Sex is fun, but it can also be risky. Make sure your sex-life is fun, and safe.
Only you can choose when to start becoming sexually active. Take your time, and make that decision for yourself. Don’t let others push you into something that you are not ready for.
When the time is right for you and you decide to have sex or engage in sexual activity, there are some things we encourage you to consider beforehand:
Tea and Consent
There are no rules about how long you have to have known someone before you have sex with them. Being ready happens at different times for everyone but it’s important you make the decision to have sex when it’s right for you, not just because your friends or a partner are pressuring you or because you are putting pressure on yourself. For sex and sexual activity to be lawful and consensual, all parties need to engage in it actively and willingly. Sex without consent is rape.
Find out more on the Consent is everything website.
While sex can be fun, it should also be safe. Protection should be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The NHS Contraception Guide provides information on the different types of contraceptive protection and how to use them. Find out which methods would suit you and your lifestyle best by using the Family Planning Clinic’s contraception tool.
Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) are infections that may be passed on during sexual activity, including close sexual contact, vaginal, anal and oral sex. STIs can be passed between all genders. While they are quite common, it is best to avoid them and there are steps you can take to prevent contracting an STI, passing one on and to ensure they are treated early on.
Find out more about sexually transmitted infections at the Family Planning website.
If you think you may have an STI, then please get tested.
See the NHS Sexual Health Hub for detailed information about contraceptives, FAQs, penis and vagina health, STIs, good sex, LGBT+ sexual health, fertility and menopause.