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Readers Respond: How Old Should You Be Before You Have Sex?

Responses: 150


There's tremendous pressure on girls and young women to start having sex early. But statistics show that the younger a female engages in sexual activity, the more likely she'll be a victim of abuse or partner violence. One question commonly asked by teen and tween girls is how old they should be before they have sex. What's your opinion? Is it based on your own experience? What should a girl or young woman know before having sex, and what are the benefits of waiting until she's older?

Still waitin' and proud, honnnaayy!

How old should you be? Definitely not before 18/19, and preferably older - the deal is to wait until you are in love and not rush into it. I'm in my 20's and I went all through school and college not sleeping with anyone and that's been such a smart decision, I have not regretted it for a second. Sex is a powerful and emotional experience. It is totally lame to just do it with anyone.
—Guest MaggieP

Not before you're 18

Being in high school is tough enough without having to worry about pregnancy, AIDS, STDs, or whether or not that guy you hooked up with is going to tell everyone he knows that you two had sex. There's nothing romantic about trying to have sex when your parents are out of the house, or in the back of somebody's car, or in the woods, or in a locker room or bathroom or empty classroom at school. Even having sex in the hotel room you rented after prom won't feel the way you hoped it would be. Wait until you're out of high school and in college when you have your own place and your own room and a roommate who's cool about giving you some privacy. Wait until you can be an adult about it instead of sneaking around like some guilty child caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Trust me, it'll be a lot better experience that way, and you'll be able to look yourself in the mirror the next day and say, "Yeah, I chose to have sex, and I feel damn good about it!"
—Guest Caitlin

Maturity increases self-respect

The older you are, the more likely you are to make a decision that will be for you, and that you will be satisfied with after the fact. I don't think I've ever heard someone regret waiting to have sex, but there are plenty of people who regret having it too young. Following other comment: how would you feel if he decided to tell everyone about? How would you feel if afterwards, he disrespects you and is no longer interested? Or he disrespects you in public and is only nice to you when he wants sex? When you have sex as an adult, these scenarios are unlikely. Most adult men are mature enough to treat you respectfully before, during, and after. There are exceptions, but the most important thing you can do is respect yourself. If you respect yourself and expect other to respect you, you're more likely to stop an encounter with someone who is not treating you respectfully before doing something you regret. Sidenote: "oral sex" is still sex. It is not less of a sexual act than intercourse.
—Guest Vanessa

16 probably

Most people say you should wait until 18 but in the magazines they say 16. Sex is an emotional experience but usually 16 should be the minimum age. Although lots of teens have sex when they're younger than 16, there is a risk of sexually transmitted diseases. I think 16 is probably the minimum age though it's really your choice when you are a teen. But my advice...don't have sex when you're too young!
—Guest i love answering questions 229

I say...

Have sex when you're ready for it. No one should make the choice of whether to do it now or to save it. It's YOUR body. But just know that you must be very responsible. If you're thinking about it, like I am (I'm 16), discuss it with your partner and most importantly, your parents (if not both then one of them). Talking it out will actually relieve stress and it shows that you are being mature about it instead of going in without another word. One other thing, if you think you are planning to do it, do one last piece of homework: *DO YOUR RESEARCH!* It is best to know what the risks are, what are some contraceptives you can take, and what you can do if something goes wrong. I have done that. I say it is better to have sex with knowledge of what the consequences can be than to go in blindly and not have a plan. But overall, sex is your choice. Don't let anyone else tell you differently. Peace!
—Guest ThinkinBoutIt

I'm 17 and proud I haven't had sex

I've been going out with someone for 2 1/2 years and I have decided to start having sex. It feels a little weird just because I'm 17, but I'm choosing to have sex with my boyfriend because I trust him and I love him. And I'm glad that I didn't give in to peer pressure to have sex early. I know that if I'd had sex earlier, it would probably be weird and it would destroy our relationship. I don't care if they laugh at us for not having sex earlier, because I know I'm doing it for love
—Guest Kayla

It is your choice

Don't let any boy sweet talk you...and if he does, ask him if he really loves you. If he doesn't respond within a couple seconds, say "forget it" and find somebody else that really loves you.
—Guest u dont have 2 kno

Trust me -- I'm a guy and I say wait

I was browsing when I saw these comments. If you are under 18, I wouldn't even consider having sex. It's not worth it plus the risk of getting pregnant and STDs. Keep yourself focused on school and getting your future started. Sex is a huge distraction and young men prey on girls that are virgins. Trust me!! They have sex with you and tell others the most personal things about you. It is a victory to them and you're gonna have to live with your first time being with someone who doesn't love you and only wanted you for sex. Then on to the next victim. Over 18 you're considered an adult. Anything under you're asking for trouble. Don't let friends get in your head and pressure you into something you will regret. You need to make your own choice but at the same time a logical choice. Believe me when I tell you, you may hear that your boyfriend loves you but give it 6 months and you won't even talk at all. Trust me -- I'm a guy
—Guest Tony

To Be Honest...

To be honest about this topic, I say only have sex when you think you're ready. It is a personal decision but you must ask yourself these questions: -Am I mature enough? -Is this what I really want? -Is this what my boyfriend/girlfriend wants? -Am I only doing it just because of acceptance? -Will he/she leave me? And most importantly... Can I handle all the emotions that go with it? I have never had sex but thought and thought about it. I know I wouldn't be able to handle the consequences, much less the emotional part. But I say that you should be at an age where you are able to take the responsibility of what happens.
—Guest blah

i dont know

i agree you shouldnt have sex to early but if you think your ready its your choice but use protection your never to old or to young to get pregnet ;) and make sure your partner is ready to dont push them it makes things ackward
—Guest Cowgirl13

It's a personal decission

I am 20 i feel like having it but i dont have a partner,i have given it a thought and found out that there's no need forcing my self to getting one,my decission now is to wait for the right time.Cogitate b4 u take any action.
—Guest Asiba frank

until ur 18z,u know what can happen?

U can be pregnant n ur parent will not be happy about it so wait for the right time
—Guest kelebz

Until u are ready

Am 17,i feel lyk havn sex most tyms...buh i think bout it n saw dat am nt ready...i hav a friend dat decided 2 hav it at 19..she did it several tyms..buh her partner was nt faithful..she got stds n got pregnant..and had an abortion..it was so difficult for her cos she had 2 bear al dat alone...so wait pple..peace!
—Guest Mitchelle


In my school al the yr11 girls are faithful to one guy or just havent lost their virginity but in the younger years theres no shame in shouting across the corridor i lost my virginity to 2 guys in one night. All the kids on here saying i had sex when i was 11 or 13 or whatever you need to grow up im 15 and still a virgin i just think when it happens it happens your all acting like its the who had sex first competion you have the rest of your life for sex dont mess up your life with a kid or STD just so you can say i lost my virginity! Because if someone really respected you they'd be fine with the fact that your still a vigin and would not pressure you into anything
—Guest Girl

do it wen ur completely sure ready

I am currently 18, I had sex wen I was 17&i stil am wid da same guy.we use condom from time to time.anyways I was really sure wen I did it & I do nt regret it.i knew wat I was gettin myself into . I admit Der r times I get scared cz of the consequences. All im saying is do it wen ur ready & really sure & wid a guy u really know ,trust & ur completely sure u both feel da same way bout each other. I know I did it at 17, bt den agen waiting would be better.dnt do it at such a young age too.i suggest aftr HS.
—Guest Claire

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