Home Gender & Sexuality
Want to discuss Coronavirus/COVID-19? Head to the dedicated subforum .

Expert Q&A: Sexuality & Relationships (running until the evening of Thursday 27th)

MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled WhovianLondonPosts: 2,160 Staff Moderator
edited February 26 in Gender & Sexuality
UPDATE: Jordan will now be answering questions on Wednesday and Thursday, not Wednesday and Friday as previously stated. This thread has been updated with the latest.

----
Hey folks!

Excitingly, we're hosting an expert Q&A on sexuality & relationships until the end of next week, with a special guest.

Who?
Here's a bit of information about our expert, Jordan:


Hi, I'm Jordan and I've been a listening volunteer for a couple of years now. I answer calls on the phones, and look after Switchboard's social media (check out @switchboardlgbt on twitter and instagram!).

Switchboard has been supporting LGBT+ people for 46 years now; answering the phones and giving calm words when you need it most. We talk through anything that you might be worried about, it could be about relationships, safer sex and sexual health, gender identity, whatever you have to say, we're here to listen. We're confidential and non judgmental and trust us when we say we get all types of calls, so if you do need to speak to someone, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

We're open 10am - 10pm, and you can either call 0300 0630 330, chat online at switchboard.lgbt or email [email protected]
When?
Jordan will be online on Wednesday & Thursday evening, but you can submit questions at any time before Thursday evening.

Where?
Here, in this thread!

What can I ask?
You can ask Jordan anything to do with the topics mentioned above. Just reply to this post with your questions, and Jordan will be online for two evenings next week to reply to them and have a chat.

If you have any questions for us about this Q&A, feel free to post those below too. :)
All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

Avatar credit: Tracie Andrews
Jade09

Comments

  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Sunny ScotlandPosts: 3,150 Ultimate Poster
    okay I have loads of questions, but now I've sat down to write them my minds gone blank :expressionless:  so ill probably add more to this later... also my questions aint lgbt+… its more on the relationship side of things, is that okay? if not just delete this haha

    1 - how do you know you're ready for a relationship after sexual trauma, and how do you cope with it? (dunno if this is the right place to ask this?)
    2- how do you approach problems in a relationship when your other half has a history of being violent? like I find my boyfriend to clingy and I need some time to myself and to see my friends but he wants me to spend all the time off I get with him, but im a bit weary bringing it up with him incase he gets violent.
    3 - how do you know when you love someone? like I really like my boyfriend but not sure if I love him in that way? like everyone says when you know, you know, and I think I love him kinda but I dunno, this doesn't make sense :lol:  my sister thinks im with him cause I know it will end in disaster, but I feel like he's shown his true colours so I know what im getting into, I don't trust nice guys cause im scared theyre hiding something? like it was nice guys that hurt me, well at least I thought they were nice in the beginning of the night.
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
    Jade09
  • Jade09Jade09 EnglandPosts: 433 Moderator
    Awesome questions @BubblesGoesBoo !

    I have just thought of a question also, Do you have any tips about being in your first same sex relationship? e.g, how to introduce to your family, how to cope with it yourself (specifically if you have only been in heterosexual relationships previously)
    Jordan_Switchboard
  • AidanAidan Potato Posts: 1,584 Postholic
    Awesome questions guys @BubblesGoesBoo @Jade09

    Sorry I can't really think of any questions re sexuality- but I've got some for relationships in general that I suppose could apply to everyone!

    What advice would you give to couples thinking about moving in together?

    Are there any advantages to being married?

    In the long term, is there anything a childless couple will have to do extra to look after themselves?
    Jade09
  • MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled Whovian LondonPosts: 2,160 Staff Moderator
    edited February 26
    Some good questions here so far folks. We also have a couple from Instagram:
    My dad is homophobic and I’m really scared to come out as bi, any advice?
    Is it acceptable to miss school or college for mental health reasons?

    Aware that second question isn't Sexuality & Relationships related on the surface, but that may be connected to why this person is asking about missing school or their mental health. :)
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Tracie Andrews
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Hey everyone, thanks for the questions so far - looking forward to tomorrow :) 
    MikeJade09
  • BubblesGoesBooBubblesGoesBoo Sunny ScotlandPosts: 3,150 Ultimate Poster
    @Jordan_Switchboard ps. Wednesday is today 😉😂
    ' So I put a bullet where I shouda put a helmet, and I crash my car cause I wanna get carried away, that's why I'm standing on the overpass screaming at myself 'hey, I wanna get better''  
    Jordan_Switchboard
  • MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled Whovian LondonPosts: 2,160 Staff Moderator
    Just a quick update here: @Jordan_Switchboard will now be answering questions tonight and Thursday, not tonight and Friday as originally stated. The main post has been updated. :)

    @Jordan_Switchboard ps. Wednesday is today 😉😂
    Ha!
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Tracie Andrews
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    @Jordan_Switchboard ps. Wednesday is today 😉😂
    Woohoo. I knew the week was dragging, but glad to hear it's not actually Tuesday. Speak to you all this evening :) 
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    edited February 26
    okay I have loads of questions, but now I've sat down to write them my minds gone blank :expressionless:  so ill probably add more to this later... also my questions aint lgbt+… its more on the relationship side of things, is that okay? if not just delete this haha

    1 - how do you know you're ready for a relationship after sexual trauma, and how do you cope with it? (dunno if this is the right place to ask this?)
    2- how do you approach problems in a relationship when your other half has a history of being violent? like I find my boyfriend to clingy and I need some time to myself and to see my friends but he wants me to spend all the time off I get with him, but im a bit weary bringing it up with him incase he gets violent.
    3 - how do you know when you love someone? like I really like my boyfriend but not sure if I love him in that way? like everyone says when you know, you know, and I think I love him kinda but I dunno, this doesn't make sense :lol:  my sister thinks im with him cause I know it will end in disaster, but I feel like he's shown his true colours so I know what im getting into, I don't trust nice guys cause im scared theyre hiding something? like it was nice guys that hurt me, well at least I thought they were nice in the beginning of the night.

    Hey Bubbles, 

    Thanks for the questions, and it’s totally fine that it’s not LGBT+ related. I’m happy to help in anyway I can.


    Taking your first question, I'm sorry to hear that you’ve experienced that. There’s no simple way of knowing when you’re ready to start to move on, but you need to make sure you give yourself plenty of time between partners, something as serious as sexual trauma can take time to come to terms with and it’s important that you put yourself and your emotions first. Talking through things is key which is where we come in, we can help you talk through what you went through and maybe make some referrals to services that can also help - like mind.org.uk 


    For your second question communication is key. You need to be able to tell your boyfriend that you need time to see your friends and that telling him that isn’t saying you don’t want to be with him, but other relationships you have are important too and sometimes people just need to have fun with their friends! If he shows any alarming behaviour take yourself away from that situation as quickly as possible, or if he wants to meet up and you can tell he’s angry then meet him with a friend and go to a safe public space like a coffee shop. Your safety is the most important thing. 


    Thirdly, that is the golden question! Love isn’t something real that you can touch, it’s a feeling and the reason people say ‘you’ll know when you know’ is because it’s kind of true. When you feel safe and cared for and you want to share everything with one person, that can be because you’re in love. But love can change, you can fall out of love with someone just as easily as you can fall in love. So don’t be afraid to admit that your feelings have changed. 


    Thank you so much for your questions, I hope this has given you some help. If you ever want to talk, Switchboard is here for you 10am - 10pm every day on 0300 330 0630 or you can chat online at switchboard.lgbt


    Jordan
    Jade09chubbydumpling
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Jade09 said:
    Awesome questions @BubblesGoesBoo !

    I have just thought of a question also, Do you have any tips about being in your first same sex relationship? e.g, how to introduce to your family, how to cope with it yourself (specifically if you have only been in heterosexual relationships previously)

    Hi Jade,

    Thanks for getting involved and that’s a great conversation. 


    Don’t be afraid to take things slow, if this is your first same sex relationship there are going to be a lot of ‘first times’ and it’s important that you go at your own pace. Lean on your partner for support, as you’re in it together, lots of chats and be honest with each other about any worries you have. 


    Introducing to family can be tricky, but you should treat the situation as you would with any other partner. If they’re confused or don’t understand then Switchboard regularly talks to friends and family of LGBT+ people to help them come to terms with similar situations. So just give them our number! 


    Being LGBT+ can be difficult at times, especially at the start but online communities like The Mix are a great way of hearing people's experiences and sharing your own. 


    Best of luck with the relationship <3:) 


    Jordan


  • Jade09Jade09 EnglandPosts: 433 Moderator
    Awesome thank you @Jordan_Switchboard :)
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    edited February 26
    Aidan said:
    Awesome questions guys @BubblesGoesBoo @Jade09

    Sorry I can't really think of any questions re sexuality- but I've got some for relationships in general that I suppose could apply to everyone!

    What advice would you give to couples thinking about moving in together?

    Are there any advantages to being married?

    In the long term, is there anything a childless couple will have to do extra to look after themselves?
    Hi @Aidan,

    Moving in is a big commitment and should only be done if you're 100% sure. Trying to get out of the situation if something sadly doesn't work out can be very complicated.

    Trialling it first is a great way of seeing how the two of you work together in a shared space. Also it's important to remember that if you do decide to live together then the first few months can be tough, getting used to someone being around all the time is tricky, so be patient with the other person!

    For some people it provides support, and companionship but more official in the eyes of the law, and also the traditional element can be a big reason why people get married. It can also have financial benefits in terms of tax. Sadly I'm not married so don't benefit from them, but there's plenty of advice online. Try looking here

    With your last question can you tell me a bit more about what you mean when you say 'is there anything they will have to do extra to look after themselves?'  

    Thanks!
    Jade09
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Mike said:
    Some good questions here so far folks. We also have a couple from Instagram:
    My dad is homophobic and I’m really scared to come out as bi, any advice?
    Is it acceptable to miss school or college for mental health reasons?

    Aware that second question isn't Sexuality & Relationships related on the surface, but that may be connected to why this person is asking about missing school or their mental health. :)

    These are some really interesting questions. 

    My dad is homophobic and I’m really scared to come out as bi, any advice?

    When it comes to homophobic parents (or anyone for that matter) remember to try and stay calm, homophobia comes from ignorance, from people not understanding what it means to be LGBT+ and they might believe things they've heard on TV or read in the news that aren't true. If you're able to try and explain in a calm way that this isn't a choice, that it's who you are and it's about who you love and that you want them to support you in that hopefully creating a dialogue will help them understand. 

    Stonewall has a great section on coming out that you can read here and if you want to go through what you would say, we've spoken to many people before and after their conversations with parents to help them through it! 

    Is it acceptable to miss school or college for mental health reasons?

    Mental health is just as valid as physical health, if you're experiencing bad mental health firstly you should speak to someone you can be open and honest with, like your parents or a favourite teacher at school. It might be that you need to see a doctor and if you can take an adult with you, they can help you get across the way your feeling so that you can get the right support. 

    Jade09chubbydumpling
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 400 Moderator
    Great responses @Jordan_Switchboard! Some really insightful questions, everyone :3

    Just to add to the reply on this question:

    My dad is homophobic and I’m really scared to come out as bi, any advice?

    Here at @The Mix we ran a Bi Visibility Day advice thread here last September that has a lot of helpful resources specific to coming out as bisexual. Check that out if you're concerned, scared or just want to talk about your experience. 
    Jade09
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    edited February 26
    Hope that's been some help, keep the questions coming in and I'll be back tomorrow evening to have another chat :) 

    If you need someone to talk to this evening, or any time - there's someone on the end of the phone at Switchboard  10am-10pm on 0300 330 0630, online at switchboard.lgbt or email [email protected]

    Have a lovely evening everyone and speak to you tomorrow <3:)
    Jade09
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Carer/Craft Lover Posts: 2,544 Mega Poster
    Hey Jordan , 

    How can you deal with the stereotypes about being Bi-sexual that come from family and friends ? I recently came out as Bi and I got comments such as “oh that greedy “ etc and I didn’t really know how to respond or deal with it 
    “ I believe that you have the power to achieve whatever you put your mind too, You are living a life’s most people won’t  ever understand but that’s what will Be the root of all your determination and success. You have a soul full of love and kindness and I just know that despite all the hardship, a life’s of happiness awaits you and I’m very proud of you, just keep holding on” 
    MikeJade09chubbydumpling
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 251 Moderator
    Hey Jordan,

    Bit of a weird question but is it okay to not be interested much in dating or feeling attracted to others much? I have been in relationships when I was younger but I never felt much attraction. I thought maybe it was just who I was with at the time, but I've come to realise that I'm not into dating like other people my own age. I don't feel the need/want to date, which is weird because I always assumed I was a) straight and b) wanting to do the whole marriage and babies thing. But I've realised I feel much of a deeper love with a few close friends than I ever did when I was in relationships. I feel that I probably need to be really good friends with someone first, if it were to proceed to a relationship (I've never had a proper crush unless I feel I've got to know them first). I just feel a bit weird by it, as it sounds a bit childish when I love my friends, but not romantically/sexually and other people my age are dating and having children. Also, is it okay if this fluctuates e.g. don't feel like dating now, but if I changed my mind in the future?
    Mikechubbydumpling
  • MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled Whovian LondonPosts: 2,160 Staff Moderator
    I have a question too. :)

    For those who don't identify with the LGBT+ community, what are your top tips for being a good ally?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Tracie Andrews
    Jade09
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Hi everyone, hope you all had a good day, did you all get some snow....?!

    There's been some more questions today so I'll go through those and if you have anymore then send them my way :) 

    - Jordan
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    edited February 27
    Hey Jordan , 

    How can you deal with the stereotypes about being Bi-sexual that come from family and friends ? I recently came out as Bi and I got comments such as “oh that greedy “ etc and I didn’t really know how to respond or deal with it 

    Hi @Millie2787 ,


    I hope you're ok after coming out, it’s such a brave thing to do so you should be proud of yourself. 


    In regards to some of the backlash sadly a lot of people still don’t really understand bisexuality. They find it safer to understand their own experience, meaning they can comprehend someone being attracted to a single sex, but anything more than that they struggle with.


    Pointing them towards some articles like this one may help. You can also try to explain to them that life is very rarely binary, when do you ever feel just happy, or just sad? You’re usually feeling a mix of all kinds of emotions and it can be similar to sexuality. Bisexuality is one of many many types of sexuality, some are listed here if you want more information, or want to give other people some reading so that they can better understand you! 


    Best of luck! 


    Jade09chubbydumpling
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    edited February 27
    Maisy said:
    Hey Jordan,

    Bit of a weird question but is it okay to not be interested much in dating or feeling attracted to others much? I have been in relationships when I was younger but I never felt much attraction. I thought maybe it was just who I was with at the time, but I've come to realise that I'm not into dating like other people my own age. I don't feel the need/want to date, which is weird because I always assumed I was a) straight and b) wanting to do the whole marriage and babies thing. But I've realised I feel much of a deeper love with a few close friends than I ever did when I was in relationships. I feel that I probably need to be really good friends with someone first, if it were to proceed to a relationship (I've never had a proper crush unless I feel I've got to know them first). I just feel a bit weird by it, as it sounds a bit childish when I love my friends, but not romantically/sexually and other people my age are dating and having children. Also, is it okay if this fluctuates e.g. don't feel like dating now, but if I changed my mind in the future?

    Hi @Maisy,


    Don’t worry that’s not a weird question and it’s one I’ve been asked a few times on the phones at Switchboard so you are definitely not alone in feeling that way. 


    It’s totally OK not to be interested in dating. Dating can be fun, but it also can be time consuming (and tiring!) and it isn’t for everyone. There will be people that will have an opinion on any decision that you make, try to fade them out and concentrate on what makes you happy. 


    Your outlook is very healthy: have a fun time with friends, live your best life and if someone comes along and you want to make space for in your life, then that’s an added bonus. You might change your mind in 2 years or 20 years and want to meet someone to marry, or you may decide to never want to go down that path, and decide that you just want to have really great friends in your life that you connect with on a deeper level and be content with that. It's your decision and people who love you will respect that. 


    Jordan :) 



    Jade09chubbydumplingMaisy
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Mike said:
    I have a question too. :)

    For those who don't identify with the LGBT+ community, what are your top tips for being a good ally?
    Hi Mike,

    Really good question because that term can be banded around a lot with not everyone knowing what it actually means. 

    To be an ally to the LGBT+ community is to be informed, to know who makes up our community and to hear lived experiences so that although they may not be LGBT+ themselves they can understand the struggles that people have gone through and then they can better empathise. 

    It's also about standing up and challenging people that say things against the LGBT+ community. This could be online or in the streets, if you're with an LGBT+ friend and someone says something nasty to them then as an ally you should be challenging that person and supporting your friend. Being visible to show that it's not OK to say bad things. 

    It's also about influencing other people, not just challenging people who say something outwardly homophobic but also little comments that can hurt the LGBT+ community. For example when someone says 'oh that's gay' if it's something they don't like, then politely correct telling them it's not appropriate language.

    This article covers some of these points and more. It's a really interesting read. 

    Hope that helps! :) 
    chubbydumpling
  • Jade09Jade09 EnglandPosts: 433 Moderator
    Just to chime in on that question, as Jordan mentioned education is really important in being a good ally for someone in the LGBT+ community. The more that is learnt, respected and understood, the easier it may be too be supportive. I think sometimes just trying to understand, is a massive help, if you aren't sure on something show you are willing to be taught etc. :)
    chubbydumpling
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 400 Moderator
    Some really great points @Jordan_Switchboard

    I guess I would just add that it's okay to get things wrong sometimes - nobody is perfect and not picking up on things straight away is nothing to be ashamed of. Like @Jade09 said, as long as you're willing to learn, that's all that really matters! 
    Jade09
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    Absolutely, allies are an important part of the community. So thank you to everybody who might not identify as LGBT+ but are there to support us <3 
    Jade09chubbydumpling
  • Jordan_SwitchboardJordan_Switchboard Posts: 13

    Expert

    A huge thank you to everyone for their questions, and thank you to The Mix for asking Switchboard to be a part of this. 

    If you ever need someone to talk to then Switchboard is open 10am - 10pm all year round on 0300 330 0630 or you can chat online at switchboard.lgbt or email [email protected] 

    Thanks again,

    Jordan :) 


    Jade09
  • MikeMike Hummus-Fuelled Whovian LondonPosts: 2,160 Staff Moderator
    Thanks to everyone who put questions forward for this, and for all the readers and lurkers who got something from this discussion. And thank you to @Jordan_Switchboard for taking the time to work on this with us. :):star:
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Avatar credit: Tracie Andrews
Sign In or Register to comment.