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Young Adults: Understanding Sex and Its Effects on Mental Wellbeing

Young adults according to WHO are within the age of 18-24 years. People within this age group might be sexually active and engaging in sexual activities. Young adults have a mix of teenage and adult mindsets. This article shares insight into what sex is about for young adults, how sex, in general, affects the mental health of young adults, coping mechanisms, and facts and myths surrounding sex that will be of interest to young adults.

Engaging in sexual activities as a young adult is legal, but without the right knowledge of how to handle the processes involved, it can get messy for the people involved. Psychologically, when two people involve themselves in consistent casual sex or a fling, one party gets hurt without knowing, even though the terms and conditions have been stated from the beginning.

Sex also comes with lots of emotions, especially for those who have little experience. These emotions could be fear, worry, excitement, shame, guilt, love, etc., and they can be happening at the same time. Such an experience of mixed emotions is very common to women and can be overwhelming. Young adult females can show both positive and negative emotions before and after sex.

For the male young adult, society has preached to them to see sex as nothing, and if they play their cards well, they can get it with ease. Male young adults might also have mixed emotions like their female counterparts, but they are good at masking their emotions after sexual activities, especially if they are negative.

Ways Sex Affects Young Adults Mentally

Having sex is not a bad thing. But the wrong approach to sex will lead to a bad and sad aftereffect. Most young adults don’t have a great deal of knowledge about sex; they either read about it online, never discuss it with their parents, or have experienced rape.

Bad experiences like rape and porn to have sex affect the mind mentally. Having intercourse at an early stage during teenage days comes with consequences between the ages of 18 and 24.

Healthy sex in any form should be based on honesty, respect, and trust. Both partners need to have great respect for each other as these are the foundation for fulfilling the basic sexual needs of both partners.

In this regards sex affects young adults both positively and negatively,


  • Reduces stress triggers

  • Makes you happy with the release of natural chemicals like oxytocin, endorphins, etc.

  • Helps to burn more calories

  • Boost the immune system

  • Builds connection emotionally, spiritually, and physically

  • Manages moods

  • Increases self-confidence


  • Leads to Depression

  • Brings about disrespect

  • Manipulation

  • Lots of casual sex

  • Sex addiction

Emotions Emitted from Young Adults During Sex

For young adults who are engaging in sexual activities, there list of sexual emotions they emit before, during, and after sex. Some of these emotions are negative and can lead to addiction, stress, depression, or anxiety, but by knowing that having sex should come with boundaries, respect, trust, and affection, positive emotions can be emitted.

Here is a list of emotions that young adults exhibit when engaging in sexual activities:

  • Lust: when a partner is always thinking sexually about another, without having other knowledge of the other, then that is lust. Some young adults confused love with lust.

  • Love: love is a positive emotion shown before and after sex. Love means self- sacrificial, respect, trust, etc. towards a partner.

  • Happiness: Young adults, express such emotions when they have had the best sex ever.

  • Anxiousness: to be anxious means you are waiting for something. Anxiousness happens before sex when young adults do not know what to expect.

  • Overwhelm: when you have too much stress from an activity. Young adults can be overwhelmed when they are constantly trying new methods of sex styles that do not suit their personalities.

  • Crying: Young adults who cry after sex might be because they did not want to engage in the sex or they had so much great experience.

  • Pain: pain means there was no sufficient lubrication during sex, or they are irritated.

  • Shame: Young adults that experience shame or guilt after sex could mean they are not proud of having sex with their partner, or they are ashamed of the fact that they engaged in kinky sex, etc.

  • Confusion: confusion is an after-sex emotion when your partner does something you said you do not like. So, you begin to question your perspective of your partner. Confusion before sex means you have doubts about sexual activity.

  • Anger: this means when boundaries are crossed during sexual activities.

  • Joy: Young adults who experience joy could mean they want more connection with their partner.

Myths For Young Adults About Sex

There are lots of misconceptions about sex that young adults have adhered to. This misconception can hinder mental health, when sex is approached negatively. Here are examples of such myths:

  • Having sex proves you are an adult. This is not true because there are lots of responsibilities and ages that come with being an adult.

  • Sex can hold relationships. Sexually activities are just one way to bond with your partner. It cannot hold relationships, and if not the divorce rate will not be this high.

  • Sex is the only way to prove your love. Having sex with someone does not prove love, if so, does that mean people that have sex with different, that they love them?

  • There is nothing in having sex. Having sex comes with lots of consequences especially if you are not ready for it and if there are no elements of love. You can have an unwanted pregnancy, get STDs or HIV/AIDS.

  • Everyone is having sex. Not everyone is having sex like the way the media and people present it. Sex is an activity that requires processes and responsibility.

  • Sex makes everything better. Having sex doesn't necessarily make things better. In fact, things could become worse if you are not engaging in protected sex.

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