How old do you think someone needs to be to have a healthy sexual relationship?

sexyintexas sexyintexas
Life has changed so much since I was a teen. They seem to be growing up so much quicker. What do you think is an appropriate age for teens to emotionally handle a sexual relationship? I have 3 teens and as far as I know none are active. We have a pretty open line of communication but I dont live under a rock either sooo...
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
13 and younger
1  (1%)
14-15
7  (5%)
15-16
15  (10%)
17-18
68  (46%)
19+
56  (38%)
Total votes: 147
Poll is closed
04/12/2011
  • Buy 1 Vibrator Get 1 FREE
  • Limited offer: Save 25% on Blush Toys
  • Annual Clearance - Save 40%
  • Better Price Sale - Save 50%
  • Better Price Sale - Save 60%
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
Kayla Kayla
Hmm. I think it depends on their support system and personality. I know I could have held a relationship at 14/15 and had done it with safe sex and such, but I don't know if I can give an exact age. If you have little support, it'd make it easier to get involved with something too emotional, and it depends on their personality too - how reckless, responsible, etc. they are.

So while I'm abstaining from voting, I think there's people at 20 who can't handle relationships properly while there are probably 14 or 15 year olds who could responsibility handle a relationship.
04/12/2011
liilii080 liilii080
I don't think it has anything to do with age. I think it has to do with emotional maturity, understanding your body (and learning your partner's), and communication. These things are going to vary greatly by the individual. While I think there are some teens in high school who probably could handle a sexually mature relationship, I think things get better with life experience.
04/12/2011
Andromeda Andromeda
OTHER. Depends on the person. Though, I'm inclined to say 17+.
04/12/2011
zeebot zeebot
Some people could handle it at 15, other people I know still aren't equipped to handle it at 28. It all depends on the person.
04/12/2011
Curves Curves
i think it really depends on the person.
04/12/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by sexyintexas
Life has changed so much since I was a teen. They seem to be growing up so much quicker. What do you think is an appropriate age for teens to emotionally handle a sexual relationship? I have 3 teens and as far as I know none are active. We have a ... More
There needs to be an other button....to my mind it depends on the teen. Most teens I have ever met are not ready to leave 'fantasy thinking' behind until after 16 or so. To be in a healthy relationship you need to be able to think logically and be able to balance "grey" decision making. This seems to develop for most teens around 17 though it is still not fully developed until the early 20s. Still, as long as your teen understands and is ready to accept the consequences of a sexual relationship then whatever age is appropriate. For me I kind of draw a mental line at around 15 or so but even that seems too young. I wish they would wait till 35ish....but now I'm living in fantasy thinking, right?



At any rate I have explained to my girls that as a woman you must be prepared to get pregnant any time you have sex regardless of the type of protection you use as only abstinance is 100% effective. They have a very loud and time intensive reminder of that in their brother.

We also discuss with them that you also need to be aware that you are running the risk of contracting an STI, again regardless of the precautions you take. So being open and honest with their Dad's and I is their only real safety net. We need to know when we need to begin taking them to the gynecologist and we had their Doc explain all this to them.

Then we discussed the issue of date rape, stranger rape, and being aware of what's going on around them at all times.

After all that exhausting leg work all we can do is hope some of it sinks in and they feel safe enough to come to us about anything. They are currently 12 and 14 and they are STILL too young darn it all! (Sad Mommy face here)
04/13/2011
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Regardless of the person's maturity I believe a person has to be at least in their 20s. That doesn't mean that they aren't experimenting with sex - but a mature sexual relationship requires a mature brain - most neurologists will tell you that a person's brain doesn't finish developing until you are 20-something.
04/13/2011
tigerkate tigerkate
I think that age is only a part of it when you are young.. There is a lot developing mentally, and physically, as a teen. I think a full, mature, healthy sexual relationship has the best chance of developing after 18. I also think that age does not mean that a healthy sexual relationship will develop either.
04/13/2011
*Huxley* *Huxley*
It really depends.
I started young, around 13/14. I wish I could take it back. But hind sight is a bitch. We live and we learn.
04/13/2011
Solar Ray Solar Ray
Echoing almost everyone else... it really does depend on the individual. 13-15 I think is too young to really understand and appreciate all the repercussions of a sexual relationship. 16-17 is probably where you can start drawing the line and certainly with some people 20+ is really where they need to be to get a handle on a relationship... and like others have said... there are people well into their 20's and 30's that still don't have a real handle on their sexuality and how to deal with their relationships.
04/13/2011
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Though I know it's completely unrealistic, I want to say 17 or 18 minimum, possibly higher for some, before they start having sexual relations. It's not just about the maturity and responsibility of the individual, though that is important. It's also about what Airen said. No amount of protection, however responsible the decision was, is 100% guarantee to prevent pregnancy and STDs. So even that mature 16 year old who waited till she was in a trustworthy relationship, who had been honest with her parents, who had made safe decisions to use protection and discuss it with her partner, could get pregnant or contract an incurable STD all before graduating high school.

I'm not a mom yet but I already think like one and it would break my heart. I have a very good friend who got pregnant in high school and she struggled so hard to fix her life after it. She has two beautiful children now and is a wonderful person but she wouldn't wish that on her children ever, ever.

But that's just about physically having sex. My opinion on how old the average person probably needs to be in order to have a healthy, stable, emotionally-invested, mature relationship isn't until the 20s. I use myself as an example. I was a damn mature teenager. I was almost born from the womb as a mini-adult. I lectured adults on smoking, drinking, promiscuity, keeping their minds open, the importance of education, etc. at an early age. But even I wasn't mentally and emotionally "adult" until my early college years. Maturity in a child is not equal to the maturity of an adult that has lived more life and allowed time to mature their brain, settle their hormones, and give them life experiences.

/end wall of text
04/13/2011
cuntofdoom cuntofdoom
I think the answer to this question is very much dependent on the maturity of the person in question. Maturity doesn't correlate perfectly with age, and it results in kids--and their sexual experiences--being taken less seriously and that's bullshit. A minor having sex with someone who is of age has, I think, a great risk for being unhealthy and sexually violent, but I'm inclined to think two kids playing around isn't inherently wrong or corrupting. The only thing I worry about is issues of informed consent and power relations that age can create (remember what a big deal it was when a freshman was dating a junior?).
04/13/2011
PiratePrincess PiratePrincess
It depends on the maturity of both people. But having sexual relations does not necessarily mean one is ready emotionally for them. I think late teens can be ready, given they are in a healthy relationship.
04/13/2011
Oxygen99 Oxygen99
It depends on the person. There's no correct answer because everybody matures at a different rate.
04/13/2011
kendra30752 kendra30752
I have to agree with Oxygen99 on this one. I was ready to take on a serious relationship and all that comes with it at 15, but I'd also been through a lot more than most 15 year olds; 8 years of experience with kids being one major thing that had me growing up quick in no time, but I also experienced a tremendous amount of other personal things at the time. I was 15 when I started seeing my current partner and we're still together. I however think it's always a good idea to wait on sex until marriage. I can't say I've been perfect in that area, but I certainly know that until you've been with a partner long enough to REALLY know them (a lot like the knowledge you have after being married or with a partner for longer than just a year or 2) you usually aren't going to be ready. I wouldn't have been. I actually wasn't anywhere near ready when I had sex for the first time. I should've been though. I should have waited until I had been with the person I am with now & for a long time. I can't say I didn't learn such great lessons in life by doing what I've done, but I think sex comes with too many responsibilities for kids.
04/15/2011
indiglo indiglo
Well, I recognize this may not be a popular or totally realistic answer, but I'll try to say it the best I can. I realize that teens are having sex, but I honestly do not think that any teen is ready for a healthy sexual relationship. Researchers at the NIMH have discovered that the human brain continues developing well into the 20's. The areas of the brain that continue to develop into the late teens and 20's are the temporal lobes (control emotional maturity) and the corpus callosum (intelligence, conciousness and self-awareness) - which are both pivotal to having healthy, fulfilling relationships with other people. So even if there is a teen who is exceptionally mature for their age, those areas of their brain still haven't finished developing yet - in essence, they aren't really who they're going to be yet, and aren't equipped to deal with the types of problems that sexual relationships can entail. I think that interrupting that crucial time of brain development with adult problems and issues is a tragedy and does a real disservice to the young person, possibly affecting them negatively in the present and on into the future.

Also take into consideration that a "mature" teen will most likely be having sex with another teen - who is less likely to be mature and ready for it. So the mature teen will still have to deal with those goofy immature problems. And in my opinion, even a "mature" teen still isn't done developing, and should wait until their brain is finished before they engage in behaviors like drinking or sex - because all those activities have an effect on a still developing brain.
04/15/2011
CPTInsanity CPTInsanity
I started having sex with my girlfriend when I was 14 and she was 15. We were committed to each other and were able to handle it emotionally, but I think that we are the minority in that department. I guess that we had good heads on our shoulders and made sure that we used a couple of forms of birth control to make sure that we didn't have a slip up, but at the same time I worried about that kind of stuff every day. We broke up about 2 and a half years later and it was an emotional burden that was swept away. I didn't have sex for a about a year after that, and was probably a happier person overall because I didn't have to worry all the time. So in all, I don't know when the right age is. I worried all the time until I became financialy stable enough to not care anymore, but does anyone want to wait to have sex until they are financialy stable. I know that I wouldn't.
04/15/2011
NarcissisticLust NarcissisticLust
Quote:
Originally posted by liilii080
I don't think it has anything to do with age. I think it has to do with emotional maturity, understanding your body (and learning your partner's), and communication. These things are going to vary greatly by the individual. While I think ... More
I completely agree, this decision is so completely focused on the individual.
04/15/2011
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
Well, I recognize this may not be a popular or totally realistic answer, but I'll try to say it the best I can. I realize that teens are having sex, but I honestly do not think that any teen is ready for a healthy sexual relationship. ... More
I completely agree. May not be realistic, but it's the safe and logical stance.

And generally anyone that says they were just as mature at 14 as they are now as an adult, is still in that phase of "I'm grown up, know everything, and have already discovered myself so there's nothing you can tell me" teenager mentality. Like I said, I was an extremely mature child but that maturity still isn't the same thing as being a mature adult.
04/15/2011
Sequel.Duke Sequel.Duke
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
Well, I recognize this may not be a popular or totally realistic answer, but I'll try to say it the best I can. I realize that teens are having sex, but I honestly do not think that any teen is ready for a healthy sexual relationship. ... More
"Researchers at the NIMH have discovered that the human brain continues developing well into the 20's."


"I think that interrupting that crucial time of brain development with adult problems and issues is a tragedy and does a real disservice to the young person"


Have people's brain development changed that drastically in the last 2000 years?


Teddy Roosevelt had books and journal articles he published by the time he was 12. People used to become Kings & Queens at a fairly young age. Alexander the Great founded his first colony at 16. Dolly Madison was our First Lady at 16. George Washington mastered Trig, Geometry & Surveying in the 5th or 6th grade.

My point is, brain development probably has less to do with it as life expereince and we allow our youth precious little freedom to develop any such experiences due to a debilitating Compulsory Education system that makes everyone's social group be their peers.

Totally trashes your brain-development theory:

link

Additional food for thought:

link

link

link
04/17/2011
Sequel.Duke Sequel.Duke
Quote:
Originally posted by Sequel.Duke
"Researchers at the NIMH have discovered that the human brain continues developing well into the 20's."





"I think that interrupting that crucial time of brain development with adult problems and issues is a ... More
Also found this resource:

Bruce Rind, prof of Psychology of Temple University in "An Empirical Examination of Sexual Relations Between Adolescents and Adults: They Differ from Those Between Children and Adults and Should Be Treated Separately" cited from Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality vol. 16, iss. 2/3 page 55-62)
04/18/2011
mandiegk mandiegk
Quote:
Originally posted by liilii080
I don't think it has anything to do with age. I think it has to do with emotional maturity, understanding your body (and learning your partner's), and communication. These things are going to vary greatly by the individual. While I think ... More
I agree with everything you said. There is no magical age where you will suddenly be capable of having a healthy and mature relationship. This is entirely dependent on individual qualities, but your chances definitely improve with age.
04/18/2011
Sequel.Duke Sequel.Duke
It would appear that my link to the Dr. Robert Epstein article "The Myth Of The Teen Brain" is now defunct, so here's a direct link to the .pdf file:

link
04/27/2011
cobiffle cobiffle
Over 18 really, cuz before then the hormones of both sexes are going crazy
04/27/2011
newfoundlust newfoundlust
Quote:
Originally posted by sexyintexas
Life has changed so much since I was a teen. They seem to be growing up so much quicker. What do you think is an appropriate age for teens to emotionally handle a sexual relationship? I have 3 teens and as far as I know none are active. We have a ... More
I don't think there is so much an arbitrary number as there is a maturity level that is required. As I told both of my daughters, you are not old enough for sex until you are ready to accept the possibility of being a parent, including being able to raise the child financially, mentally and emotionally.
05/09/2011
snowlovely snowlovely
Quote:
Originally posted by sexyintexas
Life has changed so much since I was a teen. They seem to be growing up so much quicker. What do you think is an appropriate age for teens to emotionally handle a sexual relationship? I have 3 teens and as far as I know none are active. We have a ... More
18+ I knew many girls who had sex under the age of 18 and their self-esteem, their logic, everything is so screwed up afterwards and then they only focus on relationships that are unhealthy. The boys at that age are not able to be responsible for their actions and how they affect the girl.
05/19/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
I think it depends more on a persons maturity and age mentally than on their physical age. I've known 16 y/o that have been very mature and capable of sustaining long term sexual relationships and I've known some (most) who haven't been at that same level. The same situation exists with some men I've known in who in their 40s still can't grasp it.
05/19/2011
sexygoddess sexygoddess
At LEAST 17.
05/21/2011
LavenderSkies LavenderSkies
Quote:
Originally posted by sexyintexas
Life has changed so much since I was a teen. They seem to be growing up so much quicker. What do you think is an appropriate age for teens to emotionally handle a sexual relationship? I have 3 teens and as far as I know none are active. We have a ... More
17-18
06/03/2011
Total posts: 69
Unique posters: 62