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Before You Decide to Have Sex

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To do it or not to do it... that is the question that plagues many teens. A mixture of hormones and social pressures make the drive to become sexually active very strong.

Many teens make the mistake of giving into their urges without thinking things through. Sex is more than just a pleasurable act; it is a physical risk and an emotional gamble. Here we list eight things to consider before having sex.

Be Sure You Are Really Ready

You may think you are ready, but do you KNOW that you are? It is often hard to tell the difference. Your body is sending you some confusing signals and your heart and mind just don't seem to agree about what you should do. You should know and trust your partner and yourself because once you have sex you can't take it back. Be smart, be sure and be ready if you want to have sex with no regrets.

Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Infections

STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, are often one of the last things a teen thinks about when they become sexually active. During the immortal teen years things like illness and disease don't seem real so they are not considered important. This can be a life altering, even fatal, mistake. The fact is teens do have to have to worry. You should have this covered before having sex.

Protect Yourself From Pregnancy

When it comes to the risk of pregnancy teens are more realistic than they are when it comes to STIs. Teens know that having unprotected sex can lead to unwanted pregnancy. However, far too many boys still see this sort of protection as a girls problem and don't take proper precautions to protect themselves unless the girl insists. Boys need to think about birth control just as much as girls.

Understand What it Means to Lose Your Virginity

While the majority of teens remain virgins all the way through high school many teens believe the opposite to be true. All too often teen virgins see themselves as part of a minority when in fact they are a part of the majority. It is important to really value your virginity before you even think about giving it up. If you under-value it you cheat yourself out of a once in a lifetime experience.

Know Why You Want to Have Sex

When hormones are raging it is very easy to confuse lustful urges for feelings of true love. The sense of desire brought on during puberty is new and it can be hard for a teen to know what to do with it. Add things like peer pressure, insecurity and the quest for independence to the mix and it could spell disaster. Your only defense is to be honest with yourself about why you want to have sex.

Know About the Age of Consent

Most teens don't stop to think about the legality of having sex but there are laws that outline what teens can and can not do, and how old they must be to do them. Often this means any sexual conduct, not just intercourse. Most countries have minimum ages of consent and most limit the ability of teens to consent to sex with adults. To do it by the books you must know the laws where you live.

Understand Your Body and Your Feelings

The human body changes drastically during the teen years. Along with obvious changes like body hair and odor, breast and testicular development, menstruation, and acne, there are less obvious changes in our sense of self. These changes are confusing enough, be comfortable with them before adding sex to the mix.

Remember That It's OK to Say No to Sex

It is a sad irony that being a "tease" and being "easy" are both considered bad. These labels speak to the immaturity with which many teens view sex. Having sex is not about what others think of you but what you think of yourself. You are the one who has to live in your skin so only you should dictate what you do with it. It is always OK to say no to sex. You should never go against your inner guide.
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