These are questions that have come directly from teenagers who have taken part in our workshops or seminars. There is no such thing as a silly question. If it is something you want to know, hopefully you’ll see the answer here.
Some women experience something called ‘spotting’ when they are pregnant. This is when they may think that they are having a period, but what is actually happening is that the egg and sperm combined (called a ‘zygote’) are burrowing into the lining of the womb. This process can disrupt the lining of the womb slightly and cause a small or large bleed to happen.
The legal age at which you are allowed to have sex is 17 years in Ireland. Research shows that there are some young people who have sex below this age and there are others who wait until they are a lot older. It really depends on the person and the circumstances. Sex has got to be something that you have chosen to do, without being pressured by your friends or partner. You should always use reliable contraception (condoms). Sex should be something good and positive in your life, and not something that you regret or feel embarrassed or ashamed about.
It can be very confusing for people when they are trying to figure out their sexual orientation (whether they are gay, straight, bi…etc.) This can take longer for some people, and it might not be until they are much older that they fully understand what their sexual orientation is. There are many different types of sexual orientation but everyone should know that they do not have to put themselves into any one box. Your sexual orientation may change throughout your life, but at some point it will become clear to you who you are sexually attracted to.
Trans is short for transgender. This is when a person feels that their sense of identity and gender does not match up with their biological sex. They may feel as though they were ‘born in the wrong body’ e.g. they may have been born female genitals but they identify as a male, or the other way around.
Not all transgender people go through gender reassignment surgery but some may choose to, so that how they feel on the inside matches their external body parts. People who are transsexual have gone through or are in the process of going through this physical change.
No, sex should never be painful. It might be uncomfortable the first couple of times, or if you are anxious or not aroused.
An orgasm is feeling of intense sexual pleasure, sometimes its known as “cuming”, “climax” or “the big O”. Both men and women experience orgasms. But (and that’s a big but) while 90 percent of men experience an orgasm every time they have sex only 25 percent of women have an orgasm every time they have sex…that’s a big difference. It’s time we worked on lowering the “big O” gap between men and women!
Yes, they most certainly can! It may take women longer to orgasm, so this means more foreplay and taking your time with your partner. Remember that the majority of women orgasm through clitoral stimulation (which is on the outside) and not necessarily through penetrative sex. It is so important that you can find out what your partner does, and doesn’t enjoy, so you can both experience loads of pleasure!
There are generally three golden rules to masturbation
1. That you are not hurting yourself.
2. That you’re in the privacy of your own home.
3. That it doesn’t interfere with your everyday life.
Yes, some girls watch porn and some girls don’t. Same way that some boys watch porn and other boys don’t.
Taking, sending, or receiving sexual images of a minor (someone under the age of 18) is illegal. If you’re found in possession of a naked photo or semi-naked photo of yourself or of another minor on your phone or computer you can be charged with criminal offence.
No, you can’t get pregnant from oral sex. Even if the sperm is swallowed, oral sex will not cause pregnancy. However, you can catch STIs through oral sex.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that causes AIDS. HIV makes it difficult for your body to fight against infection and, if not treated, the virus may progress to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome ). AIDS causes the immune system to break down, making the body unable to fight off certain infections. HIV is spread mainly through having sex. Only certain fluids from an HIV-positive person can transmit HIV. These are: blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk. There is treatment for HIV but there is currently no cure.
Yes, you are fertile 365 days of the year Some people are more fertile than others.
Yes, you can get pregnant even if you’ve never had your period, as you may have ovulated.
Yes. Most STIs can be transmitted through oral sex. However, if neither you nor your partner have ever had sexual intercourse or oral sex, it is very unlikely that you would have an STI.
Early pregnancy symptoms, such as tender breasts, tiredness and feeling sick, are easy to confuse with signs that your period is coming. As a result it is difficult to tell whether you are pregnant or not. The only way to know is to take a pregnancy test, but you have to wait 2 weeks after having sex for an accurate test result.
No, not all guys watch porn. Some do, and some don’t! There are a number of reasons why some people watch porn, it could be to learn how to have sex (note: this is not a good way to ‘learn’ how to have sex), for pleasure, because of peer-pressure, because they are curious. Like anything to do with sex, pleasure, and relationships it is so important that you feel comfortable in what you are doing (or seeing). Some porn treats people really badly and can be very aggressive, and some guys and girls feel that they have to have sex like its done in porn…this could not be further from what sex is really like. Please remember that porn is not the same as sex in the real world, in real sex you must communicate with your partner, you must discuss what you like and don’t like, and you must use condoms! You don’t see any of these things in porn!
For all you need to know about how to get condoms and how much they cost, click here
Unfortunately not BUT they DO prevent you from getting some of the most serious STIs, such as HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. Unfortunately condoms will be less effective at preventing you from getting the STIs which are contracted through skin-to-skin contact, such as pubic lice, genital herpes, and genital warts. Condoms do cover the surface area of the penis, therefore they reduce the skin-to-skin contact but their main aim is to stop bodily fluids from mixing with each other! Condoms are the best way to prevent you from contracting an STI so never be silly…wrap your willy!
Don’t panic! I know this is easily said but not so easily done. You are not the first person to find themselves in this position and you certainly won’t be the last. It is so important that you look after yourself, both physically and emotionally. Reach out to someone you can trust, tell a friend or family member. If you don’t feel you are ready to talk to someone close to you, that is perfectly fine, but it’s so important that you talk to someone who can support you. This is a big thing to be dealing with by yourself. There are fantastic supports out there so you can talk through your feelings and get some neutral unbiased advice…visit Positive Options for some really useful supports https://www2.hse.ie/unplanned-pregnancy. You will make the right decision for you. You will be fine!
Nothing can get lost inside the vagina, not a tampon or a condom…or anything else.
*If a condom was to come off inside of the vagina you should be concerned about pregnancy and STIs. If this does happen, gently insert your finger into the vagina and try to remove it. If you are unable, the condom should eventually come down once the vagina has relaxed.
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