First of all, great job thinking ahead and taking charge of your sexual health!
If you’re considering becoming sexually active, spend some time thinking about why sexual activity might be right for you. Make sure you’re not feeling pressured by friends or a partner. Be confident that sex isn’t linked to your self-esteem, and definitely don’t have sex just because someone else wants you to.
Another important thing to think about is consent. Consent is when people agree to a sexual activity without pressure, force or without being tricked. Anyone involved in the activity must be comfortable and feel safe. Another thing to think about is your “readiness.” It’s important that someone feels emotionally and physically ready for any type of sexual activity. Knowing the risks, knowing a partner and knowing yourself are key parts of readiness.
Know that you have the right to change your mind at any moment. Even if you’ve consented to an activity once, it doesn’t automatically mean you consent every time after that! And if you’re sexually active, be sure to prevent unplanned pregnancy and STIs by using condoms and choosing a reliable birth control method. These are an important part of well-being, too. Before you decide, it would be a good idea to get tested! Teen Clinic provides low-cost and confidential STI testing and birth control consultations.
Many people think that because oral sex isn’t necessarily penetration, there is little to no risk. But the fact is, you can get all STIs (except for pubic lice) when engaging in oral sex with someone who has the infection. There are four ways in which someone can contract an STI. They are…
- Skin to skin contact
- Sexual Fluids (Vaginal fluids and semen)
- Mother to child
When someone is engaging in oral sex, they can come into contact with someone’s blood, sexual fluids, and/or skin. But the good news is that there are ways to prevent STI transmission from happening! Using a condom for oral sex on a penis will help drastically reduce your risk of transmitting an STI. If oral sex is being performed on the vagina or anus, a dental dam can be used to help reduce your risk also! You can pick up free condoms and dental dams at Teen Clinic!
At the end of the day, it’s your body—and you have the right to make decisions that work for you. Teen Clinic encourages everyone to talk with a trusted adult – whether that’s a parent, another relative, a teacher, coach or clinician – if they are thinking about becoming sexually active.