I have been dating a guy for a while but no one knows since he is much older and my parents would be upset if they found out. I have never been to the gynecologist, and I have never had sexual intercourse. I don’t really communicate about this issue, with my boyfriend but lately, I’m feeling pressure from him to have sex. What should I do?

Teenager talk with psychologistFirst, you should NEVER, feel pressured to have sex with anyone! You should only have sex when you’re ready and it should always be your choice. Your parents, just like most parents would be upset that you are dating someone older because older guys usually have a lot more sexual experiences and they may expect you to do things that you are not yet ready to do. Most girls are taught to be polite but not when it comes to saying “No” to sex, touching etc. You never need to offer an explanation even if someone asks for one. If something doesn’t feel right, be brave and say NO and then leave the situation and go home.

Before a couple has sex, they should be able to communicate and talk about what kind of relationship they want to have. (It sounds like you haven’t talked yet and this is huge). Ask yourselves the following questions: “Do we want to be friends? Do we want to date other people? Do we want to take it to the next level?” A healthy relationship is built on trust, respect, and good communication, so with that being said you should be able talk openly to your partner before you consider getting close physically. If after that you both agree that you want to become sexually intimate, you’ll need to keep talking and ask each other about whether either one of you has ever had a sexually transmitted infection (STI), what birth control methods you will use and how you will lessen your chance of getting an STI. You’ll also want to explore your personal feelings, religious beliefs and gut feelings about having sex. Don’t ignore your instincts!  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Also, sneaking around comes with baggage. Lying can cause a lot of emotional stress and take a toll on your physical and mental health.

Read more on how to make healthy sexual decisions.