Here are 10 things that sex educator Karen Rayne says that any person needs to do before they decide to have sex with a new partner. She points out that people should go through these steps before having oral sex, sexual intercourse or anything else that could get you pregnant or give you an STI.
So here’s her list. Just for the record, this not a license to have sex. And, it may not apply to everyone – including many young adults and teens. However, it’s just good advice if you’re trying to answer this question for yourself.
Have an orgasm – Before you start having sex, give yourself an orgasm. It’s important to know what feels good for you so you can show the other person.
- Know the other person’s sexual history – This means all forms of sex—not just vaginal sex.
- Know the other person’s STI status as well as your own – The only way to know for sure is for both of you to get tested.
- Talk about exactly what STI protection and birth control you will be using – These two issues go hand in hand for heterosexual couples and STI protection plans need to be agreed for all other couples.
- If you are heterosexual, talk about what happens if the woman gets pregnant – Reality is always different than theory.
- Have your best friend’s blessing – It is often our best friends who can see our lovers or potential lovers as they really are. Listen to what they have to say and take it to heart. If it’s not what you want to hear, give it a month. Then ask another friend and see what they have to say.
- Meet your partner’s parents if possible – Knowing someone’s family is an important part of knowing them.
- Ask yourself if you will be comfortable being naked in front of each other. Young people who are beginning their sexual life sometimes hide their sexuality in darkness. Having enough relationship trust to overcome this hurdle offers a chance to deepen your relationship before getting into deeper or more risky sexual activities
- Have condoms handy – Make sure they fit and that they haven’t expired. Condoms should be part of any respectful sexual relationship.
- Make sure your partner has done all of these things – Make sure you’re both taking care of your own and the other person’s emotional needs and physical health. Pay attention to both yourself and your partner.