Losing your virginity is a personal choice, and it's your choice alone. Not even your sweetie can make up your mind about whether or not you're ready for sex. Still, it's not a decision to be made lightly. To help out, here are 10 things that should be true before you have sex for the first time. If you answer "no" to even one of these, you should hold off till you're really ready.
1. You Know All the RisksPregnancy is the risk you might think of first, but there's a whole slew of ugly diseases that sex puts you at risk for. Take the STD quiz and see if you know all there is to know.
2. You Know How to Prevent Those RisksPop quiz: what's the best tool for preventing STDs and pregnancy? Are you afraid to talk to your sweetie about the L-word? (You know – lube?) Before you do anything, make sure you read these tips about safe sex.
3. You've Got a Plan If You or Your Sweetie Gets Pregnant
Even if you take every precaution, you can still get pregnant. (Condoms are only effective 85% of the time, after all.) If you're not ready to deal with having a baby or an abortion, then you're not ready for sex.
4. You're Being LegalCheck the age of consent chart to make sure that you and your partner can legally have sex in your state. If you can't do it legally, then don't. The law is there for a reason: to protect you and your partner from what might end up to be a bad idea, emotionally and mentally.
5. You're Both SoberDrinking impairs your judgment, making you more likely to do something you'll regret the next day. If you're drunk, you're also less likely to use a condom, or to use it the right way.
6. You Trust Your PartnerWhen you're in a position where someone can have sex with you, you're totally vulnerable. If you have any doubts about how your sweetie will treat you during sex - and the next day, and the day after that - trust your gut and get away from them now.
7. You're Prepared to Have a Terrible Time
8. You're OK With Having Your Partner in Your Life ForeverThis doesn't mean you're not allowed to break up. But if something happens - like a pregnancy or an STD - you might have to be in each other's lives a lot longer than you planned.
9. You're Doing It For YOU
You should only have sex if you really want to have sex. Not because your partner wants to have sex. Not because everyone at your school has already had sex. (Some of them are lying. Trust me.)