Some help with possible answers to those difficult sex education questions from students.


Young people come out with the funniest things-  just see here from FPA about cringe questions in honour of sexual health week!

I thought it would be timely to blog some possible answers to difficult questions but remember these are “generic stock answers” that I might use with older secondary students- you will want to tailor your answers to the young person asking the question but thought these may help as a guide if you are completely flummoxed.

Students will often ask “How do gay people have sex”.  My stock answer is “the same as everyone else- sex is usually about being close to someone you care about and expressing those feelings using your body, you can do that in many different ways and are not specific to a particular sexual orientation.” (if appropriate we may list all the different types of sexual activity and then try and allocate a sexual orientation to each one- students soon realise sexual activities are not specific to your sexual orientation!)

“What does semen taste like?”-  How it tastes can often depend on what the male has been eating,  some people might say it tastes a bit salty. Remember semen can carry sexually transmitted infections and you should use condoms for oral sex.

“Why are condoms flavoured?”- because they can be used for oral sex. Make sure you always check for British safety kitemark as those curry flavoured glow in dark rib tickler comedy condoms brought in the cinema toilets for a joke may not actually be safe to use!

“Why do people have anal sex?”- usually it’s because they enjoy it or want to try it. Although porn may make it seem that way- not everyone has or likes anal sex. Remember the anus does not produce any natural lubrication and therefore small tears or bleeding may occur if there isn’t sufficient additional lubrication. This is why anal sex can be a more risky activity for transmitting sexually transmitted diseases and you should always use a condom.  Never let anyone pressure you into having anal sex if you don’t want it (may lead onto discussion about sexual pressure, coercion, so maybe useful to have helpline numbers ready).

“can you get pregnant if you have anal sex?” In order to get pregnant a sperm needs to fertilise an egg in the fallopian tube and travel down the tube into the womb where it implants.  During unprotected penis in vagina sex- sperm is usually deposited at the cervix (neck of the womb) where it will swim up to the fallopian tube to see if there is an egg present.  This all happens in the reproductive tract.  In anal sex the penis is inserted into the anus which is part of the digestive tract.  The reproductive and digestive systems are separate and different. However if you have unprotected anal sex (no condom) with a female there is a possibility that semen deposited in the anus could dribble out and be around the vulva (external female genitals) and there is a possibility that sperm could swim up the vagina and still fertilise an egg.  It would be unlikely but it is not impossible.

“What will happen if you have sex under 16?”- sex under the age of 16 is illegal. If found out there could be consequences including being put on the sex offenders register or even jailtime.  Under the age of 13 legally it is deemed you cannot consent to sex and therefore the police would take this extremely seriously. Between the ages of 13-16 it is a bit of a grey area and will depend on several things- the age differential (are you and your partner close in age eg. two 15year olds may not be prosecuted but a 25year old having sex with a 13 year old is more likely to be prosecuted.) and whether there was any co-ercion or abuse within the situation.   I do know of a case where two 15 year olds were having sex (and both happy and consenting) but mother of the 15year old girl pushed for a prosecution which although the police were reluctant to proceed with it did eventually go to court and the boy in the relationship ended up on the sex offenders register.

Are there any other questions you often get in sex education lessons and need help answering? Feel free to comment or tweet me and I will do my best to answer!

3 thoughts on “Some help with possible answers to those difficult sex education questions from students.

  1. Pingback: Asking and answering questions | sexedukation

  2. Presumably it depends on how the two children were portrayed in court, but I wonder why the girl in the relationship did not end up on the sex offenders register? Surely in principle she was as much having sex with a minor as he was? I suppose in this case the argument pushed for by the mother was about the girl’s inability to consent or something. All very complex.

    • Yes indeed that’s exactly what I think. Unfortunately I don’t know any more details than that (was from a police colleague) but would love to find out more about case. I guess won’t be much info available on it because of age of defendants.

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