What is sex?
Sex refers to all acts that can sexually arouse you. Sex is more than sexual intercourse. It also includes things such as kissing, caressing and oral sex. You can also have sex by yourself. This is called masturbation.
Sexuality is a central part of human life. It is a normal and positive way to express yourself. Sexuality involves not only sex but also other matters. For example: sexual pleasure and intimacy, anatomy and having children, as well as taboos and values on sexual orientation.
Reasons for having sex
You can have sex for various reasons. For instance, because you want to:
Different ways of having sex
You can have sex in many different ways:
You can have sex with someone else or by yourself (masturbation).
Sex is not only about the right techniques. It is also important to pay attention to the feelings and wishes of the other person, share intimacy and create the right atmosphere.
Sex can be different every time.
People’s sex lives can change during their lifetime. For example because their sexual desire changes. This is normal. Some people do not have sex for a shorter or longer period of time.
Different relationships and sex lives
People have many different kinds of relationship and sex lives. For example: some people have sex before marriage and others wait until afterwards. Some people only have 1 partner, others have several.
People of the same sex can also have sex with each other (homosexuality).
Each time you have sex you should give and obtain consent. Mutual consent means that both people want to have sexual contact. Both people can decide to stop at any moment.
Forcing someone to have sex is never OK.
In Belgium, the legal minimum age for sexual contact is 16 years. There is an exception. Between the ages of 14 and 16, you may consent to sexual acts provided that the difference in age to the other person is no more than three years and there is no relationship of authority or trust. The law is there to protect young people against sexual abuse.