Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

[Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia


Have you got a question about sex? Not feeling comfortable with asking someone in person?


Never fear, Nurse Nettie is here!




On Wednesday the 29th of March at 8pm AEDT Nurse Nettie, a sexual health nurse from Playsafe Australia will be here to answer all your questions anonymously and to talk about sex, sexuality and how all of that relates to our mental health.


Whether you're wondering how anxiety affects erections to whether or not zits can cause STI's - or anything in between- Nurse Nettie knows the answer!


If you'd like to ask Nurse Nettie a question, head over to Playsafe now and they'll get back to you ASAP (usually within 24hours)


Join us on Wednesday the 29th of March at 8pm AEDT to talk about sex, sexuality and mental health!




Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Hey everyone! It's almost time to get this show on the road, but first here's some answers to the anonymous questions! There's more rolling in now and @NurseNettie is working hard to answer them all, so check back if your question hasn't been answered yet!

If you want to join the conversation, just keep scrolling. Hit refresh on your browser every now and again and you'll see new replies pop up Smiley Happy

Question and answer time!

What is "squirting," Is it normal, can i stop it and how do I make myself more comfortable during sex, (it makes me feel awkard so I hate sex because i know it can happen)

Squiriting or female ejaculation is a totally normal release of fluid during orgasm. Not all women experience it, but it's involuntary (just like male ejaculation) which means you can't control it or prevent it from happening. But why should you! Sex can involve lots of fluids:vaginal lubrication, precum, semen, saliva and sometimes squirting too. Once you and your partner know what it is (it's not urine!) and know when it happens (hooray orgasm!) hopefully you can get more confident that your body is doing exactly what it should.

I have anxiety and sometimes i get too anxious when i'm about to have sex and i go soft. Sometimes this is when i am about to put on a condom for some reason. It's really annoying, wtf do i do?

This is such a common concern! You're definitely not alone. First off, I think it's important to know ALL people with penises will experience difficulty getting or maintaining an erection at some point. Likewise, sometimes erections can show up even when they're not at all welcome! All of this is normal. In the situation you decribed, I think the best thing to do is take some of the pressure off getting an erection in the first place. Sex isn't only about penetration and experimenting with oral sex, masturbation, massage, sex toys etc, may help you loosen up and enjoy yourself without worry about performing in this one narrow way. You may find that the erection comes more easily when you're less focused on it. Regardless though, broadening your idea of what sex is and learning more ways to give pleasure to a partner will serve you well in the long run!

Is there any way to get rid of a kink? Or stop yourself from being aroused by something? Thank you

Kinks are just unusual or creative activities or fantasies that a person finds sexually arousing. There's nothing inherently wrong with a kink as long as it doesn't cause harm to another person. It's really important to understand the difference between fantasy and reality when it comes to kink. A person may enjoy sexual role play that includes bondage, as an example of a kink. That doesn't mean consent is no longer required. There must be communication and consent before any role play begins and a clear way to withdraw consent at any time during the play (e.g. an agreed upon safe word). Most of the time, kinks are harmless, though they might trigger feelings of shame related to how we were brought up to think about sex. Shame can be very debilitating so worth talking to a counselor or psychologist if you find it's impacting your ability to enjoy sex or other aspects of your life.

The person I wanna be in relations with and wants to be in relations with me has had much older partners in the past should I be worried I won't be up to her standards?

I don't think you need to worry about your partner's previous sexual partners. If she wants to be with you, she knows how old you are so it's not an issue for her. You may be less sexually experienced than someone older, but that's not always a bad thing! The biggest mistake you can make is pretending you know everything about how to sexually please your partner. No matter how much experience you have, each person is unique. Your partner's anatomy is not exactly the same as anyone else's and what arouses her or feels best will also be specific to her. It may sound cliche, but communication is really important when getting to know someone sexually -- and in every way!

I'm about to have sex with my boyfriend, are condoms effective alone?

Condoms are a great way to prevent pregnancy and they're the only way to prevent sexually transmissible infections (STIs). That said, condoms only work when used correctly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not putting them on soon enough. Any penis-in-vagina penetration (even without ejaculation/cumming) is a risk for STIs and pregnancy. A number of things can also make condoms more likely to break (e.g. sun/heat damage, using oil-based lube, not putting them on correctly) and a condom can slip off inside of you if the person doesn't hold on to it when pulling out. For more info about how to make sure you're using condoms correctly, check out this info over at Playsafe. If you do ever have a condom break or slip or you don't use one for whatever reason, you can still prevent pregnancy by taking the Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) within 72 hours. You can get ECP by asking a pharmacist for it. You don't need a prescription from a doctor. You may also decide to get a STI test, but you'll need to wait at least a week after sex to get a reliable result. So the answer is condoms are the only way to prevent STIs (besides abstaining entirely) and a decent way to prevent pregnancy, but they can fail. Some people will choose to use another form of contraception as a back up and there are lot of options out there -- it's not just The Pill anymore: the implant, vaginal ring, IUD/Mirena are popular choices, just to name a few!

Biological age of consent?

There is no way to biologically prove a person is old enough to consent to sex. The law is based on our understanding of general psychological and sexual human development as well as cultural beliefs and values. In Australia, the age of consent has some variation from state to state. To find out the law in your state, check out the Lawstuff website here. It's easy to read legal info especially written for young people.

I'm a male who has been sexually active with guys for a few months but have only had oral sex with them. I have never had their semen in my mouth and have only really done blowjobs but I'm worried that I may be carrying an STI but I don't any symptoms. What should I do?

It's a good question and great that you're thinking about how to stay healthy. It's easy to get super anxious about STIs, but knowing all the facts may help you to feel more in control. There's usually going to be higher risk of getting an STI when ejaculation (semen) is involved, but it's still possible to get infections like chlamydia and gonorrhoea in the throat just through contact with a small amount of pre-cum. HIV is considered very, very low risk with oral sex and probably zero risk if there's no ejaculation. Other infections like syphilis and herpes are actually passed through skin-to-skin rubbing so semen contact doesn't matter. Using condoms for oral sex will prevent most STIs, but it's also important to get a sexual health screen from time to time. Most STIs are not serious and are easy to manage as long as you're aware of them! A full sexual health screen for gay, bisexual, queer or otherwise homosexually active men should include a urine test, throat swab and anal swab. From what you've described, I'd recommend testing at least once a year, but if you start having anal sex with more than one person you may benefit from testing every 3-6 months. If you need help finding your local sexual health clinic, there's a search function you can use here on the Playsafe website.

What are some tips to reassure my girlfriend that getting an ecp (Emergency Contraception Pill) is an easy process without many people knowing?


It's understandable that your girlfriend might feel nervous going up to a pharmacist and asking for the Emergency Contraception Pill (ECP). It's okay to ask to speak to a pharmacist privately. They are meant to be able to provide privacy, so it's okay to ask. She may also feel better asking for the actual drug name: "Levonorgestrel" as non-medical people in the shop are unlikely to know what it is. Of course, there is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for it, but I know that some people may feel anxious about being judged in or may simply feel this is very private info they're not keen to share! Please know this is a common medication, used by millions of women around the world. It's very safe as well which is why it doesn't require a doctor's script -- there's no significant health issue that would prevent you from being able to take it. The key thing is that the sex has happened within the last 72 hours. The pharmacist may ask something like: "when was the risk" and that's her cue to say how long ago the unprotected sex occurred. As another option, Sexual Health Centres and some Youth and Women's Health Clinics may also keep ECP in stock. If you prefer to get the medication through a private consultation at a clinic, you may try to get an appointment there -- but keep in mind, the sooner you take the pills, the better they work. Hope that helps!

Can medications for mental health affect a persons sex drive and how long does this issue last before it goes away

A number of medications for depression, anxiety and other mental health diagnoses can affect both libido (the desire to have sex) and sexual functioning (e.g. getting/maintaining an erection, reaching orgasm). Sometimes your body may adjust once it gets used to a new medication, but sometimes it's a side effect that will stick around as long as your on that particular drug. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, it's worth bringing up with your doctor. It may feel like an awkward conversation to start, but these are very common side effects and it won't come as a surprise to the doctor. It may be possible to experiment with a lower dose or switch to another drug entirely. Sometimes it may take patience and persistence to find the right medication for you, but it's worth the effort to get there.


Is casual sex bad for mental health and self esteem?

Casual sex itself isn't bad for your mental health and self-esteem. it really depends on why you choose to do it. Many people have casual sex because they enjoy it, want to explore their sexuality or believe it's an important experience to have, all those reasons are great and really healthy! Sometimes people also have casual sex as a way of dealing with unpleasant feelings, because they feel pressured or other stuff that's not so great. If you're worried about the reasons you're having casual sex and it's impact on your mental health then it's good to explore that in a bit more detail. Send me a question over on playsafe or make a post here on the forums and we can give you lots of options.

How common are vaginismus and vulvodynia? What is the difference between them? What do you think is the best way to treat them?

Vaginismus is a condition where the muscles around the vagina tighten involuntarily (without your control). It's a kind of muscle spasm that can cause discomfot and make any kind of penetration painful or impossible. It tends to be triggered by any vaginal touch making it difficult to use tampons, be examined by a clinician or have vaginal intercourse or other sexual penetration. It's a pretty common condition that is likely to be experienced by most women at some point in their life. Usually it's not chronic or ongoing, but for some it can be. Treatment is slow and gentle practice with vaginal touch and eventually, penetration. This can be done on your own, just using your own finger or a lubricated tampon, sometimes in conjunction with relaxation techniques. The important thing is not to rush it. It can take days or weeks or longer before any sort of penetration is possible. But it's important to know that most people will get relief eventually! Vulvodynia simply means pain in the vulva. The vagina is the internal part, the vulva is the external part. Vulvodynia is a condition where you have a burning sensation or ache on the vulva without having an infection or other known cause. It's not a disease that can be diagnosed with a test, but it's likely a condition of nerve hypersensitivity or nerve damage. Certain antidepressant medications seem to alleviate neuropathic pain and lubricants may also help. If you think you may be suffering from either of these conditions it's important to see a doctor to rule out any other causes for your symptoms and help get you treatment and relief either way.


I have no interest nor could imagine myself having sex with someone but still feel like I should be interested and am kinda curious. wtf

Despite what so much pop culture tells us, it's okay to have no interest in sex! It might be that you haven't come across anyone who interests you yet or maybe you're a person who doesn't respond to people sexually (asexual is an orientation too!). It's possible those feelings will come, but also possible they won't. Some people may have negative associations with sex and that puts them off. I think the key is to be honest with yourself about what you like and don't like and what you want to do or don't want to do. Follow your curiosity. Communicate with partners, but know that you don't need to have any particular sexual experience -- ever. For any reason. Each of us gets to choose how to express ourselves sexually and that includes not having sex.


Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Hi everyone and welcome to our Infobus around all things sexual health. We are joined by the wonderful @NurseNettie from Playsafe Australia. I just had a look at their site and it has a lot of great information. We received a stack of anonymous questions so have a check if yours has been answered yet.


As usual, if you need extra assistance there are a variety of service you can contact, you can find these in the Emergency Help Section. Please remember our community guidelines tonight too, this is very important,


Let's get started!



//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Welcome everyone! Here's our first question!


What are some important qualities to have  in a relationship when it comes to making sure sex is a safe and fun  experience for everyone involved?



Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

What are some important qualities to have in a relationship when it comes to making sure sex is a safe and fun experience for everyone involved?

I'm basically useless when it comes to these sorts of things. But personally, I think that trust is the number 1 thing you need. It's important that you trust each other and are understanding and considerate of what the other person wants and is ready for. Not to be rude or pushy but to be kind and there.

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

What are some important qualities to have in a relationship when it comes to making sure sex is a safe and fun experience for everyone involved?

- Trust
- Patience
and I'm not sure
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Hey guys!

What are some important qualities to have  in a relationship when it comes to making sure sex is a safe and fun  experience for everyone involved?

  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Clear boundaries
  • Clear communication in terms of boundaries & consent
  • Make sure you know what you're comfortable with

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

@N1ghtW1ng if you feel comfortable with it could you talk a bit about being ace maybe?



What are some important qualities to have  in a relationship when it comes to making sure sex is a safe and fun  experience for everyone involved?


Consent! That's the biggest one! Always ask permission, and only act if you get permission Smiley Happy


I think communication is also great, checking in about what the person enjoys and letting the person know what you enjoy too!


It can also be helpful to not put too much pressure on yourself, real intimacy isn't usually much like what you might see in Porn for example. You can take your time and enjoy all sorts of different things with your partner Smiley Happy


Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Great responses, guys! For our next question:


At first glance, mental health and sex can seem like pretty unrelated parts of your life. But is that really true? How do you think mental health comes into play when it comes to play with a partner?


Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Of course consent is absolutely important!! And so is patience. Forcing someone will likely just ruin things, including your relationship with the other person.

@FootyFan26 boundaries are also super important I think, they help set the "rules" I guess in the relationship. (that was probably worded terribly)