Sexual Health Issues

Positive Sexual Relationships and Sexual Health Issues – Information and Supports


Consent

Consent is an agreement between people to engage in a specific activity. Giving consent for one activity at one time, does not mean you have given consent for that activity to happen again. For example, agreeing to kiss someone doesn’t give that person permission to remove your clothes. Having sex with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to have sex with you again in the future. You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. The best way to ensure both people are comfortable with any sexual act is to talk about it. Consent should be freely given, and an enthusiastic, clearly communicated and ongoing yes. Never assume consent.

Information & Resources:

www.spunout.ie/life/article/yes-means-yes-how-to-know-consent-when-you-see-it
www.usi.ie/consent/
www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent

Video Resource - Consent - It's simple as tea!

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences Act) 2017

This act provides a definition of consent to sexual activity, outlines the circumstances under which consent cannot be given and outlines offences in relation to the production, distribution and possession of child pornography. This has implications for young people who are involved in ‘sexting’.
www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2017/act/2/enacted/en/pdf

 

Healthy Relationships

Relationships can be supportive and help people learn more about themselves. They can also be difficult, frustrating, and even unhealthy.  It’s good to be able to recognise the differences between a healthy and an unhealthy romantic relationship. The qualities we look for in a good friend should be the same qualities that we look for in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend – someone we trust, can have a laugh with, have lots in common with and are easy to talk to. 

Information & Resources

www.b4udecide.ie/relationships/healthy-relationships/
www.spunout.ie/life/category/life-dealingwithrelationships

Video Resources:

STI (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)

STIs stands for Sexually Transmitted Infections and are passed from person to person through sexual contact or skin to skin contact. They are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites and the most common STIs in Ireland are Chlamydia and Genital Warts. The only way you can know for sure if you have an STI is if you go to the doctor and get tested.

Information and Resources:

www.hivireland.ie/hepatitis-and-stis/stis/
www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/s/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-/

Find a Sexual Health Clinic @ www.thinkcontraception.ie
 

Sexting

Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images, primarily between mobile phones. With the increase of ‘sexting’ young people are at risk of reputational and emotional damage. Sexting can seem like harmless fun, but if the person you’re sending to isn’t trustworthy, or who they say they are, things can go wrong quickly. Once you’ve sent a photo, you can’t control who sees it, and it can be sent on to others or posted online. This can be embarrassing and stressful for you and can have a big impact on your life.

Think about whether the consequences are worth the risk – What if half of your school end up seeing your photo? How will you feel if someone makes fun of you? What if your photo ends up on the internet? How do you control who sees it? Thinking about what could go wrong might help you to keep yourself safe.

Information and Resources:

www.spunout.ie/life/article/sexting
www.webwise.ie
www.ie.reachout.com/inform-yourself/sex-and-relationships/sex/sexting/

 

Video on Sexting


 

Self Esteem

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself.  If you don’t feel good about yourself, you are less likely to make good decisions. Low self-esteem can influence the way you behave with other people. For instance, you might find yourself being unassertive (not saying what you think, feel or want), or doing things you don’t want to do. You might find yourself trying too hard to please other people – agreeing with them and agreeing to take part in sexual acts in order to make them like you. The key to good self-esteem is self-acceptance. This means not waiting until you’re perfect before you can accept yourself. When you practise self-acceptance, you accept yourself completely, without criticising or judging yourself.

Information and Resources:

www.bodywhys.ie
www.reachout.com

 

Contraception

Contraception is used by a couple in a sexual relationship (homosexual or heterosexual) to prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted infection and/or a pregnancy. The most common methods are condoms and the pill and condoms, which also protect against most sexually transmitted infections (STIs). All contraceptive methods are very effective, and most are 99% effective - when used correctly and consistently.

Information and Resources:

Download a guide to contraception booklet 
www.thinkcontraception.ie
www.b4udecide.ie/the-facts/contraception/
www.spunout.ie/health/article/a-z-of-contraception