It’s important to never let someone pressure you into having sex if you’re not interested. The decision to have sex for the first time (and every time after) is yours, and yours alone! Remember, it’s totally appropriate to wait to have sex, too.

What does it mean to be "sexually active?"

Sure, everyone talks about sex. Your friends, magazines, and even your family. That’s why it’s hard to know when to become sexually active for the first time and what to expect.

Being sexually active can include various activities with partners that are the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. Because sex means different things to different people, it’s important to recognize that sex is about exchanging pleasure in ways that are comfortable for all parties included.

Just remember that it’s normal to feel anxious when talking about becoming sexually active, and there’s no right or wrong time to have sex for the first time. Take the time you need to decide what’s right for you.

Artist: Ethan Barnowsky

Am I ready for sex?

There are countless reasons to decide to have or not have sex. Only you can decide what is right for you! Think about how having sex aligns with your health and personal values. It is important to make sure that the decision to have sex is coming from you, not your partner (or your friends. Just so you know, only about half of high school students have ever had sex, and the average age people have their "first time" is 17. If you feel pressured, you have the right to wait. A worthy partner will be understanding and not coerce you into anything you don't want to do. If you don't feel comfortable, exercise your right to abstain from sex. Sex isn't the only way to feel pleasure

Facts and myths about your first time:

MYTH: Since it’s the first time, you can’t get pregnant or STIs.

FACT: Actually, you can! That’s why before becoming sexually active, you should consider practicing safe sex. Using protection (like condoms) doesn’t necessarily make sex less less enjoyable.

MYTH: First-time sex will hurt like a motherf****r (Sorry, Mom and Dad!).

FACT: For some people, the first time can be pleasurable, but for others, it can hurt. Pain during sex might mean you don’t have enough lubrication, need to try a different position, or are simply nervous. If first-time sex does hurt, stop and talk to your partner about these problems and work out ways to make sex more enjoyable. 

MYTH: The first time will be just like the movies.

FACT: Let’s face it. TV and Movies generally glamorize the first time, potentially giving you unrealistic expectations about what sex is really like. But it’s OK if your first time isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s totally normal to feel self-conscious about sex and even your body. Just make sure you’re comfortable enough to talk about it with your partner.

Okay, so you've decided to have sex. now what?

Now what indeed. The most important component to positive, safe sex, is communication. That begins with consent. Consent involves active and clear communication and respect between partners to make sure all parties are comfortable every step of the way. It is important to discuss and respect each other’s boundaries consistently. Expression of consent at one point does not imply future consent. A person can decide at any time to stop an activity. Continuous communication is key!

What happens after I have sex?

You may or may not turn into a unicorn. Kidding, obvi. After you have sex for the first time, you might experience a lot of emotions. For instance, you might wonder if partner didn’t enjoy it, or you might be elated that sex enhanced your feelings of affection for your partner. Regardless of what you’re feeling, don’t be afraid to talk to your partner, friends, family members, or even a mental health professional. The urethra, is shorter in female bodies than in males. That makes it quicker and easier for bacteria to infiltrate the bladder. Pro tip: If you have a vagina, urinate after sex to avoid a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)!

tabú tip:

The "first time" gets a lot of hype. Try not to stress too much about it! Be honest with yourself and your partner about if you're ready, communicate what you need to feel comfortable, use protection, and enjoy!

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