Am I allowed to have sex at my age ?


Dear Tyler,

Thank you for writing us. From my understanding, your girlfriend would

like

to have sex with you (by which I am assuming that you refer to vaginal

penetration by the penis) but you are not sure if you have the right to

do

so because of your age. Also, you seem not sure about whether you are

really ready to have sex.

To begin, the age of consent (which is basically the age at which you

are

legally allowed to sign contracts and are considered as being mature

enough

to decide to have sex) is different depending on where you live and on

your

sexual orientation. If you are from Canada, it is 14 years old for

heterosexuals, so you and your girlfriend are both legally ”allowed”

to

have sex. However, just because you are ”allowed” doesn’t mean that

you

HAVE to ! The same goes regarding to your girlfriend; the fact that

she has

expressed the desire to have sex with you in no way obliges you to do

so if

you are not ready. What do I mean by ”being ready to have sex” ?

1) You want to engage in a sexual relationship with your girlfriend at

this

moment, not because of peer pressure or because she wants too, but

because

this is something that you personally want right now, with this

particular

person.

2) You know what the consequences can be, i.e. the risk of pregnancies

and

STDs, etc., know how to best prevent them from happening and are ready

to

react properly in case that they do happen.

If for any reason you feel that you are not ready to have sex right

now,

then you should not engage in it and you should discuss your feelings

with

your girlfriend. Also, ”having sex” doesn’t only involve vaginal

penetration by the penis; it can include a lot of other ways to show

each

other your love and desire. Some examples are cuddling, kissing,

caresses,

mutual masturbation, manual penetration (with fingers), oral sex, and

many

others. These are all things that you and your girlfriend might decide

to

experiment based on your feelings, cusiosity, desire, etc. Do you know

what

your girlfriend is ready for, and what are her expectations ?

Also, you mention that you think that you know enough about safe-sex,

but

are you really sure about that ? While wearing a condom during

penetration

is a good way to decrease the risk of contracting STDs or getting your

girlfriend pregnant, you have to know that it is not 100% safe; there

is

always a small risk that the condom pierces, that it doesn’t stay

positioned

properly during intercourse especially if you don’t put it on

correctly,

etc. Also, it is best to combine it’s use with another contraceptive

method

like the birth control pill to further decrease the risk of pregnancy;

in

the same line, it is best to not only use the condom at the time of

penetration but also for oral sex, for example, to decrease the risk of

aquiring an STD. While I won’t get too much into the details of how to

have

safe-sex here, you should make sure that your knowledge is truly

adequate to

engage in sex in a safe way. I recommend that you read through the

website

Scarleteen (see link below), which has interesting information about

that

especially written for teenagers.

Do you know how to safely put on a condom? Do you know when during

sexual

intercourse you need to put the condom on and can remove it? Do you

know

what are the signs, symptoms and complications of all the STDs? Is your

girlfriend taking ”the pill”? Do you know if your girlfriend has

already

been sexually active (and by that I mean, engaged in any kind of sexual

contact with another person like penetration, oral sex, etc.) and if

so, if

she has had recent STDs screening tests? What would you do if your

girlfriend got pregnant? These are only a few of the questions that

you

should be able to answer before you engage in sex.

I recommend that you discuss these issues with your girlfriend, since

if you

are to begin having sexual intercourse or any kind of sexual activity

with

her, there should be a good level of trust and communication between

the

both of you to make sure that you will each feel respected no matter

what

your decision regarding to the level of sexual contact that you are

ready to

have, and that the experience will be enjoyable and less stressful for

you

two. You might also wish to discuss with an older adult that you feel

confortable with, like your parents, a teacher or a doctor, who would

be

able to provide you with more information about safe-sex and about

sexuality

in general. If you live in Montréal, you can contact the Head and

Hands

center (see website below), which has a medical clinic that deals with

teens

and young adults; if you are not from Montréal, you can check to see if

there are similar services in your area.

Well, I hope that this was helpful Tyler! If there is anything else,

don’t

hesitate to contact us again !

www.scarleteen.com/

www.headandhands.ca/

Marilyn, for AlterHeros

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