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Asker

To Sam

I feel pressurised

Hey Sam,

There is this boy at school who I'm good friends with, and he says that he 'fancys' me & has since the start of this school year. I really like him too, but I don't want a boyfriend at the moment..

The other day, he told me that he wanted to have sex with me.. all of my friends are saying I should do it. The boy says I don't have to if I don't want to, and he is telling everyone to stop telling me to do it.. but I feel pressurised by my friends still and I don't know what to do :(

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

It sounds like what’s happening with your friends is upsetting you so you’ve done really well to write to me and ask for some support.

You say that you don’t feel like you want a boyfriend at the moment and it sounds like you don’t want to be having sex with this boy either. I want you to know that it's totally fine to not want a boyfriend and to not want to have sex. You shouldn’t feel pressured into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Relationships and sex are something that you should do in your own time when you feel ready to.

Being in a relationship also means a lot more than whether or not you choose to have sex with someone. That may or may not be a part of it, but it should not be the only thing that relationships are about. You might find it useful to read the page about relationships in the Explore section of the website.

I’m not sure how old you are from your letter, but I also just want to let you know that the legal age of consent in the UK is 16, which means under that age it is illegal to have sex. The law is there to help protect you from being pushed into having sex before you’re ready, but even if you are 16 or over it should always be totally up to you to decide if and when you feel you want to do it.

I’m not sure whether you’ve felt able to talk to your friends about how their pressuring you is making you feel – what do you think might happen if you did talk to them about that? It sounds like from what you’ve said this boy isn’t trying to push you into this and that’s good, it seems like he knows that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

I’m wondering if you you’d like to talk this through some more with a ChildLine counsellor. It might give you a chance to talk some more about how you’re feeling about things and what you might like to do and perhaps, if you wanted, to practice what you might like to say to people about it. You can phone on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or log on to the 1-2-1 chat (it works a bit like MSN messenger).

Another organisation that can also give you some advice about relationships and sex is Brook. Their website is www.brook.org.uk and they have a section  called ready for sex?

You’ve done really well to write this letter and there is always someone for you to talk to at ChildLine if you’d like some more support.

Take care,

Sam

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