Consent and the law
It's illegal to have sex or do sexual things with anyone without someones full consent.
That includes if:
- they're drunk or they've taken drugs
- you're not sure whether someone is consenting
- they're worried about upsetting you or being hurt if they don't say yes
- you're in a position of trust or power over the other person.
The age of consent is 16. This means that it's illegal to have sex with anyone who's under 16 years old. This is the same no matter what your sexuality is.
It's important to remember that the law is there to protect children and young people, not punish them.
If you're both under 16 and you consent to doing things, it's still against the law. But it's unlikely you would be punished legally.
When someone over 16 is having sex with someone under 16, they're also breaking the law. They may be arrested even if everyone has consented.