Deciding When to be Sexual with Someone Else
Being sexual is a very personal way of communicating with someone else. It is a physical way of expressing love and affection. Being sexual is a personal choice and it is not uncommon to take time to make the decision. It may help to know that love doesn’t equal sex. Relationships can be happy without being sexual.
Talking about sex with the person who you are sexually attracted to, whether they are a friend, acquaintance, or even your partner, may help you both work out if you want to begin a sexual relationship with them. Try to talk about your expectations, and what you expect from them. If it is relevant don’t forget to talk about contraception.
If you decide to have sex remember:
- Sex must be consensual, that means both of you want to engage in sex
- Do it safely
Suggestions for Safe Sex
It is always a good idea to engage in ‘safe sex’. This means making sure you don’t risk becoming pregnant unless you want to, or catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI’s – like HIV/AIDS, herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea).
It is a good idea to find out about safe sex and how different STI’s are passed on. Using condoms with water-based lubricants and dental dams are one way to protect yourself from some STIs. You may like to be informed about how to prevent unwanted pregnancy or STI’s before you take any risks. You can do this by:
- Checking out some of the other Reach Out factsheets
- Checking out the Family Planning site
- Talking with health workers at your local community health centre
- Visit your doctor or someone from Family Planning
Being in a sexual relationship can be very enjoyable and rewarding when that relationship is negotiated and agreed on by both people. Sometimes people think they can demand that someone be sexual with them, or force them to have sex against their will. Remember no-one has the right to force you into sexual contact with them, you have the right to say “No”. Don’t let yourself be intimidated into having sex with anyone.
When Can I Legally Have Sex?
The laws for when you are able to have sex vary depending according to which country you live in.