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Talk About Sex
Sex isn't always easy to talk about. But having honest conversations with your partner, parents, or health care provider is an important step—whether you're doing it, not doing it, saying no to it, or figuring out if you’re ready for it. Ask us anything about talking about sex!
Is wrong to talk to your boyfriend about having sex and having a plan for what you want to happen and when but not actually having sex?
Not at all. It’s much better to discuss expectations and a plan for sex and protection before you find yourself ‘in the moment.’ There’s no set time that you’re supposed to have sex, it’s more about what makes you and your partner most comfortable.
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How do you talk to your partner about sex? What birth control is good for a 16 year old? How to talk your parents about it?
It can definitely feel awkward or scary to bring up the topic of sex, but it’s a really important conversation to have—whether it’s with your parents, your partner, or your health care provider.
When talking to your partner, it’s best to be honest and say that you’ve been thinking about where the relationship is going and are thinking about when you both will take the next step. It shouldn’t be a high pressure conversation—for either one of you--and you need to let your partner know that, if they don’t want to have sex or aren’t ready, that is absolutely fine. There’s no specific time when you’re supposed to have sex over the course of a relationship; the right time is when you and your partner are both ready.
Talking about sex with your parents is also an important resource for you when you’re thinking about taking the next step with your partner. Even though it might not seem like it, your parents were once teenagers, and probably understand your situation better than you would think. Opening the lines of communications between you and your parents, even if the topic is a little bit awkward, can really help to clarify any questions that you might have about relationships and builds the trust between you. Keep in mind, though, that they may not be ready to have this conversation with you…think about it—you’ve been thinking about sex and being sexually active for a long time; this is the first time they’re hearing about it from you. So be prepared for a number of different reactions that may range from completely positive to completely negative; you know your parents, so consider how they might react before you have this convo with them and adjust accordingly.
Finally, there are a ton of different birth control methods that are available for teens your age.
The best thing that you can do is talk to your health care provider—they should be able to help you find a birth control method that works for you and will be able to address any concerns that you might have. If you need help finding a doctor or clinic, use our clinic locator. Keep in mind that different methods of birth control have different levels of effectiveness—some (like IUDs and the implant) are better than others. That said, any time you have sex, you do run a risk of pregnancy, so talk to your health care provider about what method would work best with your life and is also the most effective you can use.I find this helpful
I want to start taking birth control pills. I'm 18 and on my parents insurance. Is there a way to get the pill without them knowing? Do I have to go in for an appointment at my doctor to get the pill?
There are ways to get birth control without your parents knowing, even if you’re a minor or on their insurance—but it takes a little work. Since you’re interested in hormonal birth control—the pill—most states (but not all!) require a visit to a health care provider in order to get a prescription.
You can call your health insurance to find out what information your parents will have access to. It can vary based on your state and what kind of insurance you have, but luckily our friends at Bedsider have covered all your options.
You can choose to visit your regular doctor, or use our clinic finder for a health care provider that specializes in sexual heath. If you’re still concerned about insurance confidentiality you can ask them about costs if you choose to pay out of pocket instead of using insurance.
In the meantime, consider using condoms for pregnancy prevention—they’re easier to obtain privately because there are no age restrictions and available lots of places.I find this helpful
Should I talk to my mom about getting put on the pill even though I'm not sexually active?
Yes! If you're interested in using birth control, your mom or other trusted adult is a great person to talk to. There are a lot of reasons women decide to go on the pill even if they're not sexually active—some pills can help with period management, cramping, or even acne. It's important to have open, honest conversations with your parents about sex, relationships, and birth control—so it's awesome you're comfortable getting the conversation started.I find this helpful
How do you know your ready for sex ?
Deciding whether or not you’re ready for sex is all about personal comfort—everyone is ready at different times. You should talk to your partner about your relationship and what kind of sexual limits you’re both okay with. That way, you avoid confusion and you can really discuss what you both are looking for and expecting in the relationship, which goes a long way towards feeling comfortable with your partner.There's no timeline for sex, and you can always say no—even if you've said yes before.
If you decide you are ready, make sure to use birth control to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnany. Our Birth Control Explorer is the great place to start. Make an appointment with your health care provider so you can feel comfortable using the method that's best for you.I find this helpful
What's the best form of birth control and how do you get it?
Every body is different, so everyone has a different “best” form of birth control. If you’re forgetful and can’t remember to take a pill every day, a longer acting form of birth control—like the IUD or implant—might be best for you. Talk to your health care provider to see what option is the best fit for your body and your lifestyle. To browse all of the options available to you, check out our Birth Control Explorer.
Condoms are one of the easiest methods of birth control to obtain because they're inexpensive and available lots of places. On th eother hand, most hormonal forms of birth control require a visit to a health care provider. Each state makes its own laws about confidentiality for patients under 18. When calling to make an appointment, tell your age, ask if you need parental consent for your visit and the method you want, and ask whether the clinic guarantees confidentiality. If you’re visiting your usual health care provider’s office using health insurance under a parent’s name, try calling your insurance and doctor’s office to ask about confidentiality.
Need help finding a clinic? Use our clinic locator; just type in your zip code for all the info you’ll need to find a health center nearby.
Can a guy still get it in if it isn't hard or will it bend over like a sad little tree?
No, if a guy's penis isn't hard penetrative sex won't work and could be painful for him. If nerves are making it hard for you (or your man) to maintain an erection, try to slow down and engage in more foreplay or just postpone sex for a bit until you're both more comfortable.I find this helpful
How do I bring up getting tested for STDs with my boyfriend? I'm a virgin and he's not and I just want to be 100% safe.
Kudos for thinking ahead! Communicating with your partner is an important part of the process in figuring out if and when you are ready to have sex. And if you both decide you are ready, it’s essential to also talk about how you will prevent STDs AND pregnancy with both your boyfriend and your doctor or nurse. So sit down with your boyfriend and be upfront and honest about your feelings. Stay calm, don't accuse him of anything, and explain that you'd rather you're both safe and healthy.I find this helpful
How do I clean myself up after sex? Do I need to take a shower or can I just get dressed right after?
You don't need to jump up and run from bed as soon as you're done, but it is important to pee and clean your genital area after sex. Peeing after sex helps clear bacteria that can cause UTIs (urinary tract infections) from your system and is recommended for everyone! Showering/cleaning your genitals with warm water and maybe a gentle soap also reduces your chance of getting a yeast infection, UTI, or other infection.I find this helpful
I'm dating another girl and I want a child. Would it be possible to impregnate me with a waffle?
The high sugar content of a waffle might put you at risk for a yeast infection. The best way to conceive a child when in a same sex relationship is with the advice of a medical professional. Need help finding a health center? We’ve got you covered—just enter your ZIP code in our Clinic Locator.I find this helpful
I was giving my boyfriend a hand job and I think he pre-ejaculated but he said he didn't but I think he did. Anyway, I went to use the restroom after giving him the blow job and didn't wash my hands. So I peed and wiped myself. Can sperm go through the toilet paper and into my vagina?
Even if he didn’t cum or penetrate you, there is still a chance you can get pregnant. Anytime semen is near the vagina—whether it’s on your boyfriend’s hand or on your clothing—there’s a possibility it could get inside and cause a pregnancy. Sperm live longest in warm, moist environments, like a woman’s body. Still, if you’re worried—or if your period is late—be sure to take a pregnancy test or contact a health care professional who can give you a pregnancy test. Need to find a health center? We’ve got you covered. And while you’re there, think about talking to your provider about more reliable birth control; you can get up to speed on all the options with our Birth Control Explorer.I find this helpful
My older brother's fiance (he's gay) and I had sex. I'm pregnant. All of my family knows I'm single. What do I do?
That depends. Focus first on what you want to do rather than the potential reaction of those around you. What you want to do and whether or not you want to be pregnant is your priority. Need to find someone in the medical profession to talk to? We’ve got you covered. And while you’re there, think about talking to your provider about more reliable birth control; you can get up to speed on all the options with our Birth Control Explorer.I find this helpful
Does size matter, down below?
That's a great question! And also one that's hard to answer. Generally, no, size isn't the most important thing in bed. It's much more important to be considerate of your partner, ask after their needs, and make sure they enjoy themselves no matter what you do.I find this helpful
What if your just so tired of having a v card that you just want to lose your v card?
Start by asking yourself the tough questions that only you can answer. What are my motivations for having sex? What do I need emotionally from my partner and myself? How does my partner make me feel about myself and about having sex? Regardless of whether your relationship is casual or monogamous, it’s important to feel that you have a safe place and a partner you trust, particularly when having sex for the first time.
Before you have sex, you should think about what you’ll do to stay safe from STIs and unplanned pregnancy. It’s a good idea to check out your birth control options and talk to your doctor which might be right for you if you’re going to have the kind of sex that puts you at risk of unplanned pregnancy. No matter what kind of sex you think you'll have it’s a good idea to use condoms, so you’re protected against STIs too.I find this helpful
How do you suck dick?
It can definitely feel awkward or scary to bring up the topic of sex, but it’s a really important conversation to have with your (long or short) partner. Communication is really important, from making sure you have each other’s consent to have oral sex, to talking about what feels good and what doesn’t. Different people have different preferences when it comes to giving and receiving oral sex. So start a conversation by asking your partner is they have preferences and telling them your preferences. If you both know what you like, fantastic! If not, talk about how you give yourselves pleasure and then try and replicate that with your mouth. Check in with each other either as you go or afterwards for feedback. It might feel awkward, but the more you talk the more you're going to learn.I find this helpful
My boyfriend doesn't want to use a condom if we have sex. What do I do? I don't want to risk myself.
Good for you! Condoms are the only form of birth control that can prevent against pregnancy and STIs. If he won't listen to you when you talk to him about how this is important to you, you have a few options. If he continues to refuse you could break up with him. Or you could refuse to have sex with him until he agrees to use a condom. Another option is to get on a method of birth control (just enter your ZIP code in our Clinic Locator to find a clinic near you) that will protect you from unplanned pregnancy and insist that he get an STI test to prove that he's clean before you engage in any sexual behavior.
Whatever option you choose, don't let your boyfriend pressure you into having unprotected sex. You deserve respect in all parts of your relationship, inside the bedroom and out.I find this helpful
I was caught having sex by my sister who is 22 with special needs and even though she said she won't tell our mother, I know she will soon. I was thinking about packing up and leaving cause I know how my mother will react, what should I do.
A lack of privacy can certianly be frustrating. However, it's likely not for the best to leave the safety and security of your parent's home. Consider speaking about this with a trusted adult and reflecting on your decisions so that if you are faced with what might be an unwanted or uncomfortable discussion with your mother that you are prepared with a sound response. You could consider being proactive about telling your mother in hopes that she will respect your honesty and maturity. Showing your parent that you are mature enough to have a frank conversation will go a long way in allieviating their discomfort with the topic. Even if she is unhappy with your decision, it is important that you try to display an empathetic response and are as clear-headed as possible in order to convey your point of view effectively.I find this helpful
My boyfriend and I were having sex and I don’t like the taste of sperm so afterwards he put it in my mouth leaving some still in my mouth but then he shoved his d down my throat and finished afterwards I spit it out on his hand and he said “You can’t get pregnant” and started fingering me with it, what do I do?
If you don’t consent to sex and someone forces you to do something sexual, this is sexual assault, abuse, and/or rape. Someone hurting you like this is never your fault. If a partner or a peer does anything sexual with you when there was fear/intimidation involved or if there was a lack of enthusiastic consent, that’s sexual abuse. Even if you initially agreed and changed your mind or if you didn’t want what was happening to happen to you this could be sexual assault. Learn more about sexual assault, abuse, and rape, on Planned Parenthood's website, or check out our piece called Was it rape? Thinking about consent and unwanted sex. Or call (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. You might find it helpful to talk or chat online with a person who's been trained in it, and RAINN is a great place to find experts to talk with aboutI find this helpful
What kind of penis do women prefer?
Thanks for writing in! Just like any other body part, penises come in all shapes and sizes - so do vaginas! What folks prefer is entirely individual, it's likely that no two people share the exact same preferences. Knowing how to pleasure yourself and using open communication to talk to your partner about what they enjoy sexually will expose someone's preferences and activities that you can try together.I find this helpful
My mom just recently found out I'm not a virgin and have been pretty sexually active....she has lost all trust for me....how can I make she trust me again?
Thanks for writing in. We totally understand how upsetting this all may feel for you. Let's start by saying this "virginity" is just a social construct, which means it isn't actually real. "Virginity" is an idea that defines people by their sexual experiences and this just simply isn't the case - no one is defined by their sexual experience. Consider that your mom may be upset because she was caught off guard, the only way to understand how she feels is to ask. Having a calm, mature discussion will show her that you are trustworthy and capable of a productive discussion. Just remember to be empathetic, your mom was a teen once too and may have had similar encounters with her own parents! Discussing sex with our parents isn't always easy or comfortable, but you can change this by bringing it up and maintaining a level-headed, calm demeanor.I find this helpful
My partner and I had oral sex and it was both of our first time, is there any chance I could have gotten STIs?
Great question. Anytime you have oral sex, STI transmission is a risk. While it is unlikely that this scenario would result in an STI, it's best to check with your health care provider, get tested, and know fore sure!I find this helpful
my boyfriend had a really traumatising experience prior to dating me where a girl gave him a blow job while he was unconscious from drinking too much. Although it was a little while ago, he can still never seem to orgasm or get much pleasure at all from a blow job. I can make him orgasm every other way just not from a blow job and it usually gets to the point where he gets me to stop because he’s just not feeling it anymore. I’ve given other guys bj’s before so I don’t know if it has to do with my technique because they have all orgasmed before but I feel as if he can’t stop associating the negative experience since this day. We keep trying to work through it but he still can’t seem to enjoy the bj. Is there something else I should be doing because I feel so helpless.
We are so sorry to hear this! This is definitely a complicated situation. All you can do is try your best to support your partner through whatever they are going through. Consider encouraging your partner to seek therapy, while you can support your partner's mental health it is not your responsibility to be be the sole care provider. For you in this situation, communication is key, checking in with your partner while you're giving him a blow job, starting and stopping could be helpful, or asking how they are feeling and adjusting technique could all be helpful options the key here is trying different things and seeing what works for you two.I find this helpful