Negotiating sex

When you are very young, negotiating sex can be hard, especially when your sexual partner is more experienced and confident.  

As you get older you are likely to gain confidence, which can make it easier to tell your sexual partner what you want as well as considering their needs. Sometimes older women can be very vulnerable too, especially if, due to death or separation, they have come out of long-term relationships and are meeting new sexual partners.

If your sexual partner is more experienced and confident than you they might try to pressure you to have sex.  For example, they might:

  • threaten you by saying they won’t go out with you anymore, or they might call you names or threaten to tell others that you are a slut or a tease
  • make you feel guilty by saying that you made them sexually aroused and that you should let them have sex with you to make them less frustrated
  • tell you how much they love you and make unrealistic promises. 

This can make you feel very guilty, but guilt is never a good reason to allow a person to have sex with you. 

Sometimes the pressure to have sex with someone can come from your peer or social group. The person who wants to have sex might be very popular. If you have been feeling socially isolated or awkward, it’s easy to believe that having sex with this person might make you popular too and that not having sex will make you unpopular. 

Having sex with someone because your peers think you should is a bad idea and won't make you more respected or popular. Unfortunately it is often the young woman who is judged hashly by her peer group in such situations, no matter what decision she makes. If you are considering have sex:

  • Trust your feelings.
  • If it feels wrong, don't do it.
  • Only have sex if you feel ready and safe, and it feels right with this person. 

Remember, any pressure on you to have sex, whether it is physical or emotional, is sexual assault.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Am I really ready?
  • Does this person really care about me?
  • Will this person be understanding and caring if I change my mind?
  • Do I feel like I could tell this person if something hurts or feels uncomfortable?
  • Do we have a strong and respectful relationship?
  • Am I old enough?
  • Is the age difference between us legal?

If you can answer yes to all of those questions, you are in a good starting place to have a good sexual experience.

More to sex than intercourse

Sex is not just intercourse. There are many ways that you can have a pleasurable sexual experience without intercourse, penetration (when the penis is inside the vagina) or oral sex (head jobs). You can start with kissing, touching and caressing, which can give a lot of sexual pleasure. Other forms of sex suit many couples well, especially in the early stages of a relationship. Having sex in this way (i.e. without penetration or head jobs) can be emotionally exciting, while avoiding the complications of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections or loss of self-esteem.

You can also have sexual experiences on your own. Masturbation can give you sexual pleasure, often to orgasm, without the need for a partner. It is private, free and harmless. It can also be carried out with a partner, giving sexual satisfaction to both. Some cultures disapprove of masturbation, but it will not cause any health problems. In fact, masturbation is a useful way of learning what you enjoy sexually. 


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Disclaimer

The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

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