Sex Education FAQs
We asked our diverse network to think of questions they wished they’d of asked in Sex Education.
The content of these posts was not written by medical professionals. They have been written by people who have experienced these situations and have stories to tell.
Content suitable for 16+ only.
No! It doesn’t have to mean either of these things. Some women get discharge everyday and some don’t get it very much at all. It’s a form of liquid that comes out of the vagina and it is the natural way your body cleans itself. Additionally, your discharge can change from thick and sticky, to white and creamy, to thin and watery. These changes can happen with your cycle and that may be your norm, but if your discharge changes in a way that you are not used to, you should get it checked out – just in case. A change in smell, texture or colour can sometimes be a sign of an STI.
No! Just because you’re in a relationship – that doesn’t mean you have to or ‘should’ do anything you are not 100% happy and comfortable with doing. There is not a specific timeline you need to follow and you don’t need to have done certain things by a certain length of your relationship or a certain age!
Lots of jokes centre around the appearance of the vulva and it can be hard not to feel insecure if the vulvas represented in pornography do not look like yours. Hearing people joke about ‘ham sandwiches’ and ‘saggy flaps’ and feeling if you don’t laugh they will suddenly think that’s what yours are like and feeling ashamed is all too common. Vulvas come in many forms, colours vary, colour and amount of hair varies (you can choose to keep it natural, trim or get rid of it – IT IS YOUR CHOICE!). Importantly, there is no such thing as ‘normal’ or the ‘perfect’ vagina. Everyone needs to be aware that the vaginal lips or labia can vary in length, colour and texture and for some girls the labia majora (outside flaps) cover their labia minora (inside flaps) but for others the labia minora falls below the labia majora. They may not be even either – but this is all completely OK!
No, this isn’t true at all! The vagina can fit a baby out of it but doesn’t stay that large after does it!? Having more sex does not make you looser. What can make someone ‘tight’ or ‘loose’ can be about their genetic makeup, how turned on they are, how comfortable they are etc etc. It does not show how much sex someone has had.
No, it doesn’t matter how much skill you think you have or how good your ‘pull out game’ is – there is a chance you could get someone pregnant as pre-cum can contain sperm. Additionally, not using a condom does not protect against STI’s either!
No, the only reason they would do so is if they thought you were at risk of harm from others or to others. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents, the GP is the next best place to go.
- Start with the smallest size (purple in tampax is light) plastic applicator tampon (likely to be the easiest)
- Open the packet and get out the tampon
- Make sure the string is hanging out of the end
- Pull the plastic end out if it isn’t out already
- Wash your hands!
- Squat down, knees apart and push tampon into your vagina up to the ridged section
- Push the plastic ends until it pushes into the outer section and makes a faint click
- Pull out the plastic end and put in the bin
- If you can feel the tampon when you sit down it means it is not in high enough and you may want to push it in with a clean finger or try again
- Wash your hands after too!
- You can keep them in for 4-8 hours but try and change regularly to work out what type of flow you have. To take them out gently pull on the string.
- Not all toilets flush tampons so it is best to rap in some tissue and put into a bin
Yes! It isn’t just penetrative sex that can spread STI’s. Oral sex, and other kinds of foreplay where sexual fluids are exchanged can pass STI’s from one to another.
Unlikely, no. Most are fairly easy to treat, for example – chlamydia. Antibiotics are prescribed to get rid of it, however leaving it untreated can cause lasting effects for instance fertility problems so it is important that if you are sexually active you get tested regularly. For testing using urine samples, you must wait 2 weeks post-sex and for blood samples to test for HIV you must wait 6 weeks post sex. If you have unprotected sex and then need to wait to do your STI screening and wait for your results avoid having sex during this time.
It can vary person to person but just because males may talk more about sex or it is suggested that they masturbate more, that doesn’t mean that is the case. It is perfectly normal for both genders to masturbate and it isn’t any more or less shameful for one to do it over the others. There is nothing wrong with it as long as you enjoy it and it isn’t in a public place. On the other hand if you don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable in doing so, that’s fine too – BUT don’t shame others for it.
There is no ‘normal’ vagina. They’re like fingerprints, no two are the same. Unfortunately, in sex education in school, we are often only shown one type. All vaginas are normal vaginas, but just because yours doesn’t look like the ones in the picture, doesn’t mean yours is ‘different’.
NO! Just like fashion, society dictates what happens with our pubic hair. In the 70’s, the fashion was to be au natural down there, and now the fashion is to have nothing there. Honestly, it’s up to you, it’s your pubic hair, you can do what you want with it. You don’t need to feel any pressure to do anything you don’t want to with it.
No. Admittedly, a smaller penis may not reach a woman’s ‘G-spot’, however a lot of times, even a large penis does not reach the ‘G-spot’, and many women can’t orgasm from penetrative sex anyway! Sex is more than just penetration, and both you and your partner can both reach orgasm through foreplay, irrelevant of your size.
There is some debate about the existence of a G-spot. Technically, it doesn’t exist as its own thing. What it is, is part of the clitoris. It is inside the vagina but can often be difficult to get to – so don’t panic if you can’t find it. Reaching it can mean a female can experience orgasm through penetration – but this type of orgasm is rare and not everyone can experience it, so focus on external orgasm, and just relax.
The clitoris is pretty easy to find. Simply, it’s the bobbly bit above the vagina and urethra. Really though, the clitoris is like a penis, in fact it has more nerve endings than a penis. Although you can only see a tiny bit of the clitoris, it can actually be around 8 inches in length, going from the bobbly bit, around the sides of the labia and up the vagina.
Masturbation is totally normal. Female masturbation is starting to become less taboo, but that doesn’t mean that as a girl you feel like you shouldn’t. Women have needs, just as much as men do, and it can feel good! More than anything, masturbation will help you know and understand what you like sexually. Female masturbation is healthy and normal, there is no need to feel any negative feelings about it.
The natural pH of your vagina can actually bleach your underwear, it’s normal and healthy and nothing to panic about.
You can smell it, because you’re closest to it and you’re aware it’s there. It’s very unlikely that anyone else can smell it. If you’re concerned, something that may help is changing your underwear or sanitary pad more often.
The most important thing about toxic relationships is understanding how broad the term can be. Toxic behaviour can come from both sides of a relationship, it can be present in all relationships not just heterosexual and it is an incredibly personal thing. Examples of toxic behaviour include lack of communication, hostile behaviour, lack of trust, wanting to know where you are 24/7 all the way to verbal, physical and emotional abuse. Toxic behaviour can manifest itself in many ways, what’s important is knowing that you do not have to put up with it. Talk to family or friends about what you are experiencing or contact an external charity or the police if you are worried for your safety. A relationship should add happiness to your life not permanently drain you of that, so keep that in mind whenever you are with someone.
Emotional abuse can manifest itself in a number of ways, including but not subject to humiliating or constantly criticising, threatening, shouting, or calling names, making someone the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt them, blaming and scapegoating and manipulating someone. These are only a few of the examples of emotional abuse, but if you feel you are being emotionally abused please do reach out to someone, be this family, friends or a GP.
No! Condoms come in a range of sizes for a reason. It might take you a few attempts to find ‘your size’ but wearing one that is too big or too small won’t protect you as well from STI’s or pregnancy and might also impact performance.
If you are thinking about contraception it is definitely worth talking to your GP about options as the right choice for you depends on loads of things from genetics to your own health.
If you want to watch porn and you are over age that is absolutely fine but it is important to note that sex in real life is not like porn. Everyone is different and enjoys different things so don’t expect your first time to be the same as in porn. Ask each other what they want and make sure everyone is comfortable throughout. This being said, if you don’t want to watch porn you don’t have too!
That is absolutely fine! You can say no or change your mind at any point during sex. This is called consent and means that no one has the right to touch you unless you have explicitly given them permission. Keep checking in with your partner before, during and after sex to ensure they are still happy and want to continue.
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