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Content appropriate for readers 15 and older

Should You be Having Sex?

Ask Yourself Some Questions

As your body develops and grows, you’ll start to think more and more about sex. When you have sexual feelings for someone, thinking about them or being around them can make you feel sexually excited (turned on, aroused or horny).

These feelings are all part of growing up! So how do you deal with them?

You want to have sex, but are you old enough?

You might feel sexual about someone and your body will feel ready for sex, but your mind and emotions may not be ready. Sex comes with many grown-up responsibilities, like possibly becoming a parent or dealing with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you’re under 16, it’s illegal to have sex. This law is there to protect you - it is called the age of consent to sex.

Is it right time, with the right person now?

You like them, but are you under pressure?
Having sex with someone is not the only way to show that you love them. When you’re old enough to have sex, it is still your right to decide if you want to or not. There are many other steps to dating or getting to know someone that should come before sex, like kissing and holding hands, sharing secrets and enjoying each other’s company. You may also feel pressure from your friends who tell you that they’re having sex (even if they aren’t!). It can be tough to stand your ground, but it’s important to care for yourself first.

Sex is the last step in the dating game, not the first! Delay it until you are sure you feel ready. Once you are sure, get yourself protected and safe. Talk to a doctor, nurse or counsellor about using condoms and other contraception to protect yourself against pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.


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