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Sexual feelings.

Sexual activity is a very personal thing. It should be based on understanding and respect for your partner as an expression of strong feelings or love you have for that person. It is possible to have a loving and caring relationship without sex. The most important thing is to make clear what you want, and to make your own choices after thinking them through, especially if you think that the other person might have something else in mind. If you don’t know what you want, say so. You need to be assertive about something as important as a sexual relationship. You have a right to make up your own mind without being pressured and no-one should force you into having full penetrative sex that you don’t want or don’t feel ready for.’ With the changes in your body come sexual feelings. You will find you become more interested in sex and sometimes these feelings can be quite strong. Everyone’s sexual feelings are different and the way you express them will depend on the type of relationship you are in and what you and your partner want. If you are a man and woman having sex it is important to be aware of the possibility of pregnancy as well as infection from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Many young people use condoms in the first stages of a relationship and then progress to using the pill only. Using the pill provides no protection against HIV or other infections. It is very important to continue using a condom, even though your relationship may seem steady .If you have sex without using contraception there is a very high risk of pregnancy. If you do not use a condom you are in danger of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Some people believe that sex should take place only in marriage. Others believe that a stable relationship is the most important thing, whether you are married or not. These are issues you will have to decide yourself. Young men are often made to feel ‘wimpy’ or un-masculine if they can’t say they’ve had sex. And young women can be in an even worse situation: if they do have sex they can be criticized for sleeping around and if they don’t have sex then they are old fashioned. ‘Films, magazines and books all seem to assume that there’s only one road for a relationship to go down, and it ends in bed. This is nonsense. You are the one who decides how far along the road you want to go, and you can stop at any time. You may not want a sexual relationship yet, or not with this person. You may have strong religious, cultural and personal views about sex outside marriage and you should not be afraid to uphold these views.

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