R U Ready
Q: When talking about sex people say “wait until you are ready”, but what does that really mean? A: Some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide include Does this feel right? Am I respected, valued, cared for by my partner? Do I respect, value, care for my partner? Will I get hurt, feel used, let down or ashamed? Am I using the other person? What do I want from this relationship? Can we talk about contraception and safer sex before we do it? Feeling under pressure? For some people it is really easy to be pressurised into doing things they don’t really want to do. This is even more so when we are young and perhaps have not had much practice at saying no. Some of the ways people may try to pressure you into having sex include: “All our mates do it” “If you don’t say yes I will have to go out with someone else” “I really love you, is there something wrong with you?” “If you really loved me you would do it” “I can’t cope with getting so frustrated” “You don’t have to worry, I’ll be careful” Feeling good about yourself can make you more confident to say no, or be happy that you are making the right decision.
Some things you need to think about before you have sex: Why are you going to have sex? Are you doing it because you feel pressured? Are you doing it because your friends have?
Are you doing it because you are bored in your relationship?
Are you under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
Do you think that your relationship will end if you say no? Are you over 16 considering having sex without someone younger than you? That is illegal. Have you thought about contraception? Do you know how to use a condom?
Have you talked with your partner about using condoms?
Are you aware of sexually transmitted infections?
Have you thought about what would happen if you got pregnant?
Could you say no confidently if you changed your mind mid-way through? If you can tick “yes” for any of the statements in red or tick “no” for any in black, it’s probably best to say ‘No’
REMEMBER, you have the right to say NO.
Want to say “NO”? What is stopping you?
What do you have to gain?
Fear of losing their love
Not feeling responsible for others or the situation
Fear of rejection Exhaustion
Hurting someone else’s feelings Embarrassment
Avoiding an argument
Fear of being viewed as incompetent Lack of confidence/ assertiveness Lack of self worth
More time for yourself
Others become aware of your boundaries Others will respect you
Build your own self respect Feel less ‘used’
Won’t feel angry with yourself Won’t beat yourself up Greater self respect
Boost your confidence
Increase your assertiveness
Finding out if they really care
DON’T have sex until you’re about you absolutely sure it’s what you want. Ditch partners who try to pressurize you or insult you. Don’t believe every one who says they have ‘done it’.
If you have any doubts, or think you’ll regret it, then wait. Try to make sure your first experience is as good as possible. Good or bad, you will remember it for the rest of your lives.
Confide in Dear Childline,
My boyfriend keeps asking me to have sex with him. I do not feel ready and feel pressurised to do it. I am only 15 and all my friends have already had sex and tell me it’s the right thing to do. What should I do? I do not want him to stop liking me. High School Musical Fan Dear High School Musical Fan, If he really likes you, for who you are, he would wait until you are ready. Sex is an emotional experience and should not be exploited. Your friends should understand that you are not ready and should talk to you about it, not pressurise. If you need an honest person to talk to call Childline on 8008 between 6pm-10pm. You can also speak to a Nurse Practitioner or a School Nurse at the Primary Care Centre, Monday to Friday between 8am-5pm. You can make an appointment by phoning 20072945. If you do decide to become sexually involved with this boy, remember to always use contraception, preferably a condom, as it protects you from most STIs, and consult a doctor or a trusted adult. If your religious beliefs teach against the use of contraception or you are not sure if they do, you may want to speak to a relevant adult or call Childline on 8008.
Also known as “hard-ons” and “stiffies”, boys will begin to experience erections as soon as they start to mature sexually. It can occur at quite a young age and even happens in some infants, although for different reasons. This functional, yet sometimes embarrassing experience, heralds the start of a boy’s life as a fertile adult. Erections are caused when blood flows to the penis. It builds up inside it causing pressure. Inside the penis are cavernous spaces that fill up with blood and cause swelling. The swelling, caused by this extra blood, blocks off the veins that normally take blood away from the penis. When this happens, the blood pressure inside the penis rises dramatically and it enlarges and stiffens, pointing upwards. As an erection disappears, the arteries in the penis narrow again. Then the veins open, removing the blood again and the flow returns to normal.
I like my girlfriend and I want to have sex with her, but she doesn’t want to. How can I make her see that she can trust me? Hockey Fan Dear Hockey Fan, Putting pressure on someone to have sex could ruin what might have been a beautiful relationship. And you don’t have to have sex with everyone you go out with. Enjoy the relationship you have now and keep building it. You must respect her feelings now. Then when she is ready you can both enjoy it more. Childline
Males an Females 1. Growth of pubic hair 2. Increased body odour and greasy skin 3. Spotty faces and visible blackheads 4. Growing pains as joints may become sore 5. Easily aroused; sexual orientation 6. Hormonal changes
Males 1. Voice deepens 2. Increase of sperm production (fertile) 3. Testicular growth 4. Body shape changes: greater skeletal muscle 5. Growth of body and facial hair
Females 1. Menstrual cycle (fertile) 2. High emotional and mood changes 3. Breast development; sore nipples 4. Body shape changes; hips widen 5. Greater vaginal secretion
Periods Explained Periods are a normal part of a woman’s life from around the age of 10-14 until about 50. This regular monthly bleeding is the most noticeable sign of a woman’s menstrual cycle, but it is not the only sign. Getting to know the other physical signs of your cycle can help you become more familiar with your own changing levels of fertility. A cycle begins on the first day of bleeding and continues up to, but not including, the first day of the next period. Women’s cycles range from 21 to 40 days or more, with and average of around 28 days. The length of a woman’s cycle may change a little or a lot from month to month. Bleeding (menstruation) can last from 1 to 8 days, with the average being 4 to 5 days. The amount of blood a woman loses during her period tends to remain the same from once cycle to the next, but some women notice a change over time.
& A Q
Interesting Facts . . .
Puberty occurs later in children raised at higher altitudes. Obesity can cause earlier breast development and menstruation before the age of 12 years old. Each sperm takes 60 to 72 days to develop. Calcium deficiency can cause irregular and painful cramping during your periods. Most men have erections every hour to hour and a half during sleep. During the 1840s the onset of puberty was at the age of 17 years, but nowadays the average age is 9-13 for girls and 11-15 for boys.
WHAT IS CHILDLINE?
Childline is a Free Helpline Service for you to phone. Need to talk to someone? Childline is here to listen.
WHAT CAN I TALK TO CHILDLINE ABOUT?
At the top we have the question bubbles which you need to match up with the answers below. Let’s see how many bubbles you can match up!
You can talk to us about ANY worries or problems you have, big or small. We will listen to you and help you find ways of dealing with it.
What exactly happen s during an ejaculation ?
WHEN CAN I PHONE CHILDLINE? You can phone Childline every single day of the year on your mobile, landline or a payphone between 6pm and 10pm (before and after this time an answer message will play, reminding you of our opening times). Remember that it is free to phone us.
Childline Crossword Answers:
Here are the answers to last edition’s crossword competition F P P
Name chang three phys ical es in boy puber s during ty.
The bridge between being a kid and becoming an adult. As you cross this bridge, your body and your feelings change a lot. You may also feel differently about your family, friends and classmates — and view the things that they do in a whole new way.
S E D
ier; Become curv reast spotty skin; b t. developmen
What is puberty?
physical Name three irls changes in g rty. during pube
of body Growth ulders hair; sho oice ;v broaden s deepen
The first sign that they are going thro ugh puberty, ejacul ation is the release of sem en and may occur be cause of self-stimulatio n or been involuntarily w hile a boy is sleeping. This is called a “wet dream” an d it is very normal for this to happen .
Published on Jan 26, 2009
The Gibraltar branch of Childline's local magazine which reaches children and teenagers and helps to answer their questions. Childline is a...