Cover Image
close this bookMezzo: For Young People by Young People (IPPF, 1997, 52 p.)
close this folderHEALTH
View the documentPlaying it safe. Use your head (please)
View the documentFOCUS ON: abortion. Mezzo looks at both sides of this controversial subject
View the documentWhich contraceptive? We give you the low-down on the contraceptives around today
View the documentMaking decisions. Do you want to have sex?
View the documentBetter sex guide. We suggest, you decide
View the documentJoin our club. Which team do you support?
View the documentIrish coffee talk. Irish young people discuss some big questions
View the documentHe loves him, she loves her. Get your facts right about sexuality
View the documentSo what about you, sugar? Find out your rating in our sexperts' questionnaire

Better sex guide. We suggest, you decide

Healthy loving

For many people, being a good lover is an essential part of a healthy and loving sexual relationship. But sexual techniques are rarely, if ever, taught in schools or textbooks. So how do you learn ways and means of improving your sex life? Relax, there are others in the same boat as you. A rewarding and satisfying sex life is about trust, communication, experimentation, variety and mutual enjoyment. It does not come overnight, hut comes through experience. There is a misconception that safe sex is boring sex. In fact there are many non-penetrative sexual activities which are not only enjoyable and satisfying but are also safer than intercourse. There are infinite ]possibilities but here are few suggestions.


There are few better ways to relax and unwind with your partner than a long sensual massage. Rub a few drops of oil (scented oil or coconut oil) into your hands before you begin. There 'is no foolproof method of massage which will suit all people, so experiment - find out what your partner really likes. However, a few Long strokes across your partner's back will soon ease the tension out of those muscles. Keep it slow and keep it smooth. Massage all areas of your partner's body. not just the back. And when you've finished, your partner can return the compliment.

Mutual masturbation

Better sex is not just about penetration. Touching each other can be as erotic and sensual as penetrative sex. Mutual masturbation is totally safe, freeing you from the worry of unwanted pregnancy and STDs. Again there is no correct technique so the best approach is to experiment. Touch and stroke your partner's thighs and stomach and from there move on to his/her genitals (penis or clitoris). If necessary, guide your partner, telling him/her what you like and what you don't like. With practice you may be able to reach orgasms together, through touch alone. Mutual masturbation is an especially attractive option for people who do not want to have penetrative sex.


Bathing with your partner is a truly intimate experience. Rubbing soap into your partner's body won't just leave you short of breath, it will also leave you clean. Showers can be steamy too - invigorating and refreshing. The tingling feeling of the water hitting your body can be quite sensual. Stay safe, sexy and clean.

"Sex is not only penetration. It should always consist of foreplay, which is a sexual activity such as caressing the sexual organs and kissing it sex includes good foreplay it need not be regarded as boring.
21, F, Lesotho

Young people should know how to do sexual techniques and petting.
15, F, Albania


Having an enjoyable and fulfilling sex life is all about knowing what you want and finding out what your partner wants as well. To achieve this you have to communicate frankly and openly with your partner. You may also change your mind about what you like and even find a sexual activity painful or unappealing. It's important to find the courage to discuss this with your partner and to try not to get hurt if your partner no longer wants to do something that you may enjoy.


Orgasms are experienced by both sexes as a series of pleasurable waves that spread throughout the whole body. Men and women don't necessarily reach orgasm in the same way or at the same time. For many women, it is not easy to have an orgasm unless the clitoris is stimulated and this doesn't always happen during Intercourse, Although orgasms are important to many people, you can certainly enjoy sex without them.


Enjoying sex is about giving pleasure as well as receiving pleasure, which is much easier when you're in love. It is possible to have a loving relationship without sex. It is also possible to have sex without love. Sex is not proof of love, but being in love or being infatuated with someone can make your sex life much more exciting and enjoyable.


Sexual fantasies are thoughts and dreams which you find arousing. You can fantasize while you masturbate or indeed at any other time. Sometimes you may fantasize about doing something which you would never do in real life - like having sex in a public place or with a famous person. But the good thing about fantasies is that you can guide them in the direction you want and since they are just fantasies they are always safe. Sharing your fantasies with your partner can add to your sexual enjoyment.

Oral Sex

Oral sex is a highly erogenous act, and can, for many people, be more stimulating than penetrative sex. Oral sex means stimulating your partner by licking, sucking or caressing his/her genitals with your lips and tongue. It is vital to keep your genitals clean, otherwise the experience may be unpleasant for your partner (see bathing). Oral sex can have a risk of STD or HIV transmission (see p. 16-17), so to be extra safe you should use male or female condoms (flavoured if possible). Licking or sucking your partner's penis is called fellatia (or blow job). Licking or kissing your partner's clitoris is called cunnilingus. Many women find it easy to reach an orgasm through oral sex. Some people find oral sex (or even the thought of it) unpleasant. If you don't want to do it, then don't. You shouldn't be forced into doing it just to please your partner.

I am carrying the HIV virus, but I guess I am living with the mistake I made. I feel that the word has to get around that we all have to be extra careful now that this disease is spreading. I really wish I had the proper education about sex and all beforehand.