A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control



Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

Sexual Concerns (10)

If I tear my frenulum will it be any change on premature ejaculation????


There is some evidence that people who have a short frenulum could see improvements in premature ejaculation times if the frenulum is removed.

It seems with you there could be a change if you tear your frenulum. It probably depends on how much of the frenulum was damaged and if you had a short frenulum to begin with.

I am unsure of your particular situation for example did you tear your frenulum and notice a difference, are you concerned about premature ejaculation and wondering if removing the frenulum would help etc…

If you were a client at one of our STI clinics I would recommend that you speak to your family doctor about this and that they would probably refer you to an urologist (a specialist).

Premature ejaculation is a common concern for many people and there are a range of different causes and treatments. It’s important to see a health professional with experience in this area so that they can recommend a treatment that would work for you. Let us know if you need help finding a health professional in your area.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

i love being intimate with my boyfriend but for some reason i can never climax, even though it still feels good to me.

Hello, this is quite a common occurrence: you are not alone on this topic.
Before we can get to the matter exactly, there are a few questions one must ask themselves.

1) Have I ever reached “climax” on my own/by myself?
If yes, see question 2.

If no, this may be a good starting point. If you feel comfortable, it may be a good idea to explore your body and see what feels good for you so that you can tell your partner(s). This is great knowledge to
have and share. What stimulates someone to “climax” can also change and evolve over time.

2) How / in what ways, do I stimulate myself to reach “climax”.

3) Am I able to guide my partner, in the same way I stimulate myself, to help me “climax”

  It is important for one to know their own body for what feels good and what does not: everyone has their own erogenous zones. By exploring one’s own body, we are better equipped to guide our partner(s) into honing in on those spots and giving us maximum pleasure to “climax” (orgasm). If you’d like to explore some of your options it maybe of benefit speaking to a sexual therapist or counsellor.

Im 24 years old and still a virgin, and i have been experiencing mid cycle spotting for the past 8-9 years and i think its time for me to get a pap test. However, i am very scared to get a test done because I’ve never been sexually active before or had any sort of penetration so i think my hymen is still in tact. I guess my question is would a gyno still be able to do the test on me and what can i expect? Im just looking for some guidance and words of encouragement because i am very scared but i want to take care of my health.

Hi, and thanks for writing in with your question

It’s really normal to feel scared when thinking that something might be wrong or when facing something unknown, like a first physical exam. The most important thing will be to have a doctor that you can trust and to have a discussion about what symptoms you have been experiencing. That way, together you and the doctor can decide what the best tests and follow up will be for your situation.

If the doctor recommends pap testing, they will need to do a pelvic exam. A pelvic exam is the process by which a healthcare provider looks inside the vagina at the cervix using a speculum. The pap test is just one part of the exam where the doctor or nurse gently collects some cells from the cervix to be looked at under a microscope for any atypical or abnormal characteristics

Your healthcare provider will still be able to perform a pelvic exam even though you have never had intercourse. This exam doesn’t change anything, and just like using tampons doesn’t change or affect your hymen, neither will a pelvic exam.

Scarleteen is a really great sex ed website and they have an awesome article entitled Your First Gynecologist Visit that I would encourage you to check out.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Hello,Since my I’ve had a hysterectomy, and then had chemo and intense radiation, including Brachy, love making with mt boyfriend is very very painful… One of my oncologists suggested a “dilator”?… but that would be weird for me.Any advice? Thank you, Nik

Thank you for your question. It sounds like you have been through much. Chemotherapy and Brachy radiation to the area can cause vaginal dryness and pain with a loss of elasticity. This may be why your oncologist suggested dilation. Dilators come in graduated sizes to gradually and gently stretch the vagina over time so that penile penetration  and pelvic examination can be possible. It is worth considering taking the penis penetration off the sexual menu so that you are not dreading the pain of intercourse and your partner is not afraid of hurting you. This way you can reintroduce some pleasure for both of you. I have a good resource  for you about the changes for women after cancer and how to do dilation/ how it  can help; put out by the Oncology department at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario. https://www.rvh.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Vaginal-Dilators.pdf
There is also a more comprehensive booklet listed on the BC Cancer agency site at

I am married my wife not interest sex how to self sex pls help me


Thanks for writing.

Every person’s desire for sex is different, and it can also change over the course of one’s lifetime. Sex drive can also be affected by health conditions, and stress.

Talking to your wife about her health, mental health, and stress may be a good idea.

In terms of having sex by yourself, there are lots of ways to have pleasure on your own.

As a starting point, have a look at our articles on Masturbation and Alternatives to Intercourse.

Another resource is: Jack In World. They have techniques, Q & A, and forums.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you need any additional information.

Health Nurse

My girlfriend and I are in an open relationship. We are fluid bonded (we only have unprotected sex with each other). Recently, she has been experiencing pain during and after sex, despite ample lubrication. Occasionally, after sex, she has shooting pain inside and in her lower back. This does not happen when she has protected sex with other partners. We have both been tested and are STI free. What could cause this and what solutions could there be, other than us wearing condoms?

Hi, thanks for your question.  It may be a simple difference of positioning with different partners. When a woman is underneath with legs bent back for deep penetration then there is a lot of contact with the cervix and a lot of pressure on her lower back.  However, it’s important your partner consider seeing a doctor for a medical assessment about these symptoms.  Testing like blood work, swabs and/or and ultrasound may be part of finding out what is causing the pain.  Consider taking penetrative sex out of the mix until she can see a health provider.
When you are in an open relationship, it is a good idea for both of you to do routine STI testing every 3-6 months to have current negative test results and treat any STI’s that might be transmitted through sexual contact with sex fluids even when condoms are used.  If an STI infection is detected, then you can be reassured that you have not had it for very long ( based on your last negative test results) and be able to get treatment right away for everyone.  Having the discussion with your outside partners about  their testing for STI’s  is recommended.  Hope this helps. Health Nurse

I am 21 years old, and for as long as I can remember I have been terrified of inserting things inside my vagina. I have never had sex, used a tampon or even been able to insert a finger because I’m afraid it will hurt so bad. Is there any way for me to get over this fear and do I need counselling of some sort to get past this. I did some research and discovered a condition called vaginismus and I think I may have it?


Vaginismus is when a woman gets involuntary tightening of the muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted. This can make it painful to insert anything into the vagina and very frustrating for the person mentally.

Vaginismus is common and can be treated. There are a number of different reasons why this can happen e.g. past experiences, physical conditions, psychological concerns etc…

Like you have suggested counselling can be very beneficial, I would recommend seeing a counsellor that specializes in sexual health. If the cause of your concern is mainly psychological they would be able to work out a treatment program for you. Even if it is a physical condition that is causing the problem they would be able to offer you support during the process.

The first thing you would need to do is to see a health professional about this so that they could do an assessment to see what could be causing the problem. Visiting your family doctor would be a good start. Many cities have specialist that your doctor could refer you to for a detailed assessment and treatment plan.

We know that for many people it can be embarrassing talking to health professionals about sexual health matters. Just remember that the concern you have described is common and there are health professionals trained to deal with this.

I am not sure what area you live in, but if you are in BC Canada and would like assistance finding a health professional who can assist you, just send us a private question. All your information is confidential and we could assist with finding a health professional for you.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

What can I do for premature ejackulation?


Premature ejaculation can be a common concern for men.

Our service specialises in sexually transmitted infections (STI), so we do not have expertise in this area.

It can be difficult to give suggestions over the internet for this concern as a health professional would need to take many different factors into consideration. For example person’s age, how long does sex last, medical history, any medication, expectations etc…

There are a number of health professionals in BC that can help with this concern. Let us know what area you are in and we can provide you with a list of health professionals.

Given that it is a common concern you could also go see your family doctor if you feel comfortable discussing it with them. They may have some knowledge in this area or could refer you to someone who does.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

I’m having a hard time reconciling the fact that I have herpes and genital warts (not the cervical-cancer causing type) with my desire to meet someone and fall in love. The guilt of having sex without telling partners about my STIs is becoming unbearable. I realize I should just keep trying until I find someone who is OK with my STIs, but what are the odds of that happening?Are there drugs yet that can prevent me from passing infections?Can I talk with someone about this on the phone?Thanks for your help:)


It sounds like you are going through a hard time at the moment. It may help to know that there are many people in your situation who are able to have a fulfilling sex and love life.

There is a lot of social stigma around sexually transmitted infections (STI) like genital herpes and warts. It often leads to negative experiences or rejection, even though the stigma does not make much sense. Warts and herpes are very common and there is a good chance that the people doing the rejecting may also have herpes (cold sores) and warts somewhere on their body, and just not know it.

Stigma and rejection also make it difficult to talk about STIs with your partners. It is not surprising that this is having an impact on how you feel about yourself and your relationships. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it is hard to be confident when you are meeting people, or you want to bring up the topic of STIs.

Sometimes talking to a counselor is helpful. Dealing with herpes and genital warts can be a huge loss leading to a change in self image and it is difficult to cope with on your own. Another option is to connect with a support group for people who have herpes or genital warts. 

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.


I can’t use condoms because they kill my erection. Any ideas?


This is an issue for many men, and it can be problem when you want or need to use condoms. There are a few things you can try.

You can start by trying to link condom use with pleasure.

One way to do this is by masturbating with a condom on when you are alone. You can also try masturbating until you are close to ejaculation, and then putting a condom on.

Sometimes it helps to have a partner put on the condom while you continue to do things that arouse you like kissing and touching.

Try a few types of condoms. Sometimes the fit makes a difference. If the condom is too tight it can be uncomfortable, and cause you to lose an erection.

Some men find that the female condom works for them.

 Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more info.

Health Nurse