Emotional issues to think about before you have sex

You should only be thinking about sex if you are in a happy relationship – a relationship where you both care about, or love, and trust each other.

Even if you do love and trust each other, sex is a big step – a powerful physical experience, with a powerful emotional force. You have to let go of yourself in a very intimate, intense, physical connection. Sex might release feelings and thoughts that you, or your partner, had not expected at all. Even if you’re physically ready, you might not be emotionally ready.

You should discuss any worries, fears and hopes with your partner, as well as all the practical and social issues. Your partner should listen, understand your point of view, and show they are prepared to take responsibility. You should feel confident in your trust for your partner and feel safe.

If you are not reassured by your discussions, or something seems wrong, trust your instincts. Try to have the discussion again if sex is still something you’re considering, or leave sex for later on in your relationship, or think about breaking up.