Department of Education

How do I know when it’s the right time to have sex?

How do I know when it’s the right time to have sex?


If you haven’t had sex yet, don’t worry. You will know when the time is right, particularly when you are in a good trusting relationship. Remember that it is illegal to have sex with a girl or boy under 16.

Sometimes young people can feel pressured into having sex for lots of reasons.

Doing things because you’ve been pressured into it is never a good idea. Think about what you want, and what you feel happy about doing, and don’t go any further than that, whatever your friends or your partner tell you to do.

  • You might not always realise that you’re being put under pressure, but if any of the things below apply to you, then you could be.
  • You feel like it’s easier to have sex than to say no.
  • You feel you’re being pushed into having sex.
  • All your friends say they’ve had sex so you feel like you should.
  • You’re afraid you’ll lose your girlfriend or boyfriend, or that they won’t love you any more if you don’t have sex with them.
  • You’ve been drinking or taking drugs to help you feel more confident.

REMEMBER… saying ‘no’ to sex is a sign of confidence and maturity. Don’t be afraid to say no if you do not want to have sex.


The Brook Centre office lots of sex and relationship advice and support and also has a confidential advice line for under 25s.

The NHS Sex Worth Talking About site also has lots of information.


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