Sex, Intimacy and Maybe a Baby
This section is about sexual health and behavior, intimate relationships and equality between women and men in the joys of sex. It’s also about the making of a reproductive life plan. A life plan includes your goals and deciding if and when a child would be part of your life. WHY bother with a life plan? Having a plan may help you avoid an unintended pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections. The plan can also help you actively prepare yourself for a wanted pregnancy. Unplanned pregnancies are more likely to lead to problems with the pregnancy, the birth and the health of the mother and baby. Planning is important!
What is a Reproductive Life Plan?
A Reproductive Life Plan is thinking about having or not having children and how that fits in with your other life goals. Now is a good time to do a reproductive plan. This plan will change because life is unpredictable, but planning now will keep you behind the wheel as you travel through life. If you do not want to get pregnant now or in the near future, you need to be using a method of birth control before engaging in vaginal intercourse. Here are a few tips for making a plan. *Do you plan to have any children? *If you think you want to have a child, when? *If you have a child, how much time do you plan before the next pregnancy? *What are you doing or plan on doing to prevent a pregnancy? *Are you planning on being in good health at the time you get pregnant and not just when you find out you are pregnant? *How will a pregnancy affect everything else in your life? CLICK HERE for more ideas on how to make a reproductive life plan.
Since guys can’t get pregnant, what are some of the things they can do for better preconception health?
Here are some things men can do for their own health and for the women and children in their lives from the Center for Disease Control. Make a plan and take action. Prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections. Stop smoking, using street drugs, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Be careful about toxic or harmful substances. Prevent infertility. Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Learn your family history. Get help for violence. Get mentally healthy. Support your partner. Click the link below for details on each of them.
What is a good reason to wait before getting pregnant?
- a) To complete an education
- b) To establish a career or business
- c) To wait for a living situation that is loving
- d) Not wanting to have a child
- e) Other
All good answers! if you do not want to get pregnant now and need birth control, go to question #8 for these services in your area. For More Info: For videos by ‘Sex, etc.’ a website by and for teens and reviewed by Rutgers University.
Do you have someone that you trust, such as a parent, guardian, another family member, teacher, guidance counselor or a professional that you can talk to about personal, confidential issues?
Your health care provider may be a good choice or they may refer you to another professional. If you would like to have a free, confidential, live chat with a professional sexuality educator go www.ppfa.org and scroll down to the green ‘chat’ box. They are quick to get back to you. A book recommended by http://www.sexedstore.com/ for someone ten years old and up is: “It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health.” Click on the link below for a United States list of teen health and wellness hotlines and websites.
Which of the following would you consider to be a “good birth result” or a “good birth outcome?”
- a) A live birth
- b) A healthy baby born with no birth defects
- c) A baby born at a healthy birth weight (not too light)
- d) A baby born at full term (not too early)
- e) A healthy mother
- f) All of the above
Answer: f) All of the above. a) – e) are all considered good birth outcomes. Being healthy before getting pregnant increases the odds of having a good birth outcome and reduces the risk of an infant dying in their first year. A woman who is healthy BEFORE pregnancy is more likely to be healthy after giving birth. Check out the link below on being healthy before, during and after pregnancy and how to prevent a pregnancy.
Can you think of a poor birth result that is more likely for women under 20 years of age?
The risks to younger mothers include a greater possibility of her death during the birth, less prenatal care, less likelihood of her completing high school and greater poverty.The risks to the baby include death during the birth, low birth weight, early birth and poverty. Adolescents under 15 have the worst results. Click on the website of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies. Also, take a look at the Campaign’s websites, http://www.StayTeen.org and http://www.Bedsider.org. http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/
What are birth results that are more likely with an unplanned or surprise pregnancy?
The mother would be at a higher risk of unintended child rearing, delayed prenatal care, unhealthy behaviors, depression, physical violence during pregnancy and problems with the physical and mental health of her child. She is less likely to have taken folic acid supplements and to breastfeed.
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is found in infectious amounts in which sexual body fluids?
- a) blood, semen and urine
- b) blood, semen and saliva
- c) blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
c) blood, semen and vaginal fluids. Many people do not know that vaginal fluids, along with blood and semen from an HIV positive person, if swapped, can infect another person with HIV. A male or female condom used consistently, correctly and all the way through oral, anal or vaginal intercourse is necessary to reduce the risk of HIV infection. Breast milk can also carry HIV and can infect a breastfed baby. Go to “More Info” to find a testing site nearest to your zip code, call 800-232-4636 or call your local health department.
Where can you get birth control?
- a) To lookup local gynecologists, go to www.acog.org, “for patient,” “find an ob-gyn,” and search by zip code.
- b) Call 800-230-PLAN or go to www.plannedparenthood.org for a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you.
- c) If you are a teen in St Lucie County Florida go to www.teenzoneslc.org for information on the confidential, friendly, free Teen Zone clinic. Click on the link below to find a nearby clinic that provides birth control and other services.”
Do you think guys should be up to speed on safer sex and birth control methods?
Yes. Birth control and safer sex is not just a female concern. Click on the link below for a guy’s guide video on birth control.
What is at least one reason why it is good to have a mutually caring sexual relationship?
Mutually caring could mean love. Love has its own meaning for each person. Trust, respect and doing what is best for your partner has to be a part of caring, hopefully mutual caring. This is good behavior for a happy life, good health and readiness for starting a family, if that is what you want. Click on the link below to learn more: Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS) for heartfelt answers from ten women to the question “How do you define and express intimacy?”. Try the “Topic Index” or “Search” for OBOS’s Women’s Health Information. This is a magnificent website with a wealth of information.
Name a medical condition of a woman of reproductive age that may increase the odds of having a poor birth result?
According to the Center for Disease Control, maternal medical conditions or the treatment of these conditions that are linked to poor birth results are: asthma, heart disease, diabetes, eating disorders, high blood pressure, lupus, phenylketonuria (PKU), psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression/anxiety and schizophrenia, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, seizure disorders, thrombophilia and thyroid disease. Click the link below for details from the Center for Disease Control on these preconception and prenatal conditions.”
For a woman wanting to get pregnant what are some steps to help her be ready?
A woman and her partner should start to get into the preconception mode at least a year out from the day she wants the sperm and egg to embrace. She should have a preconception visit with her doctor and her partner should start to attend to his own health and the health of his sperm. Click the link below for a great March of Dimes preconception checklist. If infertility is an issue, search http://womenshealth.gov for Q and A’s on what causes infertility in men and women. Also near the bottom of the March of Dimes webpage is a link to Center for Disease Control (CDC) with lots of great preconception info.
What is the minimum amount of time that is recommended between pregnancies?
- a) 6 months to 18 months
- b) 18 months to 24 months
b) 18-24 months. Birth spacing of less than 12 months has a statistically higher risk of autism. Birth spacing of less than 18 months has a higher risk of a low birth weight baby, a small baby and/or a baby born too soon. The shorter birth spacing does not give the mother a chance to recover from physical and possibly emotional stress. Most experts recommend two years between pregnancies and agree that three to five years is best. The spacing of pregnancies depends on your personal goals and situation. Also, if you are confused as how long to wait between pregnancies, talk to your gynecologist and see what she or he recommends based on your health. Birth spacing of more than 5 years has problems too. Click on the link below for info from the Mayo Clinic.
Where can someone who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) get counseling and services to help them start a family?
Preconception health is an important issue to consider no matter how someone creates their family. Search ‘gay or transgender pregnancy options’ for companies that will help with adoptions, invitro fertilizations, surrogate parenting and fostering/foster care. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Hotline 888-THE-GLNH provides free, confidential one-to-one chat and email peer-support, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States. The Hotline speaks with callers of all ages about coming out issues, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety and safer-sex concerns, and lots more. Email: help@GLBThotline.org. To contact a LGBT advocacy organization near you go to http://www.lgbtcenters.org and click on ‘Directory.’ Go to “More Info” to the National LGBT Health Education Center site and click on ‘Family and Parenting’ for help to start or grow your family. Check out ‘LGBT and Single Parents Resources.
How much can women save because of Health Care Reform on birth control now that it’s available without a co-pay?
- a) $100 per year
- b) $350 per year
- c) $600 per year
c) $600. Because Health Care Reform requires preventative care be covered without co-pays, women can save as much as $600 per year on birth control alone.
Does Health Care Reform mean that you can’t see the doctor of your choice? Yes or No?
No. You are guaranteed access to an ob/gyn of your choice without a referral or approval from your insurance company.
Which of these services will cost more under Health Care Reform?
- a) Well woman visits
- b) Cancer screenings and STD tests
- c) Neither”
c) Neither of these will cost more. You may have seen the difference for yourself. Preventative care, including cancer screenings and check-ups, are covered with no co-pay under Health Care Reform.”
To use condoms correctly, do you need to use them every time and all the way through intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral)?
Answer: Yes. The man should not wait for the moment of “coming” to pull out and slip on the condom. He may be timely at “pulling out” but he may come out leaving behind an infection, getting infected or both. Click the link below for ‘Talking About Condoms’.”
Where can you get condoms?
Go to any drug store, supermarket, convenience store, big box store or online to buy condoms. Condom machines are found in some restrooms. Internal (female) and male condoms are often available FREE at county health departments and Planned Parenthood health centers. Keep condoms out of the heat, make sure that the packages have air in them and are not damaged and check the expiration date. Click on the link below to find places where you can find free condoms.”
Is there a correct way to use a male condom?
Yes. Click te link below for a male condom video demonstration. Don’t worry, these video demonstrations are not done with real men and women.
Is there a correct way to use an internal (female) condom?
You guessed it; Yes. Click the link below for a video demonstration of the FC2 (Female Condom 2) internal condom.
Does douching after intercourse stop someone from getting pregnant? Yes or No?
No. Douching means washing or cleaning out the vagina with water or other mixtures of fluids. Using soap and water is usually adequate. If you think you want or need to douche, ask your medical practitioner first. Douching does not prevent pregnancy. It should never be used for birth control. Also, douching does not prevent sexually transmitted infections. Douching may make it harder to get pregnant, increases the chances of an ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening and it can make it harder for a woman to get pregnant in the future. It can also cause vaginal infections. Click to link below to learn more about douching and feminine hygiene.
What is a vulva?
- a) A well-built Swedish car
- b) A female’s external genital organs
b) A female’s external genital organs. A vulva is the whole area from the pubic mons (the pad of tissue covered by hair) to the anus. The vulva includes the labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips), the clitoris, the urethra and vaginal opening and the area between the vulva and anus called the perineum. Click on the link below regarding vulvar care from the Journal of Midwifery.
What method of birth control are you using or plan to use?
For more info on birth control and “info for teens” and “tools for parents and educators.” Birth control is free with Health Care Reform!”
How does “pulling out” or “withdrawal” rate as a method of birth control?
Withdrawal is a method of birth control that is 96% effective when used perfectly with every act of vaginal intercourse and 73% of the time when not used perfectly. Withdrawal does not protect either partner from sexually transmitted infections and it requires self-control and trust that the man will pull out before he ejaculates or “comes.” Withdrawal is always available and free and is good back up to other methods of birth control. The man must pee after coming to flush out the sperm in the penis if another round of intercourse is on the menu. The pulling out method is not recommended for teens. Practice makes perfect so if you want to use pulling out as a method of birth control, practice a bunch of times using a condom. For more information and video on withdrawal.
If needed, what type of lube should you use with a male condom?
- a) Mineral oil
- b) Petroleum jelly
- c) A water based lube
- d) Water or silicone based lube.
d) Water or silicone based lubes ONLY are safe to use with latex condoms. Oil based lubes can damage latex condoms and cause them to break. Look for the word “water” or “silicone” on the label.”
What is a reliable alternative to a latex condom if you are allergic to latex?
- a) Silk condom
- b) Animal skin condom
- c) Polyurethane condom?”
c) Polyurethane condom (there’s no such thing as a silk condom though it might be nice).”
What percentage of women/girls who are able to get pregnant and who engage in vaginal intercourse without using birth control will get pregnant within one year’s time?
- a) 50%
- b) 65%
- c) 85%.
c) 85% That’s right. Statistically 85 out of 100 fertile women of reproductive age who are having vaginal intercourse will get pregnant in a year’s time. Click on the link below on the effectiveness of using birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Check out this site. It is loaded with reproductive health information for women and men.
What is Emergency Contraception (EC)?
Sometimes called Emergency Birth Control or frequently called the Morning After Pill, EC is a pill taken to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. Emergency contraception is NOT an abortion pill. Emergency contraception should now be available over the pharmacy counter with no age restriction. If you have difficulty buying EC or want to find out where to get EC press “More Info” or phone toll free 888-NOT 2 LATE.
If someone has a surprise or unintended pregnancy what are her choices or options?
The options are: go to term and keep the baby or have the baby adopted or have an abortion. These can be tough choices and should be made by the woman and her doctor. For pregnancy options, go to: Pregnancy: Unplanned Pregnancy.”
Men’s ability to experience sexual pleasure and excitement is concentrated in the penis, while women’s is concentrated in the vagina. True or False?
False. The small part of the clitoris on the outside of the body (clitoral glans or head) and the much larger part of the clitoris on the inside of the body (clitoral crura (legs) and more) is the main organ that creates sexual pleasure and orgasm for women. If a woman and her male partner want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or a possible infection, they may want to consider “outercourse” as a satisfying option. More on “outercourse” later Search “clitorian anatomy” for more scientific information on the clitoris. “21 things millennials should know about the clitoris”.”
If a woman is having unsatisfying sex, should she talk to her partner about it?
Yes. Communicating with your partner may be the most important part of a relationship. Some subjects, like sexual pleasuring, may be considered taboo and difficult to talk about, but talking about it may be the first step to more sexual satisfaction and mutual affection. Here is a video interview promoting “cliteracy” may be helpful.
Is masturbation, or self-pleasuring, a safe sexual activity?
Yes. Masturbation is when females or males touch their own genitals for sexual arousal and pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm (sexual climax). If masturbating alone, a person cannot give her/himself an infection, nor get herself pregnant. It is done by touching, stroking, or massaging their own clitoris or penis until an orgasm happens. Some women and men use “sex toys.” Sex toys should be washed before being shared with another to avoid infection. Also, mutual masturbation (mutual touching of another) is considered a safer sexual activity (outercourse) as long as sexual fluids are not swapped. Click on the link below for a clever, funny one minute video on “Masturbation“.”
Do you think sexual “foreplay” can be safer and even more pleasurable than vaginal intercourse for a woman?
Yes, statistically, 70% of all women do not regularly or ever have an orgasm with vaginal intercourse, even though most men do. In fact, sex is often over as soon as the man has had his orgasm! On the other hand, foreplay (“be”fore play) can become the “main” play. Foreplay has been given a new name “outercourse”, so intercourse is not necessarily expected after. Outercourse is safer than vaginal intercourse and can be sexually satisfying for both women and men. “Safer“means that there is much less of a chance of an unplanned pregnancy or infections.
What is “outercourse” anyway?
You might think of “outercourse” as “fore-play” continued to become the “main-play,” without intercourse happening. With the sexual body fluids not being swapped “inside” the partner, there is no chance of pregnancy and less chance of infection. Outercouse is “safer sex.” Avoid having any semen go onto the vulva. There is a slight chance some of those little guys can swim their way into the vagina and a pregnancy and/or infection can happen. A barrier method of protection must be used with any oral sex. Outercourse needs to be planned. Talk about it before you get down together. Go to “More Info” for all the advantages of outercourse!
An orgasm a day will keep the doctor away. True or False?
It helps. Having frequent (okay, not necessarily every day) orgasms is good for the health of women and men. Orgasms: relieve tension; improve sleep; lessen depression; boost immunity; strengthen genital muscles (helpful during childbirth!) ease pain; increase overall blood flow; and may decrease prostate cancer risk.. Finally, an exercise that is obviously fun for everyone!
If someone you want to have physical or sexual contact with does not say ‘Yes’ or if that person says ‘No’, should you respect their personal rights?
Yes! You must respect the line drawn with any sign of ‘No’ or in the absence of a ‘Yes’. Yes means Yes. Silence or lack of resistance does not give consent. Someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep cannot grant consent. If you are a man, please share this with other men. Go to “More Info” for the college student produced and cleverly funny Consent is Sexy video. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5V6kwPikDy8
How can using a male or internal condom make sex more pleasurable?
A condom tends to lengthen the time the male maintains his erection and therefore gives more time for him and his partner to experience the pleasure of sexual contact. The woman is more likely to experience an orgasm and the extended time period of excitement can make for a more pleasurable orgasms for both the woman and the man. Condoms are very effective at preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV when used CORRECTLY, EVERY time, and ALL the time through oral, anal and vaginal intercourse.”
What are two unwanted results that women are more likely to experience than men with unprotected vaginal intercourse?
A surprise pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. For why women are impacted more by STIs, including HIV, than men Click on the link below
Does having only oral or anal intercourse mean that there is little risk for a sexually transmitted infection?
No. Whenever the sexual body fluids of semen, vaginal fluids and blood are exchanged from an infected person to another through the mouth, anus, vagina or penis, there is a risk of a sexually transmitted infection occurring, including HIV. Women are at a higher risk of being infected. For More Info on anal and oral sex, etc.
For women and men, what simple, free exercise can you do anywhere, nearly anytime in any situation with no equipment needed that strengthens your pelvic muscles which results in medical and sexual benefits?
- A) breathing
- B) singing
- C) Kegel exercises.
C) Kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle training. Kegel exercises for women may improve her ability in coming to orgasm more easily, more frequently and more intensely. For men, Kegel exercises may help prevent premature ejaculation, improve erections and orgasms. There are also important medical benefits. If you have a pelvic floor condition, talk to your doctor before doing Kegel exercises. How are Kegel exercises done? Find the right muscle. To identify the pelvic floor muscles, stop peeing in midstream. If you succeed, you’ve got the right muscle. Perfect your technique. Finish peeing. Lie down on your back. Tighten those muscles you identified, hold for 5 seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it 4 or 5 times in a row. Get up to holding and then relaxing your muscles for 10 seconds between contractions. Do not flex your muscles in your tummy, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Breathe freely. Don’t use the pee stopping technique once you know the muscles. It is helpful for women to do during their preconception (and prenatal) time.
What does it mean to be a lesbian?
Advocates for Youth defines lesbians as “women who love women”. Lesbians are sexually attracted to other women and their sexual feelings toward other women are normal and natural for them. Lesbians say that they feel emotionally and spiritually closer to women and prefer intimate relationships with women. Experts estimate that about one out of ten women may be a lesbian, and many historically famous women were lesbians. Lesbians include teachers, doctors, lawyers, factory workers, police officers, politicians, ministers, movie stars, artists, mothers, nuns, truck drivers, models and novelists. Lesbians are white, black, Asian, Latina and Native American. They may be any religion or none. Lesbians may be rich, poor, working class, or middle class, young or old. Some lesbians are in heterosexual marriages. Some lesbians are disabled. The GLBT National Hotline, 888-THE-GLNH, provides callers of all ages peer-counseling, information and local resources. www.Glnh.org/hotline/ For more on what it means to be a lesbian.”
What does it mean to be gay?
Advocates for Youth says “men who call themselves gay are sexually attracted to and fall in love with other men”. Their sexual feelings toward men are normal and natural for them. These feelings emerge when they are boys, and the feelings continue throughout life. Although some gay men may also be attracted to women, they usually say that their attraction to men is stronger and more important to them. Some experts estimate that about one in 10 people in the world may be gay or lesbian. (Lesbians are women who are attracted to other women.) This means that in any large group of people, there are usually several gay or lesbian people present. However, generally people cannot tell whether someone is gay unless he or she wants it known. Gay people blend right in with other people, but they often feel different from other people.\n\n Gay teenagers may not be able to specify just why they feel different. They may notice that all of the guys they know seem to be attracted to girls. So, gay teens don’t always know where they fit in, and they may not feel comfortable talking with adults about their feelings. Go to Advocates for Youth website for GLBTQ young people at youthresource.com. The GLBT National Hotline, 888-THE-GLNH, provides callers of all ages peer-counseling, information and local resources. www.Glnh.org/hotline/ For More Info on what it means to be gay.
What does it mean to be a bisexual person?
Advocates for Youth states that “bisexual people have the capacity to love people of their same gender or of a different gender. This can include physical, sexual and emotional attraction, and/or relationships. Over time in life, a bisexual person may be attracted to men, women, transgender people, and/or genderqueer (definition below) people, or to one gender in preference to the others. The strength of these attractions may change over time. Being bisexual does not define either one’s lifestyle or behavior. Bisexual people may be men, women, transgender or genderqueer. They may be monogamous or abstinent or may have multiple sexual partners, just like heterosexual and lesbian and gay people. Many people are bisexual and bisexuality cuts across distinctions of race/ethnicity, gender, identity, age, class, ability, and religious affiliation… The Urban Dictionary states that “genderqueer is most commonly used to describe a person who feels that his/her gender identify does not fit into the socially constructed ‘norms’ associated with her/his biological sex.” The GLBT National Hotline, 888-THE-GLNH, provides callers of all ages peer-counseling, information and local resources. www.Glnh.org/hotline/ Click the link below for the list of LGBT rights organizations in the United States, or a list for other countries is also available on this site.
What does it mean to be a transgendered person?
Glaad.org says that “transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. The term may include but is not limited to transsexuals, cross-dressers and other gender variant people. Transgendered people may identify as female to male (FTM) or male to female (MTF). Use the descriptive term (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, FTM or MTF) preferred by the individual. Transgendered people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally or surgically. The GLBT National Hotline, 888-THE-GLNH, provides callers of all ages peer-counseling, information and local resources. http://www.Glnh.org/hotline/ For More Info for trans basics and a good transgender basics video.