Sexual intercourse is sex with penetration of the vagina or anus by a hard penis.

Penetration of the vagina

A man who is aroused can get an erection. The penis swells with blood. It gets bigger and harder and it rises up.

A woman who is aroused gets a wet vagina. This helps the penis to enter the vagina.

The woman can get pregnant only if:

If you do not have a desire to have children at the moment, use contraception.

Man and woman having sexual intercourse. The focus is on the penis penetrating the vagina.
Detail of the penis inside the vagina seen from the inside.
Detail of the penis inside the vagina seen from the inside. Semen is leaving the penis and entering the uterus.

Penetration of the anus

A man and a woman, or two men, can have sex with penetration of the anus.

A woman cannot get pregnant through penetration of the anus. However, avoid semen leaking into the vagina.

Sexual intercourse example: 2 men lie on the side, one man behind the other.

Reasons for sexual intercourse

You can have sexual intercourse for different reasons, for example because you want to:

  • have children (only through penetration of the vagina);
  • have sexual pleasure;
  • express love and other emotions;
  • experience intimacy;
  • relax…

Variation

You do not need to have an orgasm each time you have sex. Many people do not always have an orgasm.

You can have sexual intercourse in various positions: lying, sitting, standing or squatting.
There are other ways of having sex, besides sexual intercourse.

Talk with your partner about your wishes and emotions. Together you can decide what is good sex for both of you.

Sexual intercourse example 1: The man lies on top of woman. The woman spreads her legs.
Sexual intercourse example 2: The woman is on hand and knees. The man sits on his knees behind her.
Sexual intercourse example 3: The man stands. The woman stands against him. The man holds one of her legs up.
Sexual intercourse example 4: The man and woman lie on the side, the man behind the woman.
Sexual intercourse example 5: The woman sits on top of the man.

Protection against STIs and HIV

You can get STIs and HIV from sexual intercourse. You can use a condom to protect yourself and your partner.

A condom

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