If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: http://fyseq.tumblr.com/ask, though check out http://fuckyeahsexeducation.tumblr.com/FAQ!
Aesthetic Attraction: (es-ˈthe-tik attraction) Attraction to someone based on finding them attractive or aesthetically pleasing though you don’t necessarily want a sexual or romantic connection with them.
Ableism: (əb(ə)l-ism) prejudice or discrimination towards non able bodied or aneurotypical people.
Abortion: A medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. There are two types of abortions: surgical and medical. Surgical abortions are the most common in the United States and utilize a procedure called vacuum aspiration. Medical abortions, also called drug-induced abortions, involve taking medication that terminates a pregnancy.
Abstinence: deciding to refrain from doing something.
Abstinence based/Abstinence plus education: Sexuality education that focuses primarily on teaching abstinence, but also includes information about birth control and ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence only education: A form of sexuality education that teaches only about abstinence. No information is provided about condoms or other forms of birth control or safer sex practices. Unlike abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, there is not a timeframe or relationship status attached to when a person may choose to no longer be abstinent.
Abstinence until marriage programs: A form of sexuality education that teaches teens to wait until they are married to have sex. It usually includes no discussion of contraceptive methods, except to say they don’t work or to emphasize failure rates only. This approach to sexuality education teaches that sexual behaviors outside of heterosexual marriage are emotionally and physically harmful. For a full discussion of this topic visit Advocates for Youth.
Acquaintance Rape: When a person uses force or threat of force to have intercourse (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone he or she knows. Also known as “date” rape.
Age of Consent: The age when a person is legally able to consent to sexual behaviors. It varies from state to state, but ranges between 14 and 18 years of age’
AIDS: Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS is the diagnosis given to a person when they have a collection of symptoms and infections that result from an immune system that has been weakened by HIV. .
Ally: Someone who is not a member of a group that tends to be discriminated against but who works to support members of that group. Otherwise known as a decent person.
Amenorrhea: A condition where a person’s menstrual periods stop for reasons other than pregnancy or menopause. Primary amenorrhea is when a person has never had a period but experiences secondary sex characteristics (such as breast development) by age 16. Secondary amenorrhea is when a person has been having periods and they stop but they are not pregnant. Secondary amenorrhea may be due to intense exercise, low body fat, eating disorders or as a side effect of taking birth control.
Amniotic Fluid: the liquid in which a developing fetus floats. It acts as a cushion.
Amniotic Sac: the thin membrane that surrounds the amniotic fluid and the fetus.
Allosexual: Person who experiences sexual attraction
Analingus: A sexual behavior where a person’s mouth and/or tongue is used to stimulate a partner’s anus. This is also known as rimming.
Androsexuality: An orientation based on sexual attraction to men
Anal Sex/Anal Intercourse: A sexual behavior where a penis or object is inserted into someone’s anus for sexual pleasure.
Anal Play: Any sexual activity involving the anus
Anus: The opening in the buttocks from which bowel movements come when a person goes to the bathroom. It is part of the digestive system; it gets rid of body wastes.
Artificial Fertilization: The more up-to-date term for “artificial insemination” A procedure that uses artificial means to place sperm into a uterus or cervix
Asexuality: An orientation based on not feeling any sexual attraction
Areola: An area of skin around the nipples that is darker than the rest of the breast/chest
Aromantic: An orientation based on not feeling any romantic attraction
Arousal: The physiological changes that occur as a result of sexual excitement. These include an erection, vaginal lubrication and an increased sense of sexual arousal.
Bacterial Vaginosis: Also known as “BV”, this is the most common vaginal infection. It is sometimes accompanied by discharge, odor, pain or burning. Bacterial vaginosis develops when there is an imbalance in the bacteria normally found in the vagina, and can sometimes be triggered by sexual behaviors. It can cause serious complications during pregnancy if it is not cured beforehand.
Barrier Method: Contraceptive methods that protect against pregnancy by placing a physical barrier between sperm and egg. This includes condoms, diaphragms, female condoms and the sponge. Some barrier methods protect against the transmission of STDs (condoms) others do not (diaphragm).
Bartholin’s glands: Two glands that are located in the inner labia on each side of the vaginal opening. Their purpose is to provide lubrication during sexual arousal.
Bisexuality: An orientation based on being sexually attracted to genders that are the same as and different than your gender.
Birth control: A collection of methods that are used to prevent pregnancy. Also known as contraception.
Birth control Pill: A hormonal method of birth control that prevents ovulation. Also called “the pill” or oral contraceptives, this method is 99-percent effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use, which means when taken every day at about the same time. “The pill” is prescribed by a health care provider and dispensed by a pharmacy. Birth control pills do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
Blue Balls: A term used to describe an uncomfortable feeling in the testicles when sexual excitement does not lead to ejaculation.Anyone can experience this uncomfortable feeling as a result of sexual pressure that builds up but is not released, not just those with testicles. It is usually described as a full feeling or an uncomfortable ache that occurs in the genitals. There is no damage as a result of pressure that is not released, and “blue balls” is never an excuse to keep going if someone wants to stop sexual behavior.
Body Image: The internal image that someone has of their own body, as well as the feelings that someone has about how other people react to their body. Body image is influenced more by self-esteem than by how physically attractive someone is.
Butch: usually used in the lesbian or queer community for a person with more mascuiline features or way of dress, also a gender identity for some.
CAFAB: (K-Fab) Coercively Assigned Female at birth, similar to FAAB, those assigned the female gender at birth.
CAMAB: (K-Mab) Coercively Assigned Male at birth, similar to MAAB, athose given assigned the male gender at birth
Capacity to Consent: A legal term that refers to someone’s ability to understand and make decisions. This can refer to receiving medical services or agreeing to sexual behaviors with a partner.
Celibacy: The decision not to engage in sexual behaviors, whether in the current time or in the future. This is used most commonly to refer to religious vows, such as those taken by a nun or a priest
Cell: a small part of a living thing
Cell Membrane: the thin membrane that surrounds every cell.
Cesarean Section (C-Section): A surgical procedure that removes a baby from the uterus, usually by cutting open the abdomen.
Cervical Cap: A small plastic or rubber cup that covers the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Also known as a barrier method of birth control, it must be used with spermicide for maximum effectiveness. It is 80-91-percent effective at preventing pregnancy and is prescribed by a health care provider and dispensed by a pharmacist. It does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Cervix: The opening of the uterus into the vagina
Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria that often has no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can include burning during urination, discharge and bleeding during intercourse.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States and is the leading cause of preventable infertility and ectopic pregnancy since it can cause scarring and damage to the reproductive system if it is not treated early. Because chlamydia is a bacterial infection, it can be cured with antibiotics.
Chromosome: a string of genes
cis gender: (sis gender) Anyone whose gender identity matches their designated sex. Whenever any baby is born the doctor will proclaim it’s sex. Sometimes that child’s gender identity isn’t the same as that proclamation, when its not they may identify as trans* if it does match up they are cis. Etymology: same as trans, Latin, you may have heard it in math or science classes. Also they’re both used in every day language with words like transatlantic or cisalpine. Cis means on the same side, or in science/math terms when groups lie on the same side of a given plane, meaning both their gender identity and designated sex/gender are the same
Circumcision: The removal of the foreskin and sometimes surrounding area from the penis.
cissexism: (sis-sexism) prejudice or discrimination towards trans people (preferable to transphobia as -phobia words can be offensive and abelism)
Clitoris: also called clit, part of the genitals at the crest of the labia that’s full of nerves and becomes erect. It has a glans and shaft and physically is the same system as a penis but only its glans is on the outside of the body.
Clitorodynia: (Clit-or-o-die-nia) Much like vulvadynia only the condition only affects the clitoris
Closeted: A term that refers to a person who does not tell others their sexual orientation or gender identity. Sometimes referred to as being “in the closet.”
Coitus Interruptus: A method of birth control where the penis is pulled out of the vagina before ejaculation. It is not recommended to use by itself because it is unreliable, but it is better than not using any method at all. This method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. It is also known as pulling out or withdrawal.
Come Out: A person being open about being LGBT+
Comprehensive Sex Education: A form of education that encourages a positive view of sexuality as a natural part of human development. It provides information about sexual abstinence as well as pregnancy and disease prevention, and provides teens with skills to ensure they are able to take care of their sexual health by making healthy, responsible decisions.
Conception: the beginning of a pregnancy, conception is fertilization of an ovum by a sperm followed by the implantation in the uterus.
Condom: A latex, polyisoprene, or polyurethane sheath rolled over a penis to prevent semen and pre-cum from entering another person’s body (external condom) or a polyurethane pouch that has two flexible rings on either end (internal condom). One ring is inserted into the vagina and the other ring stays just outside of the vaginal opening.
Condom Availability Program: A school program that makes condoms available to students during the school day. Most schools that provide this program do so in the context of a school-based health center or clinic, which also provides education, counseling and sometimes STD testing.
Consent: deciding freely and voluntarily to engage in an activity
Contraception: Methods that are used to prevent pregnancy. This is another term for birth control.
Contraceptive: Any natural, barrier, hormonal or surgical method used to prevent pregnancy.
Contraction: the uterus squeezing to push a baby out.
Cowper’s Glands: also called Bulbourethral Glands, Glands on either side of the urethra that makes a discharge which lines the urethra when a person gets an erection to make it less acid-like to protect sperm
Cumming/cum/come/coming: Can be used to either describe orgasm, ejaculation or ejaculate.
Cunnilingus: (Cun-i-lingus) Oral sex involving a “vulva”, eating out, going down
Crabs: Pubic Lice, An STD that is caused by a parasite. Pubic lice live in pubic hair and lay their eggs. They can cause intense itching, especially at night. Public lice can be sexually transmitted but can also be transmitted if people share towels or other linens. They are cured with anti-lice medicated shampoo and body wash, such as Kwell, which can be purchased in a drug store.
Cyber Sex: A sexually-charged interaction that takes place via computer. They can occur in chat rooms, through email or on social networking sites.
Cyst: A fluid-filled growth that is found on or inside of the body.
Cytoplasm: The jelly-like material inside a cell’s membrane, and all the parts floating in it except the nucleus
Dental Dam: A thin square of latex or polyurethane used to cover the vulva during oral sex or the anus during analingus to reduce the risk of spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It is called a “dental dam” because it was created for use in dental procedures.
Demisexual: An orientation within the asexual spectrum based on only feeling sexual attraction after a strong bond is formed.
Depo Provera: A hormonal contraceptive method that is injected into a person’s arm or buttock every 12 weeks by a doctor or clinician. It works by preventing ovulation and by thickening cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering an egg. It is also known as “Depo” or “the shot.”
Diaphragm: A dome-shaped rubber cup used with a spermicidal gel or cream that covers the opening to the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. It is 80-percent effective with typical use and 94-perecnt effective with perfect use at preventing pregnancy. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Digital Sex: sexual activity involving the hand, also manual sex or “fingering”
Dilation: The process of widening an opening in the body. In reproductive health, it refers to the widening of the cervix during childbirth.
Dildo: A penis-shaped sex toy often made of rubber or plastic.
Discharge: Liquid. Urine and semen are kinds of discharge but the word is usually used to describe the normal wetness that cleans the vagina or the abnormal wetness from infection.
Discrimination: unfair or unequal treatment of people based on their appearance, behavior, or (presumed or real) identity
DFAB: (Dee-Fab) Designated Female at Birth
DMAB: (Dee-Mab) Designated Male at Birth
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. The hereditary chemical of which genes and chromosomes are made.
Doggy Style: A sexual position that has one partner on hands and knees and the other behind them.
Douching: The rinsing of the inside of the vagina, usually with an over-the-counter product labeled for this purpose. Douching is not medically necessary and is not recommended. Some people mistakenly think that douching right after unprotected vaginal intercourse can help reduce the chances of pregnancy; it cannot. It can actually increase the risk for vaginal infections.
Dry Sex: A sexual behavior that encompasses going through the motions of sex (rubbing fully or partially-clothed bodies, especially genitals) against each other.
Dysmenorrhea: A condition characterized by painful periods
Ectopic Pregnancy: When a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. Since most ectopic pregnancies implant in the fallopian tube, they are also sometimes called tubal pregnancies. In this situation the fetus is not viable, which means it cannot survive. All ectopic pregnancies need to be terminated; if left untreated, they can be dangerous to the woman’s health.
Ejaculation: the expelling of liquids from the genitals. This can occur in a penis or a vulva. With vulval ejaculation, true ejaculation is a secretion from the skene’s gland much like what the prostate produces to put in semen and it comes from the urethral opening. However, ejaculation can also refer to vaginal lubrication being expelled from the vagina.
Ejaculate: another name for either semen or that which is secreted from the skene’s gland, or vaginal lubrication.
Emancipated Minor: An emancipated (“freed”) minor is someone who is under the age of 18 but has the rights and responsibilities of an adult. The laws vary state to state, but generally minors can become emancipated minor if they are under 18 years old and married (if that is legal in their state), in the armed forces or pregnant. Minors can also go to court to ask to be emancipated as a minor if they live separately from their family and no longer receive financial help from them.
Embryo: The developing human offspring from implantation to about 8 weeks.
Emergency Contraceptives: (EC) A way to reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected vaginal intercourse or intercourse where the method of birth control failed. Comes in the form of pills (commonly known as the “morning-after pill,” even though it can be taken it up to five days after). The pills are sold under the name Plan B, Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and ella. EC can be up to 75 – 89-percent effective if taken within 72-120 hours and for most brands is more effective the sooner it is taken. ella, however, is fully effective for all 5 days. Plan B One-Step is available for sale over-the-counter at pharmacies for anyone regardless of age. Plan B One-Step emergency contraception is not effective at preventing pregnancy in people over 176 pounds. If you weigh over 176 pounds and need emergency contraception, you should speak to a health care provider about possibly using another emergency contraceptive pill or a copper IUD. Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel are approved for sale without a prescription to those who are 17 and older from a pharmacist. If you are 16 or younger, you will need a prescription for Next Choice, Next Choice One Dose, My Way and Levonorgestrel. The EC pill ella is only available with a prescription regardless of age. Prices may vary for each of these options depending on the brand, the pharmacy and which state you are in. The Copper IUD also works as emergency contraceptives. You can also use certain doses of certain birth control pills as EC.
Endometrium: The lining of the uterus that grows and sheds during the menstrual cycle. It is also where a fertilized egg implants to begin a pregnancy.
Epididymis: The coiled tubes, behind the testicles, where sperm mature, and are stored
Erection: a part of the body filling with blood and becoming larger and harder.
Estrogen: A hormone produced by the ovaries. One of its functions is to help regulate the menstrual cycle.
FAAB: (Fab) Female Assigned at birth. Similar to DFAB and CFAB
Fallopian Tubes: the ducts or tube that carry an ovum from the ovary to the uterus
Family Planning: the practice of controlling the number of children in a family and the intervals between their births, particularly by means of artificial contraception or voluntary sterilization.
Family Planning Clinic: A place that provides sexual and reproductive health care including, but not limited to, Pap tests, pelvic and breast exams, pregnancy testing and options counseling, birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, and more.
Fecundity: potential to reproduce or give birth
Fellatio: (fə-ˈlā-shē-ˌō) Oral sex involving a “penis”; blow jobs, going down
Femme: used in the queer community, for more feminine features or style of dress, also a gender identity for some.
Fetish: (fe-tish) Something that is needed for sexual gratification or orgasm.
Fertility: reproduction of live offspring
Fertilization: the joining of sperm and ovum
Fetus: developing offspring from about 8 weeks to birth.
FGM: Female Genital Mutilation (apologies for the gendered language) removal of the clitoris and sometimes surrounding area on the vulva.
Fimbra: The finger-like parts on the end of each fallopian tube which find an ovum and sweep in into the tube
Flaccid: not erect
Foreskin: The sleeve of skin and membrane around the glans of the penis. Full of nerves, it protects the glans and helps lubricate during sex.
Foreplay: All of the sexual activities that people might do to get each other sexually aroused either before or instead of intercourse.
Fraternal Twins: Twins that grew from two eggs, fertilized by different sperm.
Frot/Frottage/Frotting: the practice of touching or rubbing against the clothed or unclothed body of another person in a crowd as a means of obtaining sexual gratification. (also, grinding or dry humping or tribadism tribbing)
FTM: (Eff-Tee-Em) Female to male trans person, also referred to as trans man/male. This is outdated and offensive to some.
Gardasil: A vaccine for people ages nine to 26 that helps prevent four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). These four types of HPV account for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, and cause 90 percent of cases of genital warts. The vaccine protects them from contracting the virus and therefore stops the spread of certain strains of HPV to their partners.The Gardasil vaccine is given in three injections over six months. It’s most effective BEFORE a person starts having sex, but has benefits even if that person has had sex in the past.
G-spot: The shorter term for the “Grafenberg” Spot. It is an area about two knuckles’ length in on the top or bellybutton side of the vagina that can produce intense sexual pleasure in some or even cause some to ejaculate. It’s now known to be part of the internal part of the clitoris.
Gender: A person’s inner sense of being a certain gender, whether it’s a man, woman, or other. It may be based on feelings about your body, feelings about your gender presentation, or many other things.
Gender Confirmation Surgery: a procedure that changes a person’s external features to better match their gender identity.
Genderfluid: individuals who move between two or more different gender identities or expressions at different times or in different situations.
Genderqueer: an umbrella term covering non-normative gender identity and gender expression. The label may also be used by individuals wishing to identify as holding queer or non-normative gender without being any more specific about the nature of their gender.
Genderneutral pronouns: pronouns used either when you don’t know the gender of a person or where they prefer pronouns that aren’t gendered. Common ones are They/them or zie/hir.
Gender Presentation/Gender Expression: Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Should not be used as an indication of gender or sexual orientation.
Gender Roles: The social and behavioural norms for a certain gender. Ex: the male is the provider and the female cooks, cleans and raises children. Although we are starting to move past this in our society, gender roles can still be seen in society and popular media. Can especially be confusing and unhealthy in regards to non binary or non cisgender people.
Genes: microscopic messenger codes inside each cell of our bodies.
Genitals: The parts of the reproductive system on the outside of a person’s body.
Genital Integrity: the belief that personal security is an inalienable human right and that every individual has the right to be free from unwanted genital surgeries.
Genital Warts: A sexually transmitted disease caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes small, painless, flesh-colored bumps that often look like small cauliflowers around and in the genitals, anus and/or mouth.
Glands: the parts of the body which produce important fluids (hormones, sweat, urine, semen, saliva, etc.) or cells (sperm, eggs, white blood cells, etc.)
Glans: The head of the penis/clitoris, full of nerve endings.
Gonads: The sex glands; the ovaries or testicles. They make sex cells (eggs and sperm) and sex hormones. They are part of both the reproductive and endocrine systems
Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted disease that is bacterial. Symptoms include a pus-like discharge from the penis and an increased need to urinate or there may be discharge from the vagina. Many people will not have any symptoms. Gonorrhea can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Also referred to as “the clap” or “the drip.”
GP: General Practitioner, a medical doctor who is trained to provide primary health care to all patients
Grey-Asexual (Grey-A): an orientation within the asexual spectrum based on only sometimes experiencing sexual attraction.
Group Sex: When more than two people are having sex with each other at the same time. (3 people= threesome or menage a trois, 4 people= foursome, 5 people or more= orgy)
GSRM: (Gee-Ess-Em) Gender and Romantic or Sexuality (sexual orientation) Minorities
GSRD: Gender and Romantic or Sexuality Diversity
Gynecologist: A medical doctor specializing in reproductive health care for those with vaginas.
Gynosexuality: Orientation based on sexual attraction to women
Health Care Provider: A licensed doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or midwife who provides information, testing, services and resources relating to one’s health.
Hepatitis B: A sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus that can result in serious liver damage, even death. Infection occurs through contact with infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or saliva. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, dark urine and jaundice. Hepatitis B has a vaccine to prevent infection.
Hepatitis C: A sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus that can cause liver damage. Infection occurs through contact with another person’s infected blood, most often from sharing needles with someone who already has Hepatitis C. There are usually no symptoms associated with Hepatitis C. It is diagnosed through a blood test.
Herpes: A sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). It can also be transmitted non-sexually (such as through kissing) and causes small, blister-like sores (cold sores) around the mouth or genitals. Herpes type 1 is typically associated with sores around the mouth, while Herpes type 2 is typically associated with sores around the genitals or anus. Genital herpes cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated using antiviral medications.
heterosexism: (Hetero-sexism) prejudice or discrimination towards homosexual or queer people (preferable to homophobia as -phobia words can be offensive and abelism)
HIV: The human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS ). The virus weakens a person’s immune system so that the person can’t fight off everyday infections. HIV is transmitted from exposure to an infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk.
Hormones: chemicals made by many glands which flow, along with blood, through the bloodstream. They are messengers which help the body work properly.
Hormonal Injection: When a chemical (progestin) that is made to act like the natural hormones already in the human body is injected into a person’s body every three months to prevent pregnancy. In the United States, this shot is called Depo-Provera. Hormonal injections do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
HRT: (ach-ar-tee) Hormone Replacement therapy, when someone is put on the hormone opposite of what is naturally the highest hormone in their body, IE going on estrogen when you are a person with more testosterone.
HPV: The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that may cause small, painless flesh-colored bumps around the genitals, anus and/or mouth. The virus cannot be cured. Some strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer, which is why it is very important to get regular Pap tests. Early detection can prevent cervical cancer. HPV has also been linked to penile ,anal, vulval, vaginal, and throat cancer.
Human rights: the basic protections and entitlements due to every human being. These rights are inalienable. That is, they cannot be taken away from anyone. A partial list includes the rights to: food and shelter; education; health care; civic participation and expression; equal treatment before the law; and treatment with respect and dignity. People’s ability to fully exercise their human rights affects virtually every aspect of their lives.
Hysterectomy: The surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Identical Twins: Twins that grew from one egg, fertilized by one sperm, that split into two balls of cells before it implanted in the uterus.
Identity: the way people think of themselves, or describe themselves to others. The way that others perceive someone’s appearance or behavior does not necessarily match that person’s own sense of identity. People typically have more than one aspect to their identity. For example, a person can identify as a boy, a Hindu, and also as a student. Identity can come from belonging to a community. The way people identify themselves may change over time. (“Identity” may also refer to formal recognition of a person by the state, such as having a name, birth registration, and nationality.)
Implant: A small, thin, implantable hormonal contraceptive that is effective for up to three years. A trained health care professional inserts the small rod under the skin of the upper arm. The rod can be removed by a health care professional. It is 99-percent effective with perfect use at preventing pregnancy but does not protect against STDs.
Implantation: The ball of cells (that used to be a single fertilized egg) nesting in the wall of the uterus
Impotence: The inability to have or maintain an erection.
Infertile: Unable to produce live offspring
Intactivism: Activism focusing on bringing awareness to routine genital surgeries on infants and working towards outlawing or reducing their practice.
Intersex: a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy, hormones, or genetics that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.
Intimacy: Feelings of closeness and trust with another person.
Intrauterine Device: (IUD, Intrauterine system, IUS) A contraceptive device that is inserted in the uterus. It works by preventing fertilization and/or implantation of a fertilized egg. IUDs are 99-percent effective with perfect use at preventingpregnancy. Prescribed and inserted by a health care provider.
Judicial Bypass: If a minor wants to have an abortion and lives in a state that requires parental consent before they can get one, they can go before a judge to ask permission. The judge will then decide whether she can obtain an abortion without their parents’ knowledge. This process is called a judicial bypass.
Kegels: (ˈkā-gəls) Exercises for the pelvic floor muscles. They can help treat Vaginismus and menstrual cramps as well as prostate pain and inflammation.
Kink: Something that is found arousing
Labia: The folds of skin on genitals that protect openings to the urethra and vagina
Labia Majora: The larger (meaning wider, not longer), outer set of labia
Labia Minora: The smaller (meaning thinner, not necessarily shorter), inner set of labia.
Labor: The time (a few hours to a day or more) during which a person is having contractions and giving birth.
Late-Term Abortion: A term used to describe an abortion performed “late” in the pregnancy. However, experts do not agree about exactly when that is. For some, “late” abortions are those that take place after the 27th week of pregnancy; for others, the 21st week is considered “late-term.”
Late-term abortions are legal, although states may have restrictions regarding them, but are relatively rare and harder to obtain than early abortions.
They are usually a result of a wanted pregnancy when the parent’s life is in danger or if the fetus died or would have died once born.
LGBT+: (El-Gee-Bee-Tee plus) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. Can also refer to other gender, sex, and sexuality minorities
Libido: A term that refers to someone’s sex drive or the amount or frequency of sex they would like to have
Love: An intense feeling of affection
Lubricant: (Lube) A substance that reduces chafing, irritation and discomfort during many types of sexual activities. The vagina produces its own lubrication naturally, but there are also manufactured lubricants that can be used. Examples of these include AstroGlide, K-Y Jelly and Slippery Stuff. All are water-based and safe to use with latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants should never be used with latex, as it will cause the latex to break down and increase the risk of pregnancy or the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Lust: A strong feeling of sexual attraction and desire towards another person.
MAAB: (Mab) Male Assigned at birth. Similar to DMAB and CMAB
Mandatory Waiting Period: A waiting period that is required by state law. It is most commonly used to refer to those seeking abortions. Not all states have waiting periods.
Manual sex: any kind of sexual act involving hands stimulating the genitals. Also known as digital sex.
Masturbation: The touching of one’s own body, especially the genitals, for sexual pleasure.
Miscarriage: A pregnancy ending before the embryo or fetus is able to live outside the uterus
Missionary Position: A sexual position in which usually one person puts their penis inside the other’s vagina while lying on top of them, although there are variances where a penis isn’t used or a vagina isn’t used.
Medical Abortion: When a pregnancy is ended by taking two medications rather than ended by a surgical procedure. First, a woman is given Mifepristone (a pill) or Methotrexate (an injection). The first medication works by inhibiting her body’s ability to produce progesterone, a hormone that is necessary for sustaining a pregnancy. Three days later, another medication, Misoprostol, is given. This medication causes the muscles in a woman’s uterus to contract and have her period. Medical abortions are 95-percent effective.
Menarche: When a person menstruates for the first time.
Menstruation: The lining of the uterus emptying out through the vagina, “having a period” or Menses
Menstrual Cycle: This is the monthly proceses, which involves the release of an egg (ovum), the build-up of the lining of the uterus in preparation for a possible pregnancy and the release of the lining if no pregnancy occurs. Most menstrual cycles last about 28 days, but every person’s cycle can be different—some cycles are longer and some are shorter.
Minor: A person who is not old enough to be an adult under state law. The age varies by state. In most states, you are a minor if you are 17 years or younger. That means that in most states you are an adult if you are 18 or older.
Misogyny: The fear, oppression, and hatred of women.
Molestation: The inappropriate sexual touching typically between an adult and a younger person. Molestation is illegal.
Monogamy: Technically the sate of being married to only one person, although it’s also used for meaning only being sexually and romantically with one person. Monoamory can also be used.
Monosexism: (mono-sexism) prejudice or descrimination of people who are attracted to more than one gender (preferable to biphobia as it is more inclusive and -phobia words can be offensive and abelism)
Mons Pubis: rounded mass of fatty tissue lying over the joint of the pubic bones, this is where pubic hair grows.
Mutual Masturbation: When partners either touch their own genitals while they are together, or touch each others’ genitals at the same time for sexual pleasure.
MTF: (Em-Tee-Ef) Male to female trans person, also referred to as trans woman/female. This is outdated and offensive to some.
Multisexuality: Someone who is attracted to two or more genders
Natural Family Planning: A behavioral method of birth control in which a person does some combination of charting when they get their period on a calendar, taking and recording their daily temperature upon waking, and monitoring their cervical mucus for several consecutive months. Together , these three methods help to determine the time of ovulation when an egg is released and pregnancy is most likely to happen if the person has regular menstrual cycles. They then abstain from having vaginal intercourse on or around that time. This is also referred to as the rhythm method or fertility awareness depending on how many methods are used, it is 75-percent effective with typical use and 80-percent effective with perfect use at preventing pregnancy. It does not, however, provide any protection against STDs.
Nipples: The tips of the breasts which are sensitive to touch and temperature.
Nocturnal Emission: Ejaculation or secretion of vaginal lubrication during sleep “wet dream”
Neutrois: Either a neutral gender or genderless identity
Non-binary: not within the male or female categories.
Non-monogamy: not practicing monogamy, can include friends with benefits, open relationships, swinging, or polyamory
Nucleus: The core of a cell, which contains the chromosomes.
Nuvaring: A form of hormonal birth control. The NuvaRing is a soft, flexible and transparent ring that prevents pregnancy when inserted into the vagina, up near the cervix. It releases a combination of hormones, and is 98-percent effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use. NuvaRing is worn inside the vagina for three weeks and then removed at the beginning of the fourth week, then a new one is inserted a week later. It must be prescribed by a health care provider. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
OBGYN: Obstetrics and gynaecology, the two surgical–medical specialties dealing with the= reproductive organs in their pregnant and non-pregnant state
Opt-in Policy: school policy that typically pertains to sexuality education courses, but can pertain to other content as well. It is a policy where parents have to give permission for their children to take human sexuality education course when it is offered at school. Most schools tell parents when their children will be taking a sexuality education class. In some school districts, parents have to sign and return a permission slip agreeing to let their children take the course. That is called an “opt-in” policy, and unless parents give their permission their children will be taken out of those classes.
Opt-Out Policy: Similar to an opt-in policy, in some school districts, school officials notify parents that sexuality education will be taught. If parents object, it’s up to them to write the school to say they don’t want their child to participate.
Oral Sex: Using the mouth and/or tongue to stimulate the genitals of a partner.
Orgasm: a release after a build up of pleasure. This is a feeling. It can cause physiological responses like shaking, tightening of the muscles, moaning, quickness of breath or holding your breath, or ejaculation but really this varies so much from person to person there’s not really a way for a partner to tell if you have orgasmed.
Ortho Evra: The patch, A birth control method in the form of a patch that is worn on the buttocks, lower back or upper arm that releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. It is 99-percent effective with perfect use at preventing pregnancy. The patch is worn for a week at a time, and each week it is replaced with a fresh one. After three weeks, one week is “patch free,” which is when a period will occur. The patch does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and must be prescribed by a health care provider.
Outercourse: Sexual behaviors that do not involve the insertion of fingers, a penis, a tongue or sex toys into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person. This can include kissing and other kinds of sexual touching.
Outing: Publicly revealing the sexual orientation of someone who has not shared it. Outing is disrespectful to the person and can lead to uncomfortable and even dangerous situations for the person. No one has a right to share private information about another person.
Ovaries: Gonads usually on either side of the uterus where egg cells are stored and hormones are made.
Ovulation: The release of an ovum from the ovary
Ovum: the cell that can start a pregnancy when it joins with a sperm cell “egg” or “egg cell”
Pansexuality: An orientation based on being sexually attracted to all genders
Pap Smear: A medical test that examines cells from the cervix to determine whether there are any irregular cells that could indicate a pre-cancerous condition. During a pelvic exam, a gynecologist or other clinician will gently scrape the cervix with an instrument to collect some of the cells near the opening to the cervix. These cells are placed on a slide and examined under a microscope at a lab.
Partial Birth Abortion: “Partial-birth” is an incorrect term used to describe a type of surgical abortion that is done in the last trimester of pregnancy only when a pregnant person’s life is at risk. This is a rare medical procedure that makes up about 0.17-percent of all abortions performed in the United States. (That’s less than a quarter of one percent of all abortions.) Also see “late-term” abortion.
Pelvic Exam: A relatively short procedure where the doctor checks the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum and pelvis, including your ovaries, for masses, growths or other abnormalities.
Penis: part of the genitals generally below the mons pubis and above the testicles that’s full of nerves and becomes erect. It has a glans and shaft and physically is the same system as a clitoris but both the glans and shaft are outside the body.
Perineum: The area of tissue between the vaginal opening or the scrotum and the anus. The slang term for this is taint.
PC: (Pee-See) Politically Correct
Phone Sex: A sexual encounter between two people that takes place entirely via the telephone.
PinV sex: (Pee- in- Vee sex )Penis in Vagina sex
PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the internal reproductive organs of those designated the female gender at birth, typically the result of untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia. PID often causes chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, bleeding between periods, inflamed fallopian tubes and possible scarring that can result in infertility. It can be treated with a combination of antibiotics; however, severe cases may require hospitalization.
Placenta: an organ that grows inside the uterus during pregnancy to carry flood and oxygen from the parent and waste from the embryo or fetus. It produces many hormones that affect both parent and fetus. It develops from the original ball of cells that implant in the uterus.
Platonic: A term to describe relationship that does not include romance or sex; a non-sexual friendship.
POC: (Pee-Oh-See) People of Color
Polyamory: being able to love and be in a relationship with more than one person at a time
Polygamy: the state of being married to more than one person
Polysexuality: sexual attraction to two or more genders
Pre-ejaculate: Pre-cum, a small amount of fluid that is made in the Cowper’s Gland and that comes out of the tip of the penis shortly after one gets an erection. It is designed to clean the urethra of urine and coat the walls to increase the chances of sperm surviving once they are ejaculated. Pre-cum only contains sperm if there is some from previous ejaculations still in the system, but it can transmit an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
Pregnancy Test: A test to determine whether or not a person is pregnant. Pregnancy tests come in two varieties: a urine test, which can be taken at home, and a blood test, which must be administered by a clinician.
The urine test is by far the most widely used and can be used within 5-6 days after implantation (when a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus). You can buy a home pregnancy test (Called an EPC or early pregnancy test) at most drug stores for between $8-20. You do not need a prescription.
Another option is to go get a blood test done at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office.
Premature Birth: Born before 38 weeks of pregnancy. Survival sometimes depends on proper medical care or cannot be achieved.
Premature Ejaculation: When a person ejaculates shortly after their penis becomes erect and with little or no sexual stimulation. This is a very common occurrence that happens less frequently as a person gets older. Although many feel shame when this happens, there is nothing to be ashamed of; nearly every man will experience this at some point in their life.
Prenatal: Before birth.
Progesterone: A hormone produced in the ovaries primarily responsible for maintaining a pregnancy.
Prostate Gland: a gland under the bladder that makes some of the liquid part of semen.
Puberty: The process of developing from a child into an adolescent or young adult, which involves a range of physical and emotional changes.
Pubic Hair: The coarse hair that typically grows around the penis and vulva.
Queef: Also known as vaginal farting. It happens when a small amount of air is forced out of a vagina
Queer: can be used as an umbrella term for gender and sexuality minorities. Can also be used as a synonym for multisexualities like bisexuality, pansexuality or polysexuality. Can also be a term for someone that feels no other labels fit them
QUILTBAG+: Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay and others in the community.
Rape: The definition of rape can vary slightly from state to state, but generally speaking it refers to forcing someone to have some kind of sexual intercourse when that person did not want to or is legally unable to see whether they wanted to. For example, a person who is mentally or developmentally delayed may not in some states be able to consent to having sex; a person who is drunk or high is unable to legally consent to having sex. And a person under a certain age is unable to consent to having sex, called “statutory rape.” The age at which a person can legally consent to having sex also varies from state to state.
Relationship Structure: Almost like an orientation, some people prefer certain relationship structures. This includes monogamy, non-monogamy and polyamory.
Riding: when a person is on top of another person during sex
Romantic Attraction: Attraction to someone based on the desire to be in a romantic relationship with them.
Romantic Orientation: the orientation based on your romantic attraction.
Safe School Laws: Statewide legal protections in schools that are there to protect students from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently only 11 states plus Washington, D.C., have adopted Safe Schools Laws. Two states have laws protecting against discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity.
Safer Sex: Being responsible about shared sexual behaviors by doing things that reduce your chances of getting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease and/or becoming pregnant. Usually, this means educating oneself about STDs and pregnancy, using latex barriers like condoms and dental dams„ and getting tested for STDs on a regular basis. Because nothing is 100 percent safe, aside from continuous abstinence, the term is “safer” rather than “safe” sex.
Sapiosexuality: Sexually attracted to intelligence.
Scabies: A sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a mite (a kind of insect) that burrows under the skin, causing intense itching and the formation of pus. Scabies can be cured by using medicated shampoo, which can be purchased at a drug store.
Scrotum: The sac that holds the testes and controls their temperature
Self Breast Exam: touching ones breasts to familiarize oneself with them and to detect any changes that occur so that they can be reported to a health care provider.
Semen: the thick, whitish liquid which carries sperm cells
Seminal Vesicles: Glands on each vas deference that makes some of the liquid part of semen.
Seminiferous Tubules: Highly coiled tubes in the testes where sperm is made.
Sex: The act of engaging in sexual behaviors with another person—such as oral, anal, manual, grinding or vaginal intercourse.
Sexual Abuse: Sexual touching or behaviors that are unwanted, including rape, touching another person’s breasts or genitals and more. Sexual abuse is illegal.
Sexual Assault: Using force to engage in a sexual behavior (such as kissing, touching, oral, anal or vaginal intercourse) with another person when that person has not consented. It is illegal.
Sexual Attraction: Attraction to someone based on sexual desire for certain genders
Sexual Orientation: orientation based on sexual attraction
Sexual Desire: a strong feeling of wanting to have sexual activity
Sexual Response/Arousal: The purely physical bodily reaction to stimuli
Shaft: The long part of the penis/clitoris (the shaft of the clitoris is inside the body)
Skoliosexual: orientations based on sexual attraction to non-binary people
Sliding Scale Fee: A fee based on how much a person earn. So, if a teen earns very little money, they pay very little, and if they earn a lot, they pay the full amount for services.
Smegma: (smeg-muh) secretions that get caught in folds of skin. It’s most commonly used for the white discharge like stuff found in and around foreskin but it also occurs under and around the hood of the clitoris.
Speculum: A plastic or metal device that is used to gently keep the walls of a vagina open during a pelvic exam or other medical procedure so that the cervix can be seen.
Sperm: The Cell that can start a pregnancy when it joins with an ovum
Spermicide: A chemical that kills sperm. The most common spermicide is nonoxynol-9. It comes in a variety of forms including gel, cream, foam, suppositories and film which can be purchased in most drug or grocery stores without a prescription. Typically, it is used in conjunction with another method like a diaphragm or condoms. You can also purchase condoms lubricated with spermicide.
Sponge: A contraceptive device containing spermicide that is inserted into the vagina and pushed up against the cervix to provide a barrier against and release chemicals to kill sperm.
Social norms: expectations for how people in a community should act or think. Growing up, people come to think of the prevailing norms as “natural” or “normal.” In fact, norms vary from place to place and over time. Prevailing norms often pressure people to meet social expectations. They influence people’s attitudes and behavior. People who act or think in ways that are different from the norm may be viewed as inferior rather than independent.
Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under a certain age. This age varies from state to state, but it is usually between 12 and 18 years old.
Sterilization: A permanent form of birth control. It is a minor operation that stops the ovum (egg) and sperm from joining. Closing off the fallopian tubes is known as tubal ligation or “getting the tubes tied.” Closing off the vas deferens is called a vasectomy.
SRS: (Ess-Ar-Ess) Sexual realignment surgery. When someone goes through surgery to change body parts that socially are used to denote sex, top surgery being the removal or addition of breasts, bottom surgery being on the genitals to create either a penis or vagina. Also known as gender confirmation surgery.
STI: Sexually Transmitted Infection, a more correct word for STD as they are infections and not diseases.
Stigma: severe social disapproval based on an individual’s personal characteristics. It may also arise when a person’s beliefs or actions do not comply with social norms. For example, in some places people face stigma because of their weight, sexual behavior, religion, or health status.
Syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease that is caused by bacteria and results in chancres or painless sores in the genital area. It can be transmitted when an infected person comes into contact with another uninfected person’s vagina, penis, anus or mouth. Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics, but if left untreated, can cause brain damage and even death.
Testicles: gonads in the scrotum that make sperm and hormones. called “testes” or “balls”
Testicular Exam: There are two types of testicular exams: one done by a health care provider and a testicular self-exam which a person can do on themselves, or have their partner do for them. During a testicular exam, a health care provider visually and manually checks the scrotum—the loose bag of skin which holds the testes—and penis for lumps or growths on the skin. The purpose of a testicular exam is to have a person familiarize themselves with their body, so if there are lumps, bumps or warts,
Trans: Anyone who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Could be any gender variant or trans person
Transgender: Person who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Etymology: same as cis, Latin. Trans means across or in science/math terms when groups lie on opposite sides of a given plane, so one plane being their designated gender/sex, the other plane being their gender identity. (some non binary people do identify as transgender as well)
Transsexual: very similar to transgender, this word is falling out of favour but if used usually use used to describe someone who is transitioning, going through hormones or surgery.
Trichomoniasis: A sexually transmitted disease that is caused by an organism that lives in the lining of the vaginal walls and causes an odorous, foamy, irritating discharge. Trichomoniasis, or Trich, can be passed between sexual partners and can be cured with antibiotics.
Trimester: Within sexuality, trimesters tend to refer to the three periods of approximately three months into which a pregnancy is divided. These three trimesters make up the nine months of a typical pregnancy.
TW: (tee-Double You) Trigger warning
Two-spirit: a non-binary gender identity for indigenous peoples. Although it has different meaning in different communities it means having both female and male spirits within one person. Also called Bedarche
Umbilical Cord: tube leading from naval of the embryo/fetus to the placenta.
Urethra: The tube that carries urine out of the body. It also can carry semen but not at the same time
Urinary Tract Infection: An infection caused by bacteria entering the system that involves how a person urinates. This includes the urethra, bladder and kidneys. Symptoms include an intense desire to urinate frequently and a burning sensation when urinating. It can be cured with antibiotics. In most cases, the infection is in the bladder and can be cured relatively easily.
Urine: Liquid waste that is made in the kidneys and stored in the bladder. It is released through the urethra when we go to the bathroom.
Uterus: The pear-shaped muscular reproductive organ from which females menstruate and where a pregnancy develops. The uterus is about the size of a loosely closed fist.
Vagina: The passageway from the uterus to the outside of the body. This is how menstrual blood, vaginal fluids and babies leave the body. It is also where a penis would be inserted during penile-vaginal intercourse, a finger or object for sexual pleasure or a tampon during menstruation.
Vaginal Contraceptive FIlm: VCF, A spermicide that is a paper-thin sheet of polyurethane that is placed inside the vagina close to the cervix and that dissolves with body heat and releases spermicide. This is a method of birth control that is meant to be used as a back-up to another method, such as a condom. On its own, VCF has a very low effectiveness rate for preventing pregnancy and provides no protection against STDs.
Vaginal Corona: Proper term for the “hymen”, a mucus membrane that usually makes a crescent moon shape inside the vagina of some people.
Vaginal Discharge: You vagina’s way of cleaning itself. Secreted from the vagina and cervix to get rid of dead cells and bacteria in the vagina.
Vaginal Ejaculation: secreted from skenes gland and is made up of the same thing secreted from the prostate found in penile ejaculation.
Vaginal lubrication: secreted from the Bartholin gland located on either side of the vagina and from the vagina itself during arousal.
Vaginismus: (Vag-in-is-mus) A medical disorder in which the muscles of the vagina clench upon penetration and make it very painful or impossible to be penetrated.
Vas Deferens: Thin tubes that transport sperm from the testes up past the prostate and seminal vesicles to the urethra.
Vulva: external genitalia including the labias, clitoris, and openings of the vagina and urethra.
Vulvodynia: (Vulva-die-nia)A medical disorder in which the vulva or parts of the vulva hurt when touched or stimulate
Yeast Infection: An infection that is caused by an overgrowth of the naturally occurring yeast in a vagina. Symptoms can include itching, skin irritation, redness, white and clumpy discharge and burning during urination. The infection can be cured by using an anti-fungal medication which can be bought in a drug store. Wearing cotton, loose-fitting underwear and keeping the area around the vaginal opening dry can help prevent yeast infections.
Zygote: a cell formed by the union of two gametes, a fertilized ovum
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