Sexuality and U
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Sexual Health

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Understanding Sexuality

 

Sex can be pretty confusing. You may have been told that sex is a sacred act between two married people who love each other very much. But then you turn on your TV and you see quite a different story - people having casual or meaningless sex, using it to get revenge or to control people, or using it to advertise everything from soft drinks to vacuum cleaners.

The point is, there’s a lot of bad information floating around about sex. And while you may have already had “The Sex Talk” with your parents, you may still have a few questions. Your parents, your teachers or your doctor would likely be happy to answer your questions, but let’s face it, some of this stuff can be pretty embarrassing:

Fantasies

A sexual fantasy is a picture (image) or thought in your mind that is sexually exciting or pleasurable to you. Sometimes a fantasy is sparked by someone you see or have seen (in real life or in a magazine or video) or that you know. Sometimes a fantasy just pops into your head for no apparent reason. Most people have sexual fantasies from time to time. Some people have sexual fantasies every day and some people hardly ever have them. Usually when a person masturbates, he or she will fantasize.

Sexual fantasies vary from one person to another. Because it is formed in our minds, a sexual fantasy can consist of anything our imagination can dream up. Typically though, a person will fantasize about sexual activity with a partner or someone the person finds sexually appealing. Sometimes the fantasy will simply be about a certain person or type of person in an erotic or sexual context.

In most cases, people enjoy their sexual fantasies. In some cases, though, people may have fantasies that they don’t like or feel ashamed about. Keep in mind that just because you have had a fantasy about a particular person or a particular type of sexual activity, this does not mean that you would want to, or should, experience the fantasy in real life.

Wet Dreams

It is very common for people to have dreams of a sexual nature when they are sleeping. Many people start to have dreams with sexually arousing images or scenarios when they are going through puberty. Sometimes boys going through puberty will have sexual dreams that cause them to have erections and to ejaculate while they sleep. This is called a “wet dream”. Sometimes the boy will wake up with no memory of his dream but will find semen (Cum) on his pajamas or sheets. Usually, as he grows older, the boy will continue to have sexual dreams but will wake up before he ejaculates in his sleep. Of course, girls and women have sexual dreams too. When a girl has a sexual dream her vagina may become lubricated and her clitoris more sensitive.    

The Bottom Line

Do what you need to do to answer your questions. Read books, fantasize, and ask a trusted friend lots of questions. Or if you’re comfortable, you can talk to your doctor, a school nurse, or a pharmacists - remember, unless you are in danger or have broken the law, whatever you talk about with your health care provider is confidential. Just remember that getting answers to your questions will help you grow as a healthy, mature sexual being.

You might find it embarrassing to ask questions about sex, but just think: If and when you decide to have sex, don’t you want to be sure that you’ve done your homework? If you think it’s embarrassing to ask questions now, just think how embarrassing it would be later!

If sex was just about orgasms, you could just enjoy it without ever having to talk about it. But there are so many things that come along with sex: pain, messy emotions, awkwardness, confusing feelings, not to mention unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s like a 1000-piece model airplane that comes in a box with no instructions…so you’re going to have to get some help once in a while.

But sex and sexuality can be really difficult to talk about, so here’s a few pointers that might help get you started. Use them only if they make sense to you and to your situation.

Who do you talk to?

Ideally, the first person you try talking to should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your sexual partner or a parent. Think of all the people you know: aunts, uncles, cousins, stepparents, godparents, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, guidance counsellors, religious leaders, personal friends, family friends. But be careful about confiding in friends who belong to your social circle: they may accidentally (or not so accidentally) let your news slip, even if they promise not to.

If you can’t bring yourself to talk to anyone you know, a youth hotline or support group can give you someone who will listen and help, and you won’t have to worry about them blabbing to everyone you know. A lot of times, it feels safest to talk to a complete stranger.

After you’ve talked with someone you trust, they may be able to help you break the subject wih more challenging people, like your parents.

Where do you talk?

Choose a private place where you can rant, rave or shed tears without feeling self-conscious. Depending on your personality and what you want to talk about, a private room at home, a park bench, or a quiet restaurant may fit the bill. Avoid having these discussions by phone or by email - cyberhugs just don’t cut it when you need the real thing.

What do you say?

You may want to start by telling the person if you’re feeling awkward, scared, or ashamed. It prepares your listener for the information to come. Then tell your story as simply and plainly as possible. Don’t dwell on too many details or get side-tracked, just be honest and get to the point. This person wants to help you, so they need to know the whole story.