If someone is trying to decide whether they are ready to have sex or not, there’s a few helpful things to remember.
Let them talk and listen carefully to understand their concerns and desires. Ask helpful questions and try to understand if this is their decision, or something they’re considering only to please their partner. You could try asking them what conversations they’ve had around the topic.
If any of these phrases come up, then it’s worth talking to them about the possibility that they’re being pressured to have sex:
- “You would if you loved me”
- “Everyone else is doing it!”
- “It will make our relationship stronger”
- “You’ll have to do it sometime – why not now, with me?”
- “You’ll like it once we do it.”
It’s worth remembering that it’s not just partners that can create pressure to have sex – friends can do this too, without realising how damaging it can be. Ask the person if they’ve felt pressured by friends or if any of the following phrases seem familiar.
- “You mean you’ve never done it?”
- “I lost it when I was 12… ”
- “Yeah, I’ve had sex loads of times”
- “You’re a virgin, you wouldn’t understand.”
It might be helpful to remind them that their friends may be saying these things because they want to sound more experienced than they really are. The best thing they can do is what feels right for them and their situation.