Sex

It's normal to have lots of questions about sex. Whether you've had sex or not, it's important to find out about contraception and consent so you can make decisions that feel right for you.

Talking about sex

It can be really difficult to talk about sex.

You might feel like you'll be judged if you're having sex, or if you're not. You might also feel silly if you have questions.

Everyone has questions or worries about sex and it's normal to feel like this. You should be able to ask whatever you want and not be embarrassed.

If you're thinking about having sex, it's best to find out about it so you can decide what feels right for you emotionally and physically.

It's important to discuss things with the person you want to have sex with. Even if it’s embarrassing. That way you can both agree on things and know what you feel comfortable with.

You shouldn't say yes to sex just because:

  • you think it'll help you feel grown up
  • you don't want to be left out
  • you're worried what will happen if you say no
  • someone is pressuring you to
  • they say they love you
  • you want to please someone
  • you're afraid a relationship will end if you don't.

You should never do something you don't feel comfortable doing.

can be hard to...
TALK ABOUT IT

Worried about how to start? Get support

Knowing when you're ready

It's easy to think that sex is always exciting and enjoyable. Films, TV shows and music videos often show sex as being something great which everyone loves. This might make you think sex should always be really good but sometimes sex can be painful, awkward or embarrassing.

Sex can also feel different depending on who you're with. It's often about an emotional connection as well as a physical attraction.

You should never be pressured into doing anything sexual if you don't want to. It's important to think about what feels right for you.

Being comfortable with yourself can often help you feel comfortable with someone during sex. You might worry about how you look naked or feel unsure about what you're doing.

It can take time to feel confident and it's important to remember that nobody is perfect - we all have bits about ourselves which we don't really like. A way to feel better is to focus on what you do like.

Get tips on how to feel better about how you look.

Masturbation

Masturbation is when you touch your body and your genitals because it feels good or pleasurable. You can make yourself orgasm or 'come' by doing this.

Both girls and boys masturbate and it's completely normal. It's a way of discovering your body, how it makes you feel and what kind of things make you feel good during sex. Some people might say that it's wrong or that you shouldn't masturbate, but it's a normal part of life and not something to be ashamed of.

being pressured into sex

Having sex is a big decision. If you don’t feel comfortable or ready to have sex with someone, then you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. The person you’re with should care about you enough not to pressure you or make you do something you’re not happy about.  

Consent means agreeing to do something. Sex is only ever okay if both people involved want to have sex. Having sex if someone hasn’t given their consent (which means they don’t want to have sex) is illegal and is called rape.

There can be a lot of pressure from things like music videos or online porn to have sex. And it might seem like lots of other young people are doing it. Or talking about doing it. But this shouldn’t be a reason to start having sex. Everyone is different, and you should do it because you want to, you feel ready and you are 16 or over. 

If you need to talk about sex, you can talk to us any time. You can also look at advice on Disrespect NoBody.

feeling Pressured to try something new

Sometimes people might get pressured to try new sexual things by their girlfriend or boyfriend or by someone else. This might be because of something they have seen online, in porn or because of what other people say they are doing.

Remember that:

  • even if you've had sex with someone in the past, you never owe someone sex
  • consent means that both people agree to have sex and are both okay with what things you try during sex
  • consenting once doesn’t mean you consent every time.

If someone tries to pressure you into doing something sexual and you feel uncomfortable, you should tell them you don’t want to do it. It’s ok to say you’re not ready. And they should respect this. Find out more about how to be assertive.

If you’re being forced to have sex or do something sexual, this is sexual abuse and it's wrong. You can talk to one of our counsellors for help and support.