» Sex Education FAQ
is exclusively for people over 18 years of age
How do you have sex?
Having sex intercourse is actually quite simple. When a man's
penis becomes hard, he places it inside a woman's vagina, and
moves it in and out. This creates friction which is pleasurable
for both the man and the woman. After a while, this friction
will usually cause the man to have an orgasm and ejaculate. It
may also cause the woman to have an orgasm, although it can take
a bit of experimentation and practice to get it right!
You can have sex in lots of different positions, but one of the
most common and intimate ways is for the man to lie on top of
the woman, so that they can kiss and cuddle while having sex.
Where is the G-spot and what is it?
The G-spot is a controversial term as some sex researchers
dispute its existence. However most believe it is an area
located behind the front wall of the vagina, between the back of
the pubic bone and the cervix. When stimulated, it can produce
intensely pleasurable feelings for the woman, and may cause her
to have an orgasm.
Where is the clitoris and what is it?
The clitoris is a small pea-sized lump towards the top of the
vaginal area above the urethra (urine hole) and the entrance to
the vagina. It is very sensitive and when stimulated can lead to
Is there any way of finding out whether a girl is a
virgin or not without going to the doctors?
The only true way of knowing if a girl is a virgin is to ask
her. Many cultures believe that a girl is only a virgin if she
still has an intact hymen. The hymen is a thin membrane of skin
that partially covers the entrance to the vagina. This membrane
can bleed when it is torn as a man's penis enters the vagina.
Some cultures therefore believe that blood on the sheets on a
woman's wedding night is the only proof that a girl was a
Neither the presence of the hymen nor bleeding during
intercourse can truly indicate virginity however. Some girls are
born without hymens, others will have hymens that stretch and
don't break during sex, and some will have torn their hymens
during sport, inserting tampons, masturbation or even riding a
How do you masturbate?
Men usually masturbate by grasping the penis and moving their
hand up and down rapidly until they ejaculate (come/cum). Women
rub their clitoris and vulva and may move one or several fingers
up and down inside their vagina until they orgasm. Everybody has
their own way of masturbating that feels good for them.
Is too much masturbation bad for you?
Masturbation is a normal and natural activity and is not bad for
you unless you masturbate so much that you make your genital
Where can I get condoms from?
It will depend on which country you are in, but the best place
to buy condoms is usually a chemist or supermarket. Condoms are
often available from vending machines in public toilets and in
some countries they are available free or at low-cost from
clinics. Condoms can also be bought from a number of suppliers
on the internet.
How often do people have sex?
Sexual appetite is entirely a matter of personal taste. Some
people have sex once a day and others once a month. It probably
varies for most people depending on whether they are in a
relationship, how busy they are and how they feel. Most people
think about sex far more often than they do it.
Is there a way of stopping
Many men find the best way to prevent premature ejaculation is
to think about something dull to regain control over their time
of ejaculation. When first starting a sexual relationship, some
men find that the sexual excitement causes them to ejaculate
before intercourse has even begun. With time most men learn how
to control this. Wearing a condom can help as it can reduce
sensitivity a little. Condoms containing a mild anaesthetic in
the tip are also available in some countries to help further
reduce sensation and delay ejaculation.
Does sexual intercourse hurt? Is there a need for
Sex can sometimes be painful for a woman if she is nervous or
tense. Stress and fear can mean a woman does not get sexually
excited enough to produce natural lubrication, or that she
involuntarily tenses her vaginal muscles, making penetration
difficult. Sex can also hurt the first time a woman does it as
her hymen may be torn.
If sexual intercourse is painful,
using a lubricant can help to make it more comfortable. When
using a condom it is important that a water-based lubricant
(such as KY Jelly) is used, as oil based lubricants (such as
Vaseline or hand cream) can cause the condom to rot and fall
apart. Ensuring that the woman is as relaxed as possible, and
that intercourse is initiated slowly, can also help to make
things more comfortable.
Sex is not usually painful for a man (unless the penis is bent
into an awkward position) so he should check with his doctor if
he experiences any pain during erection or intercourse.
If a woman experiences problems reaching orgasm with her
boyfriend can she do anything about it?
It is not always possible to achieve orgasm through vaginal
penetration alone; it often needs more direct stimulation of the
clitoris, which you could request from your boyfriend orally or
manually, before, after, during or instead of intercourse.
Talking to your boyfriend and exploring what stimulates you and
what doesn't should make you able to achieve orgasm during sex.
How do you French kiss?
French kissing, or making out, is kissing with open mouths and
What is oral sex?
Oral sex is when one person licks or sucks another person's
penis or vaginal area. When oral sex is done to a man it is
sometimes called a blowjob or giving head. When it is done to a
woman it is sometimes called licking out or eating pussy. If two
people have oral sex with each other at the same time it is
sometimes called a 69 because of the shape their bodies make. A
woman cannot get pregnant from giving oral sex to a man, even if
she swallows his sperm.
Which STDs are transmitted through oral sex?
You can only become infected with or pass on an STD if you or
your partner is infected with an STD in the first place. The
following sexually transmitted diseases or infections can be
passed on through unprotected oral sex:
Hepatitis A, B and C
Herpes, especially if the sores are in the infectious stage
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is fairly low risk in terms
of transmission via oral sex
NSU (Non-specific urethritis)
Yeast infections such as thrush are fairly low risk in terms
transmission via oral sex
If you are concerned about becoming infected with an STD as a
result of oral sex use a condom when giving oral sex on a man or
a dental dam (latex square) or cut open condom when giving oral
sex to a woman.
Is receiving oral sex with a condom safe?
As long as they are used properly i.e. they don't split or
burst, condoms can be very effective in protecting against STDs
when giving oral sex to a man. When giving oral sex to a woman a
thin square of latex called a dental dam can also be used to
protect against possible transmission of any existing STDs.
Flavoured condoms and dental dams are available to make using
them more pleasant during oral sex.
Can you pass on or become infected with STDs as a result
No, you cannot pass on or become infected with an STD as a
result of kissing. However, you could pass on a cold sore
(herpes simplex, HSV1) to your partner through kissing.
Do you need to use condoms during anal sex?
Yes, it is important to use condoms when having anal sex to
reduce the risk of passing on or contracting a STD. If two
people are considering having anal sex they should think about
using extra strong condoms and a water-based lubricant such as
If my girlfriend is on birth control, do we still need
to use a condom?
When taken regularly and according to the instructions birth
control pills can be an extremely effective way of preventing
unwanted pregnancy. However, the contraceptive pill does not
offer any protection from sexually transmitted diseases or
infections. Using a condom as well as the pill will protect both
you and your partner from passing on or becoming infected with a
STD and also offer extra protection against pregnancy.
Is it safe to have sex when a woman is having her
Not all women feel comfortable having sex when they are
menstruating, and some men dislike the idea of blood being
present during sexual intercourse, but there is generally
nothing wrong with having sex during a woman's period and it
will not cause either partner any harm.
This said, it is worth remembering that HIV and a few other
sexually transmitted infections may be passed on more easily
during a woman's period (both from the woman to the man and from
the man to the woman), so a condom should always be used if
there is any doubt over either partner's sexual history and HIV
status. HIV cannot be 'created' by having sex with a woman on
her period if both partners are HIV negative however - it is
only ever passed from one person to another.
do you have sex?
Many people have questions about how to have sex, but it isn't
always easy to get good advice. This page aims to answer some of
the most common questions that people ask about how you have
How do you have sex?
Sexual intercourse is sometimes called making love or having
sex. It is when a man's hard penis goes inside a woman's vagina.
If a man and woman are having sexual intercourse, then using a
contraceptive properly, every time, will prevent the woman
becoming pregnant. There is more information on the
If two people have sexual intercourse, and one of them has a
sexual infection, they could pass it on the other person. These
infections are sometimes called sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) or diseases (STDs). Using a condom is the best way to
prevent any infection from being passed from one person to the
Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman starts with them
both getting sexually excited. This is sometimes referred to as
foreplay, and might involve kissing and cuddling, touching each
other and other sexual activities. Foreplay is important as it
means a woman's vagina begins to get moist and a man gets an
erection. If the woman's vagina does not get moist enough, then
having sexual intercourse could be difficult or painful for her.
If a couple are going to use a condom for protection against
pregnancy or infections, they should put it on the man's penis
as soon as he gets an erection. Some men say they worry about
using condoms in case they lose their erection or have
difficulty putting the condom on. You could get some condoms and
practice beforehand. Condoms come with instructions in words and
pictures which show exactly how to use them.
After the condom is on, the man or woman can guide his penis
into her vagina. The couple then move their bodies so that his
penis moves up and down inside her vagina. This usually rubs the
penis and makes the man sexually excited so that he has an
orgasm. The movement might rub the woman's clitoris too so she
can have an orgasm. But this depends on the position the couple
are in when they have sexual intercourse.
Does having sex hurt?
If a woman is sexually excited and relaxed the vagina will
probably be moist enough for a man's penis to go in without
hurting. The vagina is very stretchy and, if a man and woman
have sexual intercourse, usually only part of the penis is
inside the vagina. The average penis is between eleven and
eighteen centimetres long when it is erect.
If it hurts when you have sexual intercourse it may be because
there is not enough of the natural lubrication made by a woman's
body when she gets sexually aroused. Quite often being tense or
rushing things doesn't help, so try to relax and take your time.
You can also use extra lubrication, like KY Jelly, which you can
buy from supermarkets. But if you are using a condom, then you
must use a water-based lubricant like KY jelly, and not an
oil-based lubricant like Vaseline.
What 'counts' as losing your virginity?
Different people have different opinions on this, and some say
there are different types of virginity. But most people agree
that if you have had penetrative sex, then you are not a virgin.
You can find more information about having sex for the first
time on our first time page.
Which position is best for having sex?
There are quite a lot of different positions for sexual
intercourse. One common way is for the woman and man to be lying
down, face to face with either the woman or man on their back.
If the man is lying on top this is often referred to as the
missionary position. Another way is for the woman and man to lay
on their sides with the man behind the woman. If the man is
behind the woman the penis might not rub her clitoris and the
woman or man can do this with their fingers.
Can a woman become pregnant even if she doesn't have
Yes. If a man's penis goes near to a woman's vagina there may be
sperm in the fluid which comes out the man's penis before he
ejaculates. This can lead to pregnancy or a sexually transmitted
infection. And a woman can still become pregnant if she has sex
standing up or in the bath - this doesn't give any protection at
What does sex feel like?
Similar things happen to most people's bodies when they have sex
- they get sensitive and warm and excited and may have an
orgasm. Enjoying sexual activities with another person is
possible whether you have an orgasm or not. Not being able to
have an orgasm with another person doesn't mean that you don't
fancy them or love them. Your emotions might be different each
time you have a sexual experience, depending on the
circumstances. Having sex can be one of the most intense and
pleasurable physical and emotional experiences a person can
have. But it won't always be wonderful.
How do you have an orgasm?
When sexual excitement builds up and reaches a peak a person
might experience an orgasm, also called a climax, or coming. The
sexual excitement might start from someone masturbating on their
own, or through kissing, masturbating or having sex with another
Sexual excitement usually grows gradually and a person feels
more and more pleasure and a kind of exciting tension. All the
feelings of tension then disappear when the orgasm happens, and
the person experiences feelings of intense pleasure. The feeling
can be so strong that a person might not be able to see, or hear
or think about anything for a moment. They might even groan and
call out with the pleasure. Orgasms usually last only a few
seconds but the feelings might last a lot longer.
When a man has an orgasm he ejaculates. This means that sperm
mixed with semen comes out of the end of his penis in a sticky
white fluid. After a man has ejaculated he loses his erection
and usually needs to stop for a while. When a woman has an
orgasm, her vagina often becomes very wet, but she can continue
being sexually aroused as long as she likes. Some women can
experience more than one orgasm without stopping.
If a person doesn't have an orgasm, it doesn't mean anything is
wrong. In fact, worrying about reaching an orgasm or being
nervous is quite likely to make it hard for a person to relax
enough to have one.
m giving oral sex to a man, even if she swallows his sperm.
Oral sex can be a very intense and intimate experience. Some
people enjoy giving oral sex or having it. Other people feel
uncomfortable about the idea and don't want to do it. Sometimes
people feel pressure to have oral sex when they don't want to.
It is very important to think about what the other person really
wants if you want to have oral sex. Some sexually transmitted
infections can be passed on through oral sex. There are
flavoured condoms available that you can use when having oral
sex. These are to stop any infections which might be passed on.
How do you masturbate?
A woman usually masturbates by rubbing, stroking or squeezing on
or around her clitoris. The clitoris is the most sensitive
sexual part of a woman. A woman might touch her breasts too. A
man usually masturbates by stroking or rubbing his penis.
Especially round the tip, which is the most sensitive part.
Masturbation is sometimes referred to as playing with yourself,
or, especially with men, jerking off, a hand job, or wanking.
People don't necessarily begin masturbating when they reach
puberty. Some people hardly ever masturbate, and others
masturbate a lot. It varies according to how a person feels.
Some people masturbate when they are in a relationship with
someone. Masturbation can last as long as you want, but
generally people masturbate for between a few minutes and half
There is no physical reason why you should or shouldn't
masturbate. It is not true that you'll go blind if you
masturbate. It is not possible to masturbate too much, but you
should stop if you start to make yourself feel sore. Some people
think that if a man doesn't masturbate his testes will fill up
with sperm. This is not true; the sperm are just absorbed into
his body. It is also not true that women who think about sex or
masturbate are 'easy'.