Are you thinking about having sex for the first time? There are a few things to ask yourself before taking things to the next level…
It can be difficult to know if you’re ready for sex but the only person who can work that out is you. You should never feel pressured into having sex, whether that’s from a partner or because you think everyone around you is doing it and you don’t want to feel left out.
No matter your sexuality, sex is a big step to take and you deserve to make an informed decision. We’ve laid out the facts to help you to make up your mind. Consider each one and talk to your partner, a friend, family member or Childline on 0800 11 11 if you have any doubts, questions or concerns before making your decision.
LET’S TALK ABOUT…
It is illegal to do anything sexual, not just full sex, without having someone’s full consent. This included situations where a person might be drunk or feels intimidated into doing something they don’t want to. The age of consent is 16 and it is illegal to have sex with someone under the age of 16.
Your partner should respect and honour your decision, no matter what you decide. A truly supportive partner will never pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to do. Talk openly to your partner about any worries or questions you might have.
It’s vitally important to decide on what protection is right for you, should you choose to make the next step. Remember that not all contraceptives protect you from both pregnancy and catching an STI. You can get free contraception and advice from your local sexual health clinic or GP. Asking your partner to wear protection can feel awkward, but it’s important to look after your sexual health. It’s wrong for someone to pressure you into having sex without using contraception.
If you’re having lesbian, gay or bisexual sex, you should also use contraceptives to protect yourself and your partner from STIs.
There are lots of other ways to be intimate with your partner if you decide that you’re not quite ready for sex. Talk to your partner about ways to be intimate that you both feel comfortable with.
- Saying no or changing your mind
You absolutely have the right to change your mind at any point, even if you have had sex with the person before or feel uncomfortable and want them to stop. If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re not sure that you’ve made the right decision, you can speak up.
OVER TO YOU…
You can weigh up your options and talk to friends and family for support but only you can know if you are ready for sex. We’ve listed lots of resources below to help you in your decision-making but, ultimately, this is your decision and yours alone. Your partner should respect your choices and support you. Remember, it’s never right for someone to try and force you into doing something that you’re not comfortable with. This is your body, your virginity, and your choice.
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