1 Reationships Sex and Other Stuff a few things teenagers wi need to know about reationships, sex and other stuff!
2 Why do you need this book? When you are a teenager, you have more freedom than when you were a kid. You are on the road to becoming an adut. The aduts around you are beginning to trust you to ook after yoursef and to make your own way. More and more, you wi make decisions for yoursef about the things that are important to you. With this freedom comes responsibiity. What happens to your body and how you ook after it are ony part of the ride. You wi encounter many new situations and new ideas: there s sex, and ove, and how to keep feeing good about yoursef, and how to get on with peope. In this booket, we ve got together a heap of information so that you can read up on the important stuff. Remember too that there are aduts in your ife, ike your parents, teachers and schoo nurses, who be wiing to isten and hep you aong the way.
3 What s inside this fact book On the foowing pages, you wi find information about sex, ove and reationships. Friends and reationships Communication (friends, mood swings, sorting stuff out) see page 4 Like? Like a ot? Love! (ove, crushes, faing in and faing out) see page 5 Types of reationships (sexuaity, heterosexua, homosexua) see page 7 Sex Masturbation see page 9 Sexua feeings in reationships (kissing, reasons for physica invovement, pressure) see page 9 Sex and the aw (age of consent) see page 10 Decisions about sex (aternatives, is it right for you?) see page 11 Important things you need to know about sex (consent, sexua abuse, sexua assaut) see page 11 Getting pregnant Contraception (birth contro) see page 12 Conception (faing pregnant) see page 12 Being pregnant see page 14 Birth see page 15 After the birth see page 15 Concusion Friends and Reationships During puberty, you experience ots of changes. Some of these are physica. Many are emotiona. Each of you wi be traveing at a different rate aong the road to aduthood. Between the ages of 12 and 14, girs are often taer than boys, and their bodies may be deveoping into the women they are to become. By contrast boys, who wi go on to become we-proportioned, deep-voiced, muscuar aduts, may sti be short and skinny! It a sorts itsef out in the end, but in the beginning, there may be a mismatch of size and proportion amongst your friends that contributes to feeings that you no onger beong. In adoescence, you wi find that the interests of your friends start to vary too. For these reasons, someone you have known for a your primary schoo ife may suddeny become a stranger to you as things that never used to matter suddeny do. Everyone around you may start to have strong opinions about cothes, music, how you spend your free time, who you ike, what you re good at, what is coo and what is not. These opinions may not aways match your own. A these strong-minded, opinionated peope are marching in different ways on the road to aduthood. Each of you wi get there in your own way. In the end, the friends you stay cose to wi probaby be those with whom you share the same vaues, interests and concerns, and the same ways of enjoying your spare time. Sexua intercourse (safe sex, pregnancy, sexuay transmitted diseases) see page 10 Further information see page 16
4 Communication Being a teenager isn t aways hard. There are wonderfu freedoms associated with not having yet assumed a the responsibiities of aduthood. And there are many amazing things to discover and earn. But with a the changes taking pace in your ife, you are bound to experience the fu spectrum of mood swings: from confidence and exuberance, to oneiness and despair. This is a totay norma part of being a teenager. As we as your friends, you may find your reationships with different famiy members are changing too. Peope who you once got aong with may no onger seem as cose or as easy to be with as they once did. The best way to sort out compex situations is through communication. Saying things aoud is a way of sorting out the good, the bad and the confusing. Without tak, there can be no resoution. You may not find it easy to tak about how things are. But different peope wi be abe to hep you with different things. Try taking to someone who cares about you and who can support you to hep you become the person you want to be. This might be a trusted and respected adut or friend, or your doctor, or a schoo counseor. You can aways ca a teephone hepine, especiay if you are having probems taking to your famiy (see contact detais in the Further information section). Like? Like a ot? Love! As you become a sexua being, you may discover that the way you fee about different peope becomes more compex too. It is quite norma to suddeny experience strong feeings, or crushes, for certain peope. These feeings may remain deiciousy private and unexpressed. Or you may choose to express them to the person directy, or to confide in a friend. Speaking your feeings aoud puts you in a vunerabe space. If your feeings are not returned by the other person, you may fee exposed and rejected. Or, if they are reciprocated, you may find yoursef in an exciting new friendship or reationship. What if someone gets a crush on you? You may find that someone fees strongy about you but that you don t return these feeings. Try to treat this person with dignity and respect and privacy. Be honest and cear about your feeings. Wi someone ever ove me? You may fee as if everyone around you is faing in ove, or finding someone, except for you. It can be hard to be patient and wait your turn, even when, in a probabiity, you can be sure your turn wi come. There are many years ahead for these things to happen, even though you may want them to happen now. In the meantime, try to focus on those things which make you happy. Enjoy your own company. A happy, together person is the kind of person someone ese wi be attracted to.
5 Is it ove? What if my heart gets broken? Just as you have faen in ove, it is aso possibe for you, or the other person, to fa out of ove. Most peope fa in ove more than once before they find a ong-term partner who is ready to fuy share the emotiona journey of oving and being oved. Types of reationships From the moment you are born, you have different kinds of reationships and connections with those around you: parents, sibings, friends, aunts, unces, grandparents, teachers and roe modes. What is sexuaity? As you grow up, you begin to make choices and decisions about how you want to behave in the reationships that are important to you. As you deveop sexua feeings, you may aso fee ready to express your affection and ove through a sexua reationship. The feeing of faing in ove can be a wonderfu one. It can affect your seep, your appetite, your desire to do, or not do, different things. It can take over your whoe word. But sometimes we just ike someone a ot. How do you know if it is reay ove? You can ask: Do you both care about each other to the same degree? Do you have things in common, and enjoy simiar activities? Do you share simiar broad vaues (about famiy, moras, beiefs etc)? Do you encourage each other to pursue your own interests? Can you tak to each other about important things? Do you fee understood and heard? Do you understand and isten to your partner? When you are emotionay hurt, it is important to be kind to yoursef, and to distract yoursef with things that make you fee good. Try to tak to the peope around you who care about you. You may find perspective, consoation and usefu advice from hearing the heartbreak experiences of others. The nature of these bonds wi depend on the precise connection between you. It may invove dependence, responsibiity, equaity, respect, or a combination of any of these. From each of these bonds you wi earn by observation and practice: How other peope behave towards each other. How other peope behave towards you. How other peope expect you to behave. You aso receive many messages about human reationships from books, movies, TV and other media. The way peope express their sexua feeings is caed sexuaity. Different cutures view sexuaity differenty. Certain sexua practices and standards vary from country to country, reigion to reigion, and cuture to cuture.
6 What is heterosexuaity? The word heterosexua means a person who has emotiona and sexua feeings towards a person of the opposite sex. Heterosexua men are attracted to women and heterosexua women are attracted to men. What is homosexuaity? Peope who have sexua and romantic feeings towards peope of the same sex as themseves are homosexua. This means women are attracted to women, and men are attracted to men. Another word for homosexua is gay (used most often for men) and esbian (used for women). What is bisexuaity? The word bisexua is used to describe a person who is sexuay attracted to peope of either sex. Gender stereotypes Narrow, fixed expectations about being a mae or being a femae are caed gender stereotypes. For exampe, there are stereotypes about maes being tough and femaes being soft. In fact, most peope don t fit into gender stereotypes and there is enormous variation in gender roes. In adoescence, as peope deveop into mature maes and femaes, girs and boys who don t fit the stereotype are sometimes picked on by others. This can be very hurtfu. Remember, the differences between us a are what make humans wonderfu and unique. Homophobia Homophobia is fear or hostiity towards peope who are homosexua. Homophobia is sometimes expressed through buying or insuting peope who appear to be different, whether or not they are gay, esbian or bisexua. Any kind of buying is totay unacceptabe and a heathy sexuaity incudes toerance and understanding of peope who are different or who don t fit into stereotypes. Who can hep me work out what I am? It can sometimes be oney and confusing to fee attracted to peope of the same sex, or to have sexua feeings which seem to differ from those of everyone around you. Your confusion may be particuary hard to dea with whie you are sti defining who you are, and at a time when the opinions of others count for so much Remember that some of the other peope around you wi be going through the same stuff as you, you just may not know about it. And remember that communication and taking through things is the best way to become the person you want to be. Support and information about these kinds of questions is avaiabe from the Freedom Centre (see Further information section). As you become a sexua being, it is natura that you wi want to earn to use your new body. And as you do, you wi discover what you ike, what makes you fee good, satisfied, happy and safe. Sexuaity Masturbation One way that peope express and expore their sexua feeings is by masturbation. Girs may touch their citoris. Boys may touch their penis. Some peope don t masturbate at a, or hardy ever. Other peope masturbate more often. When a person is masturbating, they become more and more sexuay excited. They may then reach a peak of sexua excitement which is caed having an orgasm, or coming. In this moment, a the tension and excitement that has buit up is suddeny reeased. Boys ejacuate when they have an orgasm and their penis then goes imp. For many peope, masturbation is often their first sexua experience. So ong as it does not hurt you or anyone ese, and is done in private, masturbation is norma and heathy. Sexua feeings in reationships When you are sexuay attracted to someone ese, and they are attracted to you, you wi usuay reach a point where this attraction is expressed physicay. For exampe, you may kiss and cudde and hod hands, or you may fee each other s bodies through or beneath your cothes, or stroke or touch each other s genitas. Peope who are physicay attracted may eventuay decide to have sexua intercourse. However, there are ots of ways to be sexua together that do not invove sexua intercourse. It is wise to deveop a ongterm trusting reationship and abstain from sex unti you are both sure you are ready for it. How do I earn how to kiss? When you are with someone you ike a ot, kissing is fun. You may wonder how you are going to know what to do, but don t worry: you wi work it out together, and improve with practice. Keep the ines of communication open Sex and ove are not the same thing. It is possibe to have strong feeings of ove and affection for someone and not want to get sexuay invoved with them. And the opposite is aso true: it is possibe to be physicay invoved with someone in a sexua way, without ove being a part of it at a. You may be sexuay invoved with someone out of curiosity, or because you think it wi make you fee good, or bring you coser to the other person. When you are physicay sexuay invoved with someone, it is important that you tak to the other person about what you are doing together. Sexua invovement with someone ese can change how you fee about them and about yoursef. Make sure that they fee happy and comfortabe, and that you te them if you fee uncomfortabe or unhappy with the eve of physica invovement. If you fee under any sort of pressure, then it is important to stop what you are doing.
7 Sexua intercourse During heterosexua intercourse, a mae s erect penis goes inside a femae s vagina. This is often caed having sex or making ove. For many peope, making ove can be enjoyabe and fufiing. For some peope, it may be the way they can most show their ove for each other. The dangers of unsafe sex Sex may be enjoyabe but there can be serious, ife-atering consequences if you do not have safe sex. 1. A gir can become pregnant from having unprotected sex. 2. Both boys and girs can catch serious sexuay transmitted infections (diseases) if they have unsafe sexua intercourse with a person who aready has an infection. These infections incude: chamydia gonorrhoea syphiis HIV (the virus which causes AIDS). Asking someone if they are free from infection is not enough. The person carrying the infection cannot aways te if they have got it. Sex and the aw Just because you want to have sex does not mean you can. In Austraia, it is against the aw to have sex - either heterosexua or homosexua - if either partner is under 16 years of age. This is the case regardess of whether both of you consent. For further information about what is ega and what is not, see Important things to know about sex. Decisions about sex Decisions about sex Is sex right for you? Sex may not be right for you just because everyone around you is doing it, or because you think you shoud. If you have sex because you are pressured, drunk, or curious, you may regret it ater. It is good to have a cear sense of what you want before you go beyond your comfort zone. When to have sex is one of the very important decisions in your ife. Don t be in a hurry to make this decision. There is nothing wrong with taking your time and saying no to things that make you fee uncomfortabe or unsure. You may find it heps to tak with a parent or a trusted adut. You may fee happy expressing your affection for someone just by kissing, cudding and caressing. It is quite norma for coupes to enjoy this kind of coseness and affection ong before they are ready for intercourse. Remember, ife is ong! The best sex wi be the sex where both partners are equay ready. Some things to think about if you are considering having sex: Am I doing this because it s what I want? If your partner is constanty trying to encourage you to have sex, you need to think about whether he or she reay cares for, or is truy istening to you. The risk of sexuay transmitted infections. Is sex going to be safe? Have you got condoms? The risk of pregnancy. Is sex going to be safe? Have you got condoms? Do you need to use other forms of contraception? (Aso see Getting Pregnant). Important things to know about sex Remember, in Austraia it is against the aw to have sex - either heterosexua or homosexua - if either person is under 16 years of age. It is against the aw to force anyone to have sex against their wishes. This incudes any kind of sexua touching, or ooking at sexua pictures. It is against the aw to give peope acoho or drugs to get them drunk or drugged so they have sex. Peope have every right to change their mind about sex hafway through and choose not to continue even though they agreed at the start. Forcing someone to have sex or to do sexua things against their wi is caed sexua abuse or sexua assaut. If this happens to you, te a parent, teacher, counseor, schoo nurse or other trusted adut
8 Getting Pregnant When a penis enters a vagina during intercourse, it is possibe for the gir to get pregnant. This is the case even if: She has not had her first period. The boy withdraws his penis from her vagina before ejacuating. The gir is having her period. It is the first time she has had sexua intercourse. Missed periods The first sign a gir may be pregnant is when her period doesn t come when she expects it to. If this happens, it is very important to see a doctor or tak to an adut as soon as possibe. Contraception (birth contro) The safest and surest way to prevent a pregnancy during sexua intercourse is to use contraception. If you decide to have sex, it is very important to tak together about what you might choose for contraception and then to use it when you have sex. The responsibiity for contraception ought to be shared equay. Options for boys incude condoms, which hep prevent sexuay transmitted infections during sex. Options for girs incude the contraceptive pi, which must be taken each day and is avaiabe by prescription from a doctor. No contraceptive method can be 100% guaranteed. It is therefore important to be informed about the range of contraception avaiabe and to weigh up the risks attached to each one. The human body is sophisticated, and geared towards reproduction. For contraception to be effective, it must be used in the way it is intended. Conception (faing pregnant) Around 14 days before a gir s period is due, her ovaries reease an egg. This point of the menstrua cyce is caed ovuation. Ovuation is the idea time for a pregnancy to occur if a man and woman have unprotected penis-tovagina intercourse. During sex, when a man ejacuates (comes, reaches cimax, orgasms) inside a woman s vagina, about one teaspoon of semen - containing miions of sperm - is reeased into the vagina. The sperm swim into the uterus and faopian tubes. If just one sperm impants itsef into the reeased egg, fertiisation occurs. If the fertiised egg impants in the wa of the uterus, conception occurs and a new human ife begins. The above conditions are idea for conception. But it is quite possibe for a woman to fa pregnant even if: Sex occurs at another time in the menstrua cyce. The man has not ejacuated (this is because sperm is aso present in the pre-cum, the cear fuid reeased from the penis prior to ejacuation). Any semen, incuding pre-cum, is deposited in or just outside the vagina. She has not had an orgasm during intercourse
9 Being pregnant How does someone know if they are pregnant? An egg that has been successfuy fertiised by a sperm remains in the ining of the uterus. Rather than being shed, this ining stays to nourish the egg. Therefore, the woman does not have her usua period. A missed period can be the first sign of pregnancy. Because pregnancy dates from the time of the ast period, a woman might be four, five, six or more weeks pregnant before she reaises it. She may not experience other physica symptoms (such as fatigue, nausea and breast tenderness) unti a itte ater. Decisions about pregnancy Deciding to get pregnant is perhaps the most important decision a coupe can make. An unexpected, unpanned pregnancy paces enormous pressure and anxiety on the coupe invoved. If someone discovers they are unexpectedy pregnant, it is important to seek hep as quicky as possibe. They wi need to tak to peope cose to them and/or heath professionas who can advise them of the fu range of options, considerations and choices. What happens during pregnancy? It takes 40 weeks (approximatey 280 days, or 9 months) for a baby to be ready to eave its mother s womb. During this time it remains in its mother s uterus, protected by a watery sac and nourished by a pacenta. During the first 8 weeks the baby is caed an embryo. After that, it is caed a foetus. The pacenta, attached to the inner wa of the uterus, deveops with and nourishes the baby. The pacenta is aso attached to the foetus, by the umbiica cord. A the oxygen and nourishment the foetus needs comes through this cord. The umbiica cord aso carries waste products away from the foetus. Waste products are returned to the woman s circuatory system and are passed out through her ungs and kidneys as part of her norma body functions. During the pregnancy, the woman s circuatory system is separate from the bood system of the foetus. But even so, everything she does during this time can have a direct impact on the webeing of the baby. During pregnancy, it is very important for the mother to Eat heathy food. Not misuse acoho or drugs. Birth The baby is born about 40 weeks after the ast period. The average newborn baby is about cm ong and weighs between 3 and 4 kios. Once the baby has been born, the doctor or midwife ties or camps the umbiica cord and cuts it about 5cm from the baby s tummy. The short piece eft attached to the baby dries up and usuay drops off within a few days. The pace where it was attached heas and becomes the nave (umbiicus, or beybutton). After the Birth A newborn baby is uttery hepess and dependent on those responsibe for it, a day, every day. It needs parents and carers who wi ove it and put its needs before their own for many years
10 Concusion Adoescence is a time of many changes. During this time, you wi fee happiest and grow to your fu potentia if you remain true to yoursef and true to your own persona goas and desires. Don t forget that there are peope around who care for you and who wi be wiing to offer you advice or counse. You make it through adoescence one way or another, but you don t have to do the hard bits aone if you don t want to. Origina cartoons by Georgia Richter 16 17
11 Further information If you have any sort of probem you want to tak about confidentiay with a trained counseor Kids Hep Line - (24 hours) A great site with ots of answers for 10 to 12 year ods, especiay about puberty The Hormone Factory A good site for teenagers Queensand Heath Youth Site A good site for sexuaity education For genera heath information HeathInfo Free pamphets and information For information about sexua heath and contraception Sexua Heath Hepine - (08) Country caers If you have been sexuay abused or assauted Sexua Assaut Resource Centre (24 hours) (08) Country caers The Freedom Centre provides information for young peope who are questioning their sexuaity. (08) Department of Heath, 2007 HP10369 JULY