A normal part of growing up is developing romantic and sexual feelings. This brings us to a question everyone asks themselves — at what age should I start being sexually active?
Legally, no one is allowed to have sex with you if you’re below 16 years old. Otherwise, it’s considered statutory rape. This is when someone has sex with a minor.
So, does this mean 16 is the magic number? It depends — on you. Deciding when to have sex is a decision you should make for yourself. You also need to have an open and honest conversation with bae about whether you are both ready for sex. You need to consider the emotional implications that can come with sex like guilt, embarrassment, regret and even low self-esteem depending on the experience you have. Sex also comes with the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV). This is why it’s important to use condoms as they prevent pregnancies and infections! They’re free at all public clinics and hospitals.
Take your time and listen to your heart and head and consider the bad and good aspects of being sexually active. When the day finally comes make sure you are fully informed and prepared, and that you make the right decisions every time you have sex. If you think you are ready, it’s worth talking to an adult you trust, like your aunt, big sister or cousin.
Sex can be a fun and happy experience but it's best to only have sex when you are sure you won't regret it, this could lead to feeling embarrassed, confused or guilty. You need to be completely emotionally ready.
You also need to consider physical risks like pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
This is why you need to do it for the right reasons and only when you are ready.
Remember to always practice safe sex.