There can be a lot of pressure to have sex when you are young. You might see it happening on TV, your friends may tell you that they’re having sex (sometimes even if they’re not) or your boyfriend or girlfriend may even be asking you to have it. Wanting to have sex is normal but it’s important to be ready to have sex.
Do you know about consent?
Consent means that both you and your partner have said ‘yes’ to whatever you are doing sexually. You both agree on what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not comfortable with. Keep in mind that consent can be withdrawn (taken away) at any moment.
If someone is too drunk or too high to think clearly, then they can’t give consent. Rather help them get to a safe place and sleep it off. Without consent, it’s not sex, its rape.
5 important questions to ask yourself when deciding whether you’re ready to have sex:
- How does the person you’re dating feel about having sex?
Are you able to talk about sex openly and honestly? Have you asked your potential partner how they feel about having sex? What they think sex means or does not mean? Have they asked you about how you feel?
- Are you feeling pressured to have sex?
Do you feel like you could say no or change your mind at any time, without your partner getting angry? Do you feel like you could tell your partner what you do or don’t want, even while you are having sex?
- Are you pressuring someone else to have sex with you?
Your hormones are raging, and you might think about sex all the time. There’s nothing wrong with that because it is natural. But you only have the right to decide for yourself that you want sex and are emotionally ready for it. You don’t get to make that decision for anyone else.
- Is it legal for you and your partner to have sex?
In South Africa, it is illegal for someone 18 or older to have sex with someone younger than 16.
- Are you prepared?
Do you know how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) or an unwanted pregnancy?
Whatever you decide, remember— it’s your decision! Don’t let anyone make it for you!
Watch this loveLife video to get more information about what you should be thinking about before having sex.
Not wanting to have sex right now is completely okay! Find out more
The best kind of sex is sex where everyone involved agrees. Find out more about consent here
Remember, there is no pressure to have sex with someone else. Check out this article to learn about pleasuring yourself