Am I ready Checklist

Getting ready for sex – some things to think about before you do have sex:

Sex should not be something that “just happens” to you – but something you can prepare for, think about and take control of. Think about what you want, what you like and where you feel comfortable to draw the line. Remember that if you or your partner are under 16 any sexual activity is technically against the law and may have serious consequence. Below are a few other things that might help you prepare to make sure sex is something you enjoy rather than regret.

1. Condoms – keep you and your partner safe – safe doesn’t mean boring – it means you can relax and enjoy the fact that you are protected against pregnancy and STIs – plus shows your partner you care enough about them to want to keep them safe too!

2. Sexual health services – know what they offer and where they are. If you are having sex, sooner or later you will need them. (To find out where your nearest service is click here…)

3. Where are you going to do it? – No one thinks a bush or bus shelter are romantic! Find somewhere you both feel safe and comfortable so you can relax and take your time.

4. Know yourself: If you don’t know what you like and how your body works – how on earth can you feel in control or enjoy yourself? (Check out the pleasurezones for some ideas)

5. Turned on? – Be aware of how you feel – if your head isn’t in it, it won’t work! Make sure you can tell when you are turned-on and when you’re not ready or simply not in the mood. If you can’t relax without fear, anxiety or shame then you are not ready.

6. Know your limits: – can you and your partner create safe limits – are you able to say no when you want to and can you trust your partner to respect your decisions at all times.

7. Know what you want: – Can you separate what you want for yourself and what your partner, friends or family want.

8. Communicate: – can you talk to each other open and honestly about sex? About how you feel and what you want?

9. Someone to talk to – most importantly make sure you have someone you can talk to about sex that you trust and that doesn’t have any sort of hidden agenda of their own – somewhere to go to for emotional support or even just a giggle

10. Separate sex from love – they often go together, but are not the same thing. You should never seek to have sex to use it to manipulate yourself, your partner or anyone else

11. For better or worse – and I don’t mean marriage – understand that having sex could change your relationship for better or worse and feel make sure you are both prepared for that. Sex can be fantastic, but it can also be confusing, disappointing and can leave you hurt and upset.

12. Responsibility for your own emotions, expectations, actions and any consequences.

Remember if you want to enjoy sex then it has to be on your terms – for your own benefit and not for any one else’s. You have nothing to prove. It is your life, your body and should be your choice. So play nicely.

© Going off the Rails 2012. Adapted from ‘Playing Downstairs’ by Jonny Hunt

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