Home Sex Education FAQ



This Section is exclusively for people over 18 years of age




General Questions



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 orgasm. 

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 virgin. 

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 horse. 

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 area sore. 

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 premature ejaculation?
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 lubrication?
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 touching tongues.

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

Genital Warts 
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 of kissing?
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 KY Jelly.

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 period?
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.

How 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 sex. 

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 contraceptive page.

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 other.

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 sexual intercourse?
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 all.

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 person.

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 an hour.

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'.