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Are you ready for sex?

Whether it's the first time you’ve had sex or not, sex should always be enjoyable and something you don’t feel pressured into doing.

Sex for the first time

If you’re thinking about having sex for the first time it’s really important that YOU feel ready, you don’t feel pressured into it by someone else and that you feel comfortable with your decision.

Even though it might seem as if everyone around you is having sex, remember the average age for first sex in the UK is still 17 and above. Most people feel both excited and worried at the thought of having sex for the first time – this is normal, the main thing is that you feel absolutely ready.

"It’s really important to remember that just because you’ve had sex with someone you don’t have to continue to have sex with them or anyone else. Every time you have sex you should feel ready, comfortable and safe. "

Peer pressure

Nobody has the right to put you under pressure to have sex and everyone has the right to say ‘No’ to sex. Often people are influenced by the way their friends behave, it’s natural to want to fit in but sometimes this results in people feeling pressured into doing things doing things which they don’t want to do or aren’t ready to do such as drinking alcohol, smoking or having sex. Sometimes when you’ve been drinking or taking drugs it can make you have fewer inhibitions and feel more confident about having sex but most people admit to feeling regretful having sex in these circumstances especially if it is the first time they have had sex. Also in the eyes of the law a person cannot legally consent (say yes) to sex if they are very drunk or are under the influence of drugs. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to have sex than to say no, It’s always best to do things when you are know you’re ready; you are the only person who can decide what is right for you.

You might be worried that you will lose your girlfriend or boyfriend, or that they won't love you any more if you don't have sex with them; if someone genuinely cares about you they will respect your opinion and not pressurise you. Doing things because you feel pressured into doing them can make you feel bad about yourself and confused. Being in love doesn't mean you have to have sex, and having sex doesn't mean you're in love!

If someone continues to put pressure on you to have sex or do something that you don’t want to do you need to tell someone about it as this is serious and could be a dangerous situation. There are lots of people that you could tell; a parent, carer or guardian, a teacher, a youth worker and in some cases the police.

Be Prepared

Whether you’re having vaginal, anal or oral sex it’s important to think about how you can make the sex you’re having the safest it can be and reduce the chance of an unwanted pregnancy and/or a sexually transmitted Infection (STIs). Condoms are a really effective way of protecting against most STIs. Click here to find out where to get access to condoms.

If you are also trying to prevent pregnancy you should also explore other hormonal forms of contraception to use alongside condoms. Click here to find out more about contraception.

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