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Sex - it's your choice

If your mates give you a hard time because you haven’t had sex yet it can be really annoying. Find out how to make your own decisions and deal with the pressure.

Everybody is having sex except me

It might seem like all your mates go on about is having sex. Don’t believe everything they’re bragging about.

Rushing into sex just to impress your mates is a really bad idea. You need to decide for yourself when the time is right.

Knowing when you are ready to have sex

There are no rules about when the right time is but you should never have sex because you feel pressure from your mates or your partner.

If you’re thinking about having sex it’s a good idea to take the time to get to know your partner first and talk about having sex with them. Sex is best when people trust each other so if you can’t talk about sex with them you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

Ask yourself does it feel right and try to remember –

  • before you have sex, talk with your partner about using condoms
  • if you think you’ll regret it after you’ve done it you’re probably not ready
  • having sex won’t make your partner like you more or guarantee they’ll stay with you
  • if you want to stop at any point during sex that’s ok

When you know the time is right, make sure you’ve got condoms and know how to use them.

More information about condoms and where to get them from

Chaging your mind

Even if you think you’re ready for sex but change your mind while you’re doing it, it’s ok to stop and wait for another time. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to snogging or whatever you’re comfortable with.

Have sex with someone you can trust

If you’re thinking of having sex with someone it’s a good idea to take the time to get to know them and see whether you can trust them. Sex with someone you trust is much better.

The legal age for sex

The legal age you can have sex from is 16. The law also says you must have sex in a private and not in a public place. These laws are the same whether you are gay or straight.

Although most young people don’t have sex before 16 if you do then it’s important you are safe. Condoms are the only contraception that protect against STIs and pregnancy.

Even if you are under 16 you can get free and confidential advice about sex, contraception and pregnancy from your school nurse or doctor. The support service below can offer advice about pregnancy.

Teenage Pregnancy Support Service

Painful sex

If you’re not ready or not sure you want to have sex, it may hurt (and not just the first time) as you won't be relaxed and as likely to enjoy yourself.