Sex & Relationships
Be the Author – Your Choices – Your Responsibility
Whether or not to have sex – and when – is your choice. You are the author. You have the power and the responsibility – unless you give it away. Don’t give it away. The choice should be for you – what’s best for you at the time.
There are good things about sex – it’s exciting, it can bring you closer and it can help you mature. There are also dangers, such as causing problems in the relationship, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The pressure can sometimes be intense and there are often a bunch of voices trying to influence you one way or the other – from your romantic partner and peers to family and your culture. It is your voice that matters the most.
Guiding Questions for Making Good Choices
“Are you prepared and is it the right time with the right person for the right reasons?”
There are a bunch of questions that you and your partner can ask yourselves to help answer those questions. Some questions you want to answer “yes”, for example, “Do we really trust each other and can we be open and honest with each other?” “Do I feel able to say ‘no’ at any time if I change my mind?” “Are we both sober?”
There are also questions where the answer needs to be “no”, for example, “Do I feel under pressure from anyone?” “Will I have regrets afterward?” “Am I thinking of having sex just to keep my partner?”
And there are some traps, for example a partner saying, “If you loved me, you would have sex with me.” Or, “Everyone else is doing it, why won’t you?” There are four common traps and there are ways to counter them.
There are lots of good reasons to wait to have sex, for example just not feeling ready, wanting to avoid the risk of pregnancy or STDs, feeling that sex would violate family or religious values, being unsure of the relationship, etc. In 2015 41% of high school students had had sexual intercourse and 58% of seniors had been sexually active, so “not everyone does it.”