It is very natural for a young adult to think about sex, explore one’s feelings about sex, or ponder over one’s sexuality. Making a decision about entering into a sexual relationship is a very crucial one because it involves not only your body but your emotions too. It is very important to be sure about your decision. There are various things, which need to be thought thoroughly before making the decision, and it should be done without any pressure from anyone, either your partner or peers.
Making a decision to get into a sexual relationship will change your life and other relationships. It will change the way you feel, and hence you need to be very sure that you are ready for all these changes. Your relationship is ready to go forward if:
- You and your partner can trust each other completely.
- You have good communication with each other, wherein you can talk about anything and everything without hesitation or conflict.
- You or your partner have responsibly discussed the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and protection against the same and also respect each other’s choice regarding birth control.
You should completely avoid a sexual relationship with your partner if your relationship shows any of the following signs:
- Your partner is overly possessive and wants to hog all your time, leaves you no time to spend with anyone else other than himself/herself, or always suspicious of you and keeps monitoring and checks on you constantly.
- Your partner forces you to have sex regardless of your wishes.
- Your partner emotionally blackmails you every time to get his/her work done.
If this is your first time, ask yourself few questions to see if you are ready to be sexually active.
- Is this what you want or are you being pressured into it either by peers or your partner? Having sex is a choice, and it is not the latest fashion trend that you need to follow.
- Will you be able to handle the situation if it turns violent or can you ward off an unwanted pregnancy?
- Are you well equipped with information regarding the health hazards of having sex (STDs) and the risk of pregnancy?
- Are you aware of the term “safe sex” and have enough information on it?
- Have you discussed all the safety precautions with your partner? You should not even think of getting into a sexual relationship without safe sex, for that you need to:
- Ensure that you/partner always use a condom and you know how to use one correctly. Do not give in if your partner does not want to use a condom for any reason, stick to your decision and make your reasons clear to him/her. Abstain if required but do not go ahead if your expectations are not clearly understood.
- Set your expectations in the beginning so that there are no misunderstandings later, safe sex is a priority.
- Do not indulge in sexual activity under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it can cloud your thinking and might affect your resolve of practising safe sex.
Before getting into a sexual relationship with your partner, there are few things, which you need to discuss clearly. Communication is important. It will help you air out your thoughts and feelings as well as get to know his/her views and evaluate if your views match or if it differs, whether you are okay with it:
- Sexual History: Do not hesitate to ask about his/her sexual history. STDs are one of the significant risks, and you need to protect yourself against it. Some people might not be honest about it, ensure for a health check both for you and your partner before starting your relationship.
- Safe Sex: Talk about safe sex to prevent STDs and what are the methods you should use to practice safe sex.
- Honesty: Be open about your past relationships and encourage the same from your partner. This will not only avoid any fall-out later on but will help you gauge whether your partner can be at risk for STDs, as the number of partners increases your risk of getting STDs.
- Health Care Provider: Talk to your doctor regarding safe sex practices, regular health check-ups, condom usage/birth control methods, etc. There are a lot of birth control choices available, such as intrauterine devices, condoms, birth control pills, injections, patches, etc. You can discuss this with your physician and decide on what works best for you.
The decision to have sex is yours and yours alone. If you decide to go ahead, you have to be completely equipped with information on safe sex, birth control and be completely aware of your emotions, of what you think and feel. You need to protect yourself from STD, unwanted sex, and pregnancy. It is a big decision of your life and do not hesitate to discuss with someone you can trust. Do not embark on a sexual relationship if you are not ready or even have the slightest doubt.
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- Making Healthy Sexual Decisions – Centre for young women’s health — Accessed on March 20, 2017 – http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/05/23/making-healthy-sexual-decisions/
- For Teens: How to Make Healthy Decisions About Sex –Healthy children.org– Accessed on March 20, 2017 – https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/dating-sex/Pages/Making-Healthy-Decisions-About-Sex.aspx
- Making Healthy Sexual Decisions –Young men’s health — Accessed on March 20, 2017 – http://youngmenshealthsite.org/guides/health-sexual-decisions/
- Making Healthy Choices –NSW government — Accessed on March 20, 2018 – http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/sexualhealth/Pages/making-healthy-choices.aspx