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As a teen, how do I know if I am ready to have sex with someone?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Safe sex should combine meaning, pleasure, and vulnerability in a way that makes you feel confident in sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings. If you’re having sex but are missing a piece of that equation, you should ask yourself a few simple questions: Is this the right partner? Will he or she be there for me next month, next year, for the duration? Is there mutual trust and respect here? Can we really talk about anything? Is he or she pressuring or guilt-tripping me into having sex before I’m ready? And do I know everything about his or her past sexual life, before me?


If you’re not having pleasure, it may mean that you do not yet have clear answers to some of these questions and may want to explore a healthy sexuality without actual intercourse, through touch and other senses. Or it may mean that you and your partner need to learn different techniques for foreplay, to make sure that your pleasure spots are being found and appreciated. If that’s not a conversation you can have, then you probably should not be doing the deed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.