Q I really want to go on the pill/ get an Implanon. How do I bring it up with my mum?
I think this is a really good question that shows courage and also a lot of maturity. Although this might be a really difficult conversation to have – not just for you but also for your mum, I’m sure your mum would appreciate being included in the discussion rather than finding an empty pill packet in your room. If you talk about this with your mum you are showing that you have thought about safe sex, possible repercussions and also responsible ways to prevent unplanned pregnancy. It’s important to remember that the pill/implanon only prevents pregnancy and does not protect against STI’s. If your mum is aware that you have been in a relationship for a while she might be anticipating that this conversation would come up at sometime but here are some helpful tips... Find a time when ma isn’t preoccupied so you can sit down (privately) and chat. Think about how you could bring it up. Be prepared to be asked some uncomfortable questions (when did you start having sex?) and try to be honest and calm.
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.
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 How can I not be so shy around the opposite sex?
It’s very normal to feel shy around the opposite sex, although knowing that doesn’t make it easier to behave in a more outgoing way! If we worry too much about getting a girlfriend/boyfriend, then we start to worry too much about what people of the opposite sex think of us and this creates more shyness. If you’re really uncomfortable around boys/girls start by making a few friends with some. You may feel less pressure if you don’t have to worry about whether they like you or not (in that way), or if they are going to try and kiss you! The more time we spend doing something that is uncomfortable, the less uncomfortable it becomes.
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 Is it ok to lose your virginity at the age of 15?
In Queensland the legal age for consent is 16 for vaginal sex and 18 for anal sex.
Only you can decide when you are ready to have sex. It is important to think about why you want to have sex. Sex is both a physical and 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.
Q Is it normal to be obsessed with someone?
It is normal and natural to think about someone you have a crush on a lot of the time. However, as with anything, if it starts to affect other areas of your life you may need to talk to an adult about what is happening for you. It is also important to keep your actions and behaviour towards the other person respectful. Being obsessive towards another person may be frightening for them and some actions may be against the law eg: stalking.
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 Do girls really like being tied up and smacked around when they are having sex?
There are a lot of sexual acts that young people might think are normal and common because they tend to happen a lot in porn. However, porn doesn’t always give a realistic image of healthy relationships. Just like every sexual act, you must make sure that all parties are consenting to each new act. If at any stage one person feels uncomfortable or changes their mind it’s ok to stop. That’s why checking in and communicating with your partner throughout is important. It is also important for you and your partner to consider everyone’s personal safety (that’s physical and emotional too) in any sexual activity.
Q How do I know if somebody likes me?
Because everybody is different, everybody will have different ways of behaving when they like someone. However, some of the more common things include looking at you a lot, finding ways to be near you, possibly showing off a bit when you’re around them. The only definite way to know is for you to ask them.
Q How are babies made?
When girls and boys reach puberty, their bodies start to change and become more mature. From this time, if a male and a female have sexual intercourse, it is possible that the girl could get pregnant. When a male ejaculates sperm from the penis during sexual intercourse, they swim up the vagina through the cervix, into the uterus and then into the fallopian tubes of the female. These sperm are looking for an egg to fertilise. When a female is born she carries hundreds of eggs ready to use when she becomes an adult. Once a month, the female releases an egg. If an egg has been released, a sperm can fertilise it and make the first cell of a new baby. Once one sperm has fertilised the egg, no other sperm can get in. For the sperm it's like a race and there is only one winner. This fertilised egg immediately divides into two cells; these cells then divide again and again over the next couple of days as the cluster of cells makes its way to the uterus (womb). Here it is implanted in the lining of the uterus and continues dividing its cells to make billions of new cells. The female is now pregnant. Over 9-10 months, these cells will grow into a new person - a baby.
The best way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy is to use contraception.
Q Why do people abuse?
People abuse their partner because they believe that they are entitled to more power and control in the relationship than their partner is. They may see their partner as someone that they ‘own’. They may have bought in to the popular culture myth that men are dominant and aggressive and women are passive and submissive. However, it’s important to remember that it is never the abused partners’ fault – no matter what the abuser says. The myth that some abused people like the abuse is just that – a myth. Nobody likes being abused and nobody asks for it.
Q I hate being in the same class as my ex. What should I do?
Break ups can be hard, especially at school where it’s almost impossible to avoid the person. Remember that over time things will get easier but to help in the meantime you can sit with a friend away from your ex so you feel like you have some support in class. However if there are other issues present that make going to class unbearable such as gossip, name calling or abuse – it’s a good idea to ask for some help.
Q What if you have never kissed or gone out with someone and you’re really self conscious?
Remind yourself that there are many, many people your age that haven’t kissed or gone out with someone before and for most people in your age group this relationship stuff is all new. It’s one of the ‘jobs’ of adolescence to learn how to relate to people in ways that are different from when you were kids. And new things are always a bit scary. If you go out with someone or kiss someone that you are already really comfortable with, you’ll feel less self-conscious and may even be able to talk to them about how you’re feeling.
Q Someone at school showed me a naked photo/selfie of a chick I know. Should I tell someone?
Selfies tend to go viral very quickly, even when the picture was intended for one person only. If you have seen the photo the chances are that a lot of other people (including adults) have seen it too. Think about how you might feel if something like this happened to you or one of your close friends. The spreading of these images can have a huge impact on relationships, friendships, school, family, work, mental health and emotional wellbeing. Privately telling a trusted adult could do a lot to support the girl involved. There are also a number of legal consequences to keeping these images on your phone, tablet or computer, forwarding them on to others, or putting them on social media that should be considered.
Q HELP! I found porn – HEAPS of porn – on my partner’s hard drive! What does it mean? Is he not attracted to me?
Different people may watch porn for different reasons. It is not uncommon for adolescents to watch pornography – to pick up sex tips, to aid masturbation, because they’re bored – lots of different reasons. However, when young people substitute real-life intimacy (not necessarily sexual intimacy) with pornography, or if their viewing of porn is intruding on their relationships or other aspects of their life, it can become an issue. If you’re concerned about your partner’s use of pornography, you should try and talk to him about it – however awkward it is!