LGBT Youth Scotland and NHS Lothian Launch Latest Good Sex Is… Guide: Knowing the facts about anal sex and pleasure


LGBT Youth Scotland and NHS Lothian launch their latest ‘Good Sex Is...’ guide, developed to meet the needs of young men who have sex with men.

LGBT Youth Scotland’s Sexual Health and Relationships Youth Team, based in Lothian, were asked by Healthy Respect (NHS Lothian) to develop this resource to support, inform and educate young people with the knowledge often missing from other resources. The guide primarily targets men who have sex with other men and focuses on knowing the facts about anal sex and pleasure, and gives young people information on safe sex, whilst emphasising the fact that no young person should feel pressurised into sex before they feel absolutely ready.

This guide has been produced for use within consultations between professionals and young people and aims to help skilled professionals discuss the subject with young people.

Research into sexual health has shown that men who have sex with men are the group most at risk of acquiring HIV in the UK, resulting in a major focus on prevention initiatives targeting this group.  In the research young people ask for services and education to be inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities and not solely focused on heterosexual sex and relationships.

Written with direct input from LGBT young people, the ‘Good Sex Is...’ guide discusses sex in language young people themselves use, covering aspects of sex that are particularly relevant and vital to them.

Commenting on the initiative, a young person who helped to develop this resource said:

“Being involved in developing the Good Sex Is… guide has taught me lots about sexual health and practice. This is information young people should be told, instead of them trying to find out information from websites which is often wrong – and hardly ever talks about pleasure. I hope this makes things better for young people and that they also learn about good relationships too!”

Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland commented:

“We are using World AIDS Day to launch this excellent, accessible and plain-speaking resource about anal sex and pleasure, co-produced by young people, with youth workers and health professionals, which responds to a request from young people for this information.  We hope that young people and adults who work with them, will use the resource to help address any concerns young people might have, in particular young men who have sex with men.”

Dona Milne, Deputy Director for Public Health at NHS Lothian added:

"Some of the men who took part in the needs assessment survey told us that services must be willing, and be comfortable, to have conversations with men about anal sex and reduce the stigma associated with it. We know that younger men (aged under 26), are less likely to engage with services and have distinct HIV prevention needs; some are very sexually active with higher partner numbers and condomless anal sex episodes. They need to be engaged in discussion about safe, consensual sex that is pleasurable, and be supported to delay anal sex until they are ready”.

Download the Good Sex Is... Guide and acompanying letter for people who work with young people at https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/yp-sex 


Notes to Editor:

1. LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland. www.lgbtyouth.org.uk

2. Healthy Respect is NHS Lothian’s sexual health service for young people.  It offers a free and confidential service for young people aged 13-18 and facilitates a network open to individuals and organisations working in any sector to improve the relationships, sexual health and emotional wellbeing of young people aged 13-18 in Lothian. www.healthyrespect.co.uk

3. In the summer of 2011 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lothian began a process of reviewing their HIV prevention work aimed at men who have sex with men. This involved reviewing the most current evidence of effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions, intelligence on the sexual behaviours of men who have sex with men and up to date HIV epidemiology in both health board areas.  In 2014 the Scottish Government published the research findings in a report, HIV Prevention – Needs assessment of men who have sex with men. 

4. Good Sex Is…Knowing the facts about anal sex and pleasure guide, letter and publicity image can be downloaded at www.lgbtyouthscotland.org.uk/yp-sex.  Print copies are available from LGBT Youth Scotland.

5. For more information on young gay and bisexual men's experiences of HIV health provision see Rowlinson, S. and Wilson, S. (2012) Provision of HIV Prevention to Young Gay and Bisexual Men. (LGBT Youth Scotland and NHS Lothian). 

6. Press contact:               Zara Kitson, zara.kitson@lgbtyouth.org.uk, 0141 552 7425