Deciding to have sex
Sexual Relationships - There are heaps of different types of relationships and if you choose to have sex with someone, the best the thing you can do is talk honestly with them about what you want, what you feel comfortable with and what you want from a relationship.
It is up to you to decide when you want to have sex and what you want physically and emotionally.
Your sexual health
You can look after your sexual health.
Learn to negotiate safe sex, take precautions to protect yourself from getting or passing on sexually
transmissible infections (STIs), reduce your risk of unplanned pregnancy by using contraception, get tested
for STIs and HIV if you’ve had unprotected sex, and carry condoms.
Respect your yourself and your sexual partner.
• Talk honestly about what you want
• Protect yourself from getting or passing on an STI
• Be aware that your ability to make safe decisions can be affected by alcohol and other
Talk about it
When things start to hot up with a partner, particularly a new partner, it can be hard to talk about safe sex.
You may find they are struggling to bring up the topic too. Even if you feel embarrassed, it saves you
worrying later about whether you could have caught an STI or could be pregnant.
Be clear about what you want to happen and stick to it. It’s easier to talk about safe sex early on, before
you get naked.
It’s good to practice putting on condoms in private. The more experienced you are at this, the less likely the
a condom is to break and the more confident you’ll feel.
It is also important to remember that you have a right to choose not to have sex. You CAN say no.
Forcing someone to have sex is a crime, your partner has a right to say no to sex at any time and this
the decision should be respected.
STIs (sexually transmissible infections)
"You can’t tell by looking if someone has an STI"
The safest way to protect yourself from HIV and other STIs is to use condoms and dams with water based
lubricants. This stops body fluids (like blood, semen, vaginal fluids and discharge from blisters, sores or
cuts) being exchanged and water based lube will help to stop the latex in the condoms from breaking.
Using condoms can also reduce your risk of unplanned pregnancy.
While there is no cure for HIV, STIs like chlamydia can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.
However, if left undetected chlamydia can lead to infertility in both men and women. If you have had
unprotected sex, get tested.
"I don’t have any infections, I’d know if I did."
Unless you and your partner have both been tested, you won’t know if either of you has an STI.
Some STIs like herpes and genital warts are hard to avoid if you are sexually active as they can be passed
on through the skin to genital skin contact. Condoms and dams will only protect the areas they cover - blisters
and sores can form outside these regions. Talking openly with your partner about anything unusual you
notice (e.g., a rash or discharge) can also reduce these risks.
Using condoms and dams will decrease your risk of catching or passing on the viruses that lead to herpes
and genital warts.
Alcohol and drugs
Ever woken up and regretted having sex with someone, or forgotten to use a condom in the heat of the
moment? Drinking alcohol and taking drugs can lead to unsafe sex, or having sex and regretting it, and also
reduces your ability to protect yourself against sexual assault. If you do take drugs or drink when you’re
out, know your limits so you can make the same SAFE decisions that you would if you were sober. No
one has the right to force you to have sex if you don’t want to or if you are out of it.
Respect other people - you are always responsible for what you do, even when you are under the influence
of alcohol and drugs.
Sharing equipment used in drug use (such as needles, tourniquets, spoons, and straws) can put you at risk
of contracting HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
Emergency contraception (morning after pill) is available if the condom or female condom breaks or is not
used correctly. Emergency contraception needs to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex (best
results are within 72 hrs but it can be taken up to 120 hours).
Unprotected sex can also put you at risk of HIV and other STIs. Screening for these infections can be done
at FPWA or by your doctor, and is recommended if you are worried.
If you have had unprotected sex with someone who is infected, drug treatment can reduce your risk of
Be honest with yourself and your partner about what you want and make responsible decisions about your
sexual health...and enjoy yourself!
Practicing safe sex reduces the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmissible infections