Sex & Relationships

Growing up and forming relationships is challenging. And finding someone you trust to talk to about sex and answer your questions can be difficult. Parents and carers are often reluctant to talk about sex - they might be embarrassed to talk about something so personal, or not really know where to start.

You may have found out about sex during lessons at school, or from your friends. But you might have questions and not be sure where you can get reliable information from or who you can talk to about any worries you may have.

Before you begin to have sex, it is important to understand what it involves, the possible consequences and how it can affect your physical and emotional well-being. Sometimes young people are pressured into having sex before they feel ready. Make sure you have all the facts so you can make your own decisions.

A local organisation which helps young people to deal with sex is the Young People's Support Foundation. They provide information and education about relationships, sexual health and teenage pregnancy for young people. Their website is www.ypsf.co.uk, tel 0161 228 7654.

If you think you may be attracted to people of the same sex as you (homosexual), there is plenty of advice and information available. To talk to someone in confidence about your sexuality you can contact: The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF), 4th Floor, Princess House, 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD. Helpline: 0845 3 30 30 30, website www.lgf.org.uk

The LGF runs drop-in events for young people (aged under 21) - contact Rachel Barlow rachel.barlow@lgf.org.uk for details. Rachel also has information about a series of workshops on anger management, finance and other issues relevant to young people.

Other sources of information about sex and sexuality include:
Brook - www.brook.org.uk
Like It Is - www.likeitis.org.uk
NHS - www.birdsbeesandteens.nhs.uk
Need 2 Know - www.need2know.co.uk
Sexwise - www.ruthinking.co.uk
Terence Higgins Trust -

If you have been forced to have sex against your will or need help in dealing with an inappropriate sexual relationship, we have a Sexual Assault Referral Centre at St Mary's Hospital. The specialist staff provide medical treatment, advice on reporting the situation to the police and counselling services. You can contact them on 0161 276 6515.

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"Sometimes young people are pressured into having sex before they feel ready. Make suer you have all the facts so you can make your own decisions"