Young People

Sexuality

All clinics, GPs and health professionals will give you the same level of help, support and information, whatever your sexuality. Don't be afraid to seek advice and help if you need it.

Many people have feelings towards other people from the same sex. You can think of sexuality like a scale, with gay or lesbian (homosexual) at one end and straight (heterosexual) at the other. Your sexuality will fit somewhere on the scale and might even move around throughout your life.

Some people have gay relationships and then have relationships with members of the opposite sex and vice versa. Others will always be attracted to one particular sex. There is no right or wrong when it comes to sexuality.

Talk to someone

If you think you are gay or if you are confused about your sexuality, it always helps to talk to someone. There are many social groups and telephone services that can listen to your concerns and provide advice.

For information about the groups and services available, you can contact the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on 020 7837 7324. This service is available wherever you are in the UK.

You might also find it helpful to talk to people that you know. This can bring you closer to friends and family and will mean that you can be yourself in their company. However, it's worth considering this carefully if you think they might react badly or if you think it might harm your relationship.

Protect yourself

Whether you are gay (attracted to your own sex), straight (attracted to the opposite sex) or bisexual (attracted to men and women), it's always important to take precautions and make sure your sex life, if you choose to have one, is healthy. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on during any sexual contact; it doesn't matter if you are straight, bisexual or gay.

Different infections are spread in different ways such as through vaginal, oral and anal sex, touching, kissing, through use of infected sex toys and sharing towels or flannels. There is a higher risk when bodily fluids such as semen or blood are mixed together.

To minimise the risk of catching STIs, men should always wear a condom. You should also avoid sharing sex toys that haven't been cleaned thoroughly.

If you think you may be at risk, contact your local genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic or speak to your GP. You can find out where your nearest GUM clinic is by calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Further information:


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