Having sex is a big decision. You can face pressure one way or another from friends, family, society, media, school, or a partner. There are lots of factors to consider, like “will it hurt?” “Will I get pregnant/get my partner pregnant?” “What about STIs?” “What about pleasure?” “Does this mean he/she wants to be in a relationship with me?” “What will my friends think/do I tell them?”
All in all, it isn’t surprising that lots of teens choose to wait until they are older and ready. There is certainly nothing wrong with that; in fact, it can be a great idea to take your time, get informed, and prepare yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically for such a big step. It’s different for everyone, and the most important thing to do is PAY ATTENTION to your heart! If you aren’t sure if you are ready or not, there are lots of resources out there for information, a safe space to talk, and tools for safe sex.
Uncomfortable as it may seem, parents are a great resource. After all, they obviously have had sex, and they are usually VERY interested in keeping you safe and healthy. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a parent, your health provider is a safe bet. Head over to your local teen clinic and talk to a nurse or doctor about sex – they’ve heard every question in the book, and they will give you honest, medically accurate information. On the emotional/mental side, it’s always a good idea to approach a counselor (if one is available at your teen clinic or school) about questions that you don’t feel were answered by your health provider.
Even with all the big decisions and consequences that sex involves, in the end it is supposed to be fun, pleasurable, and sometimes a positive expression of love for another person. If you feel comfortable, and READY, you are more likely to have a positive, pleasurable experience.