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Deciding to have sex

If you and your partner have decided you are ready for sex then it’s important to talk about contraception and protection, STI testing and pregnancy. If you have done that then enjoy yourself! But remember, if anytime you feel uncomfortable or change your mind then just say no and put your clothes back on. 

After all, sex should always be enjoyable. There is no need to rush into anything and it’s perfectly ok to take things slow. You might want to try these safer sex alternatives to start with.


Pressure for sex can come from the other person, from others around you or even from yourself. Perhaps you think that they'll lose interest in you if you don't start having sex soon? The only sensible way to find out is to talk to them.

If the other person is pushing you to have sex with them and you're unsure, ask yourself why. If you feel unsure beforehand, you're unlikely to feel good afterwards. You should only have sex when you both feel ready.


Choosing to have sex with someone is often part of a natural process of deepening and strengthening a special relationship. However, relationships with other people can be affected too.

If you are single, friends, children and family members could find it hard to accept that you've decided to take a relationship to another, more intimate level.

If you're already in a relationship, having sex with someone else could represent a major breach of trust. Guilt is a powerful emotion and even if your regular partner doesn't find out, you're likely to feel very different about them afterwards.

The fact that you're thinking about sex with another person may be a sign that your relationship is not working, but that doesn't mean it'll never work again.

Before you risk ending what could be a valuable partnership, you could investigate relationship counselling.

No regrets

Good sex means no regrets. This means respecting yourself and the other person and being sure you're both ready for sex.

Sex should always be enjoyable and fun, but if we rush things and don't consider our choices carefully, it's easy to end up regretting it.

You could end up pregnant when you don't want to be, in trouble with the law, with a sexually transmitted infection, messing up other, more valuable relationships or just wishing you had waited.

Make the right choices and you could end up extremely happy, with stronger relationships or even having the family you always wanted.

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Guidance on accessing contraception during coronavirus pandemic.