The main points
- No matter what the situation is, no means no.
- Making your own decision about how you want to live your sexual life is important. It means looking after yourself and deciding what’s right for you.
- Talk about safer sex and contraception before you have sex. Be clear and honest.
You can decide
Making your own decision about how you want to live your sexual life is important. It means looking after yourself and deciding what’s right for you.
You can decide:
- if you want to have sex or not
- if you want to have sex every time
- what you want to do when you have sex
- what type of sex you want to have
- to talk honestly with your partner
- to get more information.
What’s safer sex?
When you decide to have sex, make it safer sex.
Safer sex means feeling good about yourself and your relationship. It also means protecting yourself and the person you’re having sex with from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and an unplanned pregnancy.
Keeping safe from STIs
You can’t always tell if the person you’re having sex with has an STI. To protect yourself, use a condom or barrier (e.g. dam) correctly every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. No other types of contraception protect against STIs.
If you have had sex without a condom, you and your partner should go to a medical clinic and have an STI test.
You can buy condoms at chemists, supermarkets or convenience stores.
Free condoms are available at Family Planning Victoria clinics.
Preventing an unplanned pregnancy
If you’re thinking about having male/female sex, ask yourself if you’re ready to be a parent. If you’re not, and you still want to have sex, you need to use contraception, even if it’s the first time.
Contraception means preventing pregnancy. It’s the responsibility of both people in a sexual relationship to use contraception.
To find out more about safer sex and contraception, call a local youth friendly medical clinic or one of Family Planning Victoria’s clinics to talk to a nurse or doctor.
Talk about safer sex and contraception before you have sex. Be clear and honest. It might feel a little awkward to begin with but being able to discuss safer sex with your partner is an important part of a healthy consensual relationship.
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If you’ve had sex and didn’t use contraception or it didn’t work properly, you’re at risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
If this happens, you can use emergency contraception (EC). An EC tablet can be taken after sex by a female to help prevent an unplanned pregnancy.
EC works best if you take it as soon as possible (i.e. in the first 24 hours after having sex). That’s why it is sometimes called the ‘morning after pill’. It works well up to 72 hours and may be effective if taken up to 120 hours after having sex.
You can buy EC at a chemist without a doctor’s prescription.
You can also get it at one of Family Planning Victoria’s clinics and other medical clinics.
What if I decide I don’t want to have sex?
You always have the right to decide if you want to have sex or not. Not having sex is okay. You can also choose whether you want to be close to your partner in another way. Like kissing and touching each other. Sexual activity is about choice, intimacy and feeling good. If you don’t feel okay or safe then it’s not the right time for you to have sex.
If you don’t want to have sex, it is important to tell your partner what you are comfortable doing and where your boundaries are. No one has the right to pressure you into doing anything sexy that you don’t want to do. If you’ve had sex before, it doesn’t mean you have to have sex again. Even if you have started having sex you have a right to stop at any time.
No matter what the situation is, no means no. Forcing someone to have sex is a crime called rape or sexual assault. Be aware that peer pressure, drinking alcohol or using other drugs can affect your ability to make safe decisions.
Get the facts about sex
If you want to know more or are worried about anything, you can talk to a nurse or doctor. Whatever you say will be kept strictly confidential.
You can talk to someone from a Community Health Centre, a Sexual Health Centre, a General Practitioner (GP) or at Family Planning Victoria on the phone or face to face.
These clinics can help you with information about:
- STIs and safe sex
- Pregnancy testing
- Unplanned pregnancy options
- STI testing
- Other sexual health issues
Where to get more information, support or advice
- Contact your doctor (GP)
- Contact Family Planning Victoria's clinics
- Visit Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
- Visit headspace
- Visit ReachOut
- Visit Red Aware - for young people
- Visit The Line - for young people
- Visit Minus 18 - for young LGBTI people
- Visit Pronto - for men who have sex with men
- Visit Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health - for culturally and linguistically diverse communities