First things first, you should never let anyone pressure you into doing anything sexual 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 sexual 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 sex yet. You should be able to talk about all sorts of sex 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 sex.
“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 sex. The age of legal consent varies between 16 and 18 years of age in the United States, depending on which state you live in. If you are not old enough to consent to having sex, 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 sex 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. Sex is an intimate activity and both partners need to feel ready and comfortable with each other. Likewise, you shouldn’t be rushing into having sex to “keep up” with your friends or image.