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Are you ready for sex?

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Taking the step to have sex is a big decision to make and should take a lot of consideration.  

Everyone will make the decision at different times and what is important is making the decision at the right time for you. You are the only person that can make the choice to have sex and you should never feel pressured into having sex when you choose not to. 

When you are ready there are sexual health clinics in Leicestershire and Rutland that can provide advice for looking after your sexual health, and their website can provide information that can help you make safe choices.  A link to the Leicester Sexual Health Service can be found below.

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Things to consider

If you are considering losing your virginity or having sex with a new partner, here are some things to think about: 

  • It’s your decision. Remember only you can decide whether or not you want to have sex and it’s ok to say no.  People start having sex at different times. Just because other people are, doesn't mean you have to.
  • No means no. You shouldn’t pressurise or be pressurised by someone to have sex. You must respect someone's decision and they should respect yours.  
  • Communicate with your partner about sex. It's very important to communicate with your partner about being sexually intimate. You might also want to talk to a trusted adult about your thoughts and feelings.
  • Being comfortable. You might not be ready to have sex if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about any of this with your partner.  Talking will help you understand each other’s likes and dislikes and boundaries. What one person likes might make another person uncomfortable. 
  • Do you know the law? The legal age of consent is 16; any younger than that and it’s against the law to be having sex. However, just because you’re 16 it doesn’t mean you have to start having sex – it's different for everyone. 
  • Discussing safe sex. It’s vital that you talk about safe sex. Remember a condom is the only contraception that protects from STIs and the risk of unplanned pregnancy. Don't rely on your partner to ensure you are safe, take responsibility for your own protection

Think about consent

Consent is the legal term which means giving permission. Consent is discussed in more detail on our page Consent and the Law.

It is your personal choice to decide to engage in any sexual activity and you should use your voice to give consent/permission. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs. This means you have a right at any point to say no and stop what is happening. Nobody can make you do something you don't want to. Likewise, if the person you are having sex with doesn't want to or removes their permission at any point, you should respect their decision and stop. 

Across Leicestershire and Rutland there are sexual health clinics that can provide advice for looking after your sexual health.  Follow the link below for the Leicester Sexual Health Service.

If you are worried about your own safety or are in immediate danger call 999. 

For further support and information... 

These links take you to other websites or services that are not provided by Teen Health. The pages have been selected to give you more information on this topic area. They will open another tab in your browser.   
Leicester Sexual Health Logo

Leicester Sexual Health

The sexual health service for Leicestershire and Rutland

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Leicestershire and Rutland Sexual Health

Online Sexual Health Service - advice (and ordering 24 hours a day for over 18s)

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NHS logo


Sexual Health Advice

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Brook logo


Information about having sex for the first time

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ChildLine logo


Sex, consent and knowing you are ready

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Teen Health Logo

Health for Teens

Information and advice

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tellmi logo


Tellmi is a safe, anonymous app where you can talk about absolutely anything. 

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Black Beetle Health

Resources on Sexual health and Wellbeing for LGBTQ+ Black and people of colour

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