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      Welcome to our sexual health dictionary, where we provide comprehensive and accessible information on a wide range of sexual health terms. Sexual health is a fundamental aspect of overall health and well-being, yet it is often overlooked or stigmatised in many societies. We believe that everyone has the right to accurate and up-to-date information about their sexual health, and our dictionary is designed to provide just that. Whether you're looking for information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, or other sexual health topics, our dictionary has you covered. We hope that this resource will help you to make informed decisions about your sexual health and empower you to take control of your own well-being.



      1 bottom is a term that describes people who like to receive penetrative, anal sex, usually between men

      2 there is a stigma attached to being a bottom, that suggests they are more feminine, though this is not the case

      3 there are some bottoms that are open to topping (vers), but there are also people who prefer to only bottom



      1. To agree to do something or allow someone to do something. Sexual consent means that all people involved in a sexual activity have agreed to take part by choice

      2. Consent is an ongoing process and should be revisited throughout sex as sexual boundaries and feelings can change

      3. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, just because you had consent doesn’t mean that you continue to have consent

      4. Communication is key to obtaining consent and non-verbal communication such as not holding eye contact or tensing up can be a good indicator that consent has been withdrawn



      1. Chemsex is a term that refers to to a culture of sex and drug use undertaken by gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with other men (MSM), involving specific substances

      2. Chemsex tends to happen in group situations, arranged through hook-up apps and websites, chemsex parties can last up to several days

      3. Chemsex is different to other situations where individuals may have sex under the influence of substances. The reasons people take part in chemsex, whilst various, are very specific to the gay, bisexual and MSM community

      4. Chemsex can impact on a person's sexual, physical and mental health


      [ dams ]
      STI protection 

      1  dental dams are square pieces of latex that are used during oral sex. They prevent acquiring an STI by providing a barrier to bacteria that could be passed on during oral sex

      2  they can be used during oral sex involving the vulva (vagina) and the anus  

      3  although dams can be used to prevent against STIs, they can also be used for hygiene reasons if you or your sexual partner is not comfortable with their tongue touching the anus/vulva

      4  dams are single use and should not be re-used



      1. Douching is a term that describes the act of cleaning out the vagina or anus with water or other cleaning fluids

      2. Douching often involves using the shower head to insert warm water inside the vagina or anus. Those that practice vaginal douching do so as they believe it removes unpleasant odours and helps to keep clean.  Healthcare Professionals recommend that you should not douche the vagina as it can affect natural PH levels and increase infections

      3. Anal douching is normally done as a preparation for anal sex. Douching the anus can irritate the skin and lead to abrasions, leaving those who have condomless anal sex at higher risk of acquiring an STI


      sexual act

      1 fisting is a sexual act whereby a person inserts their fist into an anus or vagina

      2 due to the fragility of the anus or vagina, which can be easy to tear, if gloves are not used the potential for acquisition of blood borne viruses can increase

      3 some people find the act of fisting pleasurable, and can be done during sole or partnered sex


      [ m-s-m ]
      phrase (acronym)

      1  MSM is a phrase (acronym) that is an abbreviation from the phrase ‘men who have sex with men’

      2  MSM is not the same as gay men. It is a phrase (acronym) that describes a particular group of men who have sex with other men and might not identify as being gay  

      3  the MSM community might contain people who identify as straight (heterosexual), bisexual or other sexual preferences


      [ p-rep ]
      HIV Drug Treatment

      1  is a drug taken by HIV negative people to prevent them acquiring the HIV virus if they are exposed to it. Taking PrEP, in the prescribed way, ensures that there is enough of the drug in the body to prevent acquiring the virus

      2  PrEP stands for PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS  

      3  PrEP is taken in tablet form and is available for free from your local sexual health clinic via a clinical assessment with a clinician to discuss if PrEP is right for you



      1. Slamming is a term that describes the activity of injecting drugs, typically in a recreational setting such as a chemsex party

      2. The term is typically used in relation to gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (MSM)

      3. Slamming is often used during sex to increase sexual performance, arousal and pleasure. Sharing needles or slamming paraphernalia can increase the chances of acquiring a blood born virus such as HIV or Hepatitis C



      1 top is a term that describes people who like to penetrate during sex (between men)

      2 there is a misconception that the ‘Top’ is always in control during sex, though this is not necessarily the case

      3 there are tops that are open to bottoming (vers), but some tops only prefer to give penetration


      [ u-equals-u ]

      1 undetectable equals untransmissible is a phrase used to describe how the HIV virus cannot be passed to another person, when if a person living with HIV is taking medication which controls the level of virus to undetectable levels

      2 a legal status meaning that people with an undetectable viral load can no longer be taken to court in cases related to HIV transmission

      3 U=U means a person cannot transmit HIV, sexually even during condomless sex



      1 vers is a term that describes someone who can switch between Top and Bottom roles in sex, usually between men

      2 there are variants to this (vers-top, vers-bottom) which suggests someone is happy in both roles but has a leaning towards one

      We'll be adding to this list each month, if you want to know more about the above subjects then please have a look through the rest of our website or email us on