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Lesson and Activity Plans: Talking About Sex

This page describes two activities: 'Talking about Sex' and 'Negotiating Sex'.

Talking about sex


To dispel embarrassment and to come up with words and phrases the group will be happy to use to talk about sex. This exercise may work best if the small groups are single sex, so ask the group before proceeding.

What you will need

Chairs in a circle, large sheets of paper and pens.

Time: about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

What you do

  1. Divide the whole group into smaller groups of 3 or 4.
  2. Give each group a pen and a large sheet of paper.
  3. Ask the small groups to brainstorm on words about sex for a few minutes, writing down phrases and words they know, and any feelings or thoughts which the word brings up.
  4. Back in the main group, discuss how the brainstorm made participants feel. Compare lists of words. Do not insist on a contribution from everyone, as some may find it difficult to overcome their initial embarrassment.
  5. Back in the main group, compare notes. The aim is to find words or phrases which are clear, easily understood, and non-offensive for future group use when talking about sex.

Likely outcomes

This exercise may help the group to overcome embarrassment and agree on words which are clear, easily understood and non-offensive when talking about sex.

Negotiating Sex


This exercise will help to enable young people to find ways of saying if, when and how they want to have sex when someone is encouraging them to do so.

What you will need

Chairs in a circle. A worksheet with examples of things people might say if they're going to encourage a partner to have sex. An example is available on this page but you may need to alter it to suit your group. Pens and paper.

Time: about 40-60 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

What you do

  1. Ask the group to split into small groups of 3 or 5. Give each group pens and paper.
  2. Each group should then brainstorm phrases and sentences which people use when trying to persuade a partner to have sex. Allocate copies of the "Persuading a partner to have sex' worksheet to those groups who need ideas. Each group should aim to have about ten statements. Allow 10-15 minutes for this.
  3. Ask the group to break into pairs. Each pair needs to nominate 'A' and 'B' partners.
  4. 'A' partners should start off by being the person who wants to have sex, and should read the first of their ten statements. Partner 'B' should then reply giving a reason why they do not want sex.
  5. Partner 'A' continues until all the statements have been read, and partner 'B' has responded to them. This takes between 15-20 minutes.
  6. When all the statements have been read, the partners exchange roles.
  7. Ask the group to come back together and ask them how it felt when responding to the 'persuading' statements. Useful questions to pose might include:
    • Was it difficult to think of responses?
    • How did it feel to be refusing all the time?
    • Are there other ways to challenge someone effectively?
  8. Some 'pairs' may be happy to act out their roles in front of the rest of the group, although no one should be forced to do so. This encourages further discussion.

Likely Outcomes

Young people will have had a chance to experience refusing sex with a partner (or future partner), as well as being refused or turned down. Young people who have not had a sexual relationship will find this exercise as useful as those who already have.

Negotiating sex worksheet

Examples of things people might say if they're trying to pursuade a partner to have sex.

  1. "I'll be very careful."
  2. "If you really loved me you would."
  3. "I haven't got AIDS so you've no need to worry."
  4. "I've got some condoms now, so there's no excuse not to."
  5. "Everyone else is doing it."
  6. "I'll buy you something nice if you let me do it."
  7. "I'm really turned on now - if we don't go the whole way I will be in agony!"
  8. "There are names for people like you who lead others on."


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