This issue of the Sexpress has been on a bit of a rocky journey, but we just got in there before the deadline. If you have any questions related to sex, relationships and sexuality, you can send them to our team of Sexperts and we’ll try to help you out. Go to uccexpress.ie/sexpress or email Sexpress@UCCExpress.ie for more.
Dear S’express: I’m gay. Or bi. Or queer? I don’t know really, I just know I’m not…straight. What’s the easiest way to come out? I’m thinking I should come out to my roommates first, then my parents? I don’t know, please help!
Sexpress: Hey! First things first, there’s no pressure to come out now. Really, there’s no pressure to ever ‘come out’. As long as you’re happy in yourself, that’s all that matters. Now, actually coming out: the first thing is to make sure you have a solid base. By that, I mean, if the worst happens (it almost definitely won’t) you won’t be completely destitute. If you rely on your parents for accommodation or funding, and you think they may take it badly, maybe try prepare some alternative arrangements. Know that, if the worst happens, you’ll be okay.
If you can have a friend there with you when you come out, definitely do it; they don’t need to be in the same room, but maybe just in the next room, or outside, in case you need support. This is mainly based around the most common tactic: the formal sit-down chat. When I came out to my mother as bi, I did it while we were in the car driving. We were close to home, and there was the weekly shopping in the boot, so we couldn’t really stop. I know a lot of people that have left a letter on their bed or in their room when they head off for college for the semester. Both of these are ideal if you don’t know how it’s going to go, or just don’t want a conversation.
The key thing I’d state again is that you don’t always have to come out if you don’t feel ready for it.
What’s the craic? I have a latex allergy, and my girlfriend has to go off the pill. What can we do to continue having sex? – John Smith
Sexpress: Well hey John Smith, if that IS your real name… For the purpose of this answer, I’m going to presume you’re both cisgender. Now, I’m sure you’ve tried latex-free condoms, but if not, that’s the first port of call. The SU Welfare Officer used to stock them, but if they don’t do that anymore, most pharmacies stock them now; keep an eye out in Boots for Durex ‘Latex-Free’ and ‘Real-Feel’ and all Skyn brand condoms & lubes. Outside of that, maybe try sticking to oral sex or “hand stuff.” While it mightn’t be as good as “full sex” to you now, after a while, y’never know. There’s always anal, but both of you need a lot of prep on that (especially if you’re trying pegging). Also, there are other forms of contraceptives ye can both try out! If you want to try latex-free condoms, alternative forms of contraception and/or anal sex, we covered both in detail last year, and you can read them on Sexpress.UCCExpress.ie!
The main thing is that neither of ye should pressure yourselves/the other into doing things you’re not ready for. And if none of the previous things work out, there’s always masturbation & sex toys!
Hi, um, this is awkward. And weird. But I’m, like, 19 (dude) and I’m mainly attracted to older guys. This…is weird, right?
Sexpress: Nope! Perfectly normal. There may be a reason behind this (there’s an article in Features about this) but that’s not super relevant. If you’ve read the other questions, you’ll see a common theme returning here, but as long as you’re comfortable, it should be fine. The main danger with a potential relationship like this is not only the age gap, but the implicit experience gap as well. Just mind yourself, and again, don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Hi, my name is Jenny, and I had a crush on this guy in my course. But before I could ask him out, flirt, he told me he’s asexual. Is it over? What does that even mean?
Sexpress: Hey, so it’s not over, don’t worry! When someone is asexual (or ‘ace’ for short) it means they typically don’t experience sexual attraction, or want to have sex. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to have relationships, or that they’re weird plant people. Being ace is a normal thing that, hey here’s that common thread again, you just need to be respectful of. I’m fairly into the whole LGBTQA thing, but I’m not the expert on asexuality, so apologies to any ace people out there cringing.
The guy in your course may want to go out with you, he may not want to. It’s basically the same as if he was straight (or bi/queer etc.). Some ace people do have sex, others don’t. If ye do go out, just be understanding and, in most cases, don’t be afraid to ask questions (respectfully). If ye go out, and he doesn’t want to have sex and that bothers you, then talk about it. If you don’t want to go out with them, just hit it & quit it, then hey, all power to you? Just don’t be upset if that’s not their thing.