Part of being wholly healthy is understanding the role of sexuality in your overall physical, emotional, mental and societal well-being.
What is sex?
Sex is about giving and receiving pleasure in a way that is comfortable for both people. Being sexually active can mean different things to different people, and can include different activities with partners that are the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. There's no right or wrong time to start having sex—it varies for each person.
Before you jump in
It’s important to know that having sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy and sexual activity can transmit disease, Practicing safe sex means that you know how to protect yourself physically.
There are methods for avoiding pregnancy (including abstinence, condoms, birth control pills/patch/vaginal ring) and there are methods for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like herpes, genital warts, human papilloma virus (HPV) or HIV. These strategies include abstinence, condoms and dental dams. Know which strategies you are going to use before you become sexually active.
Be sure you are ready
There are many reasons to not have sex: If you don’t feel ready or comfortable yet, don’t think you've found the right person, have religious or cultural reasons, feel more anxious than excited, don’t have condoms or dental dams on hand to practice safe sex, or are too young legally (Check out the laws on age of consent in your state for more info).
So you had unprotected sex and now suspect you are pregnant or are experiencing symptoms of an SDT. The worst thing you can do is ignore it. Get some help from a medical provider, or talk to a parent or a trusted friend.
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth