ASK JILL

Questions for Jill

How do I know if I am ready for sex ?

If you ask yourself, do I want to have sex ? Do I like, love , trust, care for, and respect the other person? If you say no to any of these think about why you are considering having sex . If it's easier to have sex than to say no, or you are afraid you will lose your girlfriend or boyfriend if you don't have sex, the chances are you might regret it later on. It might help to talk this over with somone you trust. If you have any doubts at all you might be better waiting until you are sure.

If I go to the clinic and get condoms will they tell my Mum?

No they won't tell your mum, or anyone else for that matter. In Scotland you have a right to confidentiality even if you are under sixteen, as long as you are not in harm or harming others. If it was thought that you or someone else was at serious risk, the staff would discuss the situation with you and in certain situations they might need to pass some information on. Where possible this will happen with your knowledge and permission.

Does it hurt when a boy puts his penis in you?

Sex shouldn't normally be painful, but if you're not ready or you're very tense, there is a chance it could hurt. That's one reason why it's best to wait until you're sure you're ready and you really want to do it.

I have small tits. Will I ever get a boyfriend?

Yes you will, if you want one. No matter what they say to each other, boys like all kinds and shapes of girls. And boys are interested in your personality, too. Remember each of us is unique and that means no two people are the same, so no two people will be attracted to exactly the same thing. It's important that you feel good about yourself and who you are. If a boy is interested in you just because you have big tits, would you really want to go out with him anyway? You deserve more than that.

My boyfriend has said that if I really love him I wouldn't make him wear a condom. What do you think?

If you want to have sex and avoid sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy then using a condom is the only way to do this. Looking after your own health and your boyfriend's health is a sign that you care about yourself and him. We each need to take responsibility for our own health and insisting on using condoms is your right. You may want to think about whether someone who doesn't respect your rights really loves you and whether you want to be in a relationship with them.

I recently had sex with my partner for the first time. We talked about it beforehand, we used condoms , and both wanted to do it. It wasn't bad but I've decided I don't want to do it again for a while. Do you think my partner will understand?

A relationship is a two way process. It sounds like you already have a good relationship as you were both able to talk about sex and plan for it. Starting a sexual relationship isn't easy and it can take a while for both partners to figure out what they really want. If the earth didn't move the first time, don't panic. No two sexual experiences are the same. Good sex is about having fun and learning what you both like. A good lover is not just someone who knows what to do, but what to ask too.

Is it really true that girls are only interested in loving relationships and boys would much rather just have sex ?

In a word, no! Some girls want loving relationships , but so do some boys. Some boys just want sex , but so do some girls. Boys can feel pressure to always be 'up for it' and brag about sex . Girls can find it hard to say they just want sex because they might be called a slut or a tart . This means some boys make up stories to appear cool, and some girls say they are virgins even if they aren't. Boys and girls can and do feel the same about a lot of this. Remember. Be Safe. Be Sure. Be Yourself.

What would you do if you had sex and the condom burst?

If you have any kind of unsafe vaginal sex (eg you didn't use a condom , or it split or came off during sex ) there's a risk that you or your partner could become pregnant . You can get free emergency-contraception from sexual health services, some local chemists, your GP, and A&E departments at hospitals. As well as pregnancy you need to think about STIs . If you think you have been at risk you should get a sexual health check up. See 'sex info in your area' page for details of local clinics.

What is emergency-contraception and where do I get it?

Emergency Contraception is designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex . It can be taken up to 3 days after the unsafe sex has happened. The sooner you take it the more effective it is. You can get it from some chemists, A+E, sexual health clinics, or your GP. If it's more than 3 days since the unprotected sex and less than 5 you may have a coil fitted. A coil can only be fitted at a sexual health clinic or by some doctors. See "Sex info in your area" page for local details.

What is an STI ?

STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. These are infections passed on through sexual contact with others. Some examples of STIs are crabs, chlamydia, and syphilis. There are many more. Some STIs don't have symptoms. This means people have them and don't know. They are then passed onto others without anyone realising. The good news is that most STIs are easily treated. If you have been at risk go for a sexual health check up. Use the 'sex info in your area' page to find local clinics.

What is safer sex and how do I do it?

Safer sex is protecting you and your partner from STIs by making sex as safe as possible. For safer sex always use a condom when having vaginal or anal sex . Using water based lubricant can make sex more comfortable and reduce the risk of condoms breaking during sex . Sex isn't just about shagging . Kissing, hugging, stroking, massaging , and wanking can all be enjoyable and are safer too. Talking about sex before you do it is safe. That way you both agree what you do and don't want to happen.