Q What do you do or say to help if your friend is in an unhealthy relationship? It can be really hard to watch your close friend stay in an unhealthy relationship but the most important thing you can do is to be there for your friend and support them no matter what their decision is (if they stay in the relationship or break up). Talking and listening to your friend shows that you care and this may also help your friend realise that they may not be in a respectful relationship.  It’s important not to blame your friend for the relationship or tell them to leave. Instead ask them if there is anything you can do to help, let them know about the support services in school or in your community that may be helpful.  For more information check out our page on Intimate  Partner Violence for tips on what to do & say to a friend who may be in an unhealthy relationship.
Q My bf/gf wants to use sex toys during foreplay and intercourse, but I’m not really into it. How do I tell my partner this without hurting their feelings? It’s great that you have identified what you like and don’t like in a sexual relationship. Communication is the key to handling this situation. You should discuss this issue with your partner honestly and explain to them that you are not interested in using sex toys for pleasure. If you are in a healthy relationship your partner will understand and respect your sexual limits. You should talk to your partner about other ways to increase pleasure which will satisfy you both. If your partner does respect your decision to not use sex toys then you need to really consider whether you are in a healthy and respectful relationship.
Q My boyfriend/girlfriend wants to go to second base. What is second base? It depends on who you ask... the definition of what second base is seems to change from person to person, group to group and website to website. The only sure fire way of working out what second base is, is asking your partner what they mean by second base.  Even though your partner wants to go to second base, remember it’s your choice as well.
Q My dad abused my mother – does that mean I will be in an abusive relationship? Abuse is a learned behaviour. Sometimes people see it growing up. Other times they learn it from friends or popular culture. But, no matter where it's learned, it's not ok and it's never justified. Many people experience or witness abuse growing up and decide not to use those negative and hurtful ways of behaving. It's important to know that being abusive is a choice - and it’s not one that you have to make. Likewise, if you’re concerned that you may be abused because you witnessed abuse growing up, it’s important to learn about respectful relationships, the early warning signs of intimate partner violence, and develop a healthy self esteem and self respect. If you grew up in a violent home you may want to talk to a counsellor to help you sort through your feelings.