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HealthInfo Canterbury

When you're thinking about having sex

young loversSex is fun and it should feel good. To enjoy sex, you should only have sex when you and your partner are ready. The legal age of consent in New Zealand is 16 years old, but there is no "right" age to start having sex. What's right for you may not be right for your friend and may even not be right for your partner.

You and your partner need to be comfortable about your sexual activity. You need to get and give consent before sex. You or your partner can still change their mind at any stage. This video explains consent in more detail.

Part of enjoying a healthy sex life is looking after your sexual health. Sexual health ranges from taking care of your sexual body parts, practising safe sex and being checked for sexually transmitted infections, through to choice of contraception and even feelings about sex and gender identity.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Contraception for youth & teens

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019. Last updated May 2019.

See also:

Cervical screening & cervical smears

Penis health

Relationships in youth & teens

Sexual assault of youth & teens

Sexually transmitted infections

Testicles and scrotum

Urine infection (UTI) in women

Vulval and vaginal care

Page reference: 224903

Review key: HISIT-53216