Information » People in Your Life » Being in a Relationship » Sex
Sex is an intimate and private experience between two people and should not be rushed into. Having sex for the first time is an important decision and one you cannot take back, so make sure you feel ready first.
You should never be pressurised into having sex. Every person has the right to say no at any time before or during sex or sexual activity. It is your decision.
- It may seem that all your friends are having sex, but in fact only 25 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys under 16 have had sex, so being a virgin under 16 is very normal. Sex isn't a competition, it's personal to you
- The age of consent for both heterosexual and homosexual intercourse in Wales and England is 16 years old. This means it is illegal to participate in penetrative sex, oral sex or mutual masturbation under the age of 16
- Most young people wait until they are in a stable relationship or with someone they trust before they have sex as it usually makes the experience more enjoyable
- Sex can mean different things to different people so make sure the person you choose to have sex with feels the same way as you do
- Communication is key to a good and healthy sex life
Having sex means taking responsibility for yourself and your partner's wellbeing and health.
It can be embarrassing to ask about contraception, you might already feel vulnerable and exposed about to have sex with someone for the first time. Try to move past this, as it's more important to be safe and protected than to experience a few moments of embarrassment.
- Unprotected sex (without contraception) can result in unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (S.T.I.'s). See the SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS section for more information
- ALWAYS use a condom during sex to protect against both pregnancy and S.T.I.s. Other forms of contraception that only protect against pregnancy include the contraceptive pill and the contraceptive injection but there are other options as well. Please visit the CONTRACEPTION section for more details
- You can get pregnant from the very first time you have sex so always take precautions and stay safe and enjoy yourself
- If you've had unprotected sex, please visit the PREGNANCY and SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS section for help and advice