Sexuality

Sexuality

Sexuality is deeply personal and individual to each of us. It’s about the sexual feeling and attraction that we have for others. There are different types of sexuality, and everyone’s different. It’s not as simple as being ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. Some people are attracted to only one sex, others are attracted to both and some to a whole range of people regardless of sex or gender. This can also change over time and based on your experiences.

 

Types of sexuality

Types of sexuality

There are some common labels that people use to identify their sexuality. This isn’t necessarily defined by who they have sex with, it’s also about how they feel and how they choose to identify themselves. All of our services are for people of any sexuality

Straight/Heterosexual

Attracted mostly to people of the opposite sex or gender.

Gay/Homosexual

Attracted mostly to people of the same sex or gender (this used to refer to boys / men but now often refers to girls / women as well).

Lesbian

Attracted mostly to people of the same sex or gender (refers to women).

Bisexual

Attracted to both men and women.

Pansexual

Attracted to romantic and sexual partners of any gender, sex or sexual identity.

Polysexual

Attracted to romantic and sexual partners of many but not all genders, sexes or sexual identities.

Asexual

Do not experience sexual attraction and / or does not desire to act on sexual attraction.

Some people also choose the labels ‘queer’ or ‘fluid’ as a way of expressing themselves by their own personal feelings.

 

For more information about sexuality, coming out or advice about relationships from a teenage perspective visit the childline website.

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Accessing the Service during the COVID crisis

How to access the service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with early symptoms of coronavirus is available online at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Advice from our service:

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Alternative provision:

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - at your local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills - obtained from your GP
  • HIV postal testing - available to at-risk groups for a small fee -  more info
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info