When we say sex is ‘risky’ that means that things can go wrong or that it can be unsafe for you. When you take a risk with sex, you could end up in a situation like getting pregnant or catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
What is risky sexual behaviour?
- Having sex without a condom to stop STIs and HIV
- Having sex with many different people
- Changing sexual partners often
- Having sex without using contraception to prevent pregnancy
- Forgetting to use your contraception
- Having sex with people for money, drugs or other ‘favours’
- Having sex when you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Why do people do this?
Sometimes, people haven’t been told about the consequences of sex so they don’t understand the dangers of unprotected sex. Some people get lost in the heat of the moment and just forget everything they know and go for it without thinking. They may be drunk or high or they don’t have a condom with them. They think they aren’t at risk because they trust their partner. Or they may need the money or benefits provided to them by those they are having sex with. There are many reasons people take sexual risks, but most of them aren’t really very good reasons.
What sexual behaviour is illegal?
The following behaviours all break the law and you can be punished for doing them…
It is illegal to have sex if you or your partner are underage (usually under 16).
When someone has sex with another person who does not want to have sex.
If you have sex with someone who is related to you, like a brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle or parent.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The key word is UNWELCOME. If someone is bothering you sexually on the street, at school or work, in a bar or club, on a bus or anywhere, and won’t leave you alone, it is sexual harassment. They could be making sexual comments to you, trying to touch or kiss you or even actually touching you.
Stand up for your body rights. Sometimes guys can be confused by a girl’s messages. You may think that she wants to be sexual when she does not. It’s important to check with a girl if you are not sure.
Is someone breaking the law or touching you in a way that makes you uncomfortable - even if it’s someone you trust? Tell an adult, report the person to the police, or call the 116 Child Helpline for advice.