A big part of growing up is learning to take care of your personal safety. It's extra important to think about personal safety when it comes to having sex.
How can I stay safe?
First, you need to be sure that you're really ready for sex.
You also need to be sure that you can trust the other person totally and that you can both treat each other with respect. In order to ensure your own safety, it's best to avoid being alone with someone you don't know or have just met in person for the first time.
If the person is known to your friends, ask what they're like. If they have a reputation for treating people badly, it's usually best to avoid them.
Sex is usually a private thing, but it's a good idea to let someone you trust know who you'll be with and where you'll be.
You could even arrange to get in touch with your friend afterwards at a set time. That way, they can raise the alarm if they don't hear from you.
Remember that alcohol and drugs lower your inhibition, and make it harder for you to judge if people are okay or potentially up to no good.
What about safer sex?
Looking after your sexual health is another big part of staying safe when it comes to sex.
Unprotected sex and sexual activities carry the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease sexually transmitted infection or unplanned pregnancy.
Find out the different kinds of contraception available.
What if I change my mind?
It's your right to stop at any time, even if things have already started.
Tell the person you're with 'no' or to 'stop'. Anyone who respects you will do as you say.
If they keep going or use force or threaten you, they're committing a sexual assault.
Being coerced is not giving consent, find out more about coercion.
Find out more about giving and withdrawing Consent when it comes to sex.