How understanding your sexual and reproductive health is an act of self-love

How many times this week have you come across the term self-love? Definitely more than once, right? Self-love has been all the rage recently especially on social media. All the hype aside, self-love is critically important to your overall health, wellbeing, alignment and mindset in life. It’s one of those things that we’re not necessarily taught while growing up and for most of us it’s something that we need to consciously cultivate in our day to day lives.

But what does self-love really encompass? Well, for starters, it’s important to note that it’s definitely not a one size fits all scenario, and for each person it’s going to look and feel different. Beverley Hills-based Sex therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez  defines self-love as “nurturing, adoring, and appreciating your body. Taking care of your mind by observing thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. It’s having a spiritual purpose that aligns with how you live your life. It’s your ability to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. It is a state of awareness towards self-regard for your health including making positive lifestyle choices and prioritising wellbeing. It also involves nourishment including food, exercise, connection and pleasure. Self-love is a pathway to building confidence and learning how to be vulnerable with yourself. ”

Let’s look a bit closer at these two sentences from Dr. Chavez’s definition of self-love; “it’s your ability to take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. It is a state of awareness towards self-regard for your health including making positive lifestyle choices and prioritising wellbeing”. So, in order to treat your body and mind in the best possible ways and to provide them with the nourishment and care they need, you firstly need to be of aware of those needs. Empowering yourself with knowledge about sexual and reproductive health is the first step to creating this awareness. Once you have the knowledge you can begin to implement it in ways that you’re comfortable with and will serve you the most.

Another reason why empowering yourself with knowledge is so powerful is because of the generally taboo nature of sexual and reproductive health. It’s not said often enough, but questioning the beliefs and conditioning that you’ve potentially had for most of your life is a courageous act and a symptom of growing self-awareness. Being brave enough to prioritise aspects of one’s life and health that many are too afraid to talk about, let alone learn about is a defiant act of self-love. Plus, we live in a world where corporations and the media thrive on people’s insecurities and weaknesses, so by developing healthy self-love you’ll be less likely to fall prey to their trickery.

Having a clear idea of the signs and symptoms of sexual and reproductive diseases, as well as going for check ups as often as possible is also important and shows that you care and love your body enough to make it a priority. This changes the relationship you have with your body as well as the way you treat it. By working on this relationship over time you will see it naturally impacting your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-trust, all of which play equal parts in creating healthy, authentic, sustainable self-love.

How can we talk about self-love and not talk about self-pleasure? This is such an important component of your sexual health journey as well as connecting and becoming comfortable with your body! It’s also a way to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to your sexual pleasure. This let’s you know exactly what you want when it comes to sex with anyone else. This form of empowerment is incredibly liberating and should not be taken for granted. It will make sex more fulfilling for you by being able to communicate what you want and how you want it to be done. This will also significantly impact your overall confidence and self-esteem.