These are questions and situations I hear a lot from both my friends and the emails fans send me. Since I hear these questions so frequently, I thought I’d make a special section just for them. The website may provide more information about some of these questions, but if you still are wondering about something email me or call the hotline at 1-877-MA-SEX-ED (1-877-627-3933)! I love hearing from everyone!
Everyone is talking about sex. What is sex and why do people have it?
People have sex for lots of different reasons — to feel closer to their partner, to take what may be the next step in their relationship and because it feels good. The decision to start having sex is a very personal one that should involve a lot of thought by both you and your partner.
My boyfriend and I decided to have sex but we didn’t use protection. He pulled out, but I am worried there was leakage. Is there anything I can do to prevent a pregnancy from occurring?
Emergency contraception (EC) sometimes known as Plan B is a type of birth control pill that can be taken when a woman is worried about becoming pregnant after having unprotected sex. EC can be taken immediately after unprotected sex (sex when birth control wasn’t used, the condom broke, the penis wasn’t pulled out in time) and up to five days after the unprotected sex occurred. However, the sooner it is taken the more effective it will be.
I hear the term abortion a lot in the news, but I don’t really know what it means. What is an abortion and how common are they?
An abortion is when the contents of the womb (uterus) are removed, so that the uterus goes back to how it was before a woman got pregnant. They can happen naturally (sometimes referred to as a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage) or can be induced (brought about) with medications or surgery. Induced abortions are more common than you may think. About four out of every 10 women in the United States have had at least one abortion by the time they turn 40 years old.
I saw a statistic that said condoms are between 79-98% effective. Why are they not 98% effective all of the time?
Condoms when used correctly are 98% effective. However, things that decrease the effectiveness of condoms may be using an expired condom, not squeezing the tip before putting it on, or letting pre-cum or cum get into the vagina before putting the condom on. Practice using condoms before you have sex (if you don’t have a penis you can use a sex toy or even a banana as a prop!). In the heat of the moment it’s easy to mess up (if a condom is put on wrong it could break or not work) and practice makes perfect. Being under the influence of alcohol makes it more difficult to put a condom on correctly and may decrease its effectiveness.
I see commercials for the pill a lot and some of my friends have started to talk about going on it. What is it and how does it work?
Birth control pills contain artificial hormones (chemicals that are like the ones a woman’s body makes naturally) which prevent girls and women taking them from becoming pregnant. There are two different types of birth control pills. Combination pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. These pills stop a woman from ovulating (no egg is released from her ovaries), and thicken the mucus around her cervix which keeps the sperm from getting to the egg. Mini-pills only contain the progestin hormone. They thicken the cervical mucus which stops the sperm from getting to the egg. Birth control pills are taken on a daily basis at the same time each day.
My Sex Ed teacher taught us about STDs, but when I googled STDs, information about STIs popped up. What is the difference between STDs and STIs??
STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, and is a term that has been used for a long time to describe bacteria like Chlamydia, or gonorrhea and viruses like Herpes and HPV transmitted through contact with sexual fluids. Sexually transmitted infections or STIs also refers to the same viruses and bacteria as STDs. Doctors now use the term STI because the term disease usually means there are signs or symptoms of an infection. Sexually transmitted infections (previously known as STDs) are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) so many people do not often known they have them.
I keep hearing all this talk about lube (lubricants). Why do I need to use lube and why does it need to be water or silicone based?
Lube or lubricant is a liquid which helps to reduce the friction and improve the efficiency of movement between two moving forces. Using lube with a condom during sex is important because it allows the condom covered penis to glide more easily inside of the vagina during sex, which increases the pleasure and effectiveness of the condom during sex. Oil based lubricants like oil or massage cream or Vaseline SHOULD NOT BE USED because they will wear away at the condom and cause it to break. It is important to look for water and silicone based lubes.
My friend told me she called the GLBTQ Hotline, but I still don’t know what GLBTQ is. What does GLBTQ stand for and what does it mean?
GLBTQ formally stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and everything in between. Since a lot of people identify themselves in different ways, GLBTQ can describe anyone who doesn’t identify as heterosexual or straight. Discovering that you are GLBTQ can take a long time for some people while others know when they are really young. It is always important to remember people may can be attracted to people of different sexes, the same sexes, or both sexes. People often think they have to be attracted to the opposite sex, but the truth is there are tons of people out there who are attracted to and have relationships with people of the same sex. Some people even have relationships with people from both sexes. Any way is cool, it just has to be right for you!