FAQs: in English
Sexual activity is related to sexual feelings. As we grow older, we get attracted towards some people. We feel like expressing these feelings. When we are with the person we are attracted to, or are thinking about the person, something happens in our body. These feelings are different from the ones we feel for other people we love. People express these feelings by holding hands, kissing, or many other things which may feel nice or pleasurable to them. Hugging or kissing your family members or friends is different from this. Kissing or hugging someone we are attracted to is a form of sexual activity. If one is ready, it feels good to have sex with someone who we like. If one has inhibitions or fears about someone or are just not ready, the experience can be painful. It’s good to have sex when we have all the necessary information and understanding on sexual activity. It is appropriate to have sexual relations when one is old enough to understand the consequences of such relations and take responsibility for them. The body and the mind are both connected when it comes to sexual relations. Pregnancy can occur when a man and woman have sex with each other, so we need to give serious thought and attention to the issue.
All those feelings that one wishes to express toward someone they are attracted to- through touch, through closeness, by holding hands, by kissing or through any other means can be understood as sexual feelings.
When we are coming of age or have come of age, sexual desires start forming in our minds. We start feeling sexual attracted towards the person or people we like or have feelings for. We wish to fall in love with them, have sexual relations with them
This attraction can be of three types- Heterosexual, Homosexual or Bisexual.
Many men feel emotional and sexual attraction only towards women. Many women feel emotional and sexual attraction only towards men. This means that such men and women’s sexual preference is people of the opposite sex. People who are attracted towards people of the opposite sex are said to be heterosexual.
Some men and women feel emotional and sexual attraction towards both men and women. Women feel attracted towards both men and women and men feel attraction towards both men and women. People with this sexual orientation are called bisexual. This in no way means that bisexual people are confused. There is no rule of nature that a person should feel attracted to people of only one gender.
Some men and women feel emotional and sexual attraction only towards people of their own gender. This means that men only feel attracted towards men and women only feel attracted towards women. So, such men and women feel attraction towards people of the same sex as their own. People with this sexual orientation are called homosexual. In common parlance, men who feel attracted towards men are called gay and women who are attracted towards women are called lesbians.
Feeling attracted towards any person is completely understandable and natural. There is nothing wrong with it.
While understanding sexual orientation, we need to keep one thing in mind. While coming of age, some heterosexual people can develop same-sex attractions. After a while, 2 to 3 years, there is a possibility that this attraction fades and they start feeling attracted towards the opposite gender again. The vice-versa could be true too!Which is why, we don’t necessarily immediately know our sexual orientation when we come of age. But by the time we are 18, what is our sexual orientation and which gender(s) do we feel attracted to becomes clearer.
What is of more importance to know is that all sexual orientations are natural. Being heterosexual is normal and everything else is abnormal and unnatural is an absolutely wrong idea. Homosexuality and Bisexuality are not diseases. That is why there is no need to cure it and no method of cure (counseling, medication, religious routes, forced marriage) can change a person’s sexual orientation. It is also important to know that no one can change their own sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not a question of choice. A person does not have control over what their sexual orientation is or will be. Everyone should be able to live their life the way they wish to and choose to. Therefore, we should learn to accept people of all diverse sexual orientations and oppose any form of discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.
Touching our own body to feel sexual pleasure is known as masturbation. Masturbation includes touching, stroking and rubbing one’s own genitals. These are natural acts. Girls and boys as well as men and women perform this activity. As long as we are not hurting ourselves or letting it interfere with everyday work, there is no harm in masturbation.
This is false information or a myth spread to prevent boys from masturbating. The penis does not bend because of masturbation. But if some metal, or pointed glass object is used while masturbating, it can cause harm to the genitals. It is necessary to take caution regarding this.
In men, with every heartbeat, around a 1000 sperms are being created in the body. For the sperms to leave the body, semen is created in the scrotum. When sexual feelings are aroused or sexual activities are performed, semen is ejaculated from the body and new semen is created. Semen is being constantly created and it cannot be stored.
There is a need to stop using the word Swapnadosh. Sometimes when boys are young or coming of age, while asleep, their penis becomes erect and semen comes out. This is an indication of the male reproductive organ functioning properly. But giving such an ordinary occurrence the name Swapnadosh gives the impression that there is something wrong with this. Semen which falls out of the body while the person is asleep is the simple and ordinary meaning of nightfall.
Yes. Girls and women masturbate. When women masturbate, they usually focus on the clitoris, the vagina and the breasts. Of course, there are individual differences and everyone has their own “sensitive zones”. What most women find sexually pleasing is to stimulate the clitoris. The clitoris is very sensitive and is the only organ in the whole body whose only function is pleasure. A variety of different strokes, rubbing and/or using objects can stimulate the genitals.
To make a baby, the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm need to meet and mix with each other. This happens when a man and a woman make love or have sex. The man’s penis goes into the woman’s vagina while they are making love. After some time semen comes out of the penis. The semen has many sperms. They travel into the woman’s vagina and reach her uterus. Only one sperm manages to meet the egg. The mixing of the sperm and the egg is called fertilization. The fertilized egg grows into the uterus which nourishes it for nine months.
Having babies is a bodily act. Marriage is a social, cultural and religious institution. Babies can be born without marriage, because babies come from sexual relations.
The mixing of the egg and the sperm is called fertilization. If the fertilized egg later splits into two, then identical twins are born. Sometimes two sperms mix with two female eggs. Then two non-identical or fraternal twins are born.
No. Holding hands, hugging or kissing cannot cause pregnancy. For pregnancy to occur, the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm have to mix with each other and cause fertilization. For that to happen, the man’s penis and the woman’s vagina need to come in contact with one another. Unless that happens, pregnancy does not occur.
For this, we need to understand the menstrual cycle. In a normal menstrual cycle, a woman’s pituitary gland secretes hormones that stimulate the ovaries to release an egg. The releasing of the egg is called ovulation, which most often happens in the middle of a cycle, around day 14 of the typical 28-day cycle. The exact timing of ovulation can vary between women — some have 35-day cycles, while others have 20-day cycles, with most women having cycles between 26 to 32 days long. After ovulation the released egg travels down a fallopian tube where it has about 24 hours to unite with a sperm. Since sperm cells can survive in a woman’s reproductive tract for up to three to five days, a woman can get pregnant if she has sex on the day she ovulates or on the days leading up to ovulation. So yes, pregnancy can occur even if someone has had sex only once.
The uterus is like a strong elastic bag which grows along with the baby. Because it is elastic, it does not burst, but keeps expanding. Once the baby is born, after a few months, the size of the womb goes back to its original size.
The fetus grows in the woman’s uterus. Usually after a period of 9 months, the muscles of the uterus start contracting which increases the pressure on the cervix which may increase the urge to push towards the vaginal opening. The vaginal opening opens up gradually and the fetus emerges in a head-first position. Sometimes the child is in a bottom-down or a sideways (transverse position). In these cases, the fetus has to be surgically taken out. This is known as Caesarean-section.
There is no such rule that women will experience pain while having sex. If there is consent, trust and understanding between the people, the chances of pain are reduced. But if the girl or women is forced into having sexual relations, then her body can revolt and she can experience pain. After being sexually aroused, the woman’s vagina produces secretions. This secretion keeps the vagina lubricated. But it takes a little time to get lubricated. If the vagina is still dry and the penis enters the vagina in a hurry, then it can be painful for the woman. Therefore, it becomes very important to take a woman’s consent and participate in some foreplay before sexual intercourse.
Various methods can be used to avoid pregnancy. Some of these are for women, while some for men. These methods are called contraceptives meaning ‘against conception’.
Contraceptives for men: CONDOMS: A condom is a thin latex sheath to be worn on the penis to prevent the semen and pre-ejaculate from coming in touch with the partner’s body. Condoms are to be worn as soon as he has an erection. Condoms cannot be reused. Condoms prevent pregnancy.
Contraceptives for women: PILLS: Oral contraceptive pills are to be taken regularly even if a woman is not having sex everyday. These pills are available in the market but should be taken only after consulting a gynecologist because they may not suit some women. Pills are very reliable.
PESSARIES: Pessaries are tablets that are inserted into the vaginal opening 10-15 minutes before intercourse. They absorb moisture and begin to gently foam. They absorb moisture and begin to gently foam. The foam produced contains a chemical that destroys the sperm. The chemical effect lasts only for about half an hour.
IUCDs: These are Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices (for example Copper T). They are placed in the uterus by a qualified doctor and can last for 3,5, 7 or 10 years.
OTHER CONTRACEPTIVES: not easily available in India, are caps, diaphragms, female condoms and implants. Injectable contraceptives are available. It is advisable to consult a qualified doctor, since contraceptives are known to have side effects in some people.
Female sterilization or tubectomy is a permanent form of contraception for women. It is a procedure to block the fallopian tubes so that the sperm cannot travel up to meet the ovum (egg) and begin a pregnancy.
The most common method is called laparoscopic sterilisation. This usually means a general anaesthetic, and a possible overnight stay in hospital.
One or two 1cm incisions are made in the abdomen, one at the navel and one below the pubic hairline. Some doctors only make one incision. A laparoscope (a tiny telescope) is inserted so that the doctor can see the tubes. The tubes are closed off by clips, rings, or simply cutting and tying. Some people are not able to have a laparoscopy – they may require a laparotomy. This involves a larger incision in the abdomen, and most women need to stay in hospital for a few days for the incision to heal.
A newer alternative called Essure® allows small flexible micro-inserts to be inserted into each fallopian tube via the vagina, cervix and uterus. The micro-inserts cause scar tissue to form in the fallopian tubes, which blocks them. No incisions are necessary and it can be done under local anaesthetic. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and most women are able to go home two or three hours later.
[Link used for reference: http://www.fpnsw.org.au/400931_8.html]
Although menstruation and ovulation are related, the movement of the egg from the ovary into the uterine cavity has no relation with the flow of menstrual blood. The egg is released usually around mid-cycle and gets propelled through the fallopian tube, where fertilisation occurs normally. In women with blocked fallopian tubes or those whose tubes were cut during surgery, the egg is released from the ovary at ovulation and absorbed within the abdominal cavity. Menstruation, on the other hand is from the endometrial cavity (inside uterine lining) and its flow is not affected by tubal blockage or absence. As such, a woman can have a normal cycle as long as the ovaries are intact.
[Link used for reference: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/645344-how-do-periods-come-about-after-tubal-ligation.html].
Every couple has the right to decide whether or not they want a child. This right especially applies to women because they have to bear and give birth to the child. This is why the decision to whether or not to have the child should be the woman’s. Contraceptive has some consequences on the body. That is why before making a decision; one should think about it and gather information about the different options. Condoms are considered the safest option for men. Learning how to use condoms properly can help avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Using a condom does not inhibit or reduce sexual pleasure. Instead, the lack of fear about unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases can make the experience more pleasurable.
The reason you feel pain is that your womb is contracting (or squeezing) to remove the lining that it no longer needs because you are not pregnant. It’s thought that pain-causing chemicals, called prostaglandins, are involved in helping the womb contract. Unfortunately, they also make you feel pain. This is why you can feel muscle pain, hands and your legs can get cramps, your stomach can hurt, and your lower back too can feel cramping.
[Link used for reference: https://www.panadol.co.uk/Menstrual/Articles/Articles/What-Causes-Menstrual-Pain/].
There is no problem in having sex during period if the people involved are consenting to it. Since there is a lesser probability of getting pregnant, one can have sex in a more relaxed manner. There is nothing impure or perverted about it.
Oral sex or oral intercourse is sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a person by another person using the mouth (including the lips, tongue or teeth). For a man, his penis is stimulated, while in women, their clitoris is stimulated. During oral sex, it is important for the genitals to be clean. Similarly, if someone has wounds in their mouth or their teeth or cavities are bleeding, there is a risk of being infected with HIV, HPV, AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. [Link for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_sex]
Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person’s anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure. Other forms of anal sex include fingering, the use of sex toys for anal penetration, and oral sex performed on the anus (anilingus). The anal and rectal tissues are delicate and do not provide natural lubrication, so they can easily tear and permit disease transmission, especially if lubricant is not used. This is why using safe lubricating gels proves useful during anal sex.
[Link for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_sex]
This is a very popular assumption. In our society, among the many norms that tell us what a man is supposed to like, one of them is that men want sex more than women do. There is no scientific basis for this statement. Men expressing their sexual desires is not considered to be a bad thing. Also, a man doing anything at all to realize that sexual desire is also considered to be just another expression of his masculinity. But, women too have sexual urges and desires, and they too can be intense, just like men’s. But they do not get as many opportunities to express these desires. Since women are not allowed to either talk about sexual desires or express their wish to have sex, the assumption that they do not like sex as much as men has evolved.
Sex can be an expression of love or/and sexual attraction towards each other. People can have sexual relations because it is a physical need as well. It is a primal and basic human need. Some people really feel the need to have sex while some people do not feel any urge to have sex. From ancient times, men and women have been sexually attracted to one another and have been having sex as well. Marriage is the socially sanctioned or accepted path to have sex. There is nothing good or bad about having sex. But there is a need for the people involved in the sexual activity are consenting and trust one another. Sex is an activity which requires to be done with a certain sense of responsibility. There is a possibility of the woman getting pregnant because of the act of sex. It is important to know all the possible consequences of sex. Also, it is important for both the partners to understand this responsibility.
Condoms are used to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. During the act of sex, the condom is put on the penis once it is erect. If the condom is of a good quality and flexible, then it does not come in the way of sexual pleasure. Instead, the reduced fear of unwanted pregnancy can make the experience more relaxed.
When in love, physical intimacy and sex should take place only when both the partners have agreed to it. If you want to have sex with your partner, it is important that you find out whether the other person is ready and interested in having sex. Express your wishes openly to him and if he agrees to it then have consensual sexual relations with each other. If one of you is not ready, then pressurizing the other person for sex is not okay.
You have every right to refuse an unwanted touch and expressing that you don’t like a particular touch. Nobody has the right to touch against your will, whether they are a close relative, a known person or a complete stranger. Tell someone who you trust about your uncle’s behavior and you can together figure out how to stop this behavior of his. But most importantly know that none of this is your fault. If it is possible, clearly tell your uncle that this behavior is not okay. If you live together and it is not possible to let him know, then try to avoid being alone with him. You can take help by dialing “1098”, the number to an organization called Child-Line, which works with children.
Displaying your genitals to people in public spaces is known as exhibitionism. People, who do this, feel pleasure in displaying their genitals to others. If done without consent, it amounts to harassment.
Watching a blue film or pornography can be a choice we make. Many a times, this is the only way to get information about sexual acts. We still cannot talk openly about sexuality and sex. We cannot clear our doubts or questions. In this scenario, pornography is often the only route to get information.
But we need to understand the meaning of whatever we are watching. Many a times, these films depict sexual relations in an extremely violent and non-consensual manner. Sometimes the sexual acts shown are extremely unrealistic. Watching such content can form unrealistic or unhealthy ideas about sex and sexual relations and we can expect the same from our partner. Such forceful behavior is wrong. Watching blue films are not wrong, but understanding its meaning and avoiding the unrealistic or non-consensual behavior depicted in it is very important.
Sexual relationships can be of several kinds. Having sex with multiple people at the same time is just one of the many kinds of sexual activities possible. Sometimes people have sex with more than one person at the same time. What is important is that everyone involved consents to the act. It is important to keep in mind that no one’s body is misused, no one is forced into and no one is psychologically or physically hurt in the process.
To have sexual relationship with your boyfriend and whether or not to make a clip of the sexual acts is both of your decision. But is there any way of assuring that the clip will remain within just you two? Your sexual act is an extremely private and sensitive act. Nobody else has the right to be involved in it. Similarly, nobody has the right to disseminate any video clip of you having sexual relations, without your permission. If you are afraid that your partner will upload the video, please speak clearly with him and explain to him how that would be a breach of trust. Also let him know that legally, this would prove to be a crime (Section 66 E of the Information Technology Act states that whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both.)
Whether or not a clip of your sexual acts is made should be your decision and should involve your consent. But it is important to be aware of the possible negative consequences if the clip does circulate without your permission.
There are certain images of the body that are formed in every society. These change according to changing time and cultures. In every society, every culture, there is a unique body image of men and women. The media, advertisements, films, fashion industry, and many other sources keep bombarding us with these images. This image is that of a slim and proportionate body. If we start comparing ourselves to that image, then most people will not fit in. There is no need to feel bad or ashamed of having big breasts. Try not to compare yourself to women around you. Your body is only yours. There are some things that can be changed about it and some things that cannot. What is more important than the size of your breasts is the way you carry yourself or behave with other people.
Size 0 and 00 is the smallest size in American clothing. The chest-waist-hips measurements for size 0 are 30-22-32. Size 00 is around half to two inches lesser than this. In India, Kareena Kapoor reduced her weight from 65 to 48 to get the zero figure. After understanding that the pressure to get a zero figure has increased the incidence of diseases like anorexia in many models and younger women, big fashion houses started disallowing size zero models. Many former size zero models advice young women to stay away from such extreme behavior.
In anal sex, a penis enters the anus. The muscles of the anus are not as flexible as that of the vagina. This can cause some injury to the anus when the penis is being thrust in and out. To avoid this from happening, using good lubricants helps. There should be attention paid to the condom not tearing during the act of sex. For that, lubrication with water content in it or even saliva can be used.
Like any other relationship, homosexual relations are natural. It is natural to feel attraction towards another person. There is nothing perverse or unnatural about it. It is normal for a woman to feel attraction towards another woman and a man towards another man and it is also normal for people to act upon this attraction and have sexual relations with one another. It is important that such relations, just like sexual relations between men and women, be consensual and no one involved be forced into it.
Hijra is a person who is assigned gender male a birth, but psychologically and emotionally identify with femininity. In some societies, a few children are given to god. The women become “devdasis”, while the men are called “jogtas”. Since being a Hijra is considered to be wrong or demeaning in our society, many Hijra persons are pushed to the margins of the society. They have to often depend on sex work or begging as means to survival. Hijra persons prefer to dress, behave, identify in a manner that is considered to be feminine or female by the society. Some Hijras take female hormones through medication or injections or silicone implants to enlarge their breasts. Some Hijras persons even undergo surgical procedures to remove male genitals to feel more comfortable with themselves and their bodies.
There is nothing wrong with not having feelings of love and attraction. There is no rule that everyone has to have these feelings.
In romantic relationships, people often behave in an obsessive manner, where they act like they own the person they are with. The books we read and the movies we watch also showcase such stories of love. “Only I have a right over him/her and that he/she cannot even look at anyone else” – many tv shows/movies/plays/songs still revolve around these themes. But it is not okay to restrict someone else’s freedom when it comes to their other relationships. It is important to accept the fact that along with the relationship of love, there are other friendships, relationships, responsibilities that a person can have. This applies to both men and women. Some people have double standards like in a relationship the girl cannot talk to any boy, but the boy can have female friends. You have to speak to your girlfriend and explain to her that you spending time with your friends, talking to them, helping them out, does not interfere with the love that you feel for her. Talk to her about how talking to other women is not always about sexual attraction. Also think about whether you are okay with your girlfriend talking to her friends and if you ever object to her interacting with her friends.
To get pregnant, there has to be a union of the male sperm and the female egg. During the act of sex, when the penis enters the vagina, after a while it ejaculates and releases semen. Semen has thousands of sperms. Try to remember whether his penis had entered your vagina and whether he ejaculated. Also, try to remember which day of the menstrual cycle it was when you had sex. The egg is released from the ovary approximately two weeks (12-16) days before the period. So do check which day of your menstrual cycle did you have sex on. A woman is supposed to fertile for 4 days before and after the release of the egg. This means that one can get pregnant in this period. If you had sex sometime around the time the egg was released from the ovary and if you have not had your period for 17 days since then, it is advisable that you take a pregnancy test.
In India, it is legal to have an abortion. The Medial Termination of Pregnancy (MPT) Act allows for abortions under specific circumstances. In India, it is allowed to have an abortion till 20 weeks post conception. Abortion done by 12 weeks post conception is safe. Conceiving the fetus, growing it in the womb and giving birth are all done by the women. This is why it is of utmost importance that she is ready for the whole process. If a woman becomes pregnant against her will, whether or not she wishes to grow the fetus or give birth should be her decision.
There are various ways one can abort. It is safest to have an abortion at the earliest, within 12 weeks of conception. Manual vacuum aspiration is one of the safest methods of abortion. This procedure is performed with the use of a handheld syringe as a source of suction for removing uterine contents. Dilation and Curretage is a very popular and widely used technique of abortion. Here, a spoon like device is used to gently scrape the lining of the uterus and remove the tissue in the uterus. Some pills are also used to have an abortion. For all of these procedures, it is important for the person doing it to have scientific knowledge and expertise in this field. Also, the dispensary/hospital environment it is done in should be hygienic.
While growing up, especially during adolescence, there is a strong urge among many boys among us to prove our masculinity to the world. To show them that-yes, I too am a real man! Impressing girls, making them fall in love with us, is a very big part of it. But love is something that happens when both the people involved are ready and willing. If you genuinely have feelings for some girl, please do let her know about your feelings. But just because your friends have challenged you, going ahead and tricking someone into falling in love with you, against your will, is not okay. It’s something that happens in movies. Movies whose stories we shouldn’t apply in our lives! In reality, whatever happens after doing something like this is something you have to live with.