Your Sexual Health 2017-01-12T14:41:22+00:00

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Your Sexual Health

Your Sexual Health is YOUR Responsibility!

Although parents, teachers, and partners may play a role in looking after your sexual health, at the end of the day it really is up to you. Your sexual health is not just about avoiding STIs and pregnancy – it is so much more than that…

You should feel happy and comfortable in your physical and sexual relationships

Sex should be something that people choose to do, when they are ready, and when they are aware of all the consequences (both physical and emotional).

Sex, and sexual relationships should be positive parts of your life. We must remember that there are some people who will never feel sexually attracted to anyone and that is also completely fine (please see our section of the different types of sexuality).

We are often asked, ‘when is the right time to have sex?’ There is no straightforward, single answer. It will be different for every person. No matter what type of sex you choose to have (oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex) it is really important that you can tick these 5 boxes every time:


Be Wiser

Know your options!

Are you using a method of protection that will prevent you from getting an STI or becoming pregnant? You can’t tell just by looking at someone if they have an STI – some have no symptoms at all, some may lie dormant for many weeks or months before becoming visible. Chances of STIs and/or pregnancy are greatly increased if unprotected sex happens. The only form of contraception which will prevent you from contracting an STI and/or becoming pregnant is using a condom.


For yourself

Feeling the pressure?

There can often be huge pressure placed on people to have sex. Some people may feel like everyone is having sex, and therefore they should be too. This is certainly not the case. Research suggests that people are not always honest when it comes to talking about their sexual activity. Some people exaggerate or lie in order to fit in or to feel ‘part of the group’. What you need to be sure of is that this is something that you genuinely want to do, and you are not putting pressure on yourself because everyone else is “doing it”.

No Regrets

Keep it positive!

Make the right choice

We all do things in our lives that we regret, and sometimes people can regret their decisions when it comes to sex. People should not regret who they have sex with, where they have sex, or how long they have had sex for. Having sex should be a good, pleasurable thing! That being said, it is a big decision. It’s not something that should “just happen” without thinking about it, because everyone else was doing it or because you got carried away. Sex should always be positive, and not something negative that you regret.


It takes two

There is a difference...

You need to be a willing participant in any acts. There can be no force, coercion, manipulation, blackmail or bribery. If any of these things occur, then the person is NOT a willing participant and this could be considered rape and/or sexual assault (please see section for support services if you feel that this may be an issue for you). Remember, just because the legal age of consent is 17 this does not mean that you are ready or that you have to have sex at age 17.


It's simple.

What are the signals?

It sounds basic, but you must enthusiastically consent to every single sexual act. Just because you have consented to one thing, say vaginal sex, this does NOT mean that you are consenting to another sex act, like anal sex. You need to get and give clear consent continuously when you are having sex (please see our section on consent for further info). Before having sex, you should be clear that you know how to give consent, how to ask for consent, and recognise when there is NO consent.

A handy way to remember it is Please Don’t Regret When you Come!

To have a healthy and fulfilling sexual life, you need to be able to tick these 5 boxes

It is also essential to be aware of your own, and your partner’s STI status. This means that you need to get regular STI checks, including every time you switch sexual partners, if you or your partner have sex with anyone else, or if you suspect that you partner may have had sex with someone else. For FREE and confidential STI checks in Galway visit…


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