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Girl is 16, boy is 14

Dear Sam, my boyfriend and I have been dating for just over 6 months now. I am 16, and he is only 14! Most people think we are cute together. People who haven't met him don't understand why I like him and say he is too young! He is not like other guys, he is extremely mature for his age. Is there anything wrong with the girl being older? We love each other so much and he is the best thing that's ever happened to me. I don't care what people say about us, I want to stay with him and he feels the same way. We both would like to have sex quite soon. I really want to, but I am worried about the consequences! Is it legal for a 16 and 14 year old to have sex with each other? Even if we both consent to it?? What will happen if we get caught? Will I get into trouble with the police? Please help and give me advice!!! Thanks
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. I’m really glad that you took the time to write to me for some advice.

I can hear that there are a few things going on for you at the moment in relation to your boyfriend. But first I’d like to jump straight to answering your main questions.

In the UK the law says that the age of consent for sex is 16 for everyone. This law is not there to prosecute or punish young people who have sex, rather, the law is trying to protect young people from those much older than them. If you are under 16 and decide to have sex it’s highly unlikely that you will get into trouble as long as both partners consent to have sex and there is not a large age difference between you. 'Consent' means both people want to have sex and nobody is forced or pressured into it.

Lots of young people write to me with questions about having sex. It's very normal for young people to experiment with sexual activities. The most important point is that both partners feel comfortable and happy in doing so. Nobody should ever be allowed to make anybody do something that they do not want to do. It’s important to think about how it might feel for you if you did become sexually active as well as how it might change your relationship.

I can hear that you and your boyfriend mean a lot to each other and it sounds like you really want to make sure that the both of you don’t get into any trouble. It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this decision which is a sign of great maturity. Well done!

Having sex for the first time is a big decision, so it would be good to get as much advice as possible first. We have Sex and relationships page which you might find helpful. If you and your boyfriend do decide that you are ready to have sex, remember it' really important to keep safe. Contraception helps protect people from getting pregnant or getting an infection when they have sex. The Brook website has loads of really good information about sex, keeping safe from pregnancy and infections.

If you feel that you would like some more advice or support with this issue you could always take a look at the ChildLine message boards to see what other young people say about similar issues. You can also speak to a ChildLine counsellor anytime you need to.

I hope you found this letter helpful.

Take care,
Sam  

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