How to know if you are ready to have sex

Having sex with a new partner or for the first time entirely is a big decision, so how do you know that you are ready?

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Firstly, you need to know that it is legal. The law states that a person must be aged 16 or over to have sex; however, if you are under 16 and choose to have sex, it is important to know that you can still get free contraception, advice and an STI test Bexley from GUM and sexual health clinics.

Secondly, you should feel that you are emotionally ready to have sex. Remember that it is more than just a physical act and you need to feel very comfortable with your partner and the situation to have a happy and successful sex life. This means being able to communicate freely.

It is vital that you discuss contraception before you have sex. Preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies is the responsibility of both individuals and it is vital that you never let anyone pressure you into having sex without using contraception. You can find out about STI tests from organisations such as

The right questions

Ask yourself important questions, such as whether it feels right to be contemplating having sex with your partner. Are you in a relationship? Do you love each other? Are you committed to each other and open with each other? Do you trust your partner? People have sex within all different type of relationships and there is no rule about when to start having sex. For some couples, especially experienced ones, a few dates might be enough; for younger couples, a year or more of dating may feel appropriate.

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How do you feel?

Always listen to how you feel and never allow yourself to be pressurised into doing something you don’t want to. Remember that trying to impress your friends is never a good idea, and it is always wise to take the claims that your friends make with a pinch of salt! The long and the short of it is that you want to have positive memories of having sex and never look back with regret. Inevitably, this means taking things slowly and not rushing in. If you really aren’t sure, speak to a trusted friend or older confidante who can give you objective advice from an experienced viewpoint.

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