Let’s talk about sex

Let’s talk about sex

Health promotion & disease prevention


6 hours

“Let’s Talk About Sex”

Duration: Around 15 minutes

Group size:  Any

Materials: Large room, playing balls, billboard, markers.

Hints for the Facilitator:

  • People must quickly throw the ball to another, without mining the order
  • Each person must shout only one word or a 2-word phrase maximum,
  • People cannot repeat words other people shouted.

The Facilitator explains the rules of the energizer which will lead to make an introduction to sexual health. The Facilitator asks the group to stand in a circle and gives a ball to one of the participants. Then the Facilitator shouts “Let’s talk about Sex”. The person who holds the ball must quickly throw it to another person, shouting the first word related to sex that comes into her/his mind. Then the person who catches the ball must shout a different word, before quickly throwing it to another person. This continues quickly and the ball is thrown many times, until people start running out of words related to sex.

The Facilitator supervises the energizer while a 2nd facilitator stands in front of the billboard writing down the words participants shout.

At the end participants are asked to sit down and quickly the Facilitator reads out loud the words or phrases mentioned during the energizer.

Then the Facilitator asks the group “How did you feel when you were asked to say something about SEX?” and writes down in another sheet of paper the responses. This can take 5 minutes and will lead to the next activity.

1. “Sex Relates To…”

Duration: 50 Minutes

Group size:  Any

Materials: Large room, Appendix 1 (Infographic)

The Facilitator divides the group into smaller groups of 5-6 people and distributes a piece of paper with the following concepts:

  • SEX

The groups are asked to write the definitions of each term, as they understand them, using also words mentioned during the energizer, in a clear and creative way. Groups are given 15 minutes to complete their discussion and write down their definitions. Upon completion, the facilitator asks each group to read out loud the definition for each term. At the end of the presentations of the term, the Facilitator presents the official definition (already written on the billboard), and initiates a discussion with the whole group, including comparisons between the official definition and the ones provided by groups. The same is followed for each term. At the end, the Facilitator distributes SEXUAL HEALTH APPENDIX 1: TERMINOLOGY to all participants with the official definitions.

2. “Sexual Health and Hygiene”

Duration: PART A: 40-50 minutes, PART B: 80-90 minutes

Group size:  Any

Materials: Sexual Health Appendix 2: Questionnaire “SEXUAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE QUESTIONNAIRE”, Sexual Health Appendix 3: DIAGRAM: HINTS TO MAINTAIN SEXUAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE, Flipchart, A4 and A3 papers, Pens, Pencils, Markers, Post-its, projector and the 3 short films: “How to talk about Safer Sex” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTFixZ2Ic9Q, “How to talk about STD testing” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkVcpxOYhd8, “How to tell someone you have an STD” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxV7CiE2Bwc


The Facilitator explains that this exercise is about Sexual Health and Hygiene, an issue of great importance for men and women. It is important to know how to keep a body healthy, clean, and free of any infection. Sex and physical intimacy is vital in a couple’s relationship and following important hygiene rules is a must factor towards a healthy and lasting relationship.

The Facilitator starts with a short question addressing the whole group “What are the most important things to consider when we talk about sexual health and hygiene?” All participants are encouraged to speak and the facilitator writes down the responses. This short discussion may take about 15-20 minutes.

Then the Facilitator says to the group “So let us see, how much do you know about sexual health and hygiene” and divides the group into smaller groups. He/she then distributes the “SEXUAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE QUESTIONNAIRE” (Appendix 2) to each group and asks them to discuss and provide answers. This exercise may take 15 minutes. At the end, each group presents the results and a 5-minute discussion follows. At the end of the exercise the Facilitator provides the DIAGRAM: HINTS TO MAINTAIN SEXUAL HEALTH AND HYGIENE (Appendix 3) for reference.


The Facilitator explains to participants that this exercise deals with SAFE SEX and emphasizes that everybody has to practice SAFE SEX for two main reasons 1) Protection from STDs (Sexual Transmitted Diseases) and 2) unexpected and/or unwanted pregnancy.

He/she further explains that it is each person’s responsibility and also the right to discuss SAFE SEX issues with her/his partner. In most cases, however, discussing this issue, especially with a new partner can be awkward and a lot of questions, feelings or worries arise which might turn out to be stressful.

The specific exercise has 2 parts.

Part 1: Feelings, Thoughts and Worries when Talking about SAFE SEX with a sexual partner

The Facilitator divides the group into smaller groups of 4-5 people and asks them to discuss and provide their views and ideas on the feelings, thoughts or worries which may arise when talking SAFE SEX with a sexual partner. The Facilitator asks participants to share their views using their own experiences to reflect reality and write their views/points in a creative way. In order to make it more creative post-its are being distributed for participants to write down the major points. Participants are given 15 minutes for discussion.

The Facilitator presents some questions on the flipchart to participants to assist and guide them during this exercise:

  • Do you think that it is important to talk about SAFE SEX with a sexual partner?
  • What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you have to talk about safe sex with a sexual partner?
  • What kind of feelings or thoughts arise when you have to talk SAFE SEX issues with a sexual partner?

At the end, the Facilitator asks each group to stand and present their views/opinions in front of the others. The post-its are pinned on A3 paper to make a poster at the end of the exercise which can be hanged in the room’s walls.

Part 2: How do you talk SAFE SEX with your sexual partner?

The Facilitator asks the question “How do you actually talk to your partner about safe sex and SDTs?” and explains that the following exercise involves role plays and emphasizes that whoever does not feel comfortable he/she has the right not to participate. He/She further explains that in roles people have to be as honest and as real as possible, even use real situations if they wish. The facilitator reminds that this exercise is based on role plays and it does not matter under which category each person will participate. The importance is to make an effort to think and play the role they will be given.

The facilitator divides the group into pairs (if possible man with woman) and ask each pair to pick up a piece of paper from a box. The box contains papers with the following written “Talk about Safer Sex with your Sexual Partner”, “Talk about STD testing with your Sexual Partner”, “Tell your sexual partner you have an STD”.

Then the facilitator asks participants to form groups according to the paper they picked and each group has 10 minutes to exchange views and ideas and write down the best ways to discuss the specific issue with their partner in pairs. Participants then are given 10 more minutes to present to the other pairs in their group their responses, compare results, and then decide and write down the best and most effective way in a form of a short dialogue between two. Each group has to decide which couple is going to present the results to the whole group.

Then each couple, from the 3 groups, stands up and performs the short scenario representing their group.

Upon conclusion of the presentations the Facilitator plays the following short videos which have been used in health education training sessions abroad.

How to talk about Safer Sex (4,5 min.)


How to talk about STD testing (5 min.)


How to tell someone you have an STD (8 min.)


A short closing discussion follows.

3. “So, how about Contraception?””

Duration: 40-50 minutes

Group size:  Any

Materials: Flipchart, Post-its, Markers, Pens, Pencils, Appendix 4

The Facilitator starts with a quote “Prevention is the best practice for all bad or negative situations” emphasizing that this applies to a lot of issues in daily life, including sexual health. For this reason, talking about contraception is essential in sexual health trainings. The only method proven to be 100% safe is abstinence from sex, but since this is rarely the case it is important for people to know the different methods of contraception. The Facilitator emphasizes that contraception for safer sex, as mentioned before protects from STDs and from unexpected pregnancies.

The Facilitator asks the group “How much do you know about the different methods of contraception? Name a few”. A discussion follows and all participants are encouraged to speak. The answers are being noted on a flipchart. Then the Facilitator goes through the list and adds the methods not mentioned during the discussion.

Then he/she asks, “Which one of the listed methods can be purchased at a store or without a doctor’s prescription?”. The Facilitator puts a star next to them and displays a sample. This discussion can last 10-15 minutes.

At the end, the Facilitator emphasizes that there are different prescription and nonprescription methods of contraception.

Hints for the Facilitator:

  • Over the counter methods of contraception include: male and female condoms, foam/cream/jelly and vaginal contraceptive film. Note: Abstinence, rhythm and withdrawal might also be classified as over the counter.
  • The Facilitator can gather samples for those methods is possible to show to participants. Diagram Methods for Contraception presents all methods of contraception.

After the short discussion, the Facilitator explains that a competition, encompassed by 2 stages, follows and divides the group into smaller groups of 5-6 people. He/She emphasizes that the scope of the exercise is to gather as many information as possible for each method of contraception, using the internet, as quickly as possible. The group who will manage to finish both stages of the competition will win a prize (the prize can be anything the Facilitator decides before hand).

The Facilitator disseminates the SEXUAL HEALTH APPENDIX 4: METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION (Appendix 4), post-its and presents a flipchart with the title Methods of Contraception and under it the following questions: What is it? What does it do? Does it need medical prescription? Does it protect from STDs? Does it prevent a pregnancy? How effective is it?

So, the Facilitator reads out loud the questions and explains that these are the questions which need to be answered, as quickly as possible under each box on the Sheet distributed to each group. So, filing out the Sheet is Stage 1.

The Stage 2 will be for the whole group to discuss and decide which methods are the most effective and number them according to effectiveness, starting from the number 1 to the most effective method, according to them and so on. The Facilitator places on the floor A2 flipchart sheets divided into 18 columns (with each column receiving a number from 1-18). The Facilitator explains that when each group finishes with filling out the questions on the sheet all have to discuss and decide on the effectiveness, write on the post-it each method and pin it under the relevant box i.e. Abstinence which is considered 100% should be written on a post-it and pinned under the column 1!

This exercise is planned to take up to 30-40 minutes. 

“Reality and Myths about Sex Behaviors…”(evaluation)

The Facilitator divides the room into 2 equal spaces, with a tape, and places the word FACT in one side and MYTH in the other one side. Then He/She asks participants to stand on the line marked by the tape. The Facilitator starts reading each Statement written on the “SEXUAL BEHAVIOR STATEMENT SHEET” (Appendix 5) and asks participants to take a stand against the statement based on whether they believe it is FACT or a MYTH, by jumping on either side accordingly. Each time a statement is announced and participants stand on the side they support a short discussion follows. Participants are asked to shortly support their position and explain why the statement reflects reality or it is a myth. The same procedure is followed for all statements written on the sheet. At the end the “SEXUAL BEHAVIOR STATEMENT SHEET”, with correct answers can be distributed to participants for future reference.

At the end, a short discussion follows and conclusions are noted down.

This exercise can be included in any Training Course or workshop related to Personal Empowerment, or Social Behaviors, Social Inclusion or Sexual Health Education.

Duration: 40-50 minutes

Group Size: Any

Materials:  Appendix 6: Protective and Risky Factors Influencing Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior, 7 pieces of A3 papers entitled FAMILY, SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY, RELATIONSHIP, INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, BIOLOGICAL AND PEER, Post-its (2 different colors), pens, markers, tape.

Hints for the Facilitator:

  • The A3 papers with the conclusions can by hanged in the walls of the room;
  • Participants’ conclusions could be incorporated in the Diagram for future reference.
  • The exercise will also provide the opportunity to draw conclusions on whether there are differences or similarities in factors among different counties, due to cultures, customs and societal norms.

“Protective and Risky Factors Influencing Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior”

The Facilitator explains to the group that the process of achieving sexual health begins early in life and continues throughout the life span of a person. There are a lot of factors in a person’s life influencing his/her sexual life, some protective and some risky. Since people live in organized societies they are exposed to a lot of positive or negative situations every day, which influence their personal development, including their sexual perceptions, behaviors and actions. The Facilitator explains to the group that the scope of the exercise is to identify as many protective or risky factors as possible, and place them within the following frameworks: FAMILY, SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY, RELATIONSHIP, INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, BIOLOGICAL AND PEER. He/She places on the floor 7 A3 papers on the floor, one for each of the above. The papers under the title are divided into two columns PROTECTIVE and RISKY. The facilitator then divides the group into smaller groups of 5-6 people and distributes two different colored post-its to each group. He/she then asks the group to discuss and write down factors which they believe influence sexual health and responsible sexual behavior and decided under which category they should be appointed. The facilitator asks participants to use the same color of post-it for protective factors and the other color for the risky factors. He/She motivates participants to come up with as many factors as possible and try to cover as many categories as possible. 

Upon conclusion, each group is asked to stand up, present their conclusions, by justifying each factor (protective or risky) and placing it under the category they believe it belongs. The presentations may last for 20 minutes.

At the end, the Facilitator will present to the group the Appendix 6 “Protective and Risky Factors Influencing Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior” with examples of factors. He/She then will take one by one the categories and read out loud the factors comparing them with the conclusions reached by groups and discussing them shortly with the participants.

Appendix 6 “Protective and Risky Factors Influencing Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior”