It seems like everyone talks about sex; your friends, characters on TV, magazines, movies and maybe even your family. Sometimes it’s hard to work out what’s true, or what information you need to make a decision about having sex for the first time.
It’s normal to feel excited or anxious when thinking about losing your virginity. Just remember that there’s no right or wrong time to start having sex – it varies for each person.
Being sexually active can mean different things to different people, and can include different activities with partners that are the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. Sex is about giving and receiving pleasure in a way that is comfortable for both people.
Am I ready for sex?
You might choose to become sexually active for a variety of reasons. You might:
- Think it could be fun; Feel like you’re in love; Think it feels good; Take it as a sign of commitment; Feel prepared and ready to practice safe sex; Be curious and want to experiment; Think all your friends are doing it.
There might also be reasons you choose not to have sex. You might:
- Not feel ready or comfortable yet; Not think you’ve found the right person; Have religious or cultural reasons; Feel more anxious than excited; Not have condoms or dental dams on hand to practice safe sex; Be too young legally. Check out the laws on age of consent in your state for more info.
It’s really important that you feel like you’re able to talk to your partner about how you feel and any worries you have about having sex and using contraception. It can be weird and embarrassing to have this sort of conversation, but if you’re not comfortable enough to talk about it, then maybe you aren’t ready to have sex.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.