Sex, The Law & You

What is the law on sex?

It is legal for you to consent to have sex from the age of 16. In Northern Ireland, you have to be 17. Gay sex is legal if you’re both 16 in England, Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland the age is 17. The law also says you must have sex in private and not in public places. As long as girls are over 16 and both agree to it, lesbian sex is legal.

However, even if you are under 16 you can get free and confidential sexual health advice, information and treatment from a range of places. Click here to find your nearest service in Kirklees.

Alcohol

It doesn’t matter what sexuality one is or whether you are male or female, many people use alcohol in order to loosen up or relax. What people forget is that the use of alcohol can make you do things which you may later regret, like having sex.

Alcohol changes the way you think and act, which can influence your decision making and judgement. The more alcohol you consume, the more likely you are to take risks which you may not usually take and less likely to make sensible decisions like using a condom or using a condom correctly. This can put you at greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection or can lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

Also, being drunk can make you vulnerable to sexual assault which can happen to anyone whether they are male, female, straight, gay or bisexual. Just remember, you can always say NO if someone tries to have sex with you whether you are drunk or not. It is against the law to have sex with someone that is so drunk that they do not know what they are doing or are unconscious.

As a young person, you may come under a lot of pressure to drink which will lead to you making some tough decisions like whether you want to drink or not, how much you should drink and know when to stop. Increasing your knowledge on alcohol and sex will help make this decision a lot easier and will make the whole process safer and more enjoyable.

Drugs

The results of taking drugs is similar to that of drinking alcohol as it can lead to you taking risks like having sex or even unprotected sex which you may not otherwise have had and which you may later regret. This could be due to the lack of sensitivity to pain, low inhibitions or impaired judgement.

The use of drugs can numb your senses which could lead to making tasks as simple as putting on a condom, a lot more difficult. Not putting on a condom correctly or damaging the condom in the process can lead to ‘safe’ sex becoming ‘unsafe’ and you are therefore putting yourself at risk of an unwanted pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

There are various drugs out there that can have very different effects on your body so it is extremely important to know and understand what you are doing if you are going to take drugs.
To find out more about drugs, visit the Frank website or call 0800 776600

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