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ANONYMOUS Q & A

Question: Why do consent laws differ from vaginal to anal intercourse? Is there a specific reason that anal sex is not allowed under the age of 18? What does this mean for homosexual adolescent couples?

Thank you for visiting our website. The questions you have raised are matters for political debates rather than health-information questions.  The information you provided is correct. Section 159 of the Criminal Code makes it an offense to engage in an act of anal intercourse and a person under the age of 18 cannot consent.   The Criminal Code is federal legislation and applies to all of Canada.  Same-sex rights groups have long advocated to have Parliament change the law but that has not yet happened.  

Sexualityandu has some great information on “Sex and the Law”. Here is the link of you would like to check it out:

http://www.sexualityandu.ca/resource-library/statistics/sex-and-the-law

Question: Do you have a special chemical bond for life with the person you lose your virginity to?  I think it’s called oxytocin.

The release of the hormone oxytocin during sex may make you feel closer to a person you have sex with – including the person you lose your virginity to.   But feeling emotionally attached or not is totally normal and there’s no evidence it’s a special chemical bond that lasts for life.

Question: “Do you think fourteen is too young to have sex”?

This was a great question to ask, many others probably have the same question.

There are laws in Canada about how old a person can be to have sex. Many people aren’t aware of this so please have a look at this website for more information: http://www.sexualityandu.ca/resource-library/statistics/sex-and-the-law

Any person who is thinking about becoming sexually active should consider some important points before making this decision. There are a lot of reasons people become sexually active; sometimes it’s because they have thought long and hard about it and other times it can be because they are being pressured into it when they aren’t ready. Here are two sections of the website that address these questions.

People don’t always talk and think about sex before they “do it”.  Therefore, it is VERY important for you think about your values before having sex with someone else. Ask yourself if YOU want to have sex for the first time. WHY do YOU want to have sex? The majority of sexual encounters are not planned, so it’s important to have a plan in place if the situation arises. Again ask yourself: Do YOU want to have sex? What are you going to do if you get to the point where someone is pressuring you and you don’t want to do it? Think about it and make your OWN decision. And most importantly when you do this, stick to it!

Why is it so important to know yourself and your own values before you have sex? Because when things like alcohol and drugs come into the picture they can affect your thought patterns, and lead you to make decisions you may regret. But if you have thought about this before hand, you might think twice about the situation you find yourself in.

When someone is thinking about becoming sexually active, good communication skills, trust, and respect are very important in a healthy sexual relationship. Though it is uncomfortable at first to talk about these things, open communication is a sign of a mature relationship. For example: if a person has a hard time saying the words “penis”, “vagina” or even “sex”, it may not be the best time to move to the next step. 

It is also important to talk with a partner about past sexual activity. Talk about if either has had sex before (this includes oral, anal and vaginal) as all of these activities can put a person at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If either has been sexually active in any of the ways mentioned above they need to talk about getting tested for STIs. This can be a tough conversation to have, but the key is to be mature, actively listen, understand where each other is coming from, and be straightforward and say exactly what they are thinking and feeling. 

If two people do decide to become sexually active, there are a few things they need to consider: birth control and pregnancy, and protecting themselves from getting an STI. Check out these sections of the site for more information: http://www.respectyourself.ca/yourbody/protection and http://www.respectyourself.ca/stis http://www.respectyourself.ca/yourbody/pregnancy

Most importantly a person who is thinking about becoming sexually active should TALK to people. Get advice from health care providers (nurses/doctors), parents, and anyone else they feel they can trust with these sensitive situations. Collect all the information possible to make the best choice and remember it is a choice. A person should never be forced to do something they aren’t ready to do.

Question: Is it easy to become pregnant the first time you have sex than any other time, and what do you do if you want birth control but you know everyone there and your parent may find out?

Every woman’s body and menstrual cycle (periods) are different from one another. Some women may try many times to get pregnant with no luck, and some women get pregnant the very first time they have sex if they aren’t using a reliable form of birth control. If you are thinking about having sex for the first time, it is important to plan ahead, to be safe and to use a condom AND another form of birth control. These can protect you from becoming pregnant and reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). For more information please check out this and this section of the website

As for wanting to get birth control, it is a good idea to talk to your health care provider about this as there is a lot of information and options for you to consider. You said that “you know everyone there”. You don’t have to say at the front desk why you are coming in. You could say that you have some questions, or that you have a sore throat, for example. This is something that people in smaller communities often worry about. You should know that health care providers are bound to a code of ethics, which means that they cannot share your information with other people without your permission. The only time this becomes a concern is when the health care provider has reason to believe that you are being harmed by someone else, you are thinking of harming yourself or someone else is at risk of harm from you.

Tell the health care provider you are speaking to that you are concerned about keeping your information private and wish for your conversation to remain confidential. Ask questions about how your personal information is handled. Health care providers do talk to each other about patient information when they are seeking advice or an opinion, which is part of making sure that patients get the best possible care.

You mentioned that you are worried about your parents finding out. Have you thought about talking to them about this? For some people this just is not possible however, parents can be very surprising at times, and can be very understanding even when not expected.

Do you have to get your parents’ permission to get birth control? In most cases, no. The health care provider will ask you questions to see if you understand the risks versus benefits of being on birth control and other questions to evaluate your understanding of being sexually active, healthy relationships, decision making and risks that come with being sexually active.

Question: Can girls get pregnant by themselves naturally?

That’s a very good question. Why not check out this section of our site which has a video that will answer your questions. In a nutshell, in order for a female to get pregnant “naturally” you need an egg from a female and a sperm from a male. So a female cannot naturally get pregnant on her own.

Question: “I haven't had my period in over a month and a half, gained weight by a pound or two, mood swing and not feeling happy as much. But i dont think im pregnant, because i haven't had sex. Is there a possibility or could i be sick or something”

There are many reasons why a person may experience an irregular (not on time) period. Sometimes this has to do with age - younger women often have irregular periods when they first start menstruating.  It can also be due to stress or extreme amounts of exercise. There are also some medical conditions that can cause a person to stop having their period. There can also be different reasons for weight gain as well. If as you say, you haven’t had sex, then it’s probably unlikely that you are pregnant. However, any sexual activity where semen (sperm) may have come in contact with the vagina (i.e. ejaculation outside but near the vagina, or sperm on fingers that were inserted into the vagina, etc.,) can result in pregnancy.

Whatever the case may be, it sounds as though you are concerned about this. It is best for you to make an appointment to see your health care provider (doctor or nurse) so they can ask you some more detailed questions about your medical history and do a physical exam and tests if necessary. It’s also important for you to speak to someone you trust if you are experiencing mood swings and not feeling happy.

For more information on pregnancy, please check out this section of the website, or you can check out this site: http://sexualityandu.ca/en/sexual-health/all_about_menstruation

Also this part of our site might be of interest to you.

Question : Can masturbating lead to death in some cases?

Masturbation as an activity in itself does not lead to death. It is a perfectly healthy and normal activity that many people do privately. However in theory, if a person is masturbating so much that they forget to eat food and/or drink water or to sleep, then yes they could ultimately die from starvation or dehydration or exhaustion. This is true for any activity done to excess though. If a person played computer games continuously and forgot to eat, sleep or drink then this activity could lead to death in some cases. Any activity done so much (whether it be masturbating or playing video games) that prevents people from interacting with others or from developing meaningful relationships with people may be a sign that there is imbalance in that person’s life for some reason, and they really should discuss this with a trusted adult (parent, family member, school counsellor, doctor or nurse).

What your question touches upon, is a history of myths and shame that has surrounded the act of masturbating for some time. Some people used to believe that masturbation would cause hair to grow on the palms of their hands or cause people to go blind. These myths exist because many people still aren’t comfortable about their sexuality or are given messages that having healthy sexual feelings is wrong. Masturbation is a healthy and normal activity when done in privacy and no one should feel shame for doing it. Please check out this page of the website for more information on masturbation.

Question: Does your stomach growl insanely with **lovesickness**???

A growling stomach is not a usual way that people describe the experience of being ‘love sick’, but there are people who get upset stomachs when they get worried or stressed out.

Usually growling stomachs happen when a person is hungry, or has an upset stomach due to a virus or bacteria (germs). When growling is happening because of a virus or bacteria, a person may also experience pain in their stomach, may feel like they are going to throw up, or may experience diarrhea.

You have used the word “insanely” to describe your stomach growling, which sounds like this is happening a lot and this is not usual. You should follow-up with your health centre, doctor or usual health care provider about this so that you can find out what the cause is. They will be able to ask you more questions in person about how you are feeling, and may also talk to you about your eating habits if they feel this is the cause of your stomach growling. Even if the feelings in your stomach aren’t caused by hunger or by germs, having the chance to talk to the doctor or nurse about how you are feeling may be helpful.

Question: Can people really get love sickness?

Love sickness is a term that is used to describe the physical and emotional feelings that a person experiences as a result of being in love. It can happen at the beginning of a relationship when a person is overwhelmed with feelings of being in love with someone. It can also happen when two people in love are separated by distance for a period of time. Lastly, it can take place at the end of a relationship when a person is experiencing the pain of a relationship breaking up.

Though love sickness isn’t a technical medical diagnosis, anyone who has ever experienced the feeling of being love sick, will tell you the feelings they are experiencing are definitely real. Different people have different ways of dealing with these feelings. If they are at the beginning of a relationship they may find themselves texting or talking on the phone with their loved one all the time. Writing letters, e-mails or in a journal is another way that people may work through their feelings. When a relationship ends, a person may feel like they need a really good cry (or two, or three). They may feel that it’s difficult to concentrate on school work and like they don’t want to eat much. Spending time with friends or family - people who care about them may help to ease the pain.

Whatever the case may be, if someone who is experiencing the feeling of being love sick finds that it is interfering with their ability to carry on with their daily life, or if they feel sad all the time and don’t want to do anything, this could be a sign of a more serious problem – depression. If you or someone you care about just can’t shake the feelings of sadness or aren’t able to let go, this may be depression - this is something that cannot be ignored and needs to be taken seriously. A person who feels this way needs to talk to someone they trust about this – like a close family member, school counsellor, teacher, social worker, youth worker or community counsellor. Please see our Stress and Mental Health section for more information and ideas for where to get help.

Question: What happens if the fluid has a bad odour and itches at night during bed sometimes?

This question doesn’t say where the “fluid” is coming from but, any discharge that comes from the vagina or penis that has a bad odour, is a sign that something is going on and you need to make an appointment to see your healthcare provider (nurse or doctor) to get it checked out.  

The nurse or doctor will ask you detailed questions about the symptoms (fluid with a bad odour, itching), you are experiencing and may give you some medication to help make the symptoms go away. Although the thought of talking to someone in person about this may seem embarrassing, it’s important for you to do this as soon as you can. Remember, your health care provider is there to help you out and answer any questions that you may have. Bringing a friend along may help, if this is something that will help you to feel more comfortable. 

Question: Do men get boners?   

A “boner” or erection, is a normal part of life and it can happen at any point in a male’s life - even as a newborn, and certainly in adults and older men. Erections happen when extra blood flows into the penis, making it hard. This can happen because of being sexually aroused, but can also happen without being “turned on” and this is known as a “spontaneous erection”. These types of spontaneous erections happen because of the influence of hormones. Many males wake up with erections in the morning and this happens because of the normal sleep cycle – not because they are having sexy dreams.

For more information on the male body, why not check out this section of the website: http://www.respectyourself.ca/yourbody/themalebody

Question: What is the clear sticky stuff coming out of the vagina opening?

All females produce fluid that can come out of the vagina. This discharge is normally clear (though can dry on the underpants with a whitish colour). The amount of discharge a female produces changes throughout the menstrual cycle and is different for every person. This discharge serves a good purpose – it helps to cleanse the vagina and keep it healthy. Discharge that has an odour to it, is accompanied by pain or itching or is a different colour or texture that what a person usually experiences, is not normal and that person should contact their healthcare provider for a check-up. 

Question: Can you get pregnant without having sex?

It is very rare that a person gets pregnant without having sex. However, it is possible. For instance if a person’s hands or a toy used for sex, came into contact with pre-ejaculatory fluid (which can contain sperm), or in contact with ejaculatory fluid (semen) and then is placed inside a woman’s vagina, there is a possibility that the sperm can travel up the reproductive tract and inseminate an egg. Also, if a person ejaculates on, or near the vaginal opening there is a possibility that the sperm can travel up the reproductive tract as well. If you don’t want yourself or your partner to become pregnant, it’s safest to put a condom on an erect penis during foreplay and avoid getting these fluids near the genital area. Condoms are also recommended because they help to protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Question: How do you get rid of period cramps?

Many people experience cramping during their period. This is caused by contractions of muscles in the uterus that are working to shed the lining of the uterus (endometrium) for menstruation. People use different methods to ease the pain of cramping. Some people use heat from hot water bottle (not too hot), or take a warm bath. Other people find that exercising helps with the discomfort. Some people may find that taking a non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Advil is helpful. It’s a good idea to talk with a pharmacist, or health care professional about what product might work best for you. Be sure to follow the directions on the product or talk to the pharmacist/health care professional about how much medication you should be taking and how often. If you’ve tried these remedies and you find that they don’t help, then make sure to follow-up with your health care provider to discuss other pain management options.