Deciding to have sex is big deal, no matter how old you are. There are a lot of things to consider, such as your emotions and those of your partner, your religious and spiritual beliefs, the potential of getting pregnant and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs). Here are 20 questions to help you figure out whether you're ready to take your relationship to a sexual level.
1. How well do you know your partner?
a. I know nearly everything about them and tell them stuff I don't tell other people.
b. I don't know everything about them, but I have a good sense of what they believe and how they're likely to react in lots of different situations.
c. I know some basic stuff about them and want to know more.
d. I don/’t know much about them, but they sure are cute!
2. How do you feel about your partner (boyfriend or girlfriend)?
a. I completely love, trust and respect them and can't imagine that changing anytime soon.
b. I have the world's hugest crush on them.
c. They're cool, but most of the people I know are.
d. They're alright, I suppose.
3. How do you feel about yourself these days?
a. I feel positive about myself and proud of who I am most of the time.
b. I have more good days than bad days in terms of my self-esteem.
c. OK, I guess…
d. I am toxic sludge.
4. How much do you know about birth control?
a. I've read lots of websites and brochures about it and know about the different types of contraception (condoms, diaphragms, pills, etc.) and the morning-after pill.
b. I've started asking questions and learning about it but want to get more information.
c. I think we learned about that in health class.
d. What's birth control?
5. How much do you know about protection, "safe sex" and STDs?
a. I could practically write a book about it. Use a condom every time, period.
b. I'm really good at putting condoms on bananas. I know what a dental dam is, too.
c. I know you're supposed to use condoms, but I'm not really sure how they work.
d. I don’t need condoms because I'm awesome.
6. How comfortable are you asking questions about sex?
a. It's like talking about anything else, and I want to be well-educated.
b. The word "sex" makes me giggle, but I can ask questions to adults and my friends when I need to.
c. Oh my god, I almost die of embarrassment when I have a sex question. I avoid asking them.
d. S-E-X? I'm blushing and sweating too much to answer this question.
7. How does your partner feel about sex?
a. We've talked about it and are on the same page.
b. They're a little nervous or unsure. We need to figure this out, but I have a feeling we'll come to an agreement.
c. I'm into it, so I'm sure they’re into it.
d. I haven't the foggiest idea.
8. What's your usual approach to solving problems?
a. I stay calm, listen to others' point of view, avoid jumping to conclusions and take the best course of action as soon as it becomes available.
b. I don't like problems, but once I calm down and think them through, I'm usually able to work out a good approach.
c. I get really angry or really anxious, so the problem often doesn't get solved or it takes a long time to make any progress.
d. Problems? Ha! I haven't got any problems.
9. When it comes to solving problems, how do you and your partner work together?
a. We discuss the problem, get our emotions out and work together to find a solution and support one another during hard times.
b. We haven't solved a lot of problems together yet, but I think we can do it.
c. I usually take charge, or I let them solve the problem.
d. We can't seem to agree about anything.
10. How hard is it for you to have a serious conversation?
a. Not hard at all. I have them all the time.
b. I can do it if it's important to me and if I focus.
c. I tend to avoid them, but I do it when I need to.
d. Are you kidding?