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Sexual Health for LGBTQ+

Celebrating your sexuality can be very healthy, but make sure you are safe and informed. These tips focus on sexual health with an LGBTQ+ spin!

Do you or someone you know have questions or need support around LGBTQ+ identity or sexual health? Call the LGBT Youth Line at 1-800-268-9688. You can also text 647-694-4275 or visit youthline.ca to chat. 

Consent is a vital part of a healthy sex life. Consent has to be explicit. If you're not sure if your partner is into it, ask them outright. Consent is sexy! 

Dental dams protect against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other germs, such as E. coli, during oral sex. They prevent the mouth from coming into contact with the vagina, vulva, and anus.

Pansexual – a person who is attracted to all genders. Some people prefer the term pansexual to bisexual because pansexual does not assume a gender binary. 

Not sure why you should get tested for an STI? Check out the Middlesex-London Health Unit's top 10 reasons you should get tested!

Internal condoms — aka “female” condoms can be used as an alternative to traditional condoms. Instead of going on the penis, internal condoms go inside the vagina for pregnancy prevention, or into the vagina or anus for protection from STIs.

Interested in learning about what the different letters mean in LGBTQ+? Check out our interactive tool Queer as Soup

Having sex as a trans woman can come with unique considerations. If you are thinking of transitioning or you've transitioned, check out this guide created by The 519.

Feeling alone or "unnatural" because of your sexuality? In fact, nature is full of all kinds of sexuality and gender identities. Check out this TEDx talk to learn more.

If you're looking for LGBTQ+ friendly health services in your community, check out the Rainbow Health Ontario Service Provider Directory.

Sexual orientation – a pattern of who someone feels emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to. Gay, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual and heterosexual are all examples of sexual orientations.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily medicine that lowers a person's chance of contracting HIV by more than 90%. Your risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if you combine PrEP with condoms and other prevention methods.

If you have a question about your sexual health or need more information than you can find online, check out Teen Health Source or Scarleteen. You can get your questions answered by trained volunteers.  

If you identify as asexual it can be difficult to figure out how to have relationships and develop intimacy with others. Read Soofiya's article to learn how she dealt with this challenge.

Did you know that those who are being penetrated (a "bottom") are at a higher risk of contracting an STI compared to those penetrating (a "top"). Make sure to use protection and get tested regularly.

Try not to share sex toys as this can increase the risk of contracting an STI. If you're going to share a toy, put a condom or other barrier on it before using it.

Getting tested is very important! If you want your partner to get tested, suggest that you go together. You could say something like "I guess we've never gone to get tested. Maybe we could do it together?"

Transgender (or trans) – Typically refers to anyone whose gender identity does not align with their assigned sex and gender at birth. Some trans people are binary-identified, others are not.

Exploring your sexuality can be an exciting time, but it can also come with its challenges. Play this interactive game to help Aerin the Ally change hurtful messages on city billboards into positive ones.

Have you been wanting to get tested, but are feeling scared to go alone? Check out events like this one organized by Spot of Delight. Even if you don't live in London ON, there may be similar events near you!

Sex should be pleasurable for both you and your partner. Try exploring what makes you feel good so you can let your partner know!

If you're being forced into doing things you don't want to do and feel unsafe, call the Canadian Human Trafficking Helpline at 1-833-900-1010. It's available 24/7/365. 

It's important to let your partner(s) know you have an STI. Disclose this before getting intimate. Possible opening: "I feel like we've been getting closer and I wanted to let you know that I contracted . . ." The right partner will be grateful you let them know.

Consent – 1) should never be assumed or implied 2) is not silence or the absence of “no” 3) cannot be given if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, or unconscious 4) can be withdrawn at any time 5) can never be obtained through threats or coercion

Asexual – someone who generally does not feel sexual attraction. Asexual refers to a lack of sexual attraction, not abstinence.

No matter who you love, be safe and know the risks of being sexually active. Play Adventures in Sex City to learn more about sexual health and how to stay safe.

Sex and gender are not the same. Sex is a biological term and refers to an individual's genitalia. Gender is harder to define. It can refer to a social construct (gender role) or an individual's personal identity (gender identity).

If you've recently been diagnosed with an STI you might feel scared and/or ashamed. Don't be too hard on yourself, STIs are very common. Fifty percent of people get an STI before they turn 25. Get tested, encourage your partner to get tested, and use protection.

Many community health units provide free, confidential and non-judgmental STI testing and treatment. If you or your partner has any concerns about the possibility of having an STI, get it checked out right away!

Interested in learning more about sexuality, sex and STIs? Check out the Sex & U website. It is an an initiative of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, Canada’s leading authority on sexual and reproductive health!