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Am I Ready for Sex?

You’ve got sex on the brain, but you’re not sure you’re ready.

You’re not the only one! Having sex can be a major step in your life and it deserves some thought and planning.  Everyone is different and only you can decide what’s best for you.

Here are some questions that may help you explore whether you and your partner are feeling ready to have sex. You may be surprised at some of your answers.

What is the right age to have sex?

  • There is no one right age to have sex.  People engage in sexual activity at many different times during their life.
  • Some people have their first sexual experience when they are very young or wait till they are much older.

Questions to ask yourself if you are thinking about having sex for the first time

  • Is this the right time for me?
  • Am I comfortable with my own body?
  • What do I know about sex?  Have I done my homework? Do I know the difference between sex myths and sex facts?  (Tip: If you feel like  you need to know more, check out the other sections of this website.)
  • Do I know how to protect myself from unplanned pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
  • Do I feel safe and comfortable with my partner?
  • Am I feeling pressured into having sex ?
  • Am I attracted to my partner?
  • What are my boundaries?  What activities am I not comfortable with?
  • What are my hopes and fears about sex?

Questions to talk about with your partner

  • How do we feel about sex? What are our hopes for the experience? Are they the same?
  • Have we had any negative experiences with sex in the past?
  • Do we have any fears or worries about sex?
  • Do we feel safe and comfortable with each other?
  • Do we need protection against unplanned pregnancy and/or STIs and if so, what type will we choose?
  • Have we talked about the words we want to use for our body parts?
  • Do we expect our relationship will change after we have sex? How?
  • Are we okay if one partner decides to stop when we are having sex?

What type of sex is right for us?

  • What kind(s) of sex do we want to have (e.g. vaginal*, oral, anal, etc)?
  • What sexual position(s) will we explore?
  • Will our sexual exploration include activities like role play, sex toys, restraints, power play, blind folds, spanking, etc?
  • Is this a casual, one-time encounter or will we continue to have sex?  (For more on casual sex check out Hooking Up)

Ok, we’re ready!  Some tips to make your first experience a good one

  • Take time to think ahead and decide what form of birth control (if applicable) or STI protection you will use, if any. Make sure you both know how to use it properly.
  • While having sex, tell your partner with words or gestures about what feels good and what doesn’t.
  • Don’t pretend to enjoy something because you’re afraid of hurting your partner’s feelings.  This may encourage them to continue doing what you don’t enjoy and can end up hurting both your feelings.
  • Be prepared to change your mind!  If at any point things don’t seem right for you or your partner, stop, slow down, take a break or decide to wait a bit.
  • If you are doing something where one partner is allowed to control the other, make sure you have a safe word that when spoken, can stop or change the kind of sex or play that is happening.
Useful Tip
Sex, like any other skill, takes practice. Try not to freak out if things don’t go perfectly the first time. Good sex is a lifelong experience and can be lots of fun if you play safe, relax and enjoy yourself.

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.

Last Edited: May 2020