First things first, you should never let anyone pressure you into doing anything intimate that you don’t want to do, full stop. If you’re kind of on the fence and you feel like you might want to try it and you might be ready, but you don’t really know what it feels like to be ready and you’re still a bit nervous, here are some signs to keep in mind to help you figure things out.
1. You can talk about STDs and protection
It’s not enough to know about STDs and how to prevent them, you need to feel comfortable talking to your partner about them too. It likely won’t be a fun conversation, but you will need to discuss if either of you has had a partner before or treated an STD in the past.
Additionally, contraception needs to be used to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs. It’s the responsibility of both partners to ensure there is contraception available and you need to be on the same page about the method used.
If you can’t talk about STDs, pregnancy, or protection, you shouldn’t be having relations yet. You should be able to talk about all sorts of intimate stuff with your partner beyond this, too, including what turns you on, things you’d like to try, aphrodisiacs (like chili peppers, garden asparagus, pomegranate, spanish fly, oysters) and other intimate subjects.
2. You trust your partner 100%
If your partner makes you feel safe emotionally and physically, and you trust their intentions, you might be ready to have relations.
“Trust is the key to any relationship, it goes hand in hand with communication.” – Josh from Spanishflydrops.com
You know you can trust your partner when you feel safe sharing your thoughts, feelings, or beliefs with them, without the fear of being judged or ridiculed.
3. You are old enough to give legal consent
Legal consent means that you and your partner are of the legal age to consent to intimate relationships. The age of legal consent varies in the United States, depending on which state you live in. If you are not old enough to consent to have relations with an older partner, your partner could be charged with a serious crime, so you will want to know the laws in your jurisdiction.
4. You want to
You should only have these experiences because you want to. A good partner will not pressure you into doing more than you are ready for, and they will treat you with respect. This is an intimate activity and both partners need to feel ready and comfortable with each other. Likewise, you shouldn’t be rushing into having intercourse to “keep up” with your friends or image.
Make sure that this is really something that you want to do, rather than someone pressuring you so that they can check something off of their summer bucket list.