Sexual responsibility: What does that mean?

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a couple hugging

  • Why do I want to have sex?
  • What types of sexual activity am I interested in?
  • What type of safer sex methods will I use?
  • What type of contraceptive method will I use?
  • How will I communicate all of this to my partner?

An important aspect of sexual responsibility deals with self-reflection about one’s choice to be sexually active, and encourages individuals to ask themselves several questions like the ones listed above. In general, sexual responsibility means making informed, safe decisions in regards to sexual behavior; it is something everyone should think about and consider for themselves and their partner. 

A large part of sexual responsibility deals with respect for your partner; this involves having open communication when discussing sex and your decisions surrounding sexual relations. Additionally, sexual responsibility includes taking precautions for one’s health. This includes taking steps—like using birth control and barrier methods—to prevent STI transmittance and unplanned pregnancy.

Here are some ways to make sure you are being sexually responsible:

  • Be comfortable with your choice to be sexually active or abstinent
  • Understand why you are sexually active
  • Communicate openly and respectfully with your sexual partner
  • ALWAYS receive consent before engaging in sexual activity with your partner
  • Understand the components of a healthy sexual relationship
  • Take precautions to avoid getting an STI (use a condom, get tested regularly, have your partner get tested regularly)
  • Know and understand your options for contraception to avoid having an unplanned pregnancy (barrier methods, hormonal methods)

To learn more, see the resources below: