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Quick Hits: We Already Got You Covered Edition

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Landa84 asks:

My boyfriend and I had anal sex and then after went on to normal intercourse, can this cause infections?

Heather Corinna replies:

If by "normal" intercourse you mean vaginal intercourse, and both of these kinds of sex were unprotected, then yes, this is an easy way to potentially develop a vaginal bacterial infection. That's why it's advised that for couple who want to engage in both kinds of intercourse, they use condoms, switching to a fresh condom anytime you switch from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse. As well, both anal intercourse and vaginal intercourse are high-risk kinds of sex when it comes to sexually transmitted infections, so consistent condom use to reduce those risks is really important for your health and his.

For more, see: We had both anal and vaginal sex, and now I think I have an infection! and Three on Getting to the Bottom of Things.

schurmay asks:

I'm 20 years old. I've never been on birth control before. I'm in a pretty serious relationship. And he and I both agreed it would be better if we used birth control. But I don't know how to get on it, or anything. What doctor do I go see, where can I go to get it? I'm not the kind of person to ask my sisters or mother, so I came here.

Birth control, or contraception, is an umbrella term that covers any given way of preventing pregnancy. Since there's more than one way -- or method, device, medication or kind of behavior -- to do that, I'm not sure what method you might be asking about. Some do require a doctor visit, like getting a prescription for oral contraceptives, or having an IUD or implant inserted, while others don't, like condoms. But if you want to obtain methods that do require a healthcare professional, you can start with a family physician or general health clinic, or go to a doctor or clinic specializing in reproductive healthcare.

For more, see:

DianaV. asks:

I'm 15 and a Virgin. My Boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 6 months. I want to surprise him and I'm ready for Sex. But he ask me to help him, I'm unexperienced and I've been trying to explore my Vagina, but I'm scared I might hurt something. I know it sounds weird but I'm just scared to look. I honestly don't know where my hole is. Should I start wearing Tampons to try and look for this hole or what?

It's really best to be talking with a potential or current sexual partner about the things you both want and plan to do sexually, rather than have them be "surprises" or "presents." Who knows what he really feels ready for, after all -- and his readiness matters just as much as yours -- and you two will also need to work things out like pregnancy prevention and reducing risks of STIs, as well as managing the emotional aspects of this. As well, it sounds like you're trying to move awfully fast for where you're really at. If you feel scared to even look at your own genitals, I'd say it's way, way too early to have someone else not just looking at them, but intimately engaging with them. It sounds like you also probably aren't ready to do things like start sexual healthcare yet, either, which is really important. I feel like what you're saying would be kind of like someone saying they're ready to swim in the deep end of the pool when they can't even look at water without feeling uncomfortable.

So, my best advice is to slow things way down, recognize that wanting to have sex with someone and really being ready for that are very different things,and to take real time to get to know your own body first, by yourself, and get comfortable with it, and to spend more time doing things like talking together about getting sexual together, and not just about the sexy stuff. Rushing in when you're in the spot you are isn't likely to do anything but create sexual experiences you (or your partner) don't enjoy or feel good about. Better to take the time you need so that these experiences are more likely to be and feel awesome.

You can find out more about your genitals with Innies & Outies: The Vagina, Clitoris, Uterus and More, read up on how to slow your pace at Whoa, There! How to Slow Down When You're Moving Too Fast, and get a real check in about sexual readiness with our Sex Readiness Checklist.

watevarful asks:

Is it possible to catch HIV after being in a public place and then touching your eye, licking your finger, or touching other openings in you body?

Not unless in that public place you were in something happened with exposed you directly to someone's blood, semen, breast milk or vaginal fluids. Those are the fluids which can transmit HIV, and they're not usually fluids people are exposed to when they're doing things like shopping at the mall or hanging out at the park.

For more, see: Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup.

118604 asks:

If two minors send each other nude/semi nude pictures of themselves, is it illegal? I'm very worried about this since do many people do it and are unaware of the consequences. Plz help.

In some areas and countries, like most of the United States, yes, it is illegal, and sometimes a very serious offense that can have a huge negative impact on the rest of someone's life, whether they're the person who created the pictures or the person who asked for or received them.

For more, see: My boyfriend wants naked pictures of me: should I do it?.

Thompson asks:

I have HPV, but I don't have warts. I got HPV before my boyfriend and I were sexually active. I understand that if we are having vaginal sex he can get and carry the virus, but because I don't have warts can he get it orally?

Whether we're talking about wart strains of HPV or other strains, sexual partners can contract HPV from a partner with it in any of the ways HPV can be acquired, which includes oral sex, whether there are warts present or not (which is why strains of genital HPV which don't produce warts, which are the ones that present risks of cervical cancer, can be contracted just like wart strains can).

So, your partner would be at risk of acquiring HPV via genital sex with you, particularly any vaginal, anal or oral sex. You two will want to talk about this, so he can evaluate what, if any, risk he's willing to take, and if he's comfortable with a reduced risk, will want to learn how to practice safer sex by using barriers. The HPV vaccine is also now available for men, so he might also want to talk with his healthcare provider about being vaccinated.

For more, talk with your sexual healthcare provider, but also see:

UseTheForce3434 asks:

Sometimes when my boyfriend fingers me, after a while it starts to burn. I don't know what's wrong because I'll be totally aroused but after he pulls out for a second then tries to go back in, I get an uncomfortable burning sensation. It almost feels like I'm irritated or that he has salt on his fingers. Does he need to wash his hands before we try again?

Sounds like you need to be using a lubricant or more lubricant than you are. If it feels good when he starts, but then raw or burny if he removes his fingers then inserts them again, that's usually a lubrication issue (so long as you know you're clear of any infections: infections, be they an STI like Chlamydia, or a general infection like a yeast infection, can cause that kind of burning or feeling of rawness, too). Being very aroused doesn't always mean that there's enough lubrication, especially for activities like fingering or intercourse. Plenty of people who are very aroused still want or need lube. So, if you know you're all clear of any illness that could be causing this, I'd try some lube, or more lube, and see if that helps. Additionally, you might try having your partner use latex gloves for manual sex: that can help reduce friction and feels better to folks sometimes, as well as being a way of reducing the risk of infections.

And if he's not using gloves, he should always wash his hands before manual sex. That's not just basic courtesy, it's important to prevent infection.

For more, see:

manders asks:

Ok I've been on the combination birth control and I know it has to be taken at the same time every day but I was wondering is it still as effective as the perfect use rate if you're only a few minutes off when you take it?

Perfect use rates for methods like the pill are gathered via very controlled, clinical studies and trials. In reality, in daily life, very few people, even those who are amazing in how they use their pill, will have the perfect use rate, especially when we're talking about months or years of use, rather than a given day, week or a couple cycles. I personally think it's a lot more sound to look more at the typical use rate, intended to represent how people most often use methods in daily life, and then figure that if you are an excellent user, you're probably in the middle of the typical and perfect use rate, which for the combined pill, would be around 95% effective in one year of use.

If that doesn't feel like enough for you, and you want as close to 100% protection from pregnancy as possible, your best bet is dual contraception: to use two methods, not just one. You can, for instance, also add condoms (always a good idea since the pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections), withdrawal or a spermicide to the pill, and them, even when those methods aren't used perfectly, still wind up with close to 100% protection.

For more, see:

These links off-site might also help inform you some more about contraceptive efficacy and rates:

babydoll1s20 asks:

Hi. I'm 24 and married going on three years and have a one year old daughter. I was a virgin for 22yrs and me and my husband wedded as virgins. Is it still suppose to hurt like the first time everytime? I mean there are times, maybe 2 out of 10- where it feels ok or at least doesn't hurt. But most of time it hurts with me lubricated or artifically lubricated. Am I too small? I got married in December and didn't lose my virginity until February due to not being able to penetrate and pains. What do me and my husband need to do for me to really enjoy the action rather than just what we're sharing(which is fine)? I want to feel somewhat what he feel. I feel weird and frustrated that my vagina doesn't work like how my mom says it suppose to work.

Sex of any kind, including vaginal intercourse, isn't "supposed to" hurt at all. Not ever. This kind of sex, like others, is supposed to be about exploring and experiencing pleasure, not feeling discomfort or just avoiding pain. Now, sometimes it might hurt or not feel good, whether that's a first time or a 301st, but it's never supposed to like you're thinking, and when it does, it's often about similar things: someone not being relaxed enough, not being aroused enough, not having engaged in sexual activities without vaginal entry they enjoy first before (or also during) intercourse, having a partner who is too hasty or unresponsive, and so forth. You make clear lubrication isn't an issue. There are also health conditions that can cause pain with vaginal entry and other kinds of sex.

So, the first best step is always to check in with a healthcare provider, because if it's about something like an infection or other health issue, there will often be nothing you or your partner can do to change what's going on without getting that taken care of first, and it's also important for your overall health that if you have any conditions that need treatment, you get that treatment. If you either get the all-clear on this not being about a health issue, or it was, but even after treatment it still hurts, then it's likely about one or more of those things I first suggested or other similar issues. In the case that intercourse is most or all of the kinds of sex you and your husband are engaging in and spending time with, that right there is likely at least part of the problem. Your sexual/reproductive healthcare provider is sometimes also someone you can talk to together about this even when it's not about a health issue. They may be able to give you some sex education you might need, or point you to resources to help you learn more about engaging in sex together.

Vaginas don't have static sizes, like small or large. When nothing is inside the vagina, all vaginas are basically closed. When something is inside the vagina, most will expand to whatever size that thing is in the right conditions, with some level of variation accounted for between women (for instance, accounting for women who are pre-menopause or post-menopause, who have or have not recently had a vaginal birth, who may have health conditions which can cause the vaginal opening or canal to be less flexible), but far less than most people assume there is. How flexible the vagina is and how comfortable insertion is is mostly situational.

You can find out more about that and the other things I mentioned at:

tayloras asks:

Hi, I'm 21, a girl, and have quite an embarrassing problem. I "cum" a lot. Not during sexual thoughts, but just at random. I'm assuming it's my hormones but not sure. Today it happened really BAD while I was running! So bad that it went through my underwear onto my jogging pants. This is the first time it's done it this bad. To be honest I don't even do it that much while having sex. How normal/un-normal is this? How can I make it stop? I'm quite worried it'll happen again while I'm not home.

This probably isn't ejaculation or "cum." Female ejaculation is only so common to begin with, and it's not at all likely to be something that occurs without pretty targeted sexual stimulus (in other words, at times you're not only engaging in sex, but engaging in sex that involves quite a lot of attention to your internal and/or external clitoris). Vaginal discharges, however, can happen all the time, any time, and are often totally unrelated to sex or sexual arousal. They're part of the fertility cycle, and also part of the way the vagina cleans itself. As well, if this is happening when you're running, it could also just be sweat, or sweat in addition to your other normal discharges.

If you find that you're having a lot more discharge than you're used to, or it's smelling or looking funky to you, that can be about genital infections, including things like bacterial or yeast infections which are common, and often develop without any kind of sexual activity. If you think that might be the case, or even just want to make sure, check in with a healthcare provider.

For more, see: Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions.

GorJus Me asks:

Can sex delay periods?

Not directly, unless the kind of sex someone who has periods has results in pregnancy. However, plenty of people experience stress around their sexual lives, and the way we react to stresses can.

For more, see: What Do You Want to Know About Periods and Sex?

blue.lightning asks:

Am I still a virgin? I've never had sex with anybody before but I've bled when I first started masturbating, and I used a fake dildo. Did that make me lose my virginity? I have a boyfriend who will probably be my first and I don't want him to think I'm lying about my virginity.

That depends on how you choose to define your virginity. Definitions vary a lot, but it's most common for people to define virginity as having something to do with some kind or kinds of consensual sex with a partner, not masturbation, though it could be about masturbation if you wanted it to be. It's up to you, just like it's up to you to choose to even use virginity as an idea at all. No one has to.

Too, bleeding isn't proof or disproof of virginity or sexual activity. People can experience vaginal bleeding for a host of reasons, and, when it's related to sex, that can happen -- or not happen -- the first time someone is sexual or the 301st time. If you were masturbating by inserting toys or other objects, chances are you had bleeding because you weren't lubricated enough or aroused enough, which is why bleeding, when it happens, most typically happens with any kind of sexual activity, including masturbation. You might also want to know that most people do not experience bleeding with wanted, consensual first-time sex with partners and again, if and when they do, it's much more often about those things than about their sexual history.

Here's my hope: my hope is that whoever you choose as a sexual partner, be it your first time or way down the road, you're choosing partners who build trust with you and put much more value in who you are and what you say to them than whatever they might perceive about you based on a body part. I think that's pretty ground zero stuff for the kind of partner everyone deserves. So, if you think someone you might choose would be the kind of person who isn't like that? Then my best advice would be not to choose that person as a partner, rather than to worry about bleeding to try and prove something to someone.

For more, see: My culture insists on virginity: did I break my hymen with masturbation? and the links for the question below. You might also want to take a look at: Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist and Safer Sex...for Your Heart.

tanuf_20 asks:

I am 24 years, I'm engaged and soon going to get married. Problem is that me and my fiancee were together in bed for 1 night and we kissed each other and just touching and pressing each other, then we got aroused and I entered my fingers in her vagina, they easily entered in her. So I had doubt that is she a virgin. When I entered my fingers in her there was also no bleeding.

Most of the time, if vaginal entry is difficult or causes bleeding, that's not because of anything to do with a person's sexual history. Rather, it's about someone not being aroused enough (or at all), not wanting what was happening to be happening, not being lubricated enough, or feeling nervous, scared or otherwise tense. In other words, what most likely happened here is that your partner wanted that kind of sex, and felt comfortable with you and excited by you, making that vaginal entry painless and comfortable for her, which I'd assume you'll think is pretty excellent news and what you'd hope for a sexual partner to feel when with you.

As well, like I mentioned above, most people do not bleed with first-time sex, including first-time vaginal entry. People's body parts and reactions -- or lack of them -- can very rarely give anyone sound or useful information about their sexual history. The most accurate way to find out about that is just to ask someone what their history has been. I assume that if you're serious enough about this person to be choosing to get married, then you have a great deal of trust with her, and can take her at her word about what she says her history is. If not, then it seems like the issue here isn't about her body parts, but about trust.

For more, see the links above and also:

written 16 Aug 2011 . updated 13 Jan 2014

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