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Should we do it?

When it comes to knowing if your relationship is ready for sex, there’s no quick answer, but there are some things you can ask yourself that will help you make your mind up. What’s most important is that you follow your instincts − if something just doesn’t quite feel right, it's probably not the right time.

Can you talk with them easily?

Good sex is all about good communication. If you feel comfortable around someone and can talk easily and openly with them, it’s a good basis for a sexual relationship. Do you feel you could talk to them about safer sex and what you do and what you don't like?

What do you both want?

Most of the important relationships we have in life aren't sexual. If someone wants to have sex, but you don’t feel the same way, you shouldn't feel any pressure. Just tell them how you feel − if you have a close relationship, they'll understand. 

What are your feelings?

Do you feel a strong connection to them? Can you have a good laugh together as well as talk easily? Do you respect each other? If the answer is no to any of the questions, it might not be right.

Can you trust them?

Probably the most important thing when it comes to everything sex is trust. After all, you’ll be trusting them with your body, your sexual health and, most importantly, your feelings. If you don't feel close enough to talk to them about sex, you're not ready to have sex.

A bad time to make big decisions

Remember that our feelings and the choices we make are usually very different if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If either of you (or both of you) have been drinking or taking drugs it might not be the best time to talk about sex or to have sex, you might say or do something you regret the next day.

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A fresh start

Find out why some couples opt to get tested for STIs.

Sources of help

More information on over-the-phone and online help.


Guidance on accessing contraception during coronavirus pandemic.