Sex Talk

Am I ready for sex?

Q from a female, first-year from (undisclosed) university wants to know...I feel like I'm ready for sex but when it comes down to it I get really nervous and scared. Does this mean I'm not really ready?

Dr. Caron's Answer: I believe it is natural to feel nervous and scared when we do something we don't know much about at that point. if you are unsure about when to become sexually involved, you may want to spend time talking this over with your partner. If you are unsure, I feel it is always better to err on the side of waiting, rather than rushing into something you may regret later. Certainly, any sexual relationship should be based on mutual consent. Some other guidelines indicating you might be ready for sex include:

You're ready for sex if you're not trying to prove your love, increase your self-worth, prove you're mature, or rebel against parents or society;

You're ready for sex if it will be an expression of your current feelings rather than an attempt to improve a poor relationship or one that is growing old;

You're ready for sex if you can discuss and agree on an effective method of birth control and share the details, responsibilities, and costs;

Finally, you are ready for sex if you can discuss sexually transmitted infections and provide protection.

Deciding whether or not you are ready to become sexually involved is an important decision, a choice we make for ourselves. It should be a responsible one and it's yours alone. No one should force or push you into it. Don't wait until the last minute to decide; there are lots of things to consider. You decide!

© 2008, Sandra L. Caron

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It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

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