You’re not the only one! Having sex can be a major step in your life and it deserves some thought and planning. Everyone is different and only you can decide what’s best for you. Here are some questions that may help you explore whether you and your partner are feeling ready to have sex. You may be surprised at some of your answers.
What is the right age to have sex?
There is no one right age to have sex. People engage in sexual activity at many different times during their life. Some people have their first sexual experience when they are young or wait till they are much older. And keep in mind that “sex” means different things to different people!
Questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about having sex for the first time.
Is this the right time for me?
Am I comfortable with my own body?
What do I know about sex? Have I done my homework? Do I know the difference between sex myths and sex facts? (If you feel like you need to know more, check out the other sections of this website.)
Do I know how to protect myself from unplanned pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Do I feel safe and comfortable with my partner?
Am I feeling pressured into having sex?
What are my boundaries? What activities am I not comfortable with?
What are my hopes and fears about sex?
Questions to talk about with your partner
Particularly if this is your first sexual experience, it’s important to talk about it! It can feel uncomfortable or awkward, but making clear what you are ready or not ready for is really important.
How do we feel about sex? What are our hopes for the experience?
Have we had any negative experiences with sex in the past?
Do we have any fears or worries about sex?
Do we feel safe and comfortable with each other?
Do we need protection against unplanned pregnancy and/or STIs and if so, what type will we choose?
Have we talked about the words we want to use for our body parts?
Do we expect our relationship will change after we have sex? How?
Are we okay if one partner decides to stop when we are having sex?
What kind(s) of sex do we want to have (e.g. vaginal*, oral, anal, etc)?
Is this a one-time thing or will we continue to have sex?
If you’ve decided to have sex, there are a few things you should think through.
- Get Consent. Sexual consent is when both people agree to sex without pressure or manipulation. It’s important to talk about what you want to do and what you don’t want to do and then respect each other’s boundaries.
- Be Honest. Honesty is important in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a sexual relationship.
- Try to get Tested for STDs. If you or your partner have had oral, vaginal, or anal sex in the past, getting tested can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
- Use protection. If you’re having vaginal sex, use birth control and condoms to protect against pregnancy and STDs. Talk with your partner about how you can make sex safer.
- Communicate. Talking about what you’re into and not into is really important. This means asking your partner if they want to do what you want to do, and telling your partner “yes” or “no” to what they say they want to do. Both of you can say “stop” or “no” in any situation.
- Consider possible risks. Sex can come with some pretty big risks. Talk about how you would handle an unplanned pregnancy or an STD before you have sex.
Deciding if you’re ready to have sex is a big decision that’s very personal. It’s important to think it through and wait until you’re sure you’re ready. Check out these resources to learn more!