As you are navigating through a different stage of your life, you might start exploring new things and meet people that you may like.
Pre-marital sex in Australia is not illegal. It is not frowned upon to engage in consensual sex. However, it is important to understand the importance of safe sex practice, consensual sexual activity and other issues relating to sexual health.
What is safe consensual sex?
Safe consensual sex is the use of contraceptive such as condoms, to prevent unwanted outcome. Depending on your situation,
- Safe sex can help in HIV transmission prevention
- Safe sex can prevent unwanted pregnancy.
- Safe sex can help prevent most STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
You can purchase condoms at the pharmacy, grocery store and most convenience store in Australia. ANUSA offers free condoms at BKSS. There are also a range of places where you can obtain free condoms: https://www.health.act.gov.au/services/sexual-health
What do I do if I have Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?
If you are sexually active or have multiple sex partners, it is a good idea to get a sexual heath check-up. Many STIs can be quickly and effectively treated. If you think you may have contracted an STI or have shown any symptoms, get them checked out quickly. If you think you have an STI, do not have sex until you have seen a doctor.
Canberra Sexual Health Centre offers free STI testing. Alternatively, you can also get yourself tested at National Health Co-Op ANU (fees at National Health Co-Op may vary depending your health insurance coverage).
Do I have to have sex to fit in?
No, do not feel pressurised to have sex if you are not ready. Engaging in sexual activity is a personal choice and it is okay to delay sex until you feel ready, whenever that is.
It is important to understand the importance of consensual sex. Consensual sex means that both parties are of legal age, agree to engage in sexual activities by choice and have the freedom, capacity and ability to make that choice. This also means that individuals involved need to agree to the activity without fear, force, coercion or intimidation.
Where do I get help about sexual abuse, misconduct, harassment and violence?
Respectful relationships are built on trust, good communication and mutual respect. Within a culture of respectful relationships, there is no place for sexual assault, sexual harassment or violence of any kind. If you need assistance to report or seek help on this issue, please visit Respectful Relationships Unit at ANU