Staying safe online
Social media and internet is great. It lets us meet new people and show others the best version of ourselves. Sounds fun, right? But it’s easy to create a fake profile online. Think how much you would want strangers to know about you and your location when posting or chatting. If someone tries to get you to flash on a webcam or send naked images; no matter how nicely they ask, shout, beg, compliment or insult you this is not acceptable. If you are under 18 then they are breaking the law.
Sex & The Law
Sex and relationships can be pleasurable and healthy. But sometimes people are forced into doing things they don’t want to. This can be much more subtle than violence or threatening behaviour. So it’s important for everyone to understand what consensual sex is and isn’t. There are laws around sex which take into account age and consent. These are there to try and protect people. If you think you have been forced into doing something you did not want to do; then take a look at our sexual assault section or contact us directly.
Alcohol, Drugs & Sex
Alcohol and drugs can make you feel invincible. Doing things in the moment without thinking it through isn’t usually a recipe for success. We can find ourselves in dangerous situations; become physically and emotionally vulnerable through sexual activity with people we hardly know or performing sex acts we would usually have refused. Basically, when alcohol or drugs are involved, we are more likely to have sex sooner, with more people and not use condoms or contraception. This doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves. Sexual health clinics will ask you about drug and alcohol use and give you advice on reducing it. If you are worried about the amount or how often you take this then speak to someone.
What is Porn? One definition is that it is explicit videos, photographs, writings that are used to produce sexual arousal. Sounds simple; but it’s worth noting that porn can have serious effects on ability to enjoy real life relationships, sex and self-confidence. The sex you see in porn is not real, it’s a fantasy and the more you watch porn and all its weird forms, the more you will programme your brain into thinking it is normal. This can lead to unrealistic expectations for yourself and partners. Sex should involve respect and feeling comfortable with yourself, the other person and you both being happy with the sex acts. Most importantly, porn suggests that people want to have sex all the time or that they are just objects to have sex with; particularly women. If you are worried about your porn use then think about limiting your use and introduce other activities into your time.
Selfies & Sexting
Sending sexual messages and pictures of yourself can be a normal part of exploring and expressing sexuality. It can be good fun flirting with someone you like; unless you feel pressurised to send those images or messages. There can be a lot of pressure to pose in specific ways; particularly for girls. This often comes from porn. Sending nude selfies, even to someone you trust, can be fun at the time but can you be 100% certain that they won’t be seen by anyone else or leaked onto the internet if you break up. If you are sending selfies, think about how to make yourself less identifiable. Don’t show your face or any other identifiable features. If you are worried about this, speak to someone you trust and check out these links.
There are lots of ways that people can be bullied; name calling, physical abuse, damage to belongings, spreading rumours, being excluded, sending messages or images, any behaviour that tries to threaten you. Basically what someone does to make you feel in control of yourself. If we are being bullied it can be very difficult to know where to go or who to turn to for help making the behaviour stop or help with your feelings. There are options and services that can help. See the link for more information.