Should I Have Sex?

‘Should I have sex’ is a question for you to answer, not me, but here’s some stuff to think about.

Deciding when to have sex* with someone, or having sex for the first time, is a big decision. Particularly when you are young. But it can also be a big decision even if you’d had sex before. Here are some things for you to think about.

The most important thing when deciding whether to have sex or not is whether you both actually want to do it. I know. Obvz. But working out what you want and what you feel you should do is difficult to separate out sometimes.

Is this for you or them?

Obviously it’s good to do something because it might please someone else – being generous is a good quality and you might enjoy that someone else is enjoying sex. But is that the same as *you* enjoying sex?

Is someone else enjoying sex the same as *you* enjoying sex?

Many people think that they aren’t supposed to enjoy sex and that they would only be doing it to please other people. Women are often taught that they don’t or shouldn’t like sex as much as men. Actually all genders can enjoy sex just as much as each other – so forget what you’ve been told. If you want to have sex it should be because you think you might enjoy it.

Are you trying to prove something?

Some people have sex because they think it’s something they should do rather than something they want to do. Sometimes this is about people ‘proving’ their sexuality, or doing it because it’s expected of their gender – for instance, someone doing the ‘big man thing.’ So really this is just doing it for other people and not because you might actually enjoy it.

It’s not cool to use the other person just to prove yourself – they’re a human, not a sex robot.

Also, you’d be kind of using the other person. Not everyone loves the person they have sex with, but you do need to treat them with respect and like they’re a human – not some sex robot.

It won’t make someone love you

Bad news. You can’t make someone fall in love with you. Even if you have really really enjoyable sex with someone and have a great time. Love is much more complicated and it’s not the same as having good sex.

You’ve had *some* sex

Many people think that solo sex doesn’t count as sex, I think it does. If you haven’t enjoyed touching your own body, then you might not enjoy another person touching you. Also when people have sex they rely on the other person giving them some information about what they like so that they both find it pleasurable.

If you don’t know where or how you like to be touched – how will they know?

More on how to solo sex here and more on how to sex talk here.

You know what sex is

Lots of people expect sex to be all about penis in vagina and that everything else just leads up to that. But but but, what if you don’t like that kind of sex? Penis in vagina sex is usually more stimulating for the penis than the vagina. Also what if you don’t have a penis and a vagina?

What kind of sex do you both actually want? Don’t say ‘just sex.’

So before you have sex, think about what sex means to both of you, which things you might like to do and which you wouldn’t. Also try not to see one thing as always leading to another. To help, try my ‘Yes, No, Hmmm’ page.

It’s legal for you both

The law in the mainland UK is that you can’t do sexy stuff with someone under 16, even if you’re under 16 too. It’s to protect young people from abuse and isn’t intended for people who really want to do it and are in relationships.

In the UK you have to both be over 16.

More here. You’re not likely to be prosecuted if you are around the same age, the relationship was equal and you both clearly consented – but it’s still against the law if you’re under 16.

You could say no

You should be able to feel like you could say no to anything and they’d respect that. If you’re being pestered into having sex it’s a sign that you’re not totally up for it (and that they might not be the right person). If something feels uncomfortable or painful or you’ve gone off the idea you need to know that the other person can tell, can check in with you and stops as soon as you want to. You need to do this with them too. More on ‘no’ here.

Right person right time

Not everyone is in a serious relationship with someone they have sex with – even if it’s for the first time. But make sure you like each other, that you trust each other about safety and saying no, that you can communicate enough and that you fancy them.

Safety first

If you’re having the kind of sex where you might need condoms or contraception then get that sorted here

You’re sober … enough

Lots of people drink when they have sex, particularly before they have sex with someone for the first time.

Make sure that you’re sober enough to remember everything you’re reading here.

For more on why booze and sex is not a great idea (sometimes) go here.

You’re really horny

The thought of sexy time might make you feel really nervous but you’re excited about it. When you think about it you might feel throbbing and tingling in your pants area.

© Justin Hancock, 2015

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