Before we get into detail, let’s first all agree that sex has certain inherent risks. Obviously, there’s the possibility of contracting an STI, and the chance that the owner of a uterus might get pregnant. But sex also has other physical and emotional risks. In particular, woman, trans individuals, and gender non-conforming individuals are most at risk to be sexually assaulted, although this threat is present for cisgender men as well. Sexual assault can have lasting emotional and physical consequences, and while the blame of sexual assault lies solely with the person who committed the assault, anyone who chooses to engage in a sexual encounter deserves to be informed of the risks that may accompany that encounter. Even in completely consensual encounters, where all partners participate voluntarily and enthusiastically, sex has the potential to trigger unexpected emotional responses. This section is here to help you better understand the physical and emotional risks of sex, and to provide you with some tools for navigating those risks.

In the end, it’s up to you to judge whether you think the benefits of sex outweigh its risks. You’re allowed to go back and forth on this decision—it’s totally normal to go through periods of sexual activity and sexual inactivity. Follow your heart, and the links below.

Safe(ish) Sex
Genital Health
Deciding if You’re Ready to Have Sex