10 things to do before having sex
Deciding to do it is a big decision, WA reader Jade thinks back on her first time and gives some top tips
This article is written by Whatever After reader Jade Hylton.
It feels like my teenage years are far behind me, even though I'm only 21, so it's not hard for me to remember what it was like to be one, and! I also remember what it was like wishing I had a boyfriend and we 'did' stuff, but you will always learn a lesson or two finding the love life that's for you.
My name's Jade and I have “done it” and trust me, there are definitely a few things you need to know that they don't teach you in sex ed. I have decided to write a 10 things you need to know about because there is a lot more to sex then the physical act, now don't get me wrong there are plenty more than ten things, but some I'm afraid you will have to learn for yourself. Some things you just do.
Now this is not only about the emotional side, but thinking about how it may effect you mentally. I am 21 years old, and I lost my virginity at 16, in the past five years of being sexually active I have learnt a lot, not only from my own experiences but the experiences, in time, your girlfriends will share with you, like mine have with me.
Now admittedly, you do get taught about the biological side of sex at school, how to use a condom and the very good reasons why you should, but briefly, there is a lot more to sex, relationships, and S.T.I's then they even touch upon at school, and I want to give you some good advice so you don't make some of the mistakes I did, also save you a lot of worry and grief that can come with a sex life, but also help you to realize sooner rather than later, that sex is fun and exciting and exhilarating, if you go about it the right way.
Take a step Back
Sometimes you can get lost in the whirlwind of emotion whether it's a little crush or the serious stuff... but you must always remember who you are!
Always have someone you can turn to, pick your friends wisely, make sure it's someone you can trust, and that you can trust their advice, always take good advice, it may save you a lot of heartache!
Research research research
There are loads of different types of contraception. Find out how to use contraceptives, and decide which one works best for you. Remember, even if your still on the pill or have the coil, doesn't mean your protected against STI's.
Once you find whatever contraception is good for you, carry it with you always, you never want to be in a situation when you're without. If your partner says they are allergic to condoms, that is no excuse to not use protection, you can get condoms made from different materials, so if they don't have the ones they need, there is only one answer, don't do it. If you're not sure on where to get contraceptives, you can usually pick up a packets from your local chemist or a place like Boots or Superdrug. Better yet you can get them for free at a family planning clinic or youth advice centre, so there is no excuse not to have any!
There is also this little thing called a C card. A C card you can get for free at various clinic or centres, to earn your own you are show first how to use a condom, then that is it! There are loads of different places that take on the C card scheme, you just have to look out for the sticker. You receive a stamp and a handful of condoms. You also get a selection which is a bonus!
It's really worth getting to know your partner before you start a physical relationship, make sure your compatible not only mentally but also on an emotional level. You may think you get along with someone because you have the same sense of humour or like the same music, all things that are great to have in common with a partner, physical or otherwise, but your emotions can sometimes be hard to figure out, especially after making choices you can't undo.
Don't Be Pushed
Never be pressured, this may seem like an obvious point, but it can easily be confused with friends giving you "good advice". Only go into a physical relationship when you're mentally, physically and emotionally ready, if your partner is annoyingly naggy about it don't let it change who you are, you will be respected for it, and if your partner can't wait for you when you're ready then they aren't worth it.
Try to consider what it means to lose your virginity, how it may change you as a person overall. How it may effect your relationship, and your partner if they also lose theirs. When your at school people think that if they're virgins they are the minority, when actually it's probably the other way round, with hormones raging and the people you know start to check each other out, a lot of sex talk is thrown about, but that's all it is. I was a virgin until I was 16, the legal age, but we probably know a lot! Of people who lost it much earlier then that, but trust me they either regret it know, or don't care to look back at it too often. I didn't lose my virginity with a boyfriend but he was my best friend at the time and I like him for a long time, at the time I would say it was love, and when I look back I still see it as love, but what I understood love to be then, and I don't regret it because I felt so strongly, but I was sure, I waited and I when the time was right, I knew it was. If you don't feel it's right, then wait until it does, you will always know.
Respect has been mentioned a few times now because it is key when you know you are ready to have sex, who to have it with, and to do it safely. When you actually decide to have sex the key thing then is confidence, now I dont mean acting like your a pro, but confidence in communication, if you don't communicate with your partner, they won't know what you enjoy and vice versa, it's nerve wrecking at first, but if you waited and got to know your partner and have that respect between each other, you will have the confidence to communicate and have great sex!
Get to know your body
Get to know your body physically, know what you enjoy so you can tell your partner, doing this will also give you a taste of the intensity a sex life can do to you.
Get the ABC on STD s
Make sure you are clued up on STD's, not all sexually transmitted diseases can be avoided with the use of condoms, make sure you know the symptoms so you can catch it before it gets any worse, or before you pass it on to a new partner. Make sure you get checked for STI's regularly, before and after every sexual partner, and make sure your partner is having regular check ups. If they feel uncomfortable doing so, it is not worth the risk, your health is important, and you don't want past relationships jeopardising any future ones. Also make sure that if you do get an STI to call previous partners if necessary, you would want someone to let you know now wouldn't you? My first check up was when I had started my first serious relationship when I was 17, the only nerve-wrecking thing for me was seeing someone in the waiting room, but these things take time to get used to, it's like first day of school, like a whole new routine, a routine definitely recommended.
Wherever you come from or wherever you live, don't be afraid to talk about sex and ask questions, or for advice, you'll find out a lot of people have been through either exactly the same or very similar situations. I slightly mention something about periods to my eleven year old little sister and she gets all shy and bashful and it baffles me, but we all do it, and when we look back and think how silly it was not to ask an innocent question, we feel like travelling back in time and kicking ourselves! Don't put yourself in that situation and have a safe and awesome sex life!
www.brook.org.uk The sexual health charity for young people under 25, offering confidential advice. You can also email your questions to Brook (underline has a link to https://www.askbrook.org.uk/question.asp )
www.fpa.org.uk Provider of information on individual methods of contraception, common sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy. You can also email your questions to FPA's Ask WES service. (underline a link http://www.fpa.org.uk/ask-wes )
Lesbian and gay switchboard
www.llgs.org.uk Helpline: 020 7837 7324 Information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual or transgender people.
Sexual Health Line
Helpline: 0800 567123 Free confidential information and advice on sexual health.
Terrence Higgins Trust
www.tht.org.uk Helpline: 0845 122 1200 Information, support and advice on HIV and sexual health.
Worth Talking About
Helpline: 0800 282930, 2pm-8pm Monday-Friday, 2pm-4pm Saturday and Sunday Advice on contraception, sexual health and relationships.
Better Than Sex Ed
Talk to people live online, over the phone or via text confidentially on all things to do with sex.