Although parents, teachers, and partners may play a role in looking after your sexual health, at the end of the day it really is up to you. Your sexual health is not just about avoiding STIs and pregnancy – it is so much more than that…
Sex should be something that people choose to do, when they are ready, and when they are aware of all the consequences (both physical and emotional).
Sex, and sexual relationships should be positive parts of your life. We must remember that there are some people who will never feel sexually attracted to anyone and that is also completely fine (please see our section of the different types of sexuality).
We are often asked, ‘when is the right time to have sex?’ There is no straightforward, single answer. It will be different for every person. No matter what type of sex you choose to have (oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex) it is really important that you can tick these 5 boxes every time:
Consent is simply asking if the other person wants to do what you want to do. It doesn’t have to be formal, it can be ‘do you like that?’ or ‘will we try …’ so it won’t stop the flow of passion. Every time something you’re doing changes, get some feedback about if it’s okay and good, and give the feedback too. Be clear, because anything other than an obvious YES, is a NO!
Sometimes we feel pressured to have sex, whether by a partner, your friends, your age, or what other people are doing (or say they are doing). People aren’t always telling the truth when they talk about sex, so you make your choices for you, not for others. Remember, just because the legal age of consent is 17 this does not mean that you are ready to have sex at age 17. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to, no matter what other people say.
It is also essential to be aware of your own, and your partner’s STI status. This means that you need to get regular STI checks, including every time you switch sexual partners, if you or your partner have sex with anyone else, or if you suspect that you partner may have had sex with someone else. For FREE and confidential STI checks in Galway visit…