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When are you ready to do It?

— By 01 October 2012

Before reading this article, you may wanna brush up on consent.

Guys, I’m not going to lie - sex can be pretty damn fun! I honestly don’t know why they don’t tell you this at school. Hell, they don’t really tell you much about how it can affect your emotions or relationships, or even about how to know when you’re ready.

So, it’s time to talk about sex.

The first time is daunting for everybody, no matter what your gender or sexuality. It can be fun, scary, intimate, boring, wild or just plain awkward. My first time was all of these at some point.

But what really counts as your first time?

It may come as a surprise, but there is no strict definition for virginity, especially if you’re queer. Penis-in-vagina sex is not the only sex, and certainly not the “ultimate” sex. If you ask me, virginity is whatever you think it is. I’ve had friends who count their first time giving oral as their virginity. Another friend defined it as the first time her hymen broke. That is, when she broke it while riding a bike…

Honestly, there is just no way of telling if someone is a virgin! How you think about it is really up to you!

OK, so you know the basics, right? Consent? Protection from STIs and unwanted pregnancy? You know what all the wobbly bits are? Good! But the real question might remain - am I ready?

BAM! I bet they didn’t ask you that at school. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you think you’re ready to go beyond tongue wrestling (first time or not):

• Do we both want this?
• Are we being safe and using protection?
• Do we know our boundaries and what we don’t want to do?
• Do we trust each other?
• Are we ready for the physical and emotional outcomes, like becoming closer or getting hurt, STIs or pregnancy?
• Can we talk to each other about these questions? (Even if it’s awks!)
• Do either of us feel unsure or uneasy about any of our answers?

If you or your partner answered yes to that last question it might be a good idea to take a step back, and talk about it together.

Just remember: sex isn’t a fix all! It wont necessarily make someone like you any more or less or make you more mature, it wont always feel great or bad and it wont always make you climax!

One of the most common questions people have is, “will it hurt?” Truthfully, it might or it might not; it’s different for everybody. If you’re worried about it hurting there are some things you can do:

• Make sure you’re both turned on and in the mood before you start.
• If there’s any kind of fingering, cut those nails and remove any nail polish first!
• Use plenty of lube when there’s penetration.

A few other things to keep in mind: sex shouldn’t be an accomplishment or something to be ashamed of, and it certainly isn’t a requirement of loving someone! You should respect your partner’s feelings, and they should definitely respect yours. If you do ‘do it’ then just because you’ve had sex once, doesn’t mean it has to become a regular part of the relationship. Just because you’re dating or have had sex with someone before doesn’t mean they automatically have your consent either, you need to get consent each time you take a tumble in the hay.

Besides, not everyone is doing it. Only about half of high schoolers have had sex by year 12, and for a lot of them they’ve only had one or very few experiences. Plus some people, such as asexual people, have little to no desire to have sex at all. And that's totally OK! Choosing when to have sex, if at all, is totally up to you and completely valid.

Ultimately it’s about what feels right for you, so don’t go with the flow, go at your own pace.

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