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Deciding not to have sex

Young people can feel as if there is endless pressure to have sex and can feel excluded if they haven’t had sex yet.
The messages seem to come from all sides – from your mates and from the media. The endless images of good looking couples having a good time can make you feel like you are the only person in the world who isn’t doing it.

This kind of pressure can push you into having sex for all the wrong reasons. And if your partner isn’t ready for sex, imagine how they feel if you keep pressurising them about it.

Be fair to yourself and your partner and only have sex if you both want.

One partner can put pressure on the other by saying:

They love you. If you feel the same, you’ll want to do it too.
You’re both mature enough.
It’s a sign that you’re committed.
You might think:

I’ll lose them if I don’t.
Everybody does it; maybe I should.
I want to but in my own time.
I don’t want to; but how do I say so?
Remember, it’s your body, your choice and your right to say no.

For more information about deciding whether to have sex and other sexual health matters for young people, call free on 0800 567 123 and ask for an HPE leaflet called ´Lovelife´.

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