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Sex education by teens, for teens. Sex, Etc. is published by Answer.

September 2, 2014 12:13 pm

Sorry for any confusion!

mjsmellsnice said: This was a three part anon question, could you like answer it all together? Its a serious issue for me

When we answered your question, that was the only part that came through. We didn’t get the other two parts, we promise weren’t just not answering your question. We’re sorry for any confusion. We would love for you to re-ask the other two parts!


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12:04 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: My parents are conservative. And we disagree on views of birth control, they made it clear they don't want me having sex and do not want to discuss it. They don't know I'm sexually active. What do I do?

Hi anon,

It’s totally normal for your values to not always line up with your parents. You can respect that they have different values, and respect their right to hold those values, while still forming your own opinions and values about sex, birth control and other topics related to sexuality.

Since it seems that your parents are not open to discussing sex, sexual health or sexuality with you, it sounds like they may not know how different your values are. That is OK. While we’re not advocating lying to your parents, sometimes, for the sake of your mental or emotional health and to save you from a really tense home-life (or worse, getting kicked out if that is a possibility) it’s best to not let your parents know where you stand on such topics, or that you are engaging in sexual behaviors, while you are being supported by them. Perhaps wait until you are living on your own, or maybe you never have that sort of relationship with your parents. That is OK, too. All families are different.

You may really want to tell them still how you feel, and that is also a valid option. If that is the case, you may want to check out our Communication Tool.

While you may not be able to talk with your parents about these topics, we think trusted adults are an invaluable resource. If you need someone to talk to, can you think of a family friend, an older cousin, a parent of a friend, an aunt or uncle, a teacher or a school counselor you can talk to?

I hope this helps.


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11:56 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Oh god. My parents found my condom drawer. They're all gone and I'm freaking out. Help!!!

Hi anon,

That was probably a pretty big surprise to find all of your condoms gone. It also probably felt like a pretty big violation of your privacy. Your parents meanwhile may be feeling shocked or surprised as well.

You may be feeling a lot of different emotions and chances are they are, too. While ignoring what happened and not looking each other in the eye for a while might be some people’s first instinct, a better idea would probably be to sit and have a respectful and open conversation.

You might ask your parents to have a conversation with you and see if you all can set some ground rules, like no yelling, accusing and only using “I” statements. You could start by telling them how you feel, “I felt angry/sad/surprised when I saw my condoms were missing” for example. And then you can explain why you had the condoms, perhaps you wanted to make sure to practice safer sex with your partner and you feel you were being responsible, or you had them so you could give them out to your friends who are engaging in sexual behaviors because you want to make sure they practice safer sex. Your parents can share how they feel and you all can hopefully share your values around sex, safer sex and sexual behaviors. This could be a really great opportunity for you all to have a wonderful conversation that just may help you all to become closer.

I hope this helps.


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11:42 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: i am mastrubate every day it's a harmful for health

Hi anon,

Some people masturbate everyday and some people masturbate less than that and some people don’t masturbate at all. Everyone is different and there is nor “right” amount to masturbate. It’s perfectly healthy and not harmful to a person’s health to masturbate every day, or less than that, or not at all!

I hope this helps.


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11:40 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: How do dental dams work? Is wearing a condom instead (when doing oral) pretty much the same?

Hi anon,

Dental dams are a thin rectangular piece of latex that is placed over the vulva or anus when performing oral sex on those areas. Condoms can be used on a penis for oral sex. They work in similar ways—they block fluids that may contain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from entering the mouth, since STDs can be transmitted through oral sex—but are used on different genitals. If you don’t have access to a dental dam, you can also unroll a male condom, cut a line up the side of the condom and open it to make a latex square similar to a dental dam.

Learn more about practicing safer oral sex.

I hope this helps!


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11:34 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: If we've both virgins, are there any reasons we should get tested before sex?

Hi anon,

If neither of you has had any kind of sex, then it’s unlikely that either of you has a sexually transmitted disease (STD). But the tricky part is defining “virgin” and “sex.”

STDs can spread through oral, vaginal and anal sex and genital skin-to-skin contact. For example, some STDs can be passed through certain types of sexual skin-to-skin touching like when you rub bodies with no clothes on. So, when you and your partner use the word “virgin,” make sure you both mean the same thing. There is very little risk for STDs if neither of you has had any sexual experience at all.

STDs can spread when people share needles and from mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Even if a person has had no sexual experiences, they could have an STD from using needles or from their mother if she was infected.

If neither of you has had any sexual experience at all, it’s still a good idea to get in the habit of using condoms, dental dams or other safer sex methods and it never hurts to get tested. You can get tested at a local free or low-cost and confidential clinic near you.

I hope this helps.


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11:30 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Literally half of my grade has already had sex and everybody brags about it, and it makes me feel insecure that I've done nothing at all. I am constantly thinking about when its going to happen, its consuming my life!

Hi anon,

It can sometimes seem like everyone is having sex or engaging in sexual behaviors, but chances are they aren’t. Lots of people, unfortunately, feel pressured to lie about how sexually experienced they are when we know from different studies that they’re most likely not telling the truth. It depends on what grade you are in but chances are a least some people who are bragging about having sex, aren’t actually having sex.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 16 percent of teens have had sex by the age of 15, about 48 percent of teens have has sex by age 17  and 71 percent of 19-year-olds have had sex. These statistics are true for all genders.

The thing is though that everyone is different, while engaging in sexual behaviors may be the right decision for some people in your grade it might not be for others and that is OK. It’s perfectly OK that you haven’t engaged in sexual behaviors yet, and it’s totally normal and OK if you don’t feel ready. It’s also totally normal and OK if you do feel ready but it hasn’t happened yet. Relationships and having sex can seem like a really big part of life, especially when it feels or seems like it’s a big part of life for everyone else. But, really it’s just one part of life.

What might be helpful is instead of thinking about “when it’s going to happen,” you might want to think about why you want to engage in sexual behaviors and what you want it to be like. Do you want to engage in sexual behaviors because everyone else is? Or do you want to engage in sexual behaviors because you want physical or emotional intimacy with a partner? When it happens would you like it to be with someone you know really well, like a long-term partner? Do you want to be in a relationship with them? How will you feel afterwards? What will you do with your partner to prevent pregnancy and/or the transmission of STDs? How would you like it to feel emotionally? How do you want your partner to feel? Answering these questions and more might help you to think about when the right time is for you and your partner and make that decision consciously instead of thinking of it as something that just happens to you.

I hope this helps.


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11:12 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: I took the antibiotic bactrim during my period week of bcpills & had unprotected sex on the last day of non hormones which was also the last day of antibiotics willbactrim still interfere with the new pills or even mess up the ones I took before my period how does this work what are the chances I'll get pregnant from that one time?

Hi anon,

In general, antibiotics can interfere with hormonal birth control pills and make them less effective and it is recommended that if taking antibiotics a back-up method of birth control also be used. You should speak with the doctor or health care provider who prescribed your birth control pill to get a sense of how great a risk there is since different medications interact differently. There is a risk for pregnancy in the situation you described. A pregnancy can occur anytime sperm are deposited inside of the vagina or onto the vaginal opening. Hormonal birth control with perfect use is 99-percent effective at preventing pregnancy, but the antibiotics will have most likely lowered that effectiveness.

If it has been less than 120 hours since the risk, then you may want to take emergency contraception. Plan B One-Step emergency contraception is available over-the-counter at pharmacies. Or you can purchase it at a local free or low-cost and confidential clinic near you.

The situation you described is also high risk situation for the transmission of STDs. You and your partner may want to consider visiting a local free or low-cost and confidential clinic near you to get tested. Find a clinic near you.

I hope this helps.


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11:00 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: After you have sex the first time (protected, for women) is it normal to be a little sore and maybe even a tiny bit swollen "down there" the next morning/after accompanied by other things (oral and fingers)

Hi anon,

It’s normal for the genitals to be a bit sore or swollen after engaging in sexual behaviors. They may be a bit sensitive especially if there wasn’t enough lubrication or there was a lot of thrusting. Also, blood rushes to the genitals during arousal so they definitely are swollen during sexual behaviors and can stay a bit swollen afterwards.

If the swelling and soreness persists more than a day or so, or gets worse and not better, then you may want to visit a health care provider to make sure everything is OK.

I hope this helps!


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August 29, 2014 4:00 pm
Make a Difference - Sex, Etc.

It’s Take Action Friday! How will you make a difference in the world, today?


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12:00 pm

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10:25 am

askerquestioner

camrynsmith1357: Are there any age restrictions on birth control? Does it have harmful affects on my body?

Hi ,

Different states in the U.S. have different laws about minors accessing birth control. You can learn about your state’s laws. However, a Supreme Court ruling gives minors the right to obtain contraception. If you want to access contraception but aren’t sure you’ll be able to because of your state’s laws you can visit a local free or low-cost and confidential clinic who should be able to help you obtain birth control.

Hormonal birth control is safe and effective. It won’t prevent you from being able to get pregnant in the future and can be used for as long as you’d like. As with any medication though there may be side effects but finding the right method can usually mean there are few if any side effects.

There are other forms of birth control which anyone of any age can access, such as condoms. Condoms are great because they not only prevent pregnancy, but they can prevent the transmission of STDs as well. Hormonal birth control doesn’t protect against STDs.Some people are allergic to latex condoms, but there are nitrile and lambskin condoms which people with latex allergies can use. So, in general birth control and safer sex methods are safe.

I hope this helps.


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10:13 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: My boyfriend has never had any sexual experiences before we started dating and has no history of HIV or any STIs in his family. Do I have any reason to be scared for oral sex?

Hi anon,

STDs can spread through oral, vaginal and anal sex and genital skin-to-skin contact. For example, some STDs like herpes and HPV can be passed through certain types of sexual skin-to-skin touching like when you rub bodies with no clothes on. There is very little risk for STDs if neither of you has had any sexual experience at all.

But, the only way to know for sure if someone has an STD is to get tested. You and your partner may want to visit a local clinic together and get tested for STDs.

Even if neither of you has an STD, it’s still a good idea to get in the habit of using condoms each and dental dams when engaging in oral sex.

I hope this helps.


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10:08 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: Hi! I am on the pill (16 yrs old, no kids) and am having really bad side effects so I'm going off for a couple months to kind of center myself again and in the meantime I'm going to figure out what I want next for bc. I don't want hormones in my...

Hi anon,

Different people react differently to birth control. The pill, or the specific pill you are on, might not be right or you and that is OK. You also mention not wanting to be on hormones. That’s a totally valid choice and there are lots of ways to prevent pregnancy without using hormonal birth control.

One method that is long-lasting, non-hormonal and is now recommended for teens is the copper IUD. All IUDs are now recommended for teens but the two other brands (Skyla and Mirena) have hormones. The copper IUD prevents pregnancy without hormones and can last up to 10 years. It’s an option you might want to consider.

You can also check out options like the male condom, the female—or receptive—condom, the sponge or a cervical cap. Learn more about all different kinds of birth control.

I hope this helps.


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10:02 am

askerquestioner

Anonymous: i feel like i get vaginal discharge (the white gooey stuff) very often and it does have a smell ,somewhat like pee. it really hampers me from keeping that area clean and fresh. do you have any suggestions?

Hi anon,

Vaginal discharge is completely normal and most people experience every day. Some days there’s less discharge and others there is more. It can be white to clear in color and might be thicker or stringy. There can sometimes be slight odor to discharge. This is all normal.

While it may feel like discharge means your vulva isn’t clean, discharge is actually the vagina’s way of cleaning itself. Discharge helps keep the vagina healthy. Washing the vulva regularly with a mild soap and water can keep the genitals clean though and help prevent infection.

If the discharge is yellow, or clumpy, or there is a strong odor and/or itching and burning then this could be a sign of an STD or a yeast infection. If you think you might have an infection you can visit a local free or low-cost and confidential clinic to be tested and treated.

I hope this helps.


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