Sex and relationships can sometimes seem complicated and give you a lot to think about. That's why we have advice and frequently asked questions on how to have safe sex, deciding if you’re ready for sex and what consent means, coming out, gender identity, healthy relationships, and communicating with children. We also have a page on rape and sexual assault with support and signposting on what to do and who can help.
In this section
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For many, safer sex is the practice of protecting yourself and your partners from a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or an unintended pregnancy.
However, safer sex is also about having a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life without fear, stigma, or shame. Having open discussions with your partner (s) about the sex you might want can help you both have a healthy and happy sex life. It’s your sexual wellbeing so don’t be scared to advocate for your needs and explore those of your partner (s).
Having sex for the first time
Having sex for the first time can feel like a big deal for a number of reasons. If you’re between the ages of 16-20, you probably feel like everyone else is doing it but you. In reality, only 1 in 3 people of your age group has had sex.
Sex and consent
Consent is giving clear permission for sex or any intimate activity to happen and being comfortable to do so. You should never assume that someone is giving consent - you have to be sure. Sex should always be a choice and you should never feel pressured into saying yes.
We’re all attracted to different people and this isn’t something we can control. Some people are attracted to people of a different gender, the same gender or both. There are lots of different sexual preferences so don’t worry about fitting into a type of sexuality or being different.
Trans and identity
Trans as an umbrella term that we use to refer to people whose identity differs from the sex they were given at birth. People are more complicated than the two traditional gender categories of male and female suggest.
Making your relationship stronger
Healthy relationships are an important part of our overall wellbeing. They are about respecting, not resenting each other, compromise and giving each other the space you need.
Communicating with your children
When children grow up, they become vulnerable to getting hurt as they explore their feelings. This can lead to challenging behaviour for parents to manage.
Rape and sexual assault
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, it’s important that you are seen as soon as possible for physical and/or emotional support. This is not your fault and you are not alone. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, class or background. There are lots of people and organisations that can help you.
If you’re under 25, you can get lots of information and advice at Brook covering everything from sexuality to relationships and from gender identity to staying safe online. The BBC also have a great online area on sex & relationships including information on porn, virginity, dumping your boyfriend or girlfriend, age difference and online relationships.