The Intersection of Sexual & Mental Health
Now, maybe more than ever, we are confronted with expectations to maintain, if not improve our general health and wellbeing. But good health is a lot more than a trip to the gym, the latest food fad, or even the newest mediation app. Our health goes beyond what people see and almost always more than what people are willing to talk about.
Where does sexual care fit in our journey of a happy and healthy lifestyle? What about mental health? Sexual health, particularly vaginal care, is often cast aside, or not even considered in regard to our overall well being. We know this to be true because there remains a widespread lack of access to reproductive health care like abortion and menstrual products while STI stigma and sex worker prejudice pervades our culture.
Our health goes beyond what people see and almost always more than what people are willing to talk about.
Not only do we often lack the physical items and access to help us care for ourselves, but we are not often empowered (let alone encouraged) to prioritize our feelings about our sexual and mental health, which are inherently related.
Before we started Momotaro Apotheca nearly 3 years ago I NEEDED a solution for the chronic sexual health issues I was experiencing. My journey was not about exploring my sexuality, trying new things, or even “taking control of my body.” I had recurrent infections and found myself at a point where I needed something that made me feel better physically and mentally.
It was ESSENTIAL, not only for my sexual health, but overall wellbeing. I needed a solution that helped me feel better, get on with my day, and didn’t shame me for having a yeast infection or general discomfort after sex. At the precipice of my health issues, the level of frustration and physical discomfort I was experiencing was taking a toll on every aspect of my life.
Momotaro Apotheca aims to not only help alleviate the physical discomfort we as vulva owners often deal with on a regular basis, but also calm the myriad of mental health grievances that may come along with recurrent yeast infections, changes in our bodies from puberty to menopause, and even our identities as sexual beings.
We understand that there’s not a single solution to any of these issues, and these issues keep on changing. But through educating ourselves, connecting with others, and driving the conversation surrounding sexual health forward, we have ultimately found comfort in a community that shares our goals.
We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite websites, apps, and people who have helped us better understand our bodies while discovering innovative and practical ways to reverse the negative connotations we have been taught to associate with our sexuality.
This online mental health community democratizes mental healthcare for everyone, everywhere. OOTify uses data-driven matching technology to connect you with a therapist or resource that's right for you.
Casey Tanner is a queer-identifying, intersectional sex and relationship therapist who specializes in working with the LGBTQIA+ community and now offers therapy
and coaching from home. She’s taken on the role as our virtual big sister who gives great advice when we’re feeling disconnected and overwhelmed and her muted feed will help you recognize that healing doesn’t have to happen alone.
by @themindgeek featured on @sadgirlsclub
This online and IRL community wants to remove the negative stigma integrated in mental health conversations by providing mental health services to those who do not have access to therapy or other forms of treatment through building real spaces where womxn can come together to know that they are not alone.
Arfa has re-imagined the health industry to create personal care products for actual people with unique bodies and individual wants and needs. As a company, they’re giving people the power by making them partners in the process of creating and developing the products they use on their bodies every day. As a friend, they create content that addresses (and then shatters) everything we thought we knew about our bodies, mental health, and sexuality. Read these thoughtful articles here and follow their inspiring insta at @arfabrands.
What’s Up is a free mental health app that helps keep things in perspective. Using CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods, this app helps you overcome negative thinking patterns while tracking your progress.
Taking care of yourself sometimes comes in the form of preventative care. You don’t have to wait for things to get bad before you start showing up for yourself.
If you find that you’re struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to, 7 Cups will connect you with caring listeners, and if you need trained mental health support, please visit the Crisis Text Line.
How To Cope With Stress & Live In the Moment words by Griffin Wynne (they/them)