Sex and sexual health

Sex is part of many young adults’ lives and this is perfectly normal.

It's also perfectly normal if you have chosen not to have sex - you don't have to until you feel fully ready. No-one has the right to try and convince you otherwise - even if they are your partner.

The following sections should help you if you have questions about consent, your sexuality and sexual health.

2. Sexuality - LGBT+

It's not always about "boy meets girl" - lots of people are attracted to their own sex or both sexes.

Others feel that they may be a different gender to the body they're born in.

The term to cover this variety of sexuality is LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, plus) - the 'plus' refers to body image variations of transgender and transvestite.

Support

If you face problems such as acceptance from your family or bullying, Stonewall is a charity that supports LGBT+ people, with advice on coming out.

Will you join us at Pride?

Stonewall will be at 22 Pride events across Britain this summer. That's more than ever before, reaching far across the country, because we want to meet as many people as we can.

 
Over the Pride season we want to celebrate all the people who've been #ByYourSide through good times and bad.

Find your local Pride

London Friend and Galop also provide help, and there are lots of social groups for the LGBT community in central London.

3. Pregnancy

If you or your partner becomes pregnant, you can get advice from our Family Information Service.

There's also advice tailored for young people at our sexual health clinics:

Contact at Victoria Clinic

2nd Floor
South Westminster Centre for Sexual Health
82 Vincent Square
London SW1P 2PF
Telephone: 0845 811 6699
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 3.30pm to 4.30pm 

Nearest tubes: St James' Park (District and Circle lines) or Victoria (Victoria, District and Circle lines).

ARC at Winsland Clinic

1st Floor
Jefferiss Wing
St Mary's Hopsital
Praed Street
London W2 1NY

Telephone: 020 7886 6626
Opening hours: Tuesdays 3pm to 5pm 
Nearest tubes: Paddington (Hammersmith & City, District, Circle and Bakerloo lines) or Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City, District and Circle lines)

Young people can also attend the Jefferiss Wing at any time during the walk in clinics. Read more.

Out-of-hours clinic 

MSH at Queens Park

The MHS clinic is for people under 25 years old. You can book an appointment or turn up and wait on the day.

Queen's Park Health Centre
Dart Street
London W10 4LD
Telephone: 020 8968 8899
justin.gaffney@metrosexual.co.uk
Opening hours: Thursdays 5pm to 9pm and Saturdays 12 noon to 4pm
Nearest tubes: Kensal Green, Kilburn Park (Bakerloo line), Westbourne Park (Circle line, Hammersmith & City line)

Online help

The Checkurself website from the NHS offers information and advice for young people on sex, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and pregnancy. 

You'll also find lots of answers to your questions at Brook, an online sex health information service especially for young people. There are also 3 Brook drop-in centres in London

4. Sexually transmitted infections: get help

Using a condom reduces your risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Not all STIs show symptoms, but if you notice one of the following differences in your body, it's possible you have an STI:

  • unusual green, yellow or smelly discharge from the vagina or penis
  • heavier periods or bleeding between periods
  • pain or a burning feeling when weeing
  • rashes, itching, burning, tingling around the genitals or anus
  • blisters or lumps around the genitals or anus
  • black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear
  • pain during sex in women
  • lower abdominal pain in women

Read more about sexually transmitted infections- if you're worried you may have caught one, visit one of our sexual health clinics to make sure you get it treated.

Local clinic sessions for young people

Both the following Westminster clinics give confidential advice on sexual health for people aged 19 and under. Services include:

  • free condoms and other contraception
  • testing and treatment for STIs
  • emergency contraception
  • pregnancy testing
  • safer sex and sexuality information

Both services are drop ins - so you don't need an appointment.

Contact at Victoria Clinic

2nd Floor
South Westminster Centre for Sexual Health
82 Vincent Square
London SW1P 2PF
Telephone: 0845 811 6699
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 3.30pm to 4.30pm 

Nearest tubes: St James' Park (District and Circle lines) or Victoria (Victoria, District and Circle lines).

ARC at Winsland Clinic

1st Floor
Jefferiss Wing
St Mary's Hopsital
Praed Street
London W2 1NY

Telephone: 020 7886 6626
Opening hours: Tuesdays 3pm to 5pm 
Nearest tubes: Paddington (Hammersmith & City, District, Circle and Bakerloo lines) or Edgware Road (Hammersmith & City, District and Circle lines)

Out-of-hours clinic 

MSH at Queens Park

The MHS clinic is for people under 25 years old. You can book an appointment or turn up and wait on the day.

Queen's Park Health Centre
Dart Street
London W10 4LD
Telephone: 020 8968 8899
Email: justin.gaffney@metrosexual.co.uk
Opening hours: Thursdays 5pm to 9pm and Saturdays 12 noon to 4pm
Nearest tubes: Kensal Green, Kilburn Park (Bakerloo line), Westbourne Park (Circle line, Hammersmith & City line)

Online help

The Check-Kit from the NHS offers information and advice for young people on sex, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and pregnancy. 

You'll also find lots of answers to your questions at Brook, an online sex health information service especially for young people. There are also 3 Brook drop-in centres in London

5. Special needs, autism, learning disabilities

If you or someone you know has special educational needs, autism or a learning disability, there's advice at the Family Planning Association and Image in Action.  They are both professional healthcare services that cater specifically for your needs, teaching good sexual health practices through group work, role play and drama. 

Last updated 26 September 2017