Healthy living

Relationships, sex and other stuff

When you are a teenager, you have more freedom than when you were a kid. You are on the road to becoming an adult. The adults around you are beginning to trust you to look after yourself and to make your own way. More and more, you will make decisions for yourself about the things that are important to you.

With this freedom comes responsibility. What happens to your body and how you look after it is only part of the journey. You will encounter many new situations and new ideas: there’s love and sex, how to keep feeling good about yourself, and how to get on with people.

We’ve got together a heap of information so that you can read up on the important stuff.

Friends and relationships

  • Communication (friends, mood swings, sorting stuff out)
  • Like? Like a lot? Love! (love, crushes, falling in and falling out)
  • Types of relationships (sexuality, heterosexual, homosexual)


  • Masturbation
  • Sexual feelings in relationships (kissing, reasons for physical involvement, peer pressure)
  • Sexual intercourse (safe sex, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections)
  • Sex and the law (age of consent)
  • Decisions about sex (alternatives, are you ready, is it right for you?)
  • Important things you need to know about sex (consent, sexual abuse, sexual assault)

Getting pregnant

  • Contraception (birth control)
  • Conception (falling pregnant)
  • Being pregnant
  • Birth
  • After the birth

Adolescence is a time of many changes

During this stage of your life, you will feel happiest and grow to your full potential if you remain true to yourself and true to your own personal goals and desires.

Don’t forget that there are people around who care for you, like your parents, teachers and school nurses, who’ll be willing to listen and help you along the way. You’ll make it through adolescence one way or another, but you don’t have to do the hard bits alone if you don’t want to.

Where to get help

  • If you have any sort of problem you want to talk about confidentially with a trained counsellor, call Kids Help Line (24 hours) on 1800 551 800 (free from a land line only).
  • Visit The Hormone Factory (external site), a great site with lots of answers for 10 to 12 year olds, especially about puberty.
  • Other good sites for teenagers include Get the facts (external site) and I stay safe (external site).
  • Read the section for young people on Avert (external site). This section is good for sexuality education.
  • For general health information call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
  • For information about sexual health and contraception:
  • For help about sexual abuse or assault, phone the Sexual Assault Resource Centre (24 hour emergency line) on 9340 1828 for metro callers or 1800 199 888 for country callers (free from land line only).
  • Young people who are questioning their sexuality can call the Freedom Centre on 9228 0354.

Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Text: Let's talk about sex. Information about safe sex, STI, relationships and more.