The fun stuff
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Rectum

The lowest end of the large intestine before the anus, where solid waste (faeces) is stored.

Role-Play

Acting out a fantasy with a partner.

S&M (Sadomasochism)

The consensual use of domination and/or pain within mutually decided limits in sexual role play. The “sadist” is the partner who dominates and inflicts pain. The “masochist” is the partner who is submissive and receives pain. A safe word is chosen in advance that can be used at any time to stop the sexual role play.

Safe Word

A previously agreed upon spoken signal that means a partner is no longer enjoying an activity during S & M play and it must stop.

Sanitary Pad

An absorbent pad made of cotton or similar fibers that is worn against the vulva inside of underwear to absorb menstrual flow.

Self-esteem

Means feeling worthwhile

Self-Pleasuring

A euphemism for masturbation.

Semen

Fluid containing sperm and other elements that is released from the penis during ejaculation.

Seminal Vesicle

One of two small organs located beneath the bladder and connected to the urethra that produces seminal fluid.

Sex Change Operation

Interventions intended to alter the sex organs to conform to one’s gender identity. For MTFs, this is usually the removal of the testes and the surgical creation of a vagina and clitoris. For FTMs, this is usually the construction of a penis from the client’s own tissue. Scrotal implants may or may not be added during these procedures. Also called “genital reconstruction surgery.”

Sex Worker

An adult who sells consensual sexual activities for income.

Sexting

Using a mobile phone to send a sexy text message or image - often of oneself

Sexual Abuse

Sexual activity that is harmful, exploitative, or not consensual.

Sexual Arousal

Physiological response to sexual excitement e.g. erection, vaginal lubrication.

Sexual Attraction

An affinity for someone that evokes the want to engage in physical intimate behaviour (e.g., kissing, touching, intercourse), experienced in varying degrees (from little-to-none, to intense). Often conflated with romantic attraction.

Sexual Harassment

Unwanted sexual attention through touch, gestures, looks, comments, rumours or other means.

Sexual Health

As defined by the World Health Organisation: "sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."

Sexual Liberation

The shift of a society from repressive, sex-negative sexual attitudes to more accepting and sex-positive sexual attitudes.

Sexual Orientation

The term used to describe whether a person feels sexual desire for people of the opposite gender, same gender, or both genders. People who feel sexual desire for members of the other gender are heterosexual, or straight. People who feel sexual desire for people of the same gender are homosexual, or gay. Gay women are called lesbians. People who are attracted to both genders are bisexuals.

Sexual Preference

(1) The types of sexual intercourse, stimulation, and gratification one likes to receive and participate in. (2) Generally, when this term is used, it is being mistakenly interchanged with “sexual orientation,” creating an illusion that one has a choice (or “preference”) in who they are attracted to.

Sexual Taboo

Any behaviour, relationship, symbol, or word related to sex and sexuality that a society forbids because it is a gross violation of social or religious norms. One of the most prevalent sex taboos worldwide is directed against incest. Another widespread taboo is directed against having contact with menstruating women.

Sexuality

Describes emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions towards others, often describing the gender of people with whom someone builds relationships. Some people experience sexuality as fluid and changing across the lifespan rather than as an ‘orientation’

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

An infection that can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact: usually vaginal, anal or oral sex. Sometimes referred to as a "sexually transmitted disease (STD)" or "venereal disease (VD)"

Shaft

A structure of erectile tissue and nerves that is shaped like a column and forms the body of the penis and the clitoris.

Sixty-nine / 69

A position for two people to give each other oral sex simultaneously. Usually done lying side by side or on top of each other head to toe.

Smegma

A cheesy white or yellow substance produced under the foreskin at the glans of the penis or around the clitoris and labia minora. It is made up of a residue of old skin cells, body oils, and natural fluids like sweat and can cause an unpleasant odour. It is not an infection and can be washed away with mild soap and water.

Speculum

A plastic or metal instrument used to hold open the walls of the vagina so a health care provider can examine the vagina and cervix.

Sperm

The male reproductive cells found in semen which can fertilise the female reproductive cell (ovum) and create a pregnancy.

Spooning

A position where two people lie curled against each other, both facing the same direction. It can be a way of just cuddling or sleeping or a position for vaginal or anal sex.

Spotting

Light bleeding between menstrual periods. This can sometimes be a sign of infection or other condition and should be discussed with a doctor.

Strap-on

A dildo that can be worn or 'strapped on' and is commonly used for sexual penetration.

Syphilis

A bacterial infection that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex. It is curable with antibiotics but can cause brain damage and even death if untreated.

Taboo

A behaviour that is outside the moral limits of cultural norms.

Tampon

A small cylinder of disposable absorbent fibre that can be put inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow.

Testes

The reproductive organs inside the scrotum which produce and store sperm and testosterone. Also called testicles or "balls."

Testicles

The reproductive organs inside the scrotum which produce and store sperm and testosterone. Also called testicles or "balls."

Testosterone

A hormone produced in the testes of male-assigned people and in smaller amounts in the ovaries of female-assigned people.

Third Gender

A term for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognise three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it, as a way to move beyond the gender binary.

Trans / Transgender person

An individual whose gender identity is not typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Trans is independent of sexuality and as such trans people may identify as heterosexual, gay, bisexual, etc.

Transition(ing)

This term is primarily used to refer to the process a trans* person undergoes when changing their bodily appearance either to be more congruent with the gender/sex they feel themselves to be and/or to be in harmony with their preferred gender expression.

Transphobia

Intentional hostile and/or violent acts, behaviours and beliefs directed against people who are perceived to be trans/transgender.

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