During the Re:MIX program, students had an opportunity to anonymously submit questions at the end of each session, for health and peer educators to answer comprehensively and without judgement. In addition to the written questions listed below, peer and health educators submitted video responses, answering some of the most commonly asked questions posed by youth.
A: You’re correct! Boobs, or breasts, are mostly made up of fatty tissue similar to belly fat. Every person’s body can have varying amounts of this tissue, which leads to many different shapes and sizes of bodies. Breasts, like so many other body parts, are amazing and can be a source of attraction or desire to people of all genders. One thing that can heavily influence what a person finds attractive is the media, which often sexualizes bodies, particularly female breasts. Often these messages can be harmful because they focus on objectifying bodies instead of teaching the value of respecting bodies. This can definitely affect how boys/men and girls/women interact. What’s most important is how confident and comfortable you feel in your own body, and learning to celebrate your own unique qualities. When choosing to be in a relationship, make sure it is with someone who also respects and values your body, and all its unique parts, as well.
A: A penis grows during puberty. This can happen at different rates for each person. The penis usually stops growing by age 21.
A: A person’s bodily fluids like sweat, saliva, vaginal secretions and ejaculate from a penis can change based on what a person eats or drinks, so if large amounts of a food like pineapples are eaten, it could only slightly change the taste. Remember that vaginal fluids have their own unique smell and taste, which are not naturally sweet like a fruit so it’s best that people get to know and feel comfortable with their own body as it naturally is. Water is the most important substance to provide to your body to ensure optimal hydration and health. Be careful not to put any sugary foods or substances near or inside the vagina because this can cause infections.
A: That’s a personal question and we welcome all questions but will let you know if ever a question is more personal than we are comfortable sharing. We want to make sure you are learning information that will help you in your decision making, so what may be helpful for you to know here is what makes for a toxic or unhealthy relationship and how common it may be. Toxic relationships can involve things like physical, mental and emotional abuse. Statistics have shown that one in three teens experience a toxic dating relationship. This is why its so important that you’re on this site and learning the signs and type of support that can help you to be in relationships that feel healthy to you, when and if you decide to be in them.
A: What makes a good or healthy relationship can be different for everyone. For some people it can feel important to have sex in their relationship and for other people that may not be important or desired. Sex alone is not what defines a good relationship. It’s important to also remember that you do not owe sex to anyone and no one owes you sex, even if you’re in a relationship. Consent is key! So it’s important to communicate your wants and expectations, especially when it comes to sex and intimacy in relationships and know that you, or your partner, always have the right to change your mind at any time.
Sex & Contraception
A: People have sex for different reasons. Most often it is for pleasure, sometimes it is with the intention of reproduction or conceiving a baby, and often it is a way people express or share intimacy and closeness. Sex should always involve consent. When it is not consensual, that is called sexual assault, rape or sexual abuse. If sexual abuse ever occurs, talk to a trusted adult. Also, sex should not be painful. If pain is ever experienced during sex, stop and check-in with your sexual partner. It may mean readjusting to another position or activity. If the pain continues, it could be a sign that something is going on with your body. Talking with a trusted adult or healthcare provider is a way to find out more about the possible cause of pain during sex.
A: Unprotected sex is engaging in sexual activity without the use of contraceptives/birth control (to prevent unplanned pregnancy) or barrier methods such as condoms or dental dam (to prevent transmission of STIs).
A: The term threesome refers to three people who are engaging in a sexual experience together. The decision to have sex with one or more person should be made only if you feel ready, prepared and have established a trust with all partners involved. Important things to consider, to better ensure the experience is safe and pleasurable, are that ongoing communication and consent between all partners is received, and safer sex methods like condoms or barrier methods (to prevent STI transmission) and/or contraception (to prevent unplanned pregnancy) are being used correctly.
A: Having sex in a pool, particularly penis-to-vagina penetrative sex, could cause pain or discomfort. Here are some reasons why. Pools and hot tubs often have chlorine, which helps kill bacteria when you’re swimming, but depending on how much chlorine a pool has, having penis-to-vagina penetrative sex in a pool could be irritating to a vagina or could cause a bladder infection. Both of these could be painful. Water can also wash away the body’s natural lubricants, which makes sex that’s penetrative feel drier and thus more painful. It’s also important to remember to use barrier methods (like condoms or dental dam) to minimize risk of STI transmission and contraceptives or birth control to prevent unplanned pregnancies. It is a myth that chlorine in a pool could “kill” STIs or sperm.
A: Fingering, also called digital sex, is when a finger or fingers are used in sexual activity to stimulate or penetrate areas of the body such as an anus, clitoris or vagina. Remember to always have consent. Pregnancy is not possible from fingering (unless a finger with sperm on it penetrates a vagina) and sexually transmitted infections are not generally spread by digital sex; however, ensuring hands/fingers are clean before using them in fingering can minimize the chance that other irritation of the genitals is caused.
A: Anal, or anal sex, is sexual activity that involves penetration of the anus. Remember to always have consent before engaging in anal sex. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not possible via the anus, but sexually transmitted infections can be passed from one person to another via anal sex, so it is important to use barrier methods like condoms when engaging in anal sex.