Sex and Relationships

Ett hjärta av fyrverkerier

Picture: Unsplash

Sexuality, lust, and intimacy are all central parts of most people’s lives. The ability to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences that are free from discrimination, coercion, and violence is important for good sexual health.

This requires a positive and respectful attitude towards sexuality and sexual relationships. Sex and love can go together, but they don’t have to. You can have sex without being in love with that person and you can be in love without having sex with the person you are in love with. The most important thing is that it feels good and right for you. Sex should be voluntary, and no one has the right to have sex with you if you don’t want to.

Sexual health is affected by different life circumstances such as experiences, relationships, stress, mood, sexual risk-taking, and diseases.

Questions and problems regarding sexual health can include:

  • Decreased desire
  • Relationships
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Intimacy issues
  • Worry/Concerns and thoughts about gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Risk-taking/risky behaviour in sexual contacts
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sex for pay/remuneration
  • Abuse, harassment, or sexual violence

Would you like information, advice, support or testing for sexually transmitted infections?

– We at the Student Health Care are there for you!

We offer:

  • Counselling on sex and relationships
  • Free testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. You are welcome to drop in and see the nurse, or make an appointment.
  • Free rapid test for HIV, 2 times/semester. Current information can be found under the heading Medical tests
  • Free condoms
  • If you don’t know where to go, we can help you find the right organization/healthcare provider.

All health care professionals at the Student Health Care are bound by professional secrecy and all our services are free for students.

Sexually transmitted infections (STI)

Sexually transmitted infections can be transmitted through unprotected sex and are past on via the genitals, throat, and rectum. The most common STIs in Sweden are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Herpes. Some STIs can be transmitted by rubbing the genitals against each other or when having oral sex. Using a condom protects against STIs. Some STIs can cause symptoms, such as a burning sensation when you urinate or different types of discharge, but it is also common to carry a sexually transmitted infection without having any symptoms at all. If you are sexually active, you should get tested regularly and always after unprotected sex.

Contraceptives and pregnancy counselling

If you need advice on contraceptives or pregnancy, you can contact Jönköping Women Health Care that have several health care centres in Jönköping Region: phone number +46 10-242 19 00

If you are under the age of 23, you can go to a youth centre instead: phone number +46 10-242 98 80

Love and relationships are not always easy. Not even the most affectionate relationships are free from conflict.

But how do you know if your relationship has gone from just bad to abusive?

Some things are obvious, like hitting or non-consensual sex. But abuse can be many other things, such as repeatedly being called derogatory names.

There are different types of abuse

  • physical abuse-grabbing you forcefully, squeezing, pinching, scratching, pushing, stepping on you, hitting, kicking, pulling hair or clothes, throwing something at you, strangling, grabbing your face to make you return the gaze, etc.
  • psychological abuse-using words and aggressive behaviour to pressure you and limit your freedom, for example making threats, taking control over what you can do, who you can see, and what you can wear, degrading comments and manipulation
  • sexual abuse-anything from groping to rape, any situation in which you are forced to perform a sexual act against your will, engaging in sexual activity with you when you are incapacitated through alcohol or drugs or asleep, taking intimate photos of you without your consent, pressuring you to watch porn, agreeing to sex to avoid aggression and threats, talking you into having sex
  • digital abuse-secretly reading your texts or emails, demanding that you share your password, deciding who you can be friends with on social media, spreading rumours about you online, posting photos of you, etc.

Abuse can be difficult to recognise. It often starts gradually and intensifies over time. The person that you are with may be kind and caring one moment and critical and threatening the next. Also, at the beginning of a relationship, some signs that can be associated with abuse may be perceived as an expression of profound love.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

  • texting excessively, making you feel like you have to answer quickly
  • getting jealous easily, which can be misinterpreted as an expression of love at the beginning of a relationship
  • criticising your makeup or the way you dress, talk, or carry yourself
  • speaking ill of your friends and family and always wanting to spend time alone with you, isolating you from others
  • making you feel sad, frightened, ashamed, humiliated, angry, annoyed, shocked, or like you have done something wrong
  • demanding that you do things that you do not want to do to prove your love, such as sharing passwords or agreeing to do sexual acts that you are not comfortable with
  • being aggressive/cold one moment and affectionate/caring the next
  • calling you childish and immature if you refuse to do something or openly disagree

Abusers are usually good at hiding their abusive behaviour, presenting a charming face to the outside world. As a result, victims of abuse may start to question their own experiences and sometimes even feel guilty about what has happened.

In a healthy relationship, there is mutual respect, and neither side forces the other person to do something against that person’s will.

Abuse is not an expression of love!

And remember that abuse is always the fault of the abuser.

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, do not hesitate to ask for help to leave the relationship.

You are most welcome to contact the Student Health Care to talk about relationships.


Violence and Honor-related violence and oppression

Family honour/Family-related honour stems from traditions and customs and means that there are expectations and demands from, for example, relatives or family members that put these interests before the individual’s own. Honor-related violence and oppression also means that others rule over your body, your sexuality, or your life. For people living under honour-based oppression, there are often rules and restrictions in everyday life.

Being subjected to violence by one’s own family is difficult. You often feel betrayed, but you also want to protect your family.

If you are experiencing or have experienced abuse or are worried about someone else who you think is being abused by someone close to them, you can get help from “Mottagningen för våldsutsatta”, which is a centre for victims of abuse.

To get in touch with the centre, call “Kontaktcenter” at 036-10 50 00.


During evenings and weekends, you can call “Kvinnofridslinjen”, Sweden’s national women’s helpline. Calls are free of charge, and the helpline is open 24/7. Telephone number: 020-50 50 50.


You can also contact “Kvinno- och tjejjouren i Jönköping”, which is a refuge for women and girls.
Their helpline is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m. and weekends 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Telephone number: 036-16 36 82.

More information on their webpage (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.