Sex and you

Are you ready for sex?

March 2, 2016

Once puberty hits it is natural for most of us to start joking, gossiping and obsessing with the subject of sex and relationships. The thing is – not everyone is exactly truthful about their experiences – in fact recently Y9’s in Swindon were asked what percentage of their year group they thought would actually have sex by the end of the year. Boys said 34% and girls said 38%. In actual fact by the end of that year 86% boys and 91% had NOT had sex! The reality is that those Y9’s all THOUGHT there were more people having sex!

National statistics agree with this and they tell us that the majority of people lose their virginity when they are just over 16 years old and this hasn’t changed really since your parents were losing their virginity too.

The point is – it doesn’t matter what anyone else says they are (or are not) having sex. What matters is whether you are making a real choice to have sex. Just because you think everyone else is doing it does not mean that they are or that this means you should be too. It is your decision; your choice. No one else can tell you, you’re ready and no-one should be making you feel in anyway pressured to be having sex.

So how do you know if you are ready to have sex?

For starters do you feel ready? Sex should not be something that “just happens”  – are you prepared? Are you in control? Think about what you want, what you like and where you feel comfortable to draw the line. Remember that if you or your partner are under 16 any sexual activity is technically against the law and may have serious consequences.

Use these golden rules:  Enjoy, Choose, Consequence

Enjoy

Are you going to enjoy this experience, is it something you feel ready for?

Think about where are you going to do it to make sure you do enjoy the sex you are having? Find somewhere you both feel safe and comfortable so you can relax and take your time (just as a general heads up – a mate’s bedroom at a house party may not give you this security!)

Know yourself – if you don’t know what you like and how your body works – how on earth can you feel in control or enjoy yourself? (Check out this website for some ideas on “pleasure zones”) http://respectyourself.info/bodies/pleasurezones/

Are you turned on? – Be aware of how you feel – if your head isn’t in it, it won’t work! Make sure you can tell when you are turned-on and when you’re not ready or simply not in the mood. If you can’t relax without fear, anxiety or shame then you are not ready.

Choose

Are you really fully in control; is this something you are truly choosing to do? Do you feel pressured either by your partner, peers or for just being in a long term relationship? Do you feel that you have little choice to have sex?

Know your limits – can you and your partner create safe limits – are you able to say no when you want to and can you trust your partner to respect your decisions at all times? Consent is very important for both you and your partner and can often be misunderstood. Sex without consent is rape.

Know what YOU want – can you separate what you want for yourself and what your partner, friends or family want?

Communicate – can you talk to each other open and honestly about sex? About how you feel and what you want?

Someone to talk to – make sure you have someone you can talk to about sex that you trust and that doesn’t have any sort of hidden agenda of their own – somewhere to go to for emotional support or even just a giggle. Your school nurse offers a confidential drop in in your secondary school and they can offer you practical advice or just be an adult you can discuss any other queries or concerns you may have. Find out who your school nurse here. (Link to School Nurse page on The Dock)

Separate sex from love – they often go together, but are not the same thing. You should never seek to have sex to use it to manipulate yourself, your partner or anyone else.

Remember if you want to enjoy sex then it has to be on your terms – for your own benefit and not for anyone else’s. You have nothing to prove.

Consequences

Are you happy with the consequences of having sex? Have you discussed contraception (ways to stop pregnancy of sexually transmitted diseases). What would happen if your parents found out you were having sex? Are you (and your partner) a legal age to have sex?

Condoms and contraception – keep you and your partner safe – safe doesn’t mean boring – it means you can relax and enjoy the fact that you are protected against pregnancy and STIs – plus (and it’s a big plus) it shows your partner that you care enough about them to want to keep them safe too!

Sexual health services – know what they offer and where they are. If you are having sex, sooner or later you will need them. You can find out where they are here, you can also contact School Nurses here on the Dock. 

Understand that having sex could change your relationship for better or worse and make sure you are both prepared for that. Sex can be fantastic, but it can also be confusing, disappointing and can leave you hurt and upset. Remember that sex has consequences – are you willing to accept this and take responsibility for your own emotions, expectations and actions.

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