On World Sexual Health Day, observed annually on Sept. 4, we highlight the important aspects of sexual health and how to celebrate "every person's right to sexual well-being."

Sexual health is important in all ages and not just during a person's reproductive years, noted the World Health Organization (WHO). Not only does this pertain to physical health, but it also encompasses other aspects of a person's overall health and well-being.

"Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity," according to the WHO. "Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."

This year, the theme for the celebration is "Let's Talk Pleasure." Sexual pleasure is "critical" to sexual health and rights, according to the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). These feelings are also "complex," covering not only the physiological response of the body, but also other factors such as the emotional and mind-body aspects.

"The experiences of human sexual pleasure are diverse and sexual rights ensure that pleasure is a positive experience for all concerned and not obtained by violating other people's human rights and well-being," it noted.

This year, WAS encourages organizations to emphasize sexual pleasure as a "fundamental" factor in sexual health and well-being. This also includes recognizing that there are still "barriers" to sexual expression and pleasure, from stigma and shame to "overt coercion."

"Leadership from institutions is essential, both in proactively identifying such barriers on a societal level—be they based on law or cultural norms and expectations—and leading open, effective discussions to facilitate change," the organization said.

Today, there are various ways for people to participate in World Sexual Health Day. Naturally, one of the ways they can do so is by educating themselves and others about sexuality, as well as diseases related to reproductive health such as sexually transmitted infections, HIV and certain cancers.

People can also check their locations for events related to this day. After all, the day is celebrated in 35 countries, so it's quite possible that there is one near you. For instance, the United Nations' Human Reproduction Program (HRP) activities for the day include psychosexual counseling and promotion of "positive sexual and psychosocial development."

If there aren't such activities near you, why not start a conversation yourself? Sexual health encompasses various aspects, so people can focus on topics they are concerned about, whether it's the stigma in their culture or the state of access to sexual health care in their location.

And those who have kids can take this as a cue to carefully talk to them about safe sex.

"Good sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and countries," the WHO said. "WHO is committed to identifying and promoting sexual health itself, so that everyone, everywhere is able to fulfill their human rights related to their sexuality and sexual well-being."

Sexual intercourse sasint, Pixabay