Kinds of sex
Sex often starts by caressing, cuddling, kissing and stimulating each other’s erogenous zones (foreplay). When both partners are aroused, they may want to have sexual intercourse.
Vaginal sex (vaginal sexual intercourse) is sex with penetration of the woman’s vagina with a hard penis.
You can have vaginal sex in different ways:
- You can vary the position: lying down, sitting, standing or crouching, the man on top, the woman on top or the man behind the woman.
- You can vary the speed, rhythm and intensity of the movements.
You can also have vaginal sex using objects, like a dildo or a vibrator (sex toys).
A woman can get pregnant through vaginal sex if she and her partner do not use a condom or other methods of contraception.
You can infect your partner with an STI through vaginal sex. A condom reduces the risk of getting an STI.
Oral sex means stimulating the erogenous zones on your partner’s body with your mouth, lips and tongue.
- Oral sex with a woman: the partner licks, sucks, nibbles or gently bites the woman’s sexual organs. The clitoris, especially, is very sensitive.
- Oral sex with a man: the partner uses his/her mouth, tongue and lips to stimulate the man’s penis and scrotum.
You can also stimulate your partner’s nipples or anus with your tongue.
There is a small risk of infecting your partner with an STI, or getting an STI from him/her, through oral sex:
- Do not give oral sex when you have blisters, sores or lesions in or around your mouth.
- Avoid getting vaginal discharge, blood or semen in your mouth and do not swallow.
- Place a dental dam over the sexual organs to better protect yourself. You can also cut open a condom instead of using a dental dam.
Anal sex (anal sexual intercourse) is sex with penetration of someone’s anus with a hard penis. A man or woman can also penetrate the anus with a finger or caress it.
You can infect your partner with an STI through anal sex:
- Use a condom. Use a new condom if you want to have vaginal sex or oral sex as well.
- Use lots of lubricant. Use a water-based or silicone lubricant. Do not use oil or cream, as the condom might tear.
Masturbation means giving yourself sexual pleasure by stimulating your own body, especially the vagina, clitoris, penis, nipples or anus, with your hands or a sex toy. Partners can also masturbate each other.
Talking with your partner
You can have sex in different ways. Not everyone wants sex in the same way. Talk about it with your partner and try to find what you both like.