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When you get together with a boyfriend or girlfriend you'll often start out by kissing. This can often lead to feelings inside your body. These feelings are usually nice and might cause changes in your penis if you’re a boy, or your vagina if you’re a girl.
These are signs that your body is getting ready for sex. They don’t mean you have to have sex straight away though.
When’s the right time?
You should decide to have sex when it feels like the right time for you and when you feel safe enough with someone to take this step. This is at different times and stages for different people and that’s OK.
Some people boast about having sex and you might feel that you need to lose your virginity as soon as possible to keep up with your friends. All this talk about sex is often just that though. A lot of people feel pressure from their friends and exaggerate their sex lives.
Everyone was a virgin at one point and many of those boasting people probably still are. It's nothing to be ashamed of and it's not always such a great thing to lose your virginity as soon as possible.
Your first sexual experience could be a disappointing one if you rush into it. It might be more rewarding to build up to it with someone you trust and like. After all, you're only going to lose your virginity once - so you might want to make it a happy memory.
What if they say they love me?
Often it is not our friends who pressure us into having sex, but our boyfriend or girlfriend. Remember, it is your body and your life and you should not feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do.
Not having sex before you are ready does not mean that you are selfish or that you don’t love or care for your boyfriend or girlfriend. If your partner cares about you and your feelings then they will respect your decision and not try to make you do something you feel uncomfortable with.
If someone’s pressuring you to have sex with them and you don’t feel ready then you should tell them how you feel, and then you should really tell someone else. If that person really cared about you they wouldn’t be trying to make you have sex with them if you didn’t want to. If they’re older than 16 it’s even more important to tell somebody.
The law says that people shouldn’t have sex if they are under 16 – and it’s supposed to help stop young people from getting abused. See our 'Sex and the law' page for more details.
Last review: 03/06/11 - Next review: 03/06/13