

Over the years of growing my company, Good Clean Love, I have had many conversations about the importance of natural and organic ingredients and the innovative Bio-Match science that supports vaginal biome health. But, the majority of my discussions have actually opened the way for the deeper emotional issues and questions common to growing up sexually. Questions like the following come up again and again:

  • “How can I communicate my desires?”
  • “Why can’t I orgasm alone or with a partner?”
  • “Why don’t I feel emotionally satisfied even though I had an orgasm?”
  • “Why do I feel bad after a random hookup?”

The place to begin is taking time to ask yourself what you want sexually. Start by becoming familiar with your erotic self which has been emerging slowly throughout your adolescence. Be honest with yourself about your desires, fantasies and any fears that may come up. This is internal work that only you can do. It is a key factor to being able to communicate clearly with your intimate partners and is essential for positive outcomes.

In all things, knowledge is power and knowing what is important to you will help you to attract the right partners. Learning about your desires and listening for your erotic self is a journey that will inevitably include some trial and error. A “friends with benefits” situation might seem appealing until the sexual vulnerability that gets tapped sours a great platonic relationship with differing desires. Likewise, a casual hook up in the wee hours of the night might not look like as you imagined in the full light of day. Being honest with yourself and communicating to your partner as honestly as you can will turn each of these experiences into helpful steps to trusting yourself sexually.

The safest sex is the kind that makes us feel desirable and worthy, before and after the event. It grows out of consensual agreements about the boundaries of the sexual encounter. This is the space in which the discovery of orgasm can flourish, because when your safety issues are satisfied you can open up to letting go which is where sexual magic is achieved.

Honoring your needs for sexual safety is ultimately the best way to nurture and trust your erotic self to attract the kind of sex that will not only titillate you physically, but also empower you.