What exactly is sex? What kind of sex would I like to have? What kind of sex does my partner enjoy? Do I like rough sex, or have I just been told that’s something I should like? Do I pretend to enjoy certain things just to seem experienced? Is it really that nice to just ‘do my thing’ without checking whether the other’s into it? Sex can be exciting and pleasurable and feel good. But it can also be unpleasant and uncomfortable. Sex should always feel good – before, during and after. You can chat with us anonymously about sex, we’ll always listen and have your back.

What is sex?

Different people define ‘sex’ in different ways. But usually, it refers to sexual acts you do either alone or with others. Many of us think about sex and have fantasies or feelings about a person or certain sex acts. There are many ways to have sex: you can masturbate (have sex with yourself), caress someone, touch them, exchange sexy chat messages, etc. And just like there are different ways to have sex, people like different types of sex and different kinds of sexual partners. You have the right to explore your own sexuality and lust. If you’re having sex with yourself, you can do whatever you want. If you and someone else have agreed to have sex with each other, you’ll have to decide together what you both like and enjoy.

Having sex

When you haven’t yet had sex, it’s not unusual to spend quite a bit of time thinking about what sex might be and feel like. Many people don’t talk about those thoughts with anyone, but the more you talk about sex with others and dare to ask them questions, the easier it becomes to get to know yourself, your body and what you like or don’t like.
If you’d like to talk with someone about sex, maybe first ask yourself these questions: Is this person someone you trust? Do you think they want to listen to you and help you reflect? The conversation should make you feel safe and comfortable.

Having sex with yourself

Masturbating or wanking is having sex with yourself. You can caress your genitals or any other part of your body that makes you feel aroused. If you have a penis, it can feel nice to stroke across its tip, which is usually the most sensitive part of the penis. If you have a foreskin, you can slide it up and down over the tip of your penis when you have an erection. Most of us, regardless of our gender, start masturbating long before we ever have sex with other people.
Many people masturbate for the first time in their early teens and keep doing so all their lives; some might masturbate a lot, others rarely or never do so. Masturbating isn’t dangerous or bad. Whether you want to masturbate or not is your choice. Of course, it’s never okay to masturbate in front of someone else who doesn’t want to see you masturbate. That is sexual harassment, which is illegal. Masturbation doesn’t hurt your body in any way. And you can never tell whether someone has masturbated by looking at their body, whether they’re a guy, girl, trans or non-binary.

Having sex with others

Sex should always feel good – before, during and after. When you’re having sex with others, you should always communicate with them in a respectful way and be open to any signals they’re giving off to find out what they want or don’t want to do.’ To know for sure, you’ll have to listen to the different ways in which they answer: what are they saying? What is their body saying? Are they sending you any other signals? Sometimes, there can be a misunderstanding: people don’t always interpret signals the same way. If you’re not sure, it can be good to double-check. Here are some questions you can ask: Does this feel good? Or would it feel better some other way? Are you alright? Do you like this? Or would you like to do something else? What do you like? What would you like to do? You can ask these questions before, during and even after sex. It’s hard to be the one who says ‘no’ in an intimate situation.
Usually, people will signal early on if they’re not enjoying themselves. Then you have to pause and let them show you what they would enjoy instead. If you don’t, then there’s no consent. It’s easy to feel pressured into having sex or having sex a certain way. In porn, there’s usually a guy and a girl, but it’s all about the guy’s pleasure and him getting an orgasm. Watching that kind of porn can make you feel that’s what sex should be like. But that’s not true! Sex is about exploring together what feels good and nice for everyone involved. ‘Good and nice’ doesn’t always have to be the same. Just because someone wants to kiss and touch you doesn’t automatically mean they want to get naked and have penetrative sex; sometimes people do, sometimes they don’t. Listen to your body, what is your gut telling you? Does it feel like everyone’s on board? It can feel hard, but sex takes practice. No one is an expert on what feels good for you or others; the answer is something you’ll learn and explore over time (it can even change!), by yourself and/or in the company of others.