Why Pleasure Matters: Its Global Relevance for Sexual Health, Sexual Rights and Wellbeing

Jessie V. Ford, Esther Corona Vargas, Itor Finotelli, J. Fortenberry, Eszter Kismödi, Anne Philpott, Eusebio Rubio-Aurioles, Eli Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Much work on sexual health has emphasized adverse outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections/HIV, unintended pregnancy, and sexual violence. Although these objectives are of continued importance, they reflect a global tendency to focus on negative sexual health outcomes. Far less prominent in health promotion, policy, and programing is a sustained recognition that sexual pleasure is an important aspect of sexuality. This commentary centers sexual pleasure within the contexts of sexual rights and sexual health. Our larger objective is to provide a framework for addressing sexual pleasure in law, policy, advocacy, public health, and clinical practice which might reduce the burden of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Sexual Health
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Sexual health policy
  • sexual health promotion
  • sexual politics
  • sexual rights

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Ford, J. V., Corona Vargas, E., Finotelli, I., Fortenberry, J., Kismödi, E., Philpott, A., Rubio-Aurioles, E., & Coleman, E. (Accepted/In press). Why Pleasure Matters: Its Global Relevance for Sexual Health, Sexual Rights and Wellbeing. International Journal of Sexual Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2019.1654587