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Sex and Sexuality

 
  Sex, feelings, relationships, identity, "doing it", keeping safe, growing up, feeling good...

These things can be a real headache for young people and stress them out. They're not mental health problems as such, but they can spin people out and lead to more serious problems and stress.

Being young and exploring your sexuality can be an exhilarating and exciting time. Many young people describe it as a huge roller coaster of feelings and experiences... and that's just when things are going well!

We believe it's important that young people love themselves and their bodies, feel safe, act safe, respect and listen to themselves and their partners, enjoy their relationships and feel good about being who they are!


Some really common thoughts and worries...
Is this what's supposed to happen?
Being young and getting so many different messages from friends, tv, music, mags, school, parents, church - it can sometimes be really hard to figure out what you want. Sexuality is much too important for other people to make you do things that you're not comfortable with. Don't worry about what people around you say, you are precious so listen to yourself. Feel okay saying what you want, you deserve it. It's also important to feel okay saying what you don't want, and to change your mind.

If you learn to love yourself and your body then it's so much easier to say what you want when you're with someone else. It may seem like everyone else is doing things that you're not - don't forget, sometimes people say they're doing it just to fit in! There are loads of ways to show someone that you care and to express your sexuality. Having sex is only a small part of this. Knowing someone really well as a person before you start a relationship can help to make sure that you trust and respect each other and have fun.

There's lots of dangerous myths out there about guys always wanting sex and girls saying no when they really mean yes. Guys are often nervous about knowing what their partners want. Girls sometimes feel that they can't talk about what they want. For both partners, having good sexual experiences is about checking out what the other person feels like, is into and respecting this.

If you feel that the other person doesn't listen to what you say then they don't deserve your time!

If you feel scared about the relationship it's important to talk to someone you trust. If they don't listen to your worries, there are loads of agencies that will (see below).

If you are worried about abuse (now or in the past) it's really important to know that:
it's not your fault (someone having sex with you or touching you without you saying yes is never okay)
you're not alone
there are lots of people who can help
trust your gut, if it doesn't feel right then it probably isn't

At Rape Prevention Education we provide information around crisis and sexual abuse issues via our website. Our website can link you to Rape Crisis Centres around NZ that can provide free support, counselling (both phone and face-to-face), practical assistance, advocacy, and resources for women and children who are survivors of rape and/or sexual abuse. Our organisation also provides education and training for young people, parent groups and the wider community, especially in the Auckland region on preventing sexual violence and dealing with disclosures of abuse.

If you want to talk to someone about this please visit Rape Prevention Education - Whakatu Mauri
www.rpe.co.nz.

rpe.co.nz


I'm worried about getting pregnant/catching something
Making sure that you don't get pregnant (contraception) and don't catch any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are really common concerns.

It's really important that you know all that you can about your body, safer sex and about how to get (and use) contraception so that, if you choose to have sex, you won't have a baby before you're ready. It's important that both guys and girls think about this (it's not just something for the girls to worry about!). Both parents are responsible for kids when they're born.

STIs are really common, can be serious and it only takes one person to pass them on. If you're worried that you don't know stuff about how bodies work, sexual safety, how to prevent pregnancy or STIs, this site has everything you need to know: www.theword.org.nz (you can send in questions for them too).

theword.org.nz


I think I'm gay/bi
Figuring out who you like, get off on, feel attracted to, love, want to spend time with is a really important part of growing up and exploring your sexuality. For young people attracted to people of the same sex ("gay", "lesbian"), or both sexes ("bi/bisexual") rather than the opposite sex ("het/straight/heterosexual"), this can be a really difficult time because of the negative messages out there about being "different" or not "normal". You deserve respect, love and support no matter whom you love, live with, spend time with. If you are going through a hard time coming out, or know someone who is, check out the Rainbow Youth group in your area or www.rainbowyouth.org.nz

rainbowyouth.org.nz


My boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped me

Relationship hassles, getting dumped, fighting with your partner - it can all be a huge headache and there can be times when it feels that nobody else would understand. It might not feel like it now but talking with someone can make it all a little bit easier. If you can't talk to your parents, other family/whanau or friends, groups like Youthline are always there for support. Talking to an adult who cares about you - teacher, youth worker, pastor etc. may be a first step to figuring out how to get through the dark times. You can also check out the ideas on this web site about coping that other young people have written.

youthline.co.nz


Is my body supposed to look like this?
Part of growing up involves huge changes in your body. This can be both exciting and really freaky. Most young people talk about things that they don't like about their bodies but sometimes comparing yourself to other people can make you feel really down. Its important to remember that no-one looks like the supermodel pictures (even their photos get touched up before they're printed!), and everyone is very different but beautiful in their own way. If you're getting worried about this or feel like your life sucks because of body image stuff, it's important to talk to someone or check out the rest of this website for ideas to cope and to love and appreciate yourself.


Another cool site about this stuff is:
youthcafetaupo.org.nz
www.youthcafetaupo.org.nz/SEX/sex.html
 
     
 
 
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