Updated: Oct 4, 2019
There are so many stories around sex, it’s hard to know what to believe. Find out the facts - it's the best way to make sure you have safer sex. If you don't take the necessary precautions while having sex, you are making yourself prone to sexually transmitted infections. Below, you will find general tips for practising safer sex.
Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?
Yes, pregnancy is possible even if it is the first time a girl has had sex. The truth is, if a boy and a girl have sex and don’t use contraception, she can get pregnant, whether it’s her first time or she has had sex lots of times.
If you’re female and have sex, you can get pregnant as soon as you start ovulating (releasing eggs). This happens before you have your first period. Using condoms as well also protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Before you have sex, talk to your partner about contraception, and make sure you’ve got some.
Does alcohol make you better in bed?
No, alcohol does not make you better in bed. The truth is, when you’re drunk it’s hard to make smart decisions. Alcohol can make you take risks, such as having sex before you’re ready, or having sex with someone you don't like. Drinking won't make the experience better. You’re more likely to regret having sex if you do it when you’re drunk.
Will a boy's balls explode if he doesn't have sex?
No, this is not true. Not having sex doesn't harm boys or girls, and a boy’s balls will not explode.
Can you wash condoms and use them again?
No, condoms should only be used once. Don't believe anyone who says that you can wash condoms and use them again. If you've used a condom, throw it away and use a new one if you have sex again.
Do you always get symptoms if you have an STI?
No, you might not know if you have an STI due to signs such as it hurting when you pee, or noticing a discharge, unusual smell or soreness.
Can women who have sex with women get STIs?
Yes, women who sleep with women can get or pass on STIs. If a woman has an STI, the infection can be passed on through vaginal fluid (including fluid on shared sex toys), blood or close bodily contact.
Do all gay men have anal sex?
No, this isn't true. Anal sex, like any sexual activity, is a matter of preference. Some people choose to do it as part of their sex life and some don’t, whether they're gay, straight, lesbian or bisexual.
Does starting her periods mean a girl is ready to have sex?
No, this isn't true. Starting your periods means that you're growing up, and that you could get pregnant if you were to have sex. It doesn’t mean that you're ready to have sex, or that you should be sexually active.
Can I get help and information on sex if I need it?
If you want to talk to someone in confidence, you can call the national sexual health helpline on 0300 123 7123.
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