Clinical services Health Information Having Sex There are many different opinions about when is the right time to have sex. In many countries, it is against the law to have sex before the age of 16 years old. Only you can make the decision about what is the right time for you. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to have sex. Whatever you do, whether it’s kissing, touching, oral sex or sexual intercourse, it should always be something that you both want to do. There are some things you need to think about before you have sex: Am I ready for sex? Am I doing this for the right reasons? What about protecting myself and my partner from sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy? Am I going to feel OK about myself and my partner afterwards? If you don’t feel safe or comfortable about having sex, then it’s probably not the right time for you. No one has the right to pressure you into having sex and even if you have had sex before, it doesn’t mean you have to have it again. The law says that sex must always be consensual. This means: Consent must be freely given. If you don’t want to have sex and someone pressures or threatens you, they are breaking the law. It is against the law for someone to have sex with you when you are not able to give your consent (e.g. because you are asleep, unconscious or affected by alcohol). If you decide you are ready to have sex, make sure you and your partner are prepared. The best way to do this is to talk with your partner about your needs and how you plan to protect yourselves against sexually transmissible infections and unwanted pregnancy. For more information go to ReachOut.com.