Sex is a natural part of life, and should be seen as a positive force which can contribute to creating a happy society. Sexual health is not just about the absence of ill health; rather it is about enabling people to have fulfilling relationships, which are good for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. National policy initiatives and investment in the arena of sexual health have been a welcome step forward in tackling the vital area of public health. However, there are a number of key issues which must be addressed to ensure that maximum benefit is gained from the policy initiatives and investment. Even with the prioritisation of sexual health within the broader public health agenda, there remains a number of barriers to be overcome in planning for a sexually healthy future. A principal challenge is to develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of sexual health, which resonates with the public, policy makers and professionals.