While many adults would like to pretend otherwise, young people start to have sexual feelings at around 11 or 12.
Sadly for a lot of young people, we start to get sexual feelings and nobody seems to want to talk to us about it in an open or positive way. Parents might find it really difficult to talk about sex and sexual feelings and the amount of information available at school varies considerably. This means that young people start to get the idea that sexual feelings are something to be ashamed of. As The UN Convention on The Rights of the Child tells us, young people have a right to information on things that affect them. Sexual feelings affect every young person very much!
The trouble with sexual feelings is that our bodies are often ready to have sex long before our minds are. This can be really difficult if your body is full of hormones shouting “I wanna do that!” but you’re not feeling ready for it emotionally. And then of course, young people can often go around casually telling each other lies about having such a lot of sex and how great it is because they think that’s what’s expected of them. A lot of the time this is just bravado but sadly, some people feel really pressured into having sex they are not ready for. If this is happening to you, you might want to go along to one of the young people’s services listed on the website and talk it over with a friendly listening ear.