If you’ve heard of the term AIDS, it’s actually the short form for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the disease caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
Basically, AIDS is the term for the disease when a person’s immune system becomes so badly damaged that it can’t protect their body from infections any more. The reason this is so serious is because there is no cure and your body is unable to protect itself properly. You can reduce the risk of contracting HIV, a blood and semen based virus by always using a condom. You can find out more about HIV here.
Abuse can mean being treated in a way that is harmful, cruel or violent.
Abuse can be physical, verbal or a combination of both. Pushing, hitting or touching someone in a way they did not consent to is physical abuse. Name-calling, threats and bullying are types of verbal abuse – taking this type of action against another person is never ok.
If you’ve heard someone say they were sexually abused it means they were treated sexually in a way they didn’t consent to, or say it was ok. No matter the circumstances, abuse is never acceptable. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t make any of these behaviours acceptable.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, call the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence hotline on 1800 737 732 anytime day or night – they will be able to support you.
An abortion, sometimes called a termination, is a medical procedure women can have to end a pregnancy.
There are many different reasons someone might have an abortion, and there is no right or wrong answer. Don’t be afraid to talk with a trusted adult if you’re considering your options. This is a big decision, and something you shouldn’t ignore.
If you take the morning after pill within 72 hours after sex (vaginal) you can also reduce the chances of an unwanted pregnancy. Speak to your doctor or your local pharmacy.
When a female is turned on, or sexually aroused the Bartholin glands, which are located just inside the vagina, secrete a liquid. This is nothing to be ashamed of, the bartholin glands are a natural part of the body that help the vagina prepare for sex.
Bi-sexual is a sexual orientation. If someone has told you they are bisexual, it generally means they are attracted to both females and males, although it can involve being attracted to other gender identities as well.
Females generally develop breasts during puberty – but you’re likely to develop at a different rate to your friends. There is no such thing as the perfect size or shape, and chances are your breasts are bigger, smaller and different in shape to your friends. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to others – everyone is unique. Don’t stress if you have one boob bigger than the other too, this is pretty common.
Breasts are used to feed a baby when they are born, the breasts naturally produce milk during this time.
A women’s cervix is the opening to the womb or uterus and is a basically a small passage between the uterus and the vagina. Found at the top of the inside of the vagina, it can feel like a small bump.
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, or STI’s.
Generally done at a very young age, male circumcision is a medical procedure that involves the removal of foreskin from the penis. It’s usually performed for cultural or religious reasons, but it can sometimes be done for medical reasons, such as if the foreskin is too tight.
Female circumcision is, unfortunately, still common in some countries around the world. It’s often performed forcibly and without consent. The procedure involves cutting off a part of the external genitalia, like the labia or clitoris. Also known as female genital mutilation, it is illegal and against a person’s human rights, causing severe long-term physical and emotional damage to an individual.
Cis is a term some people use to define their gender identity.
A general term that can include many different people, it just means that the gender identity you define yourself as is the same as the one assigned to you at birth – basically, you identify as the same gender as the one written on your birth certificate.
For example, you may define your gender as female and be biologically female – with a womb, a vagina and breasts – and this would mean you’re cis-gendered. Someone who defines their gender as being anything other than what’s on their birth certificate is trans-gendered – so, basically, “cis” means “not trans”
No it’s not urban legend. The clitoris, or clit, is a very small bump that sits underneath a little hood of skin just above the entrance to the vagina – and no it’s not inside the vagina.
An amazing body part filled with nerve endings that make it super sensitive, the clitoris is the only human body part that exists purely for pleasure. Don’t be freaked out if it swells up a little when touched and rubbed, this means a woman is aroused, it can even lead to an orgasm. Just remember to be gentle after arousal as it’s a super sensitive part of the body.
Slang terms include: button, bean.
The contraceptive pill, or simply “the pill” as you’ve probably heard it called, is a method of birth control for women. The pill is taken every day to control the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. Containing the hormones progesterone and oestrogen, the pill helps to control the menstrual cycle.
Just because someone is on the pill it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a condom – the pill will not protect you or your partner against STI’s.
Although 99% effective at preventing pregnancy there is still a chance of getting pregnant. Safe sex means always using a condom.
If you’re having sex or thinking about first time sex, you need to know how about condoms. Also known as a ‘sheath’, condoms help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and is one type of contraception.
The type of condom you’re most likely to have seen and heard about is the male condom, made from a stretchy material that is usually natural rubber latex, polyisoprene, or polyurethane. It’s designed to cover a man’s penis during oral, vaginal or anal sex.
The other type of condom that you might not have heard of is the female condom. Inserted inside the vagina before having sex and remaining in place for the duration, the female condom has a soft ring that sits on the opening of the vagina to prevent it from sliding in.
Remember, condoms are the most effective barrier to protect yourself and your partner against STIs and HIV/AIDS.
Slang terms include: Rubber, French letter, dinger, franga, jimmy.
Confidential means that information is kept private. Doctors and other professionals usually have to keep the information you tell them confidential. If you tell them something they cannot tell anyone, not even your parents – unless you’re in danger of being hurt or might hurt someone else.
Consent is one of the most important things to understand when it comes to sex. Consent is when someone voluntarily gives their permission for something to happen. All sexual activity must be consensual.
If you’re still a little unsure, you can go to our Q and A section here.
Contraception prevents pregnancy and can come in the form of the pill or a condom. If you’re only using the pill as a form of contraception you’re not protected against sexually transmitted infections.
Unless you want to have a baby, it’s really important you always use contraception.
If you’re still a little unsure, you can go to our Q and A section here.
The corona, no not the beer, is the ring around the bottom of the head of the penis.
When people use the word come, or cum, they could be talking about the sticky substance ejaculated from the penis (semen or sperm). But, they could also be talking about female ejaculation – it’s totally normal and natural for women to cum too.
Cunnilingus is the name for oral sex when performed on a female.
You might have heard of them, but maybe you haven’t seen one – a dildo is an object used for masturbation and/or sexual stimulation. A vibrator is a type of dildo that uses batteries to make it vibrate for more pleasure.
Discharge is generally the fluid that comes out of a vagina. Discharge is completely normal, it’s what keeps the vagina clean. It’s totally normal for consistency and thickness of discharge to change throughout the menstrual cycle. Discharge doesn’t just relate to women, it could also mean the fluid from a penis – this isn’t semen or urine, and is also perfectly ok.
If your discharge is a different colour to usual or starts to smell, don’t be afraid, just get it checked out by your doctor or book an appointment at your local Family Planning Clinic.
Have you ever heard of the word drag and not understood what it’s about?
Drag means dressing up in the clothes of a specific gender for a performance. Drag queens wear highly feminine clothes and drag kings wear highly masculine clothes. Dressing in drag is different to being a transvestite, as ‘going drag’ does not indicate a gender identity.
Dry humping is when two people rub themselves against each other when fully clothed – generally people rub their genitalia against each other when dry humping.
If you haven’t learnt this in biology yet, egg cells come from a woman’s ovaries. An egg cell is the thing that gets fertilised by a sperm cell to create a baby.
Ejaculation is what happens when the penis is sexually stimulated until it shoots out semen (cum). Females can also ejaculate too, which is totally normal, though not all women will ejaculate.
Slang terms – Cumming/coming
The emergency contraceptive pill can prevent pregnancy if taken by a woman up to 72 hours after sex.
Also known as the ‘morning after pill’, it can be purchased over the counter from most Pharmacies. The Pharmacist will ask you to fill out a form before they can give you the Emergency Contraceptive Pill.
An enema is something that cleans out the anus and usually means injecting liquid into the anus. The word can sometimes be used as a term to mean a pill that can be swallowed.
The epididymis is a tube where sperm is stored after being produced in the testicles.
Nothing to laugh at, erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection. There are many reasons why this can happen – sometimes for medical reasons but often it is stress related.
There’s no need to be ashamed if you get an erection. This is when a penis becomes hard or stiff, usually pointing upwards. This generally happens because a man is sexually aroused – the penis is filling with blood in preparation for sex. Don’t stress if this happens randomly too – this is totally normal.
Slang terms include: boner, hard on, stiffy, wood.
Fellatio is the technical word for when oral sex is performed on a male.
Inserted inside the vagina, the female condom has a soft ring that sits on the opening of the vagina to prevent it from sliding in. It helps to protects against STI’s and prevent pregnancy.
Females can ejaculate too, but you might have heard of the other term, squirting. When a woman is sexually excited, they can ejaculate fluid from their urethra. Some people do it, some don’t, some occasionally do – they are all ok. Squirting is not the same thing as an orgasm, and it’s possible for females to ejaculate without orgasming.
A person is fertile if their reproductive organs are all functioning – this means that a person can make a baby.
Fetishes are things or activities that arouse a person’s sexual desires.
There are lots of different things that turn, or arouse a person. They can sometimes be unusual and that is ok too, as long as you are comfortable with it and safe – never do anything you don’t want to do.
Also known as female circumcision, FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation, and means any form of damage to the female genitalia by force and often involves the removal of the clitoris, or the vagina lips (labia). Classed as illegal by the UN it unfortunately still happens in some countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that globally, 125 million women today have been victims of FGM.
This one is a pretty hot topic – check out more detailed info on our homepage.
Flaccid means floppy, or not erect. It is often used to describe a penis that is not erect.
If you’ve ever ‘flirted’ with someone it’s probably because you like them. By flirting with someone, your behaviour is telling that person you are attracted to them.
Foreplay is generally everything that happens in the lead up to sex.
If you’ve heard your friends talking about foreplay and you’re not sure what it means, don’t worry you’re not alone – it’s a bit of a general word because it can include flirting, touching, kissing, oral or hand sex.
This isn’t to say that everything is a build up to a particular type of sex, as all different types of sex can be enjoyed on their own. Foreplay can be a really important part of sex and relationships and can be a way of creating sexual excitement and pleasure.
Foreskin is the section of skin on a penis that covers the sensitive head of the penis. The foreskin is the part of the penis removed by circumcision, so it’s perfectly normal to have, or not to have, a foreskin.
A man’s frenulum or ‘banjo string’ is the piece of string-like skin on the underside of the penis connecting the foreskin to the head of the penis. It is possible for the frenulum to tear, but it is also possible to fix it – if that happens, guys, don’t freak out: just contact your doctor or visit a sexual health clinic as soon as you can (lube can also help if you’re in pain during sex).
It’s a question everyone wants the answer to – where is the g-spot?
In females the g-spot is the sensitive tissue on the front wall of the vagina – if stimulated it can give some women more intense orgasms – it might even make them squirt. For males, your g-spot is actually in your anus – known as the prostate gland.
The word gay is used to describe a sexual orientation. If someone is gay it means they are only attracted to another person of the same gender. “Gay” is more commonly used when talking about men who are attracted to other men, but can also mean women who are attracted to other women.
If you are questioning your sexuality and have some questions, there is nothing to be afraid of – you can ask an expert here.
Gender identity is the identity that someone chooses for themselves and is not based on their biological sex or sexual orientation.
Gender expression is how a person chooses to express their gender identity. Some people choose to express this by how they present themselves or how they interact with people.
Gynaecomastia is the technical term for when a male’s chest has the appearance of female breasts.
You might have heard the term gooch, but did you know that its proper name is Perineum. The gooch is the sensitive area between the penis and the anus, or the vagina and the anus.
If someone says they are gender queer, it means they don’t feel they fit into, or have to fit into the gender categories of male or female.
Genital warts are caused by a thing that doctors call the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and are a form of sexually transmitted infection (STI). We’ve put together lots of information for you about STIs – click here for a detailed description on genital warts.
You’ve probably learnt about genitals in biology class, but in case you weren’t paying attention, the word genitals is a person’s reproductive organs – including the penis and testicles for males and the vagina, vulva and clitoris for females.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). We’ve put together lots of information for you guys and gals about STIs – click here for a detailed description on gonorrhea.
Hepatitis is a range of viral diseases, which can be both STI’s or blood-borne. There are a number of different types of hepatitis which all affect the liver, including hepatitis, A, B, C, D and E.
Heterosexual refers to the sexual orientation of people who are attracted to the opposite sex. Another term for heterosexual is “straight.”
The virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to be exact, is what causes AIDS, or as the doctors will call it, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. You can get HIV by having sex without a condom, sharing a needle or other injecting equipment with a person who is infected.
You can reduce the risk of contracting HIV, a blood and semen based virus by always using a condom. You can find out more about HIV here.
Homosexual is a sexual orientation. It means a person who is attracted to another person of the same sex.
If you are questioning your sexuality and have some questions, there is nothing to be afraid of – you can ask an expert here.
Homophobia is the fear of homosexual people, or a non-heterosexual person. It is irrational, and unfortunately still exists throughout the world. If you, or one of your friends, are on the receiving end of homophobic behaviours, please ask for help at your local youth centre, or talk to a trusted adult about getting support.
This is a term for all forms of contraception that use hormones to regulate the female menstrual cycle to prevent pregnancy.
Hormones are chemicals that all people have in their body, controlling and affecting our bodies in different ways throughout our lives. Hormones change our bodies during puberty and they can also affect our emotions and mood.
The human papilloma virus or HPV, is the virus that causes genital warts. It can’t be cured but the genital warts can be removed. HPV is sometimes linked to cervical and oral cancers. There is a HPV vaccination designed to protect from HPV and it is common for younger females to have this immunisation.
For more information on genital warts, check out the information on safe sex.
The hymen is a membrane that closes the entrance to the vagina. The hymen can break from masturbation, fingering, or even horse riding – this can cause some bleeding when it first happens but this is normal and natural and nothing to be worried about.
Another one you might have learnt in biology, the labia is the lips at the entrance to the vagina. Technically two sets of lips – the labia majora, which are the fleshy flaps on the outer part, and the labia minora which are the actual lips of the entrance to the vagina.
Since 1905, most condoms have been made from a natural rubber material – latex.
Natural rubber latex is actually extracted from the sap of a tree. Some people are allergic to latex and so synthetic condoms are gaining popularity, such as polyisoprene condoms. Many people prefer polyisoprene condoms as they provide a softer and more natural feel.
If you experience any irritation or burning sensation contact your doctor or local Family Planning Clinic as soon as possible – you might be allergic to the condom material or lubricant.
To be a lesbian is a form of sexual orientation. It means a person who is attracted to another person of the same sex (homosexual). It is more often used when talking about women who are attracted to other women. If you are questioning your sexuality and have some questions, there is nothing to be afraid of – you can ask an expert a question here.
If someone is talking about their libido it’s just another word to talk about their sexual desire or sexual appetite.
Lubricant or lube for short, is a liquid that can be used to make penetration easier and smoother during sex. It can also increase sensation and pleasure and help to relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness. Using lube with a condom is always recommend as it helps decrease the risk of condoms breaking. It is recommended you always use a water-based or silicone lubricant with condoms. Never use an oil based product with a condom – oil weakens condoms and increases the risk of breakage.
For more information on lube click here.
Lust is the emotion or feeling of strong sexual desire towards another person.
Mammary glands are technically what breasts are – the mammary glands produce milk to feed babies.
Manual or hand sex is when someone uses their hands to give someone sexual pleasure, arousing another persons genitals. This includes, but is not limited to, a hand job (hands on a penis) or fingering (fingers on the clitoris or inside the vagina).
Masturbation is a normal, natural and healthy part of life. Masturbating is when someone gives themselves sexual pleasure – generally using their hands, fingers or an object to play with and stimulate their genitals. Masturbation doesn’t have to result in an orgasm or ejaculation, although it is often the result.
Anyone can masturbate, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. Often masturbation is discovered during childhood or adolescence, but don’t stress, there’s no rush to do it and it’s perfectly ok not to masturbate too.
You may have heard of some slang words – wank, solo sex, self-pleasure, fingering, flicking the bean or tossing off – there are many creative words for this one.
Both men and women have a meatus, it’s the hole at the end of the urethra where wee comes out of.
A females menstrual cycle is her body’s natural cycle that enables sexual reproduction – it will happen during puberty and everyone is different. It might start at age 11, or it might not happen till age 15.
This part you might have learnt in Biology, but in case you haven’t yet, a cycle is generally around 28 days and starts on the first day of a period, ending the day before the next period starts.
A cycle is when a females ovaries release an egg in the hope that it will be fertilised by sperm to create a baby. Menstruation happens when the egg is not fertilised – the soft lining of the uterus is released and fluid including blood comes out of the vagina. This can last between two and seven days but, again, everyone is different.
A miscarriage is when a pregnancy fails, which can be very distressing. It is not uncommon and can happen for a number of reasons, including medical conditions, illnesses or stress.
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