Skip to main content

Sex and sexual practice

Sex is surrounded by myths and confusion, so make sure you get the facts from a trustworthy place. NHS Choices is a great place to start and has lots of sexual health related stuff.

You can have sex:

  • on your own (called masturbating)
  • with a partner of the same sex
  • with a partner of the opposite sex

or choose not to have it at all.

More than just sex

When you’re growing up sexual health involves exploring not just your sexuality, sexual orientation and developing a sense of self, it also involves looking after your physical health, such as cleanliness and hygiene.

Taking control of your sexual health is empowering and great for your self-esteem. You need to think about:

  • using contraception to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies
  • going for check-ups at clinics when you need to
  • seeking help and advice if you’re unsure about anything.

Local sexual health clinics such as Bradford and Airedale Sexual Health (BASH) can offer help and advice.

Brook is a great charity for young people that has all the facts about staying safe, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and contraception, and a ton of other stuff. It’s free and confidential too.

How many sexual partners is OK?

Most people stick to one partner. Others have a few or more. Having many sexual partners and unprotected sex can be signs of emotional problems. If this is the case for you or someone you know, you should speak to someone you trust, contact your GP or BASH.

Top tips for staying safe

There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings when it comes to information about sex. NHS Choices is a great website for finding out reliable facts.

As well as thinking about contraception, you need to be aware of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using a condom every time you have sex is the only sure way of protecting against them.

Sex sholdn't be used as a way to cope with your other problems. If you think it might be for you, don’t be hard on yourself – get help from someone you trust.

More information and support

Struggling to get your head round what all the words associated with sex really mean? The BBC has lots of easy to understand information on its website as does the charity Avert.

The Site includes a question and answer section, expert chats and true stories all about sex.

Need urgent help?


Talk to someone