Do you ever feel that sex is all you hear about? It's on the TV, in magazines, the internet, you hear about it on the radio and in loads of music lyrics - people always seem to be talking about it. But let's be honest - when it comes down to it, nobody can tell you what to do, how to do it or when to do it because we are all different. In fact, most 16 year olds haven't had sex (even if they say they have) and the majority of young people who had sex at a younger age wished they had waited.
When to have sex is different for everybody - knowing when the time is right and feeling ready is very personal. What is right for one person may not be right for another.
It's your choice and nobody else's.
This checklist may be able to help you make a decision that's right for you:
- You feel you could say no and that would be OK - but you still want to do it
- You could say no to sex without it damaging your relationship
- You know your own mind and know it's right
- You may have some anxieties about it - but not any fear
- Nobody's forcing you, pressurising you or bullying you into it
- You know you won't regret it - as much as you ever can know that
- You don't need someone else's permission
- You're not doing it just to keep up with your friends
- You've agreed you both want to take this next step together
- You don't want to have sex to keep a boyfriend/girlfriend or just to make you popular
- You and your girlfriend/boyfriend talked about using condoms and contraception
- You each want it for yourselves - not just because the other person does, or to please them
- You agreed whether or not to tell your friends afterwards
You aren't really ready for sex until you can say yes to all of the statements above - but remember, even if you have said yes, it still doesn't mean you have to.