Cover Image
close this bookMezzo: For Young People by Young People (IPPF, 1997, 52 p.)
close this folderLIFESTYLE
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAre you a number? All around the world, how different are we?
View the documentWhat is a friend? By the way, do you feel like an alien too?
View the documentSex. What does it mean to you?

Sex. What does it mean to you?

"Sex is not a game"


It can mean different things to different people. Sex can be an expression of love and affection. Or it can simply be about having fun with someone you're attracted to. It can be sacred, something that belongs only to marriage. For many of us, sex is not important at all. Not everyone wants to have sex and not everyone believes that they should. Many people worry about sex - some people feel that if they're not having sex, they're missing out, whilst others fear pregnancy and diseases or simply fear sex. Deciding what sex means to you isn't always easy. But, providing you know how to keep it safe, it does not have to be frightening at all. And if you do know what sex means to you, it can be wild and exciting, caring and romantic, but above all enjoyable and rewarding.

love ¹ lust

Being physically or sexually attracted to a person doesn't imply that you love that person. On the other hand if you love a person you don't always need to express your love in a physical or sexual way. There are many other ways of showing your love and affection,

sex ¹ intercourse

It would be rather boring if sex was only about intercourse. Sex or having sex can involve many more things, from fantasies, to exploring each other, to all kinds of touching and bodily contact.

sex ¹ spontaneous

In the movies and on TV, everything seems to be so easy - you meet someone, you fall in love and you have great sex. The reality is often different. Sex or having sex is just like many other things in life, something you have to learn.

You may get disappointed if you think that everything will be perfect from the beginning.


"Young people should know about chastity from a sexual point of view and how to resist strong sexual desire. I think that a belief in God and religion would protect young people from the instigation of the devil. I would advise them to keep away from anything that could arouse their sexual desire."

21, M, Lebanon

Do you have to be in love with someone before having sex?


"To establish a sexual relationship, I would trust someone more who is in love with me, and not someone who just has a physical attraction."

19, F, Mexico

"Love gives more enjoyment to sex and makes the relationship deeper and more meaningful."

21, M, Iraq

"Of course you have to feel something for that person but it does not necessarily have to be love, it can be desire."

17, F, Mexico

"Love is a precondition for a sexual relationship. Otherwise it would be a kind of prostitution."

23, F, Syria

"I don't think you have to necessarily be in love with someone before starting a sexual relationship. It's not easy to be sure when you are in love with someone. Sometimes the sex can help determine it because it suggests you have allowed yourself to trust him with your most valuable asset - your body."

22, F, Lesotho

"I feel that the media sometimes projects that you have to be in love with someone before starting a sexual relationship, but sometimes it's hard when you get caught up in the moment, although I would like to think that love is important."

17, F, UK

"A sexual relationship cannot exist without love. but love can exist without sex."

21, F, Syria

Can you enjoy sex for its own sake?


"If I didn't enjoy sex it would be due to my lover's lack of knowledge and competence."

24, F, Morocco

"You should know how to go about sex. You should also bear in mind that it should be enjoyable to both partners and not to one."

21, M, Zambia

"Sex is one of the most important instincts. A young man must know everything about it to draw the benefits and avoid any harm. The knowledge should come from trustworthy sources."

21, M, Iraq

Is it okay to have sex before marriage?


"It's normal to have sex before marriage, as long as you are serious and take preventive measures."

18, F, Russia

"Personally I think premarital sex is important because it is good for the relationship. I am prudish about casual sex because of my upbringing. I tell my friends to be safe at all times. As long as ifs safe..."

21, M, USA

"Premarital sex is not good because one has to get married being a virgin."

20, M, Cameroon

"Sex should be associated with love. It shouldn't be like a

19, M, USA

"Premarital sex is a wonderful idea. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive would you? Sex is fundamental to marriage; without a good sex life, failure in marriage is guaranteed."

21, M, UK

"I think it is normal nowadays for people to have sex before marriage, therefore I would not condemn anyone or despise anyone who does that."

22, M, Lesotho

"I believe in sex before marriage as long as the individual feels ready. Sex is a very personal, bonding experience. People should know what they are getting into."

19, F, UK

"Sex before marriage is unthinkable."

25, F, Bangladesh

"Premarital sexual relations are necessary because there is no sex education available."

20, M, Syria


"I'd be surprised if a person wasn't interested in sex because that's the one thing everyone wants to know about, especially when you're young."