It can be confusing if you're starting to have new feelings about your sexuality

Child looks to the side in his bedroom

As you get older, you might start to think more about your sexuality. This doesn’t just mean who you are attracted to – it is your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours around sex and attraction.

People express their sexuality in different ways. Some people are attracted to the opposite gender, some people are attracted to the same gender, or both genders, or none at all. Some people are very open about their sexuality, and some people want to keep it private.

Sexuality is different for each person, so there is no one right answer or label to suit everyone.

As a young person, it’s perfectly normal to think about sex and attraction.

Five ways to help know about your sexuality

1. Talk

One of the best ways to know about your sexuality is to talk about it. Talking to a good friend is a positive step towards understanding your attractions and emotions. You can get support and advice if you need it, and it opens up the conversation for them to talk to you about similar things if they want to. If you are worried about an aspect of your sexuality or if you have questions, you might want to talk to an adult. This can be a family member, a school counsellor, or another trusted adult who can help you know about your sexuality.

2. Learn

If you’re not comfortable talking to someone about your sexuality, there are plenty of resources available online. Look for charities and youth organisations who have useful information and advice. There will be articles to read or videos to watch that can help you learn more about your sexuality. If you visit internet forums, remember that anyone can post on them, so they might contain comments or threads that you don’t like. Use forums carefully, and remember to keep yourself safe online.

3. Reflect

Think about what you might want from a relationship in the future. A healthy relationship means that the other person respects you and your wishes. They won’t mind if you say ‘no’ or if you’re not sure about something. Before you start a relationship, learn about consent and remember that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do – no matter what. You should also respect someone else if they say ‘no’. Thinking about this means that when the time comes, you can explore your sexuality in a safe and positive way.

4. Trust yourself

When it comes to your sexuality, listen your own feelings and emotions. If you hear people say hurtful things about different sexualities, try not to let it affect you.There are lots of reasons people say bad things, but it’s normally because they don’t understand or they have a hard time accepting people who aren’t like them. Don’t feel like you have to change for other people. Always be proud of who you are.

5. Don’t feel pressured

There is no pressure to know about your sexuality. If your friends are talking about sex and attraction but you don’t feel ready yet, don’t rush yourself. Everyone goes at their own pace and it’s all about what’s right for you. Sexuality can also change over time, so don’t be concerned if you feel something one day, and something else the next. You don’t need to find a ‘label’ and stick to it. Learning about your sexuality is a perfectly natural process, so take your time and try to think positively about the journey you’re on.

To learn more about sexuality or to get advice about other topics, visit our resource vault for information and tips.