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To Sam

not ready for sex yet?

I'm 16 and so is my boyfriend. We have been dating for 10 months however I can't seem to feel ready to do anything sexual at all despite how close I feel to him and how much I love him. We've had sleepovers, gone on vacation together, and yet I can't do more than a hot makeout and some fooling around. A few months ago at one of our sleepovers we went a little too far. We did a little bit of foreplay which freaked me out and afterward I cried for the whole day and didn't eat for 2 days. We never did it again. I have an eating disorder which I think contributes to me feeling not ready. But is there something wrong with me? Do I not love him as much because I'm not ready to do anything? Am I not normal?????
Ask Sam


Hi there and thanks so much for writing to me about this. 

This is a really important issue. Lots of young people are going through similar things and it's completely normal to feel this way. You’ve done really well to share this. You explained that you’ve been dating your boyfriend for 10 months and you don’t feel ready to do anything sexual with him. I can hear that you love him and it seems as though you feel like you should be ready.

From what you’ve explained, the worry about this issue has made you question your feelings for him. Not having sex with him doesn’t mean you don’t care. It’s really important to know that just because 16 is the legal age you can have sex, that doesn’t mean that everyone is ready at that age. It’s okay to wait until you feel ready. Nobody ever has the right to try and make you do more than you feel comfortable doing.

When you ask about whether you’re “normal” it seems like you might be comparing yourself to other people and feeling like you’re meant to do whatever they’re doing or saying they’re doing. It's completely normal to feel the way that you do and, again, nobody should make you do anything before you feel ready.

I noticed that you said when you went too far, it upset you a lot and you didn’t eat for two days afterwards. It seems like you know that you don’t want to do anything more than the things you’re already doing with him and that’s okay.

I’m concerned to hear that you’ve been going through so much and I was wondering what help you are getting with your eating disorder. Take a look at our page on eating problems - hopefully you can find some useful support and advice there. You might also find it useful to take a look at the B-eat site. Sometimes it can also be helpful to speak to your GP for health advice. 

If you’d like to talk things through a bit more, you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor. You can call for free on 0800 1111, or you can log on for a 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

I’m really glad that you felt able to get in touch and I hope this helps.

Take care


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