Q What can you do about domestic violence if you’re told to keep it a secret?
Having to keep a secret like that is really hard, particularly if it’s in your family, or if you’re concerned about the safety and wellbeing of another person. Sometimes, but certainly not always, talking about the violence can make it worse if you’re given the wrong advice or if the person you talk to tells the wrong people at the wrong time. However, it is really important that you talk to someone who you can trust and who will be able to help you know what to do. There are a number of people in school that you can talk to such as guidance officers/counsellors; there are also many community support services that specialise in domestic violence counselling. For more information, check out our page on Intimate Partner Violence and how to support someone experiencing this.
Q What is foreplay?
Foreplay is any sexual activity that happens before penetrative sex, for example; kissing, touching, digital penetration and mutual masturbation. It is a way for both males and females to become physiologically and emotionally ready for sex and can certainly increase the pleasure for both of you throughout sex. It is also a way to explore and experiment what does and what doesn’t excite your partner.
It’s really important to communicate with each other during the process so that each of you knows what the other is comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are uncomfortable and continually check-in with your partner to make sure they are consenting and comfortable throughout the entire process.
Q Why does porn make out that all women are sluts?
Pornography shows us a sexually objectified version of women. In porn land all women want (violent and degrading) sex all the time and all men have enormous penises that can stay erect for hours. In real life, sexuality is a very different for everyone. The idea that women are ‘sluts’ if they enjoy sex (and frigid if they don’t!) buys in to the idea of gender stereotypes and helps feed a rape culture where victims are blamed and perpetrators’ behaviour is minimised or denied.
Q Do guys know when they’re going to come so that during sex they can pull out without making the girl pregnant?
Withdrawal is an ineffective method of contraception for younger people. Younger men tend to ejaculate much more quickly; sex with partners is newer to them so it's tougher for young men to anticipate when their orgasm is going to happen or has even started happening; younger people are often just learning how to communicate with each other well about and during sex; and young people are also often more fertile than their older counterparts. These are some reasons why even advocates for withdrawal overall will express that it is not often the best choice for young people.
It also gives zero protection against STI’s!
Q But don’t some women ask to get raped by getting really drunk and stuff?
No. Nobody EVER asks to be raped. Being raped means being forced or coerced in to sex with another person. The idea that some women ‘invite’ rape by being drunk, or going to a party alone, or wearing this, that or the other is what is called victim-blaming – and victim blaming is a horrible, horrible part of rape culture. Victim blaming tells the victim that ‘if they got raped, it’s their fault and if they don’t want to face that fact then they should shut up’. Victim blaming leaves the victim feeling responsible for a crime that was committed against them, isolated from support and humiliated. Victim blaming encourages people to stay quiet. And when people stay quiet, nothing changes. It also tells rapists (just so we’re clear, that’s people who have sex with someone without their enthusiastic consent) that their behaviour and the choices that they made are not their fault. Rape is the fault of the rapist. And that is that.
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 Should people watch porn while having sex?
Everyone has different ways of getting excited and again, exploring your sexual desires is a natural and healthy thing. I guess the thing to be mindful of is that porn can create some very unrealistic expectations about sex, sexual acts, what women look like, what men look like and what people enjoy in sexual relationships. With all of this in mind, it’s really up to you and your partner to communicate with each other and decide if you are both happy to include this in your sexual relationship.
Q If I kiss somebody should I use my tongue?
If it’s a first date or a first kiss and you are still getting to know the other person maybe take things slowly and not use tongue on the first kiss. When you are more comfortable, you might start using some tongue but you don’t have to use it all the time. There is no rule book on kissing but paying attention to how the other person responds may help you (e.g. do they pull away and say, “Yuk! Brush your stinking teeth!”)
Q Would you send a topless photo of yourself to your boyfriend?
A lot of young people are confronted by this issue in their relationships. It is important to consider the consequences of sending a picture. It is really important that you think about why you are doing it and what could happen if you do send a picture. Some of the possible things that could happen include:
Legal ramifications (young people being charged with producing and distributing child pornography),
Viral distribution of the image/s (once you send that image you have no control over where it goes or who gets to see it).
Break-ups. If you and your partner break up, what could happen with the image ... how would you feel about friends, family, teachers, work mates seeing the image?
It is something that might seem fun and harmless at the time but it is a big risk. There are also other ways to be intimate and have fun with your partner.
Q How do I break up with my abuser?
Breaking up with an abusive partner can be very different from breaking up with someone who isn’t abusive. Because abusers believe that they are entitled to control you, they may not let you break up with them. If you’re considering breaking up with an abusive partner it’s important to talk it though with an adult you trust. You may want to fill out a safety plan to help you stay safe. You will need to be prepared for your abuser trying to ‘win you back’. Writing a list of all the reasons why you weren’t happy in the relationship may help you stay strong.
Click here to download a PDF factsheet.
Q I’m not ready for sex. How do I tell my boyfriend/girlfriend without them dumping me?
It’s great that you’ve thought about what you’re ready for within your relationship and what you’re not ready for. As always, communication with your partner is the key. Although it may be difficult, you need to have an honest conversation in private with your partner about what you are ready to do/not ready to do. If your partner starts to pressure you into doing things that makes you feel uncomfortable then maybe you need to consider whether you are in a healthy relationship. If your bf/gf does dump you over not having sex then they are probably not worth having as a bf/gf.
Q How will I know when I’m ready to have sex?
Only you can decide when you are ready to have sex. Sex is both a physical and an emotional experience so it’s important that you feel comfortable and can openly communicate with your partner about sex. Before you have sex it is important to talk about how you feel about each other while also considering contraception and possible consequences such as STI’s, unplanned pregnancies and how sex may change the relationship. Remember that all parties of sexual activity need to give their informed consent. It is also important to think about why you want to have sex. Some people decide to have sex for reasons they might regret later, for example; deciding to have sex because all of your friends are having sex may mean that you are not ready to have sex.
Q Is it natural to not know if you like the opposite sex at this age?
It is natural and normal to have a lot of new feelings and thoughts during adolescence. There are hormones racing around, making your body do all sorts of different things while your brain is trying to keep up with it all. Many adolescents develop same sex crushes that aren’t necessarily sexual which can confuse things as well. Some people know from a very early age which sex they’re attracted to, but some people take a while to work it all out. Be honest with yourself and find a trusted adult you feel comfortable talking to about your feelings.
Q Can you have sex before you hit puberty?
Biologically, sex is about reproduction and puberty is the body making it ready to reproduce. It is also illegal in Queensland to have vaginal sex under the age of 16 and anal sex under the age of 18. Emotionally, young people who have not yet reached puberty are unable to fully realise and recognise the implications and consequences of being sexually active.
Q My girlfriend wants me to be more romantic – what should I do?
There are lots of different things that you could do – it all depends on what your girlfriend likes. What she might be (really) asking for is for you to make her feel special. These things don’t always have to cost money - e.g. a bunch of flowers (stolen from your mum’s yard), making a mixed CD or sending her a nice text so she knows that you’re thinking about her.