Am I ready for this? Is this how it should feel? Should I go to the doctor?
All of these questions are about your sexual well-being and are questions you may ask many times throughout your life. Sexual well-being goes beyond avoiding unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s also about feeling good about yourself, your sex life, your decisions, and how your body works.
Are you thinking, “But I am not having sex right now?” One day you might, and the more you know about your options and yourself, the better your sexual health and well-being will be.
If you are having sex (once, sometimes, or all the time), now is a good time to get a STI test, and it is great if you can get your partner(s) to do so, too. Click here for locations around DC to get tested for STIs.
Want information on birth control? If you know what kind you prefer or want to discuss your options, click here to find youth-friendly organizations in DC that provide free or low-cost contraception.
Though sex can get complicated, a few parts should always be simple and clear:
- It should be something all parties want to do
- It should be safe for your body and your emotions
- It should feel good.
So, what is the best way to make sure your sexual well-being is solid? Talk! Discuss your needs with your sexual partners, your friends, your doctors, and adults in your life that you trust.
What’s available here in DC?
DC has many great clinics and centers around the city that offer health services. Though most people have health insurance, there are also places where you can go even if you don’t have insurance or don’t want to use yours.
DC also has school-based health centers that provide comprehensive health services to students enrolled at these high schools: Anacostia, Ballou, Cardozo, Coolidge, Dunbar, Roosevelt, and H.D. Woodson. Students over 14 years old can get free and confidential sexual and mental health services at these locations.
Not a student at one of these schools or want to go somewhere else? Check out our DC Health Locator of youth friendly sexual health providers.
Where can I learn more about sexual anatomy (my private parts)?
Teen Vogue provides a look at the male sexual anatomy, with illustrations and explanations of what each part does.
216 Teens has an illustration of the female sexual anatomy and explains how each organ works.
Biological sex is not just male or female, about 1.5 % of the population is born with intersex traits. To learn more about what it means to be intersex, watch this video or read this brochure.