How to know when you’re ready for sex

Making sure you’re ready to take that step 💛

Sex & sexual health

Quick summary 📝

1️⃣ Sex for the first time is a big step, so feeling ready and safe is crucial

2️⃣ Peer pressure and wanting to feel grown up shouldn't dictate your choice

3️⃣ Consent is key; only say yes if you're confident and comfortable

4️⃣ Know that trustworthy partners are a big part of creating a more positive experience

5️⃣ Mutual respect and communication about consequences are important

6️⃣ Understanding pregnancy and STI risks is essential

7️⃣ Exploring your own pleasure through masturbation can help you discover what you like

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Having sex for the first time feels like a big deal for almost everyone – this is completely normal. There can be many pressures affecting someone’s decision to have sex for the first time – peer or partner pressure, wanting to feel older, wanting it over with – but the most important thing is that you feel ready and are being safe 😊

Try talking about your decision 💬 with someone you trust (parent or close friend) and make sure you’re prepared with contraception and STI protection (for example, condoms) before having sex for the first time 💫

Put your needs first 🙌

Doing it for yourself is the number one thing 💛 A lot of people have sex because they think all of their friends are or they want to feel more grown up. The decision to have sex is entirely your own and if you’re feeling pressured or coerced by anyone, don’t be afraid to say no and take a step back 🙅🏻‍♀️

Remember the law 💭

Consent (so saying yes confidently to having sex) is key – whether it’s your first or 100th time.  If you feel ready in yourself and are prepared for being safe, then that’s great too. It's also important to know that you must be 16 or over to legally consent (give permission) to have sex AND that everyone's first time is different ✨

Trust your partner 💕

Having a partner who is trustworthy and whom you feel safe with can make the first experience of sex much more comfortable. Sex is emotional (as well as physical) and feeling safe and cared for can make the experience much nicer ⭐️ If there’s mutual respect and trust between you, this is a good sign that you may both be ready to have sex.

Sex can result in pregnancy and/or STIs 🤰🏽

It’s important to know all the consequences of sex and be able to talk about these with your partner. Being safe regarding pregnancy and STIs is essential, so if you or your partner can’t talk about them to each other, that’s probably a sign you should wait a bit longer ⏰ Make sure you’re educated about the risks and can be safe if you do have sex. 

Understand what you enjoy 🙌

It can be good to spend time working out what makes you feel good. Masturbating (touching your own genitals for sexual pleasure) is a great way to discover what you like. Sex is about pleasure and if you know and can tell your partner what brings you pleasure – and they can, too – the experience of having sex for the first time can be even more fun 💫

To summarise: sex is a fun and pleasurable activity but it can be a big deal to do it for the first time. By making sure you’re doing it for yourself, you have a trustworthy partner and you consider your physical and emotional health, you can make your first time a memorable experience for all the right reasons 💛

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