Ask Bish – Should I have sex with someone I met online
My advice for a girl in an age gap relationship and whether she should have sex with her boyfriend who she met online.
I’m a 14 (nearly 15) year old girl and I think I’m “sex ready”. I have a boyfriend (a little over 18) who lives in america but we met over the internet two years ago. It started as just being friends but it very slowly progressed… I’m very mature for my age and look 16 too and I know that this is going to sound sooo corny but I honestly love him. We’ve skyped (y’know… Cyber nasty~?) But he’s coming to my town sometime this year. He says we don’t have to do ANYTHING if I don’t want to and we both know the law/risks but I honestly would like to go to the next level! I’m not stupid so I know about STD’s and pregnancy and condoms and all that. I don’t know…. If it wasn’t for the stupid law then I would definitely do it but I’m really scared about him going to prison and me getting called a slut. I haven’t told anybody about this.. I just want your opinion 🙂 maybe we won’t even meet. Thanks.
Thanks for your question. I don’t have an opinion about what you should do but I’ll give you some advice so you can form your own opinion (that’s what good Sex Ed should do). Before I get onto the sex, I’m going to say some annoying things about love and your boyfriend.
Love and the boyf
Awww it’s nice that you’re in love. HOWEVER when you’re in love with someone there are so many [[[feelings]]] so it can sometimes be a little difficult to see what *might* be going on. Because you’re in love with this guy what I’m about to say might really p**s you off. Soz.
You’ve mentioned the age gap and you’ve talked about how you are mature for your age, so you know that this might be an issue. You’ve been talking online for 2 years. He’s over 18, you’re 14: that means that when you first started chatting he was 16 and you were 12. Age gap differences look bigger the younger the younger person is. 32 and 28 are pretty similar ages, 18 and 14 are pretty different and I think 16 and 12 are very different. This makes me a liiiiiiiiitle bit worried.
You started out as friends and it’s gone quite slowly, that could be true, but it could also be true that there is something else going on. Sometimes people spend a lot of time making friends with people online and then slowly turning it into a sexual thing for their own ends. You were very young when you first became friends and you’re still young and he’s got knowledge, experience and therefore some power. It could be that this relationship is not quite how it seems.
So try and turn the love dial down for a bit and ask yourself
- how equal is the relationship?
- when did it start being sexual and who started it?
- are you ever being pressured to do things you aren’t totally sure about?
- are you totally sure that he is who he says he is and that he has true feelings for you?
You might also want to check a few more of my articles about relationships to help you (Age Gaps, Unhealthy Relationships, How’s My Relationship?) or chat to a friend or a trusted adult about it. Have you told your parents/carers or anyone else about it? Are you able to?
If after this you’re pretty sure that you’re right and I’m just being a paranoid cynical old sex educator *fine* I was just sayin’.
Okay, so let’s assume that you both feel the same about each other, that you care for each other and yourselves and all that. Even though you speak to each other a lot via Skype and stuff (more about this in a bit) remember that this will be different in real life. You’ll be able to actually stare into each other’s eyes (rather than looking at the webcam). Also the kinds of conversation you have will be different – it’s sometimes easier to be intimate with someone when you have an online relationship with them. It might feel like a different kind of relationship if you actually meet up. Just saying this so that it doesn’t weird you out if it happens.
The other thing you should bear in mind is your dating safety. If you do meet up I would treat it like a first date and so it’s important to look after yourself. More on this here.
Next level and the law
Cyber sex totally counts as sex. Actually so far as the law is concerned he may well have already broken the law if you have had sex via webcam. Under the law most kinds of sex count as sex and as you are under 16/18 (depending on the law we are talking about) he would be breaking the law. The Police (if he were in the UK) would be unlikely to prosecute so long as you were of a similar age, both consenting and in a mutual relationship (but see above …).
So when you say next level you just mean sex in person. Try not to think of it as next level but just different kinds of sex that you may or may not be ready for. If you do meet up, rather than assuming what you both mean by ‘sex’ find ways of talking about what you both might like to do. Just take it one stage at a time and don’t feel that one thing has to lead to another. Try my article about different kinds of sex and also how to communicate what you want.
You don’t have to do anything
When he says that you don’t have to do ANYTHING that’s true, you don’t. But he’s flying all the way here from America – is he just coming to see you? If so that puts an awful lot of pressure on you to feel like you need to do something even if you aren’t really ready to do it. The whole “he’s flown all this way …” thing. Also be aware of people using the word ‘love’ to make you do something “if you loved me …”
You also don’t have to meet up if you don’t want. Lots of online relationships remain online and are still really loving, caring and supportive.
I really hope I haven’t freaked you out. You sound like a very sensible switched on kind of person who knows where to go for advice and help (thank you). I really hope that this relationship is how it seems to you.
Hopefully this advice and the links above and below will help.
© Justin Hancock, 2015
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