Q My bf/gf wants to use sex toys during foreplay and intercourse, but I’m not really into it. How do I tell my partner this without hurting their feelings?
It’s great that you have identified what you like and don’t like in a sexual relationship. Communication is the key to handling this situation. You should discuss this issue with your partner honestly and explain to them that you are not interested in using sex toys for pleasure. If you are in a healthy relationship your partner will understand and respect your sexual limits. You should talk to your partner about other ways to increase pleasure which will satisfy you both. If your partner does respect your decision to not use sex toys then you need to really consider whether you are in a healthy and respectful relationship.
Q I’ve heard about protection orders. What are they?
A domestic violence protection order is a civil order made by a court that imposes conditions to protect a person from future domestic violence. A domestic violence order can either be a protection order or a temporary protection order. A protection order is a final long term order that a person must not commit domestic violence against any person named in the order. The court can also impose other conditions in the order, for example, staying away from the abused person’s home or workplace. If the abuser breaches the conditions of the order, they can be fined or jailed. More information on protection orders can be found here:
Q Is it normal to be obsessed with someone?
It is normal and natural to think about someone you have a crush on a lot of the time. However, as with anything, if it starts to affect other areas of your life you may need to talk to an adult about what is happening for you. It is also important to keep your actions and behaviour towards the other person respectful. Being obsessive towards another person may be frightening for them and some actions may be against the law eg: stalking.
Q Why are women always half naked and men fully clothed in music vids?
It’s pretty silly isn’t it? It’s not just in music vids though – it seems that a lot of popular culture believes that women should be half (or mostly!) naked while the men that they are dancing around are fully clothed. This buys in to the idea that women are sexually available ALL of the time and that men want sex ALL of the time and are entitled to sex all of the time – but not with real women, only with sexually available women who are skinny, tanned, big breasted, big bootied and very flexible. Doesn’t sound much like real life does it?
Q How can I talk to the person I have a crush on without acting like a dickhead?
Lots of thoughts and feelings arise when you are around the person you like – and a big one is the fear of rejection. Most people are scared of being rejected because they think that it means that there is something wrong with them. But chances are, if you’re trying to act like anyone other than whom you really are, you’re probably acting like a bit of a douche. Just remember that this relationship stuff is new to everyone your age and the person you like is probably just as nervous about getting it right as you are.
Q What is the best way to handle a situation if you don’t give consent and they continue?
If you have been sexually assaulted the most important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault. This is a really frightening situation to be in and can make you feel extremely disempowered. Because all of us are different and every situation is different we may react in different ways. It’s important to remember that if you haven’t given consent and the other person continues they have committed a sexual crime.
Usually when we are confronted by a threat, our survival instinct will kick in and there are several ways we might respond. We could either go into what is called a flight, fight or freeze mode. Whatever your instinctive reaction is it’s important to realise that you have done exactly what you needed to do in that moment to keep yourself safe and the only person at fault is the person that sexually assaulted you. If you have been sexually assaulted there is a number support options available check out our Sexual Assault page for more information.
Q What if me and my partner have a fight – does that mean we are broken up?
Disagreements and discussions are part of communicating in a respectful relationship. Having a fight doesn’t need to mean a break-up but it does mean that you have an issue that needs to be resolved. If there are any power and control issues in the fighting, then it is not a healthy and respectful relationship.
Q How do I break up with my abuser?
Breaking up with an abusive partner can be very different from breaking up with someone who isn’t abusive. Because abusers believe that they are entitled to control you, they may not let you break up with them. If you’re considering breaking up with an abusive partner it’s important to talk it though with an adult you trust. You may want to fill out a safety plan to help you stay safe. You will need to be prepared for your abuser trying to ‘win you back’. Writing a list of all the reasons why you weren’t happy in the relationship may help you stay strong.
Click here to download a PDF factsheet.
Q My boyfriend/girlfriend wants to go to second base. What is second base?
It depends on who you ask... the definition of what second base is seems to change from person to person, group to group and website to website. The only sure fire way of working out what second base is, is asking your partner what they mean by second base. Even though your partner wants to go to second base, remember it’s your choice as well.
Q What if you have never kissed or gone out with someone and you’re really self conscious?
Remind yourself that there are many, many people your age that haven’t kissed or gone out with someone before and for most people in your age group this relationship stuff is all new. It’s one of the ‘jobs’ of adolescence to learn how to relate to people in ways that are different from when you were kids. And new things are always a bit scary. If you go out with someone or kiss someone that you are already really comfortable with, you’ll feel less self-conscious and may even be able to talk to them about how you’re feeling.
Q How do I ask someone out?
It can feel a lot safer to ask someone out online or through a text message because if you’re rejected, at least they can’t see your face. And it can be easier for them to let you down gently. However, if you’re pretty confident that they like you back, you may feel self-assured enough to ask them face to face.
Q How are babies made?
When girls and boys reach puberty, their bodies start to change and become more mature. From this time, if a male and a female have sexual intercourse, it is possible that the girl could get pregnant. When a male ejaculates sperm from the penis during sexual intercourse, they swim up the vagina through the cervix, into the uterus and then into the fallopian tubes of the female. These sperm are looking for an egg to fertilise. When a female is born she carries hundreds of eggs ready to use when she becomes an adult. Once a month, the female releases an egg. If an egg has been released, a sperm can fertilise it and make the first cell of a new baby. Once one sperm has fertilised the egg, no other sperm can get in. For the sperm it's like a race and there is only one winner. This fertilised egg immediately divides into two cells; these cells then divide again and again over the next couple of days as the cluster of cells makes its way to the uterus (womb). Here it is implanted in the lining of the uterus and continues dividing its cells to make billions of new cells. The female is now pregnant. Over 9-10 months, these cells will grow into a new person - a baby.
The best way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy is to use contraception.
Q How do rights and responsibilities vary across different relationships?That’s a great question. In balanced relationships such as friendships and romantic relationships, there should be an equal balance of power. This means that both/all people in the relationship have equal rights and responsibilities which are things such as treating each other with respect, kindness, safety, empathy and compassion and be able to expect these things in return. One of the most clarifying questions you can ask is “do we have the same amount of power in this relationship?”. If the relationship is a friendship or romantic relationship, for it to be healthy, it's important to have an equal balance of power so that both people feel safe to express themselves freely and openly and still be treated with respect, even when you might have a disagreement. In different types of relationships there are some different rights and responsibilities and it's important to know what your rights and responsibilities are and where the boundaries are in those relationships.Examples of relationships that may be unbalanced are things like, teacher and student, sports coach and player, parent and child, police officer and member of the public. In these situations, there is an unequal balance of power, however this is for the protection of the community and in these cases, the person with more power also has more responsibility to behave respectfully and maintain the safety of those they have power over.- Christie
Q Why does it take a week to get our answers?Hi! We are so glad that you are coming back to check for your answer. We are a small team who are often out and about at schools but we work really hard to get all answers up by each Friday. So, if you ask a question on Monday, check back on Friday afternoon and the answer should be there! 😊- Sarah
Q I feel like I’m the only person in my grade who hasn’t had sex yet. Is this true?
No. There are lots of people in your grade who have not had sex yet. It may seem like everyone is talking about sex but this doesn’t mean that everyone has had sex. It can be really easy to compare yourself to other people or what you think other people may be doing. However the most important thing to think about is where you’re at and what you’re ready for in your relationship.
Q Should people watch porn while having sex?
Everyone has different ways of getting excited and again, exploring your sexual desires is a natural and healthy thing. I guess the thing to be mindful of is that porn can create some very unrealistic expectations about sex, sexual acts, what women look like, what men look like and what people enjoy in sexual relationships. With all of this in mind, it’s really up to you and your partner to communicate with each other and decide if you are both happy to include this in your sexual relationship.
There are many elements that make a relationship ‘good’ and many of them depend on what’s important to you. For example; common interests, personality type, similar sense of humour, similar values, morals and life goals. These are some elements that can add to the compatibility in a relationship. However in a good healthy relationship, underlying all these elements, there needs to be respect, regardless of the other positive attributes your partner has.
Respect is demonstrated in many ways for example, being able to trust one another, respecting and understanding each others boundaries, acknowledging eachothers different points of view and being able to communicate openly and fairly.
To have a good relationship, there needs to be an equal balance of power, this means that when these points of difference come up, you are able to have open respectful communication and work through these challenges. It means one partner does not control, manipulate or degrade the other and instead, you problem solve, build eachother up and support eachother in your individual and shared goals.
Q Is it natural to not know if you like the opposite sex at this age?
It is natural and normal to have a lot of new feelings and thoughts during adolescence. There are hormones racing around, making your body do all sorts of different things while your brain is trying to keep up with it all. Many adolescents develop same sex crushes that aren’t necessarily sexual which can confuse things as well. Some people know from a very early age which sex they’re attracted to, but some people take a while to work it all out. Be honest with yourself and find a trusted adult you feel comfortable talking to about your feelings.
Q Is it ok to lose your virginity at the age of 15?
In Queensland the legal age for consent is 16 for vaginal sex and 18 for anal sex.
Only you can decide when you are ready to have sex. It is important to think about why you want to have sex. Sex is both a physical and emotional experience so it’s important that you feel comfortable and can openly communicate with your partner about sex. Before you have sex it is important to talk about how you feel about each other while also considering contraception and possible consequences such as STI’s, unplanned pregnancies and how sex may change the relationship. Remember that all parties of sexual activity need to give their informed consent.
Q Do girls abuse their male partners?
Male partners can be the victims of abuse in relationships. This is true for both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. However, it’s important to note that in at least 95% of cases, it is the male partner who is the abuser.
Q But don’t some women ask to get raped by getting really drunk and stuff?
No. Nobody EVER asks to be raped. Being raped means being forced or coerced in to sex with another person. The idea that some women ‘invite’ rape by being drunk, or going to a party alone, or wearing this, that or the other is what is called victim-blaming – and victim blaming is a horrible, horrible part of rape culture. Victim blaming tells the victim that ‘if they got raped, it’s their fault and if they don’t want to face that fact then they should shut up’. Victim blaming leaves the victim feeling responsible for a crime that was committed against them, isolated from support and humiliated. Victim blaming encourages people to stay quiet. And when people stay quiet, nothing changes. It also tells rapists (just so we’re clear, that’s people who have sex with someone without their enthusiastic consent) that their behaviour and the choices that they made are not their fault. Rape is the fault of the rapist. And that is that.
Q What is foreplay?
Foreplay is any sexual activity that happens before penetrative sex, for example; kissing, touching, digital penetration and mutual masturbation. It is a way for both males and females to become physiologically and emotionally ready for sex and can certainly increase the pleasure for both of you throughout sex. It is also a way to explore and experiment what does and what doesn’t excite your partner.
It’s really important to communicate with each other during the process so that each of you knows what the other is comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are uncomfortable and continually check-in with your partner to make sure they are consenting and comfortable throughout the entire process.
Q How long do you feel sad for after a break up?
Break ups can be very difficult, even if you were the one who broke it off, and you might feel really crap for a while. Some people cry a lot, some people don’t eat much, and some people want lots of time by themselves. Because each relationship and each person is different we will all feel sad for different lengths of time. It’s important after a break up to look after yourself. If you feel that things are getting worse or you are not coping it may be helpful to talk to someone such as a friend, your mum or dad, or a school counsellor.
Q Is it normal to have a wank/ masturbate every day of the week?
One of the big things that is important to remember is that there really isn’t such a thing as ‘normal.’ Everyone is different and is going to explore their bodies and sexuality in different ways. As long as you are masturbating in private and it isn’t interfering with your life and relationships it’s ok.
Q How can I make my boyfriend be more romantic?
Some boys are more romantic than others. Just because he’s not buying you flowers every week doesn’t mean that he’s not into you. People show their affection and love in different ways – some people are good at talking about how they feel, some people do little thoughtful things and Ryan Gosling will go to war, write to you every day for a year, build your dream house, wait years and years for you, take you on a row boat through a flock of swans and declare his love to you in the pouring rain...
There are a lot of romantic movies out there that might give us unrealistic ideas about romance and what relationships are like. What you need to remember is that everyone is different and not everyone is going to act like they do in the movies. That said, it is nice to get spoilt from time to time. If you are feeling a little neglected you might have to let your boyfriend know. You might need to do it in a very obvious way e.g. “Take me out to see a movie THAT NO ONE GETS KILLED IN”.
Q Someone at school showed me a naked photo/selfie of a chick I know. Should I tell someone?
Selfies tend to go viral very quickly, even when the picture was intended for one person only. If you have seen the photo the chances are that a lot of other people (including adults) have seen it too. Think about how you might feel if something like this happened to you or one of your close friends. The spreading of these images can have a huge impact on relationships, friendships, school, family, work, mental health and emotional wellbeing. Privately telling a trusted adult could do a lot to support the girl involved. There are also a number of legal consequences to keeping these images on your phone, tablet or computer, forwarding them on to others, or putting them on social media that should be considered.