If in doubt, keep it out

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Sex should always be an activity where both parties are fully engaged, enthusiastic and in full control of their faculties.

Unless there is a green light, full steam ahead, yes, yes, yes message, then the advice from NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group is ‘if in doubt, keep it out’, which fully supports this year’s Sexual Health Week theme from 24-30 September, ‘Consent: Yes, yes, yes.’

Research has shown that sex against a person's will is most likely to happen at a younger age - 16 years of age for men and 18 for women. The person responsible was known to the individual in most of the cases.

The survey also showed one in five young men and nearly half of all women aged between 16-24 wished they had waiting longer before having sex, and less than one in 10 used no protection when they first had sex.

Dr Nick Harding, Chair at Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

"The survey also highlighted that one in 10 women and one in 71 men had experienced non-consensual sex since the age of 13.

"Consent means nothing less than a yes, and should be freely given without pressure, manipulation and not given under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Silence does not mean consent either.

"Saying yes to sex applies to everyone, whether it’s the first time you’re with someone, if you’ve had sex with the same person before, and for couples who have been together for a long time."

"You get the final say over what happens to your body and remember to practice safe sex if you give the green light."

Find your nearest sexual health clinic on the following link https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Sexual-health-services/LocationSearch/1847

Learn more about the different contraception methods on this link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/

For help and advice, call the National Sexual Health Helpline on 0300 123 7123 (Monday-Friday, 9am to 8pm) or visit https://www.fpa.org.uk/help-and-advice/where-to-get-help