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Birmingham LGBT’s Well Woman Sexual Health Service is specifically for lesbian, bisexual women.
This service is a space for women who identify as lesbian or bisexual to access sexual health testing and advice.
About the service:
Lesbian and Bisexual women’s sexual health is important yet is often overlooked or misconceived to be no or very low risk. Lesbian women in particular are very underrepresented in sexual health and cervical cytology services. Appropriate sexual health services geared up to consider and meet the needs of L & B women have generally not been available.
Our aim is to provide culturally competent and appropriate sexual health and well-being services which meet the needs of Lesbian and Bisexual women.
You can arrange to see our Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Sexual Health Outreach Worker for 1 to 1 sexual health and well being support, advice, referral & signposting to facilitate access to appropriate and suitable services.
We will deliver a programme of workshops, peer groups and access to relevant information and guidance both face to face and online.
Practical support may include free assisted STI self-sampling service, enabling you to be able to take your own samples, which you can do this on site with support on how to use the kit if needed.
This specific role within our sexual health services is here to:
You can get in touch with our Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Sexual Health Promotion Worker by calling us on 0121 643 0821 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking to a new sexual partner about safer sex may seem awkward but it’s really important! Many lesbian, bisexual and queer women do not talk about safer sexual practices but this doesn’t mean that they can’t get a STI.
Low risk doesn’t equal no risk!
Remember…. STI’s do not discriminate!
If you’re not quite sure where to start or what to say here are some handy tips and tricks:
Tell your partner that you care about them and their body. Make sure you’re protecting each other in order to have the best sex possible!
If you feel able, tell them about your safer sex history. This might make them feel more relaxed. You don’t have to share everything but it’s a good way to start the conversation. Why don’t you tell them when you were last tested and if you’ve had any STI’s in the past? If you’re honest about your history, they’re more likely to be too.
Hey, can we talk about safe sex? It may seem obvious but this is a good place to start. Talk about how you want to have fun and don’t want to worry.
Do you know if you have any STI’s?
When was the last time you were tested?
Do you have any gloves/femidoms/condoms? Would you like to try them out? Why not make this fun and sexy? You could even talk about new sensations or feelings.
Would you like to get a test together? If you’re open about frequent testing or you think you may need one this may encourage them to do the same! It’s great to make testing a habit.
If you aren’t in a monogamous relationship or are having casual sex make sure all partners are consenting and know that you’re having sex with others. This not only protects yourself, but also shows you respect them. It’s a good idea to have a clear sexual health plan for those you’re having sex with. Remember to also be tested every time you start having sex with a new person.
What do we mean by our safer sex history?
Having safer sex doesn’t just mean using all the paraphernalia, it’s also about your physical, psychological and mental wellbeing as well as enthusiastic consent from all those involved. When we talk about our history, it relates to all these things, as well as when you were last tested, and if you’ve ever had an STI. Respect their boundaries, and know yours. You don’t necessarily have to disclose how many sexual partners you’ve had or what you’ve done with them but have a conversation about what’s important for you and how everyone can stay safe and have fun!
Consent is the permission for something to happen. It’s about getting a clear yes for what you’re doing or participating in. It’s essential that you get and give consent before and during sexual activity. If someone says no, stop immediately. If someone cannot give consent, stop. Only active enthusiastic consent is a yes.
Consent doesn’t have to mean awkward fumbling. It’s a fun and sexy way to have great sex where everyone involved is safe and in control.
Talk about it: What do you like and not like? What are your boundaries? What protection might you want to use?
Why not turn it into foreplay and dirty talk? Here are just some examples:
Can I touch you here? Do you like that? I want to suck your…can I? Does that feel good?
Don’t forget body language! Bodies are an integral part of any sexual activity so pay attention to what their body is saying. Slow down, take your time, and if they want to stop – Stop!
If you’re struggling with raising the subject of safer sex, STI’s and testing or other aspect of sexual health and relationships with your partner(s) why not speak to our Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Sexual Health Outreach Worker by calling the office on 0121 643 0821.
When we talk about consent, what we mean is that:
Agreeing to meet up with someone via an app, going to a bar, getting drunk with someone or going to a party does not mean you are agreeing to whatever anyone else wants to do. You have to work it out for yourself as you go along. And the law says you can change your mind at any point.
The law says to be able to consent to sex you must have the capacity to consent.
If you are asleep, unconscious or so out of it that you can’t make a decision for yourself then you cannot consent. Whatever anyone does to you while you’re in this state is done without your consent and that makes it a crime.
Consent has to be freely given. If you are threatened or coerced into saying yes, then you are not giving your consent freely. This can invalidate your ‘yes’ and may mean the person/people having sex with you are committing a crime.
Taking advantage of someone because they are ‘out of it’ or unsure, vulnerable or inexperienced is not okay – it’s a crime.
If you are not sure if someone is consenting, stop, wait, talk, listen and think
If bad stuff happens to you, it’s not your fault
People who are sexually assaulted often ask themselves if it was their fault or whether they could have done something different to prevent being assaulted. It is very important to be clear: it is not your fault. No one has the right to take advantage of an intimate situation to hurt you.
If you’re taking drugs or alcohol, having sex with a number of people, inexperienced or new to the apps or the gay scene – none of that gives someone else the right to take advantage of the situation to sexually assault you – or commit any other crimes, like robbery, filming you without consent or blackmailing you.
Speak up if you’ve been sexually assaulted
If you’ve been sexual assaulted by someone you met, or you’re confused about what happened to you, don’t feel you need to keep quiet about it. Specialist independent advice is available:
Everyone is entitled to call 999 if they are in danger or have just been a victim of crime.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape there is specialist support available:
L & B Women’s Sexual Health Outreach Worker: Speak in confidence to our L & B Women’s worker and she can assist you to access the relevant support which may include the below services if they are right for you. Tel 0121 643 0821 or email her at: email@example.com
RSVP Birmingham offer specialist support via their LGBT ISVAs (Independent Sexual Violence Advocates) if you are lesbian, gay, bi or trans and have ever experienced rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse at any point in your life. This service is delivered from RSVP and within Birmingham LGBT centre.
Horizon Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) provides medical, practical and emotional support. They can also perform forensic examinations (see below). If the assault was within the last seven days – or longer if you have visible injuries, e.g. bruising – a forensic examination can be arranged (forensic evidence can be collected and stored by the SARC to give you more time to decide whether you want to report to the police). You do not have to report to the police if you attend the SARC. It is your choice. Specially trained staff at the SARC can give you further information to help you to decide. They will support you whatever you decide. You can call the Horizon 24-hour phone line on 0808 168 5698.
We aim to respond to e-mails within 48 hours.
For urgent matter - call us 7 days a week
0121 643 0821
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