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Virginity & Peer Pressure

Losing your virginity is a hot topic when you’re in high school. Rushing to be the first of your friends to ‘do it’, thinking that’s what you have to do in a relationship, or being pressured into it by friends or a boyfriend. In fact, the average age to lose your virginity in the UK is 18, but many girls have sex before this age. The legal age being 16. 
I was 14 when I first had sex. He was someone I had fancied for a long time, but he wasn’t my boyfriend. I think he took advantage of the fact I liked him, however it was fully consensual. It was also an absolute shambles! We didn’t really know what we were doing, and where anything was supposed to go, and it did hurt, and my hymen broke causing there to be bleeding. I was also really embarrassed, and I imagine he was too. It is something I have since come to regret, and wish I had waited. 
My next sexual experience didn’t come until I was 16, in a relationship, and comfortable with both my body and being around the person I had sex with. That is the time I wish I’d waited for and lost my virginity. 
What is really important though, is that both times we used contraception to protect against both pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). Despite being on the mini pill since I was 14, to control my periods, I still understood the importance of using condoms to protect against STIs, as oral contraceptives, the depo injection, the implant and the coil can only protect against pregnancy. The only safe way to protect against both is to use a condom every time. 
Losing your virginity is a milestone in growing up, and a time you will remember. Only 3% of people can’t remember their first time. This can set up your views of sex for a very long time, and it is imperative that this first time is a positive experience. This can then lead to a healthier and happier sex life in the future. 
Just because your friends claim to be having sex, doesn’t mean that they actually are. People sometimes say things that they think will make them look better, or to be more popular. 
Losing your virginity SHOULD be a big deal, and it should be YOUR decision to do it. No one else’s. If you’re having sex, it should be safe sex, using condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Your partner should be someone you care for and who cares for you, someone you can trust in the moment when it gets embarrassing, and who will respect you and your body, and if you change your mind, they MUST stop. 
If you have any questions or concerns, you can speak to your teachers, a parent, guardian, relative, your GP or another adult you trust