Hi Abe,

I am embarrassed to say that I am still a virgin, and I don’t know much about sex or sexual health. My boyfriend has been very patient, but I think I will need to have sex with him soon or he will leave me. I feel scared and I don’t know what to do. Please help me.


Dear Embarrassed,

I am sorry to hear that you feel embarrassed about being a virgin. Media and friends can put ridiculous pressure on us to conform to standards we don’t all subscribe to. You should have as much consensual, safe, and fun sex as you like. If that means none, then that is what you should do. If your boyfriend does not like that, you do not have to be in a relationship with him. Also consider that not all relationships have to be monogamous, and this might be something you could discuss with him. The Health Direct website (healthdirect.gov.au/safe-sex-overview) has information on sexual health and safe sex, and there is specific information for international students through the NSW Health International Student Health Hub website (internationalstudents.health.nsw.gov.au). You can also get free telephone advice on 1800 451 624.