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Sex

Health & wellbeing Information and advice Sex, relationships & your body

Sex

Health & wellbeing Information and advice Sex, relationships & your body

View article in BSL

Sex and consent

Sex should be fun and exciting, but it should also be safe legal and something that you feel ready for. It should also be something you and your partner have fully consented to.

What is consent?

Consent is when you both decide you really want to have sex without feeling pressured into it in any way.

  • People often have lots of questions about sex, and that’s fine. There are lots of places you can go to for advice, such as Brook, Terrence Higgins Trust, Childline and NHS Choices.
  • In the UK you’re not allowed to have sex before you’re 16. This is called the age of consent.
  • If you do want to have sex and are exploring taking things further in your relationship, that’s fine too. Brook has useful information on being ready for sex and having sex for the first time

If you’re thinking about, or are having sex, make sure you know about contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. If you’re ready for sex, you should be able to talk to your partner about staying safe and protecting each other. Read our safer sex page here.

It's OK to say no!

Nobody has the right to make you do anything you’re not happy to do, so only have sex if you really want to. That’s true for the first time and every time you have sex.

Sometimes you might feel you should have sex because your partner wants to and you care for them, or are worried they might go off you if you don’t. But, whatever the situation, it’s your body, and you have the right to say no, or to change your mind about any sexual activity, anytime you need to. The same goes for your partner too.

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