Sexual Well-Being


Check out the resources and information below to learn about safer sex, programs, and more! If you have questions or looking to learn more about sexual well-being, email or set up an appointment with the health educator, Molly Hutchison at

The World Health Organization defines sexual health as:

…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being i relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absenc of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experience, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)

See the links below for information and resources to support your sexual health! For discrete pick-up of barrier methods, fill out this form and you can pick up condoms in a paper bag from the Homewood and East Baltimore Health Promotion and Well-Being offices.

Programs and Services

To request, a program or barrier methods for your program email our health educator at

Free Barrier Methods Program

Introducing our new free barrier methods program, Safer Sex at JHU. We’ve Got You Covered. A Health Promotion and Well-Being initiative aimed at increasing accessibility to barrier methods and sexual well-being education at JHU.

This initiative has dispensers around the Homewood, East Baltimore, and Peabody campuses that include a variety of external condoms. In addition to external condoms, the Health Promotion and Well-Being office has internal condoms and dental dams. Click here for an Inventory List of barrier methods available at the Homewood and East Baltimore Health Promotion and Well-Being offices and tips for use. See below for a general listing:

  • External Condoms: Ultra-thin, non-latex, ultra-lubricated, non-lubricated, kyng, snugger fit
  • Internal Condoms: FC2 internal condoms
  • Personal Lubricant: Water-based lube, silicone-based lube
  • Dental Dams: Trust dental dam (assorted flavors, limited supply)

Current Dispenser Locations

  • All barrier methods options are available at:
    • Homewood Health Promotion and Well-Being/O’Connor Recreation Center (inside recreation and well-being suite)
    • LGBTQ Life
    • East Baltimore Health Promotion and Well-Being, email Carol Spencer at
  • External condoms and lubricant are available at:
    • Homewood Counseling Center
    • Peabody Student Affairs
    • Fraternity and Sorority Life
    • Residential Life
      • McCoy Hall: Outside of the Residential Life Office on the 1st floor
      • Wolman Hall: Outside of Laundry Room
      • Charles Commons: Outside of the Fitness Room
      • Homewood: Outside of the Fitness Room
      • Rogers House: 1st floor near the stairs to the Laundry Room
      • Bradford: In the Laundry Room
      • AMR1: TV Lounge
      • AMR2: Outside of the Laundry Room
      • AMR3 Building A: Small Lounge on the Entry Level (near vending machines)
      • AMR3 Building B: Small Lounge on the Entry Level (near vending machines)

For more discrete pick-up, fill out this form and you can pick up condoms in a paper bag from the Health Promotion and Well-Being office. Not in Baltimore? Check our Condom Guide to find free condoms in your state! Find low-cost condoms in the vending machine located at the Student Health and Wellness Center on the Homewood campus.

If you have picked up barrier methods from any of our dispensers, you may notice that we wrap our condoms and dental dams with paper. Not only do we want to increase access to barrier methods on campus to protect against STIs and unintended pregnancy but we also want to make sure anyone choosing to have sex has access to information on sexual pleasure, sexual communication, consent, and a size guide for those using external condoms. We know sex is more than protecting against STIs or unintended pregnancies. It’s talking to your partners about boundaries, desires, communicating consent, and so on. Next time you grab a condom or dental dam, check out the information your barrier method is wrapped in! You may learn something new.

Sexual Health Information

External and internal condom displayed on a pink and yellow background

External Condoms External condoms, sometimes known as male condoms, can be used for vaginal, anal, or oral sex on a penis and with toys.

  • External condoms protect against STIs and pregnancy  
  • 98% effective at protecting against pregnancy when used correctly 
  • Made of latex (rubber) or plastic (polyurethane, nitrile, or polyisoprene) 
  • Many different types and sizes 

Internal Condoms Internal condoms, sometimes known as female condoms, can be used for vaginal or anal sex and with toys.

  • Internal condoms protect against STIs and pregnancy 
  • 95% effective at protecting against pregnancy when used correctly  
  • Internal condoms are nitrile or polyurethane pouches that are inserted into the vagina before sex or used for anal sex by removing the ring 
  • Internal condoms cover the vulva, providing protection from skin-to-skin contact during sex

Dental Dams Latex or polyurethane sheets used between the mouth and vulva or anus during oral sex. 

  • Protect against STIs during oral sex 
  • If using flavored dental dams, make sure to have the flavored side toward the mouth 
  • External condoms can be cut to make a dental dam 

Capes  Capes can be made from a glove to be used for trans men who have a t-penis, which is an engorged clitoris from testosterone. Cut off the fingers of the glove and the side opposite of the thumb. The t-penis will fit into the thumb portion of the glove.

Information from: Planned Parenthood.

See SHWC to learn how to get certain types of birth control.  

Learn about the different types of birth control here or visit the Planned Parenthood website.

  1. If you are sexually active, know your STI/HIV status
  2. Get a free testing service for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HIV if you live in Maryland, Washington DC, and Alaska.
  3. Check out free and low-cost STI testing sites in the Baltimore area or find a location near you.
  4. Get and give consent with your partner(s) (see Gender Violence page)
  5. Practice safer sex by using barrier methods and/or birth control methods
  6. Communicate and listen to your partner(s) about wants, desires, safer sex issues, and boundaries. 
  7. Avoid using alcohol and other drugs before and during sexual activity
  8. Stay up to date on annual exams 

Personal lubricants also known as lube, can be used for vaginal, anal, or oral sex and with toys.  Lubricant is a great way to increase pleasure for everyone involved! 

Water-based lubricants 

  • Water-based lubricants can be used with latex, polyisoprene, and polyurethane condoms, dental dams, sex toys, or gloves
  • Ideal for sensitive skin or vaginal irritation
  • Not good for water-play/shower sex
  • May need frequent re-application 

Silicone-based lubricants

  • Silicone-based lubricants can be used with latex or polyurethane condoms and any latex dental dams or gloves
  • Do not use with silicone-based sex toys 
  • Long-lasting and very slippery 
  • Preferred lubricant for anal sex 

Oil-based lubricants

  • Oil-based lubricants are not recommended for safer sex with a partner or partners
  • Oil-based lubricants break down latex condoms and products and diaphragms, reducing their effectiveness  

Information from Clue.

Sexual pleasure is a key part of healthy consensual sexual activity. Sexual pleasure is different for everyone, so it’s important for you to explore what helps you experience pleasure whether with a partner(s) or through masturbation.

Examples of Sexual Pleasure (this list is not comprehensive)

  • Genital rubbing
  • Vaginal or anal penetration
  • Clitoral Stimulation
  • BDSM/Kink
  • Oral sex on a penis, vulva, or anus
  • Using vibrators, penetrative toys, cock rings, or other sex toys
  • Kissing
  • Watching or reading porn
  • Sexting

Tips for Exploring Your Sexual Pleasure

Masturbation is a great way to learn what feels good to you in a safe setting. Additionally, you can explore sexual pleasure with partner(s) but it’s important to have a conversation beforehand and to communicate and consent throughout the entire activity. If something isn’t feeling good for you with partners, let your partner(s) know and switch to something that does feel good for everyone involved!

Pleasure Profile and Sexual Communication Tips

Use this Sexual Communication & Pleasure Profile PDF to help you explore your pleasure and what you should discuss with a partner(s) before sex. This handout was adapted from UCDavis Sexcessful Communication Guide.


JHU Campus Well – Sexual Health

Check out the JHU Campus Well content on sexual health. From relationship advice to STI status, Campus Well has a plethora of articles to help you learn more about sexual health.


LGBTQ Life serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied community at Johns Hopkins. Their website provides information on JHU and community resources.

Parents’ Insurance and Sexual Health Services

If you are concerned about your parent(s) or guardian(s) knowing about the sexual health services you are receiving such as birth control, PrEP, and STI testing read this article to see how you can maintain privacy.

The Vulva Gallery

The Vulva Gallery is an educational platform centered around illustrated vulva portraits and personal stories, and a wonderful, supportive and positive community – celebrating the vulva in all its diversity all over the world. If you want to check out the vulva portraits and individuals’ stories discussing their relationship with their vulva click here. For diverse anatomy illustrations of vulvas go here! You can also find The Vulva Gallery on Instagram


HIVinfo is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) project that offers the latest federally approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment and prevention, and medical practice guidelines for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends, health care providers, scientists, and researchers.

American Sexual Health Association

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) is an informational resource where you can learn about your sexual and reproductive anatomy, STIs, sex and relationships, and more!

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. Planned Parenthood offers high-quality health care, including birth control and family planning, gynecological care, STI/STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and abortion services. Planned Parenthood’s website offers a plethora of information regarding sexual and reproductive health.


Scareleteen is a comprehensive and inclusive sex education website for teens and young adults.  Learn about communication, making decisions around sex, dating advice, and more! Check out recent blogs around dating during COVID-19, arousal, and other relevant topics.

Healthy Bodies Safer Sex

Healthy Bodies Safer Sex is a comprehensive guide to safer sex, relationships, and reproductive health for trans or non-binary people and their partners.

Safer Sex for Trans Bodies

The HRC Foundation, in partnership with Whitman-Walker Health, released Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, a comprehensive sexual health guide for transgender and gender-expansive people and their partners. The guide is written by and for members of the transgender community and offers them a long-overdue resource on potentially life-saving and affirming practices, from respectful terminology and definitions to helpful practices for sexual health following transition-related care.