Preparing young people for healthy sexually active lives

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How do you know if you are ready for sex?

Considerations for young people:

Young people need to have their own personal list of considerations when they are working out if they are ready to begin having sex (everyone is different, after all).

You may wish to show this list to your teen.

The following questions make good discussion starters and give you the opportunity to discuss your own values and hopes.

It's crucial that a young person decides whether they're ready before someone else decides for them.

Do I want to have sex? Have I said so?

• Does this feel right?

Am I sure the other person wants to have sex with me? Have I asked them?

Am I over 16? Is my partner over 16?

Have I pressured my partner to ‘give in’? Has my partner pressured me?

Do I feel pressured by anything or anyone else?

Am I doing it to gain acceptance from my friends?

Is anyone coercing me? Is anyone forcing me?

Am I doing it just to keep my partner?

Am I doing it because everyone else is?

Do we both want it for ourselves, not just to please the other person?

Do we care for each other and agree that we want to take this next step?

Do I respect my partner? Does my partner respect me?

Do I understand how to get consent? Do I know how to communicate my consent?

Do I feel comfortable with the person I want to have sex with?

Do I feel I could say no at any point, and that would be OK?

Do I have any anxieties or fears?

How will I feel about this decision tomorrow?

Do I know how to prevent a pregnancy?

Do I know how to get contraception and which one is best for me? Have I discussed contraception with my partner?

What would I do if my partner and I got pregnant?

Am I ready to be a parent if my partner and I get pregnant?

Do I know how to protect myself and my partner from getting an STI? Do I have condoms and know how to use them?

Do I know how to get an STI test?

Speech bubble Conversation starter:

While watching a TV show in which teenagers are having sex, you might ask
What age do you think a person is ready to have sex?
 "How will you decide?"
(Instead of "Have you had sex?")