Choosing whether or not to have sex is a big decision. Not having sex is the only way to be 100% safe from STIs and an unwanted pregnancy. In addition, sex can complicate a person’s relationships and have a big emotional impact. Because of all this, it’s important to take the time and make sure a smart and healthy decision is made.

Thinking About Sex?

A couple is NOT ready to have sex if…

  • They are not in a committed relationship.
    Hooking up, friends with benefits, or sex outside of a solid committed relationship is more likely to lead to negative outcomes. The more people one has sex with, the more likely a person is to get an STI. When two people are not in a relationship, they’re a lot less likely to have the kind of good communication that’s critical to making sex as safe and healthy an experience as possible.
  • They can’t talk about their decision and what consequences might result.If you can’t talk about sex then you’re not ready to have it! Before having sex, it’s really important that a couple discuss things like condoms and birth control, not to mention testing for STIs. In addition, open communication about sex is necessary to make sure both partners are on the same page, feel comfortable, etc.
  • They are drunk or high.Drinking and using drugs affect a person’s ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Choosing to have sex while under the influence is a choice one may regret later. And a couple is a lot less likely to use protection if they’ve been drinking or doing drugs.
  • They are having sex for the wrong reasons.Having sex because a person is bored, feels they should be having sex, are being pressured, or in order to prove their love are all examples of having sex for the wrong reasons. Make sure that any decision to have sex is made for the best possible reasons!
  • They want different things to come from the experience.If one person just wants to hook-up and the other is interested in a serious relationship, those two people want different things out of sex. It’s important that both partners be on the same page.
  • They have no real feelings for each other.If two people don’t really care about each other, they are definitely not ready for sex.
  • They don’t respect one and other.If one or both people in a relationship lack respect for the other, sex is not going to improve the situation.

Even if none of these “Red Flags” apply to your relationship, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for sex. If a person doesn’t feel ready, then they’re not ready. And even if a person has had sex in a previous relationship, it’s perfectly ok to not have sex in the relationship that person is currently in. This is a very personal choice, and one needs to make the healthiest decision possible after careful consideration.

More Information

Healthy Relationships
Birth Control
STIs
Pregnancy