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Virginity – and Losing It

What is the right time to lose one's virginity?  I don't think there is any easy answer to this question, but the law in the UK states that the legal age for sexual consent is 16 and has been so since 1885 when it was raised from the age of 13 to help prevent child prostitution.  Other countries have set the legal age from 12-20.    Ultimately there is no blanket age that is right for everyone.  Peer pressure is huge amongst young people to pop their cherry, which can often lead to regret about popping it too early.  In a recent survey a third of women & a quarter of men admitted that the first time they had sex was not the right time.  But how do young people know when the "right time" is?  A few obvious pointers might be to ask oneself do I love this partner & does this partner love me back?  Am I able to feel comfortable in saying no at any point if I change my mind?  Am I thinking about having sex only to keep my partner from dumping me?  Hindsight, as we all know, is a wonderful thing!  It might feel right at the time, but looking back you may view that time as being too soon, the wrong person or the circumstances weren't right; while drunk, attitudes can become carefree and losing your virginity while drunk might seem a great idea at the time but can lead to regrets including STIs and pregnancy!   Listening to ones gut - and really listening - is always the best way to make a decision, but that can take a while to tune in to. At the end of the day we all make mistakes, and it's down to us to learn from them. Hannah Hunter

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