Sexual feelings are an important part of many people’s lives

Sexual feelings are an important part of many people’s lives

It’s natural to enjoy and explore your sexual feelings whatever your sexuality.

You may want to tell people about your sexuality (‘come out’ to them) or to keep your feelings private.

If you decide to explore your sexuality through sex, make sure you understand how to prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancy.

Some people use words like ‘gay’, ‘bi’ or ‘queer’ to help define their sexuality; others prefer to avoid labels altogether. Either is fine, it’s up to you.

You’re not alone. There is a lot of support out there to help you understand your sexuality and how to deal with other people’s reactions to it.

Sexuality, sexual health, pregnancy and HIV

If you’re ready to have sex or be sexually intimate with someone, you need to know how to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancies.

Condoms are the best way to prevent against both pregnancy and STIs (including HIV). You can find out more about external (or male) condoms (which go on a penis or sex toy) or internal (or female) condoms (which go in a vagina or anus) on our safer sex pages.

Education and information about sex often focuses on vaginal sex between a man and a woman but you might want to explore other forms of sex, such as oral and anal sex. Remember there are lots of ways to get sexual pleasure beyond penetrative sex, including kissing, touching, stroking, and exploring intimacy.

Whatever sex acts you try and whoever you try them with, you need to trust each other and both give your consent. Sex will be more enjoyable if you have a shared understanding and you both feel ready and relaxed.

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