Commonly Asked Questions

“How long does the egg (ovum) live?”
An egg lives for approximately twelve to twenty-four hours. This means that if you are tracking your menstrual cycle as a form of birth control, it’s important to take into account the possible twenty-four hours that an egg could live to meet a sperm.

“How long does sperm live?”
Sperm can live for approximately three to seven days inside a vagina. If you are tracking your menstrual cycle as a form of birth control, it’s important to take into account the time before and after intercourse where an egg could meet a sperm. Sperm dies quickly once “in the air,” which means for example if ejaculation (which contains sperm) happened on someone’s stomach, on clothing, or on a blanket there is no pregnancy risk.

“What happens during your first time having sex?”
Lots of people worry about the first time they have sex, whether it’s oral sex, anal sex, hand sex, vaginal sex, or mutual masturbation.

When I get asked this question from people with vaginas, they also often ask me whether they will bleed their first having vaginal sex. In order to answer this question fully, it’s important to understand that the hymen is not a barrier that covers the entire vagina. In fact, some people have no hymen at all. Think of the hymen like a hair scrunchie attached to the opening of the vagina. Like a scrunchie, the hymen is stretchy and does not cover the entire opening of the vagina (otherwise there would be no space for menstrual blood to come out). Like a scrunchie, hymen’s come in all different shapes and sizes and  can spring back to the position they held before. Like a scrunchie, if you pull too hard or too fast, the hymen could break.

In order to prevent pain or bleeding, there are many things that can be done to make the first time for sexual activity easier and more pleasurable. It’s really important to make sure that everyone is comfortable and wants to engage in the sexual activity. Communicating with your partner before, during and after sexual activity is very important. Foreplay can make the first time for sexual activity more enjoyable as well. Foreplay can include kissing, hugging, massaging, or rubbing bodies together. It’s never a bad idea to add extra lubricant too, which can be used to sex more enjoyable, and reduce your risk of STI’s.

“Should I have an orgasm every time I have sex?”
No, an orgasm is not the end result of every sexual activity a person engages in. Sometimes sexual activity may mean just having the opportunity to be close and intimate with another person. For some people orgasms may be the goal of every sexual contact and for others, it is not. It is important to be clear with your partner of what your expectations are when engaging in any form of sexual activity and what is comfortable and enjoyable to you.

“Is masturbation normal?”
Many people feel different ways about masturbation, but whether or not you believe masturbation is okay or not, masturbation is a very common activity among all people of all ages, even among people who are in a sexual relationship.

“Why do men have nipples?”
People with penises have nipples because when a pregnancy is developing, the pregnancy starts with all the body parts to develop a vagina and breasts. If testosterone (a chemical that is found in high levels in people with penises) comes in during the pregnancy, testosterone stops the development of breasts and a vagina and starts the development of a penis instead.

“How does girl on girl sex work?”
Penis and vaginal sex is not the only type of sex that people have. Many people, no matter what body parts they have, can have many different types of sex. Sex can include oral sex, anal sex, mutual masturbation, vaginal sex, and hand sex. Sex toys can also bring many people pleasure during sex.

“What do you think is an appropriate age for sex?”
We often get asked what is an appropriate age for sex. Our answer is that only each individual knows when they are ready for sex but here are some things to consider that might help.

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