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Ask Bish – Am I Too Young To Have Sex?

My advice for a 13 year old who wants to know whether she’s too young to have sex


I’m 13 and Me and my boyfriend have been in love for years and recently we decided to have sex, (I was ready for it) nothing was wrong but do you think I’m too young?:/

Hey! Thanks for your question. 🙂

Cos of your sad face emoticon :/ I’m guessing that you’re either not totally convinced that you are ready for sex or you are worried that I might think you’re too young. I can’t tell you if I think you are too young to have sex. This is one of those ‘is it right’ questions which you have to answer for yourself. But I will give you some stuff to think about.

Don’t Assume Love Means Sex

Lots of people say that you have to be in love with someone before you have sex with them. Other people say that you don’t. However just because you are in love does not mean you have to have sex. Treat them as two different things.Often sex and love overlaps but not all the time.

Are you doing it because you are in love and that’s what you think people in love *should* do? Or are you doing it because you are horny and fancy the person you love. Can you see how they are different? The single most important thing about sex is that you are choosing to have sex for you. So please think about that.

Have you or the boyf said to each other “if you love me you’ll have sex with me”? Sometimes the word ‘love’ can be used to manipulate people into doing something they don’t want – is that happening with you?


13 year olds are more likely to report regretting sex when they are older. This is either because they didn’t really know what they were doing, or they didn’t fully understand how their body works (so didn’t enjoy it), or they were pressured into sex. So although it might seem like the right decision for you right now, you might not think that in the future. Regret happens to all of us but this quite a big decision and something you might regret a lot.

So you say you were ready for it. Do you still feel that way? Remember that we’re allowed to change our minds about what we think we’re ready for. Just because you’ve had sex doesn’t mean you have to continue having sex if you don’t want.

The Law (in the UK)

It’s against the law to have sex under the age of 16 and there are special laws about doing it under the age of 13 (that is 12 and under). I mention this not because the police are going to come and arrest you any time soon but so you know that it is often seen as quite a serious thing you guys are doing.

It’s not that common for 13 year olds to be having sex so it’s something that people get quite anxious about. Often 13 year olds having sex are being pressured or forced into it by their partners, particularly if their partners are older. If you went to a young person’s clinic and told them about your relationship, they’d be really nice to you but also really concerned – so they would want to ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you were safe.

You haven’t told me much about your relationship but if we were chatting in person the kind of stuff I’d be asking you is: how old is your boyf? what kind of relationship do you have? how long have you been seeing each other? who asks for sex? do you feel like you could say no and that would be totally cool? how safe do you feel? have you guys told your parents/carers about your relationship?

Talk to Your Parents (or a Wise Adult You Trust)

People who know you may be able to give you some better (or additional) advice than I can. They may also be able to tell you what they think is right. As I said in this Ask Bish last week, we all have different opinions. Some people think sex at 13 is wrong, others think it’s ok so long as they are both consenting and able to consent, some people think that 13 year olds aren’t properly able to consent. So try and talk it through with someone who actually knows you and will listen.

As I also said in that Ask Bish: mums aren’t always right, but often they are (or dads or carers). They may also freak out because it’s difficult for parents to deal with the fact that their kids are having sex.

Here are some links that I would *really* like you to read when you get chance.

How to Talk to Your Parents/Carers if you haven’t talked to them about it this guide may help you. If you can’t talk to them you could try talking to Kids Helpline Australia (I *think* that’s where you’re from)

Should I Have Sex? some pointers on working out whether you are still ready for sex

How to Say No if you are getting pressure from the boyf or anyone else to have sex here’s how to say no

Relationships Graph When we’re in love it’s often hard to see how healthy the relationship is. Have a look at this to help you step back and think about your relationship

OMG Yes, Maybe, Not For Me If after all this you decide that you guys are definitely ready for sex remember that there are lots of ways that we can be sexual with someone. So if you guys are ready think about what sexual touching you might like and what you don’t want or aren’t ready for yet. Snogging is cool. This guide on all the stuff you can do which is sexy but doesn’t involve entry sex might be useful too.

Non entry sex is safer but if you are wanting to do it (eg penis in vagina) then make sure you’ve read about condoms, STIs and contraception.

Hope this helps!

Justin (Bish)

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