Updated 04 September 2013

Questions to ask before saying yes to sex

When it comes to having sex, every person has to make his or her own decisions. There is no age, no place or no time that is right for everyone.


When it comes to having sex, every person has to make his or her own decisions. There is no age, no place or no time that is right for everyone. Some people may wait until they are married, while others have sex for the first time while they are still fairly young. This article is not about whether you should or should not, but about things you should think about before you do decide to have sex or not to have sex.

Many people wag their fingers and issue grim warnings – point is, whether they like it or not, there are many teenagers who do have sex. If you are one of them, or are about to become one of them, do yourself a favour and answer these questions as honestly as possible, before making this big decision.

Important questions you should ask

  • Do I have cultural, moral or religious convictions that would make it feel wrong to have sex?
  • Am I in a steady relationship at present? How do I feel about the future of the relationship?
  • How much do I know about sex and what happens during sexual intercourse?
  • How much do I know about herpes, Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
  • What might happen as a result of having sex?
  • How will I feel about my partner after having sex with him/her?
  • Do you trust and respect your partner right now?
  • Have you been able to discuss methods of contraception with your partner?
  • Can you discuss the possibility of pregnancy or STDs with your partner?
  • Is it possible for you to communicate openly with your partner about things that are really important to you?
  • How will it affect your relationship if you decide not to have sex?

These questions could be a guideline for discussion with your partner. You cannot read each other's minds. You need to talk about these issues and find out what each of you feels comfortable with doing. If you are too shy to discuss these issues, you are most probably not ready to have sex. Your body belongs to you and you have a right to make decisions regarding it.

Some people become involved in sexual activities that do not involve the exchange of body fluids, but which could nevertheless bring about sexual relief. This often includes mutual masturbation. If you decide not to have sex, there is nothing wrong with you – many people decide to wait. It is your right to do so.

Not knowing the facts about intercourse or STDs could have very serious consequences for both you and your partner. Sex is not something that should happen for the first time in the heat of the moment after a party. Gone are the days when pregnancy was the worst fate, which could befall you. Make informed and responsible decisions about sex – maybe these questions will help you to do so.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated June 2010)

(Picture: questions from Shutterstock)

Quiz: Ready for sex


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