Talk to Your Partner

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for years or if you just met, it’s always a good idea to talk about sex before it happens. Before you talk make sure you know what you’re comfortable with. If you decide it’s the right time for you to have sex, be sure to find the birth control method that’s right for you.

Start the Conversation

Know your boundaries 

Are you ready for sex? Are you only comfortable kissing? Are you waiting until you can talk to your parents and your doctor? We all have our own boundaries when it comes to sex, and it’s important to talk to your partner about yours. Make time in a quiet, comfortable place before things get too hot and heavy. Be open and honest with your partner and ask about his or her boundaries for sex.

Talk about STIs

Think you’d know if someone in your school had an STI? Think again. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have one. In fact, some people don’t experience symptoms with certain STIs. That means they can pass it on to you without even knowing it. That’s why it’s important to talk to your partner. If you aren’t sure if you or your partner has an STI, you can always visit a nearby health center for confidential testing. Remember, finding ways to protect you and your partner from STIs and unintended pregnancies doesn't mean you don’t trust each other. It means you respect each other.
The good news? Many STIs are curable, and if you do have one, your results are confidential. That means even if your doctor lives in your neighborhood, goes to your church, or is best friends with your parents, he or she still can’t tell anyone. Remember though, you can get the same STI more than once, even if you've cured it in the past.

That's why you should use a condom every time you have sex. 

Stick to the plan 

You’ve talked with your parents. You’ve talked with your doctor. You’ve talked with your partner. But you didn’t do all that talking for nothing. Remember to stick to your plan for sex and birth control. If your partner asks you to do something you’re not comfortable with or forgets birth control, remind him or her you made a plan for a reason. Remember, safe sex is a way to show your partner you care about and respect him or her.

Keep talking

Sex is a lot more than just sex. It affects your relationship, your body, and your emotions. That’s why there are a lot of things you and your partner need to talk about.

  • Your values about sex.
  • How will it affect your relationship with your partner?
  • What would happen in the case of an unintended pregnancy or STI?
  • What do you expect from your relationship after you have sex?

Be safe online

Maybe you feel more comfortable sending a sexy photo than you do having sex. It might feel like flirting. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal since you and your partner have already had sex. There are lots of reasons why people decide to send nude or partially nude photos to each other. But it’s just as important to protect yourself in the digital world as it is in real life.

The internet isn't private

Remember, nothing you do on the internet, or on your cell phone, is completely private. Even apps that automatically delete photos, like Snapchat, can still be recorded. Texts can be shared—on purpose or by accident. Videos can be uploaded. A picture can go viral at your school in a matter of minutes.

Consider the law

There are legal consequences to consider, too. In South Carolina you can get fined, have to go to an educational program, and have your driving privileges restricted for sending or distributing pictures of a minor.