View Poll Results: Ideal age of consent

23. You may not vote on this poll
  • Under 13

    0 0%
  • 13

    0 0%
  • 14

    4 17.39%
  • 15

    2 8.70%
  • 16

    4 17.39%
  • 17

    1 4.35%
  • 18

    5 21.74%
  • Over 18

    7 30.43%
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Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Swingers Board Addict Fi86's Avatar
    Single female
    I was speaking to my brother over Xmas about relationships and sex, mainly as my niece is now 13 and showing strong signs of sexual interest in boys.

    This lead to discussions on ages of consent and at what ages what should be allowed. He wants her to be 18 but accepts this won't happen. And we both considered we were 13 and 15 when we lost our virginities and consider this to be fine.

    What are others thoughts on the age of consent? What do think is the ideal age for first sex? Does it make a difference what it is and who it's with (e.g. heavy petting, kissing, oral sex, penetration, and with someone close in age or doesn't it matter?).

    It appears different countries have different laws on this. Ages range from 13 to marriage. Some have close in age exceptions.

    Please let me know your thoughts. I'll put a poll up to.

    Post when you lost your virginity if you wish. Parents what are your expectations on your children?


  2. #2
    Swingers Board Addict adamgunn's Avatar
    SLS Profile
    Well, this opens a big can of worms . . .

    In my mind, the age of consent differs with each person, and that person's potential partner.

    I've known women who can give reasonable consent as early as 15 or 16. Other women (because of mental stability and other factors) may never be able to give consent.

    'Consent' should not be confused with willingness. A man - such as a teacher, a father, a law enforcement officer - may find a young woman willing, but because she is in some way controlled by the man, she is not able to reasonably consent.

    I would feel better about a young woman giving consent to a man close to her own age than with one who is quite a bit older.

    And of course, making all this into a reasonable legal code is nigh to impossible. And so, we have (in most states) the idea that a woman who is 18 years or older is deemed able to give consent, below that the man is at fault. Not a perfect solution, but if you can come up with a better one and convince the puritans out there, good luck!

    P.S. I lost my virginity as a 16 year old to a 17 year old woman. Yeah, I think her consent was valid morally if not legally.

  3. #3
    If a person is unprepared to deal with questions of sexuality by age 13, he has not been prepared for life. Too many parents avoid any discussions about sexuality. As a result, by age 13, many of our offspring are ill-prepared to cope.

    Not long ago, in a discussion with one of my adult sons, I thanked him for never causing any trouble as he was growing up. He said he and his brother's greatest fear was that they'd disappoint [his late mother and me] by making a stupid decision.

    Some years ago, here in Oklahoma, a first-year teacher, age 22, found herself involved in a love affair with a 17 year old student. As she was taken away at the end of her trial to begin her prison sentence, the young man shouted after her, "I'll wait for you!" He did. After her release, the court tried to forbid their seeing each other. They married instead.

    I believe that a child, comfortable with sexuality at home, will make better decisions than one who is "innocent." Our goal as parents should be to ascertain that they are so prepared.
    "They may call me a rube and a hick, but I'd a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it." óWill Rogers

  4. #4
    Let's see. I got my first handjobs and blowjobs at 15, from two different 16-year-olds. Lost my virginity at 16 to a 17-year-old who was also a virgin. Lost a condom at 17 and we went for the morning-after pill just to be safe, then my first bareback intercourse at 20 with a 29-year-old.

    Mrs. E gave her first blowjob at 14 on something like a dare, then came back around to handjobs later and lost her virginity at 17. Her mom had her convinced sex was something to avoid, she attempted settling down around 20, just when I started laying on the throttle with women.

    I don't think you can really say there's an age where it's magically "safe" and people are responsible. All you can do is try to protect young people who want to be more worldly and mature than they are from people who actually are worldly and mature and would take advantage of them. At 13-15, everybody is taking an interest and experimentation is healthy.

  5. #5
    Swingers Board Addict Fi86's Avatar
    Single female
    Thank you for replying and taking part in the discussion. I agree with most points made.

    I think the keys are the maturity and preparedness of the child, and the age of the partner. I was ready at 13, but I knew of others that were not ready until 19-20. And if the girl wants to have sex with a boy she is going out with who is within a couple of years of her own age then that is very different to her consenting to a 40 yro man she met off the internet for example.

    I like the laws some countries have called "close in age". The age of consent in the UK is 16. I feel that's too high and 15 is the most common age to lose virginity here anyway. If I were prime minister I'd lower the age of consent to 14 (which it is in some other European countries) but make it close in age so the boy must be 16 or under so avoid the sex predators taking advantage, and leave the open age at 16. A lot of girls are ready and willing at 14-15, but should be protected from "dirty old men". But should feel restricted or just break the law like they currently do.

  6. #6
    Interesting thread, thanks for posting.

    Like nearly anything related to sex here in sex-obsessed but sexually uptight America, I think the laws are kind of screwed up on this although they have been getting a bit better due to some high profile travesties of justice over the last several decades. We had one in our area a while back: star football player, younger girl, both in high school, one an "adult" one not (Senior and Freshman), consensual sex, and due to all the circumstances and mandatory sentancing he ended up with years and years in prison. That case along with others actually resulted in some changes to state law. A sad reflection on society that it took a star athlete to bring the injustice to light, since if it had just been some regular kid it wouldn't have made the news and nobody would have cared, but at least changes did get made. In that case, like many, there was some overzealous prosecution too from some total piece of shit prosecutor more interested in getting his name in the papers and furthering his political career than justice. That's way too often the case in these situations, but that's another subject.

    I understand the difficult in coming up with a one size fits all law since as others have pointed out, so much depends upon the individual and so there is no perfect solution. I think the "close in age" qualifiers that have become more common make a lot of sense and help strike a sensible balance between protecting against the reality that indeed sometimes someone much older is taking advantage of someone much younger versus someone just a little older but across some arbitrary age line having sex with someone younger than them.

    I also thing we have gone overboard with the "sexual predator" thing. Poor decisions that should just get someone fired are now decades in prison and then a ruined life trying to meet the sexual offender registry requirements on where one can live, etc. which are basically impossible in some cases. Again, there are indeed predators out there and kids need to be protected from them. But, there is a huge difference between predatory behavior and dumb behavior. I'm talking the cases you read about like a 18 year old high school senior having sex with some 23 year old teacher from the same school but not even in the same class. Yeah, sex through work, dumb decision like always, but not criminal in my opinion. Firing offense sure, criminal no as long as everything was entirely consensual, which is where some discretion from the justice system needs to come into play. I remember one case here a while back where it came down to when sex actually took place within just a matter of a day and whether the "victim" was officially still a student at that party or whether school was officially out and so therefore had graduated so everything totally cool since all consensual and over age of consent. Insane.
    Not all those who wander are lost

  7. #7
    I started at 15 but if I had a daughter, I would tell her that colleges are a great place to learn about life…

  8. #8
    I feel high school is a great place to learn about sex. It's a growing period where we learn a lot about life and ourselves. It's also a little safer, the guys are desperate and willing to be very...docile? We also have the support of family if shit goes south. Saving it for college seems like a good idea but I have seen way too many girls, free of daddy's clutches, go bat shit crazy in college and regret it or worse. Going into college with a few notches on the bed post will help prepare one for the intense sexual atmosphere.
    Wife and I were both 15. I wasn't her first.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JandKinBoise View Post
    I feel high school is a great place to learn about sex. It's a growing period where we learn a lot about life and ourselves. It's also a little safer, the guys are desperate and willing to be very...docile? We also have the support of family if shit goes south. Saving it for college seems like a good idea but I have seen way too many girls, free of daddy's clutches, go bat shit crazy in college and regret it or worse. Going into college with a few notches on the bed post will help prepare one for the intense sexual atmosphere.
    Wife and I were both 15. I wasn't her first.
    I think college is where a lot of people get over that "nervous, awkward, I don't know what to think" stage of sex. In high school, so many people are still learning the basics of human nature, and that includes just figuring out what romantic feelings even are.

    I definitely knew some women who went totally haywire their first couple years in college, especially if their home environment was very restrictive. One went through at least two dozen partners her freshmen year and loved it, but was also religiously strict about safe sex. The high school sweetheart - the same one whose mother was ready to send her for therapy after she figured out her innocent daughter gives head - had a few men who would pop by her dorm for casual sex with either her or her roommate, whoever was around. However, they also settled out of it once they figured things out and matured well. Both are happily married to guys who I'm pretty sure have no idea are are successful in their own right.

    Some people make different mistakes than others, I guess. That's how you learn. Mrs. E has said before that if she'd known what she knows now, she would have just spent high school and college on her hands and knees instead of worrying so much.

  10. #10
    While most of us learned about sex in high school, I don't think that it should be perceived as being ALLOWED to happen in high school. After all if the age of consent is 14/15/16 then that means that a 30/40/50yo guy would be ALLOWED to have sex with a 14/15/16yo girl. Just because we all too often learn about sex at that age, it takes more than a working anatomy to be able to handle the other aspects that come with it (emotions, disease, pregnancy, etc.). 18...even 21 while not being practical is a much better age for most to be prepared for everything involved with sex. Heck, in most cases I think marriage before 25+ is not a great idea as well (once again, in most cases). All too often children are in too much of a hurry to be 'grown up' and rush out and make hasty decisions that they later will regret. Learn to be an self sufficient adult first (I wish I would have), then you can become a kid again later in life...
    If you donít have to lie about sex, you donít have to lie about anything. - John Williamson

  11. #11
    The ideal age of consent is that age where a person can make an informed and rational decision that weighs the benefits and the risks, physical and emotional, of intimacy. As persons vary in their rates of maturation, so too does the ideal age of consent. It is a matter of being decisional.

    Learning about intimacy involves personal growth. Trust matters. We would suggest that experience also matters. Two inexperienced teenagers is probably not an ideal recipe for learning.

    Not only do different countries have different laws, different cultures have different rituals. For example, in mid-20th century France, it was often a rite of passage to be sent to the home of a parent's old lover or mistress to be schooled in the arts of love.

    For a young woman today, safety is paramount. We think parents do better creating safe spaces for those initial experiences than trying to regulate whether or when they occur.

  12. #12
    This is a difficult and serious question, I'm glad that this board allows the discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldCoCouple View Post
    After all if the age of consent is 14/15/16 then that means that a 30/40/50yo guy would be ALLOWED to have sex with a 14/15/16yo girl.
    Interesting how the posts talk about girls, not boys even though there's been problems lately with women and underage boys.

  13. #13
    Sex between an underage boy and a women has a much lower chance to lead to pregnancy since the woman usually is better informed as to how to prevent this. While I agree that boys should be considered as much as girls, an underage girls getting pregnant is a lifechanger.
    If you donít have to lie about sex, you donít have to lie about anything. - John Williamson

  14. #14
    GoldCoCouple, agreed, pregnancy is definitely a life changer...for BOTH the female AND the male. I know this first hand (male). In my case, the girl got pregnant on purpose to get out of a bad family situation. Of course, the relationship didn't survive, and I end up paying for it the rest of my life (emotionally and financially). Oh, and she ended up cheating on me to boot!

  15. #15
    Swingers Board Addict Fi86's Avatar
    Single female
    Boys can't be forced like girls in quite the same way (not by women anyway) so physical it's a little different. But they can still be mentally damaged, and abused physically by men so should be protected as much as girls I agree.

  16. #16
    Swingers Board Addict couplers's Avatar
    female in poly family
    Now that I have a daughter (daughters, since I count all of the children in our poly family), I have thought about this a little. I said 16 because otherwise you're fighting human nature, it won't work, and you'll make criminals of kids who are doing what comes naturally. Kids should be given a thorough sex education starting at 14, not just the regular reproductive stuff, but everything they could encounter in the world - homosexuality, the cost of children on their life, potential emotional pain, exploitation, etc. To add credibility, slightly older kids, 16 to 18, should come in and tell what happened to them. At 15, girls should be put on long-term birth control (implants, IUD, injections) unless the young woman herself, not her parents, opts out. At 16 a young adult is responsible enough to drive, they therefore can have sex.

  17. #17
    Response to Couplers...I believe sex education should start much earlier than 14. We have friends whose daughter started menstruating at age 11! Therefore, I believe the education should begin as early as 10 years old. Heck, we caught our kids surfing porn sites at 6! Funny story, they had typed in "naked women" and videos of gay women getting it on popped up on the browser.

  18. #18
    All education should begin at a child's birth. (Actually, Laura and I read to ours while they were in the womb and continued after their births.) No matter what the issue, parents should teach the truth. Our sons knew that they would NEVER be punished for asking a question, no matter the subject. They never were afraid to share anything with us nor to seek our guidance.
    "They may call me a rube and a hick, but I'd a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it." óWill Rogers

  19. #19
    It's amazing at how important sex is to our society as a whole, yet we are so afraid about talking about sex to others. Sex ed should be taught as an ongoing part of school from an early age, but people are then afraid that by doing that it gives a green light for the kids to 'do' it. Plus, there are not that many teachers that want to have to teach that class (and even less that would be good at it). Putting girls on birth control can also be taken as giving the green light to them to have sex. Then there's the whole religious beliefs thing...other than bringing it up, I won't even go there other than saying there are a large group of people 'out there' that for either religious or personal beliefs that already have a big problem with ANY sex ed in schools. Nuff said on that. One more fly to toss in here: girls under the age of 18 texting nude or semi nude pictures of themselves to boyfriends/friends/etc. (which happens more often than ;adults' want to admit to themselves...check the news) is considered kiddy porn once the recipient turns 18.

    Remember, if the age of consent is lowered, you need to be ready for 40-50-60+YO men to be having sex with 14/16YO girls. Childhood has already become short enough, why rush to make it shorter?
    If you donít have to lie about sex, you donít have to lie about anything. - John Williamson

  20. #20
    Swingers Board Addict couplers's Avatar
    female in poly family
    I agree with all who said that sex ed should begin earlier than my proposed 14. However, starting around 14 young adults should learn everything about sex, not just the "where babies come from" and "stranger danger," but homosexuality, STDs, all forms of birth control, fetishes and kinks they may encounter, and especially that people older than them will try to take advantage of them sexually/emotionally.

  21. #21
    Seems like the consensus is, there is no consensus. Recurring themes are, sexual responsibility matures at different ages in different people, laws should protect the young from predators. Good information is essential to decision making.

    As for me, I started masturbating before I started school. Started having oral sex when I was 10. (She was 14 and having sex with a boyfriend who was 16) she let me fuck her when I was 14 and she was 18.

  22. #22
    Swingers Board Addict couplers's Avatar
    female in poly family
    There is another thread currently running on this site entitled "First consensual sex age," where people have responded giving the age at which they first had sex. What struck me was that most said it was anywhere from crappy to just OK. Thinking about it, well yeah - no surprise. Just about anything we do the first time isn't that great, even if you become great at it later on. Think about it: riding a bike, swimming, kicking a soccer ball, we were pretty bad at it and it wasn't much fun the first several times. Sex is the same way: you have to learn the skills, what to to and what not, develop proficiency. Waiting and not doing doesn't make it any easier later - just read some of those articles about women (and men) who waited until they were married at 25 to have sex - things don't work out.

    I don't have the magic answer, but I'm beginning to think along the lines, "What is the best age to make your first mistakes and learn?" And "by developing proficiency" I don't mean being a sex worker in training, I mean proficiency in knowing yourself, what you want and how to deal with people. That's the message young women especially need to get, you do what you want with whom you want to do it. You can be taken advantage of by another 15 year-old boy (or girl) as easily as a 35 year old man (or woman). Parents can help by allowing semi-supervised sexual activities to take place at their home: at younger ages, be there in another room so that feeling, fondling, petting can take place without full intercourse, and it's easy for either of them to put a stop to anything that's uncomfortable by drawing attention to themselves or just getting up.

  23. #23
    My son and daughter lost their virginities at 16 and 14, respectively. My son with his 16 year old girlfriend and my daughter with her 16 year old boyfriend. I was completely fine with both situations. And both had good experiences. Both used proper protection and my daughter lost hers in her own room and bed. No safer place for her. After she went on the pill at 15, she was free to have sleepover dates whenever she wanted to, or when it wouldn't interfere with school. I lost mine at 21, which was a bit too old for me. I was ready before then.

  24. #24
    Swingers Board Addict lcmim's Avatar
    married couple
    SLS Profile
    [QUOTE=SingleMaleSC;590404]My son and daughter lost their virginities at 16 and 14, respectively.

    Lucky kids with parents so realistic. I do so love the term "lost their virginity"

    I know just exactly where mine went.<G>

    Really though, that term seems to come from a time when one somehow became less with sexual awakening. I wish we could establish a more positive term for this important step into the adult world.

    As to the correct age, in terms of statute, if there is going to be a statute, I think it is about right. As the statute needs to protect the least ready.

    In the world in general , when they are really ready. It sounds like yours knew when they were ready.

  25. #25
    Swingers Board Addict kellimc's Avatar
    Single Female
    Any age of consent will be arbitrary and imperfect, simply because people mature physically and emotionally at different rates. If the AOC is 13, you will have some 12-yr old girls who are far more prepared that most 13-yr olds. You will also have 17-yr olds who are far from prepared.

    The reality is that because of internet porn, children are far more familiar with the physical aspects of sex than their parents were. The natural curiosity of children is causing them to have sex at much younger ages. It is the responsibility of parents to stop denying this fact and start talking to their children about sex, so they will be better prepared to handle the emotional part of sex.

    Not that it matters much, but my parents were very open about sex and I started having sex before I reached puberty. For me, it was fine because I was more informed about both the physical and emotional aspects of sex. For others, starting at the age I did would be a disaster.

    13 seems pretty reasonable to me, as long as they have been properly educated. Even 11 or 12 seems OK, as long as they have been properly educated.

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