Being ready for sex

Having sex for the first time can feel like a big deal for a number of reasons. If you’re between the ages of 16-20, you probably feel like everyone else is doing it but you. In reality, only 1 in 3 people of your age group has had sex. If you haven’t had much sexual experience, this doesn’t mean you are immature or not a sexual person. And whether you do or don’t feel ready or whether you’re just not interested in sex at all, your sexuality is unique to you. It can be difficult, but try not to compare your experience or feelings to others. There are no rules on how long you should wait and how to avoid peer pressure before you’re ready for sex.

Having sex for the first time

You might be nervous when you decide to have sex for the first time. But there’s no right or wrong way to have sex. Good sex is more about feeling comfortable around someone, trusting them and being able to communicate with them than it is about having the perfect technique. The most important thing is for you to feel relaxed and do what makes you feel good. And don’t feel too let down if your first time doesn’t go exactly as you planned: sex generally gets better the more times you do it and the more you learn about it. There’s are a few things you should think about if you’re having sex for the first time though.

Using condoms

A really important part of having sex is planning ahead and thinking about contraception. Using contraception guards against unwanted pregnancy and condoms will reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Condoms are the only method that protect you against STIs but talking about them in the heat of the moment can be tricky, so the sooner you bring the subject up, the sooner you’ll be able to sort it out. This’ll make it easier for you to relax and will mean you’re more likely to use them when the time comes. And you’ll have no trouble being confident about condoms.

Avoiding regret

Of course, things don’t always go to plan – and whether it’s pregnancy scares, STIs or sleeping with someone you shouldn’t have slept with, everyone makes mistakes. The first step in avoiding regret is to know what you want and what you don’t want, and planning for any risky situations. It’s important to have sex for the right reasons. Read about some top tips to avoiding regret and managing other people’s views and opinions.

Consenting to sex

And last but by no means least, consent is a key part of having sex. Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth time, you must both agree to take part in any form of sexual contact including sexual touching, oral, anal, and vaginal sex (with a penis or with any type of object). Any sort of sexual contact without consent is illegal whatever the age of the people involved.

If someone forces you to do something of a sexual nature that you do not want to do, it is never your fault and it is not OK. Find out more about consent, age of consent, your rights, enthusiastic consent and sexual harassment. If you’re still unsure about consent, the video below explains how, whether its tea or sex, consent is everything.

Content kindly produced by our partner Brook who provide free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people.

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