“Sex means different things to everyone,” says Dr Ginni Mansberg. “One person might count having sex as kissing or finger penetration, while for someone else it will be full vagina penetration.”
Only you can decide when or what is right for you. Same goes for same-sex sex.
“There are lots of stereotypes about lesbian sex but it’s just as diverse and varied as hetero intercourse,” Dr Ginni explains. “Don’t get bogged down with other people’s rules or the whole ‘bases’ thing. The most important thing is that whatever you’re doing makes you feel good and you’re being safe by using a condom.”
What's tha risk?!
STIs don’t always come in obvious lumps and bumps. Dr Deb Bateson from Family Planning NSW covers everything you need to know.
Ummm, the difference between STI and STD???
“The only difference between an STI and an STD is a single word! The term STI, which stands for ‘sexually transmitted infection’, has now replaced ‘sexually transmitted disease’,” Dr Deb explains. “This change highlights the fact that most STIs are easily diagnosed and treated, and that while we all need to protect ourselves against STIs, we should not feel stigmatised if we catch one.”
Can you get an STI from oral sex?
“The chance of getting an STI from receiving oral sex is low, though it is possible. Having cuts or sores in the mouth can provide an entry-point for viruses or bacteria to get into the blood stream, and STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, the wart virus (HPV) and HIV can be transmitted through pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) and ejaculate,” Dr Deb explains. “Herpes can also be passed on through oral sex. If you’re unsure about whether your partner might have an infection or if you have any cuts or sores in your mouth, then it’s a good idea to put protective measures in place, like a condom or a dam.”
How to prevent?
“Condoms can be ‘doubled up’ with effective methods of contraception such as the contraceptive implant or the pill to simultaneously prevent STIs as well as unintended pregnancy,” she explains.
What’s the morning-after pill and how does it work?
“It works by stopping or delaying the release of an egg from the ovary and is most effective when it is taken as soon as possible after intercourse.” It's available without a prescription from your local pharmacy so you can buy it over the counter at the chemist.
You ready for dis?!
Psychologist Gemma Cribb answers YOUR questions.
I started sleeping with a boy at school but he’s not my boyfriend. How can I tell if he’s using me? Katie, 17
“If he’s only contacting you when he want sex, rarely asks about you or how you feel, or if he isn’t doing spontaneous nice things for you or contacting you ‘just because’,” says Gemma.
What should I do if the person I’m with is pressuring me? Sam, 14
“Tell them you’re not ready and pushing it is making you upset,” Gemma explains. “Then explain you don't want to feel pressured and you’d prefer to initiate what you feel comfortable with. When you do initiate something, make sure you tell them how far you’ll go so they don't push further.” Be OK with dumping them if they don't listen and continue to push!
Sometimes I think about girls. Is that normal and am I straight? Natalie, 15
“Yes, it’s normal for even straight girls to think about girls at times. Part of learning about your sexuality can involve trying different things,” says Gemma. “If you’re generally attracted to people of a different gender and fantasise about that gender you are most likely straight, but sometimes it is not so obvious and some people only find out what they really prefer after experimenting.”
I’ve had sex before but I don’t want to do it with my new boyfriend straight away. Is that weird? Talia, 15
“Just because you’ve had sex before, doesn't mean you owe it to everyone you date,” says Gemma. “Sex is a choice which should be made based on your attraction to and trust in each new partner, as well as how you are feeling at the time.”