Age of consent

The age at which a person can normally legally consent to sexual intercourse is 16.  At that age as far as the Sexual Offences Act is concerned they are to all intents and purposes an adult.

There are however a few exceptions to this.  A 16 year old cannot consent to sex with someone who is in a position of trust with them.  For example a 16 year old could not have a sexual relationship with their teacher, care worker, youth group leader, scout leader, minister, sports coach, etc.  This list is not exhaustive.  See more about positions of trust below.

In addition, it is illegal for a 16 year old to appear in any form of pornography which includes naked or semi-naked "selfies".

It is also illegal for any person under the age of 18 to receive payment in return for sex. The payment does not have to be money - it could also be gifts or the cancellation of a debt.

Group Sex

The law permits group sex for those over the age of 16 years in private as long as everyone consents. Encourage everyone to practice safer sex.

 

Positions of Trust

It is a criminal offence for anyone in a position of trust to force sexual relations on an individual within that trust, or to take advantage of that position of trust in order to encourage sexual relations with individuals in their care. The age of consent rises to 18 if one of the partners is or has been a carer, teacher, youth worker or in any position of trust over the other.