186 Sexual Health
HIV and AIDS, 283
Improving sexual health means:
• learning about our bodies and what gives us pleasure. See
below for more information about sexual pleasure.
• reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy and infections
passed through sex. This means women must have access
to information about family planning methods and ways to
prevent infections, including HIV. Women also need control
over when to use these methods. For information about
family planning and choosing a method that works best for
you, see the chapter on “Family Planning.” For information
about making sex safer, see page 189.
• changing harmful gender roles, including harmful beliefs
about women’s sexuality. This kind of change takes time,
because it means women and men must develop different
ways of relating to each other.
➤ Both men and
women are capable
lack of desire
➤ What brings
pleasure to one
person should not be
harmful to another.
Feeling more pleasure from sex
It is natural for women and men to want to share sexual
pleasure with their partners. When each partner knows the
kind of sexual talk and touch that the other likes, they can both
enjoy sex more.
If a woman does not feel pleasure with sex, there may be
many reasons. Her partner may not realize that her body
responds differently to sexual touch from the way a man’s
body does. Or she may have been taught
that women should enjoy sex less than men,
or that she should not tell her partner
what she likes. Understanding that women
are capable of enjoying sex just as much
as men, and that it is okay to do so, may
help her like sex more.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012