If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about or ready to have sex for the first time – and that’s amazing! You might be feeling nervous and anxious about your first time – first off, this is absolutely normal, you’re not alone in feeling like this.

There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to having sex for the first time, but I wanted to put this list together so you can feel comfortable and relaxed the best you can.

I’d like to state that I’m writing from the perspective of a straight woman having sex for the first time with a man – these points are more related to my experience as a straight woman.

Having said that, I do feel that these points can be applicable to everyone.

So here goes – grab a beverage, get cozy and get ready to learn the things I wished I knew before I had sex for the first time. Enjoy the ride 😉

1. Forget what TV and film taught you about your first time

It’s fair to say that TV and teen movies have given us some pretty unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex and the magical ‘first-time’. Sex is meant to look good on camera – you have steamy make-out sessions under dim lighting as the couple (usually a straight couple) simultaneously take each other’s clothes off and dive into penetrative sex quickly (um, foreplay anyone?) that they miraculously both have orgasms at the same time. I’ll let you in on a secret….this doesn’t happen in real life. 

Sex for the first time can feel nerve-wracking, awkward, and messy – and that’s completely normal! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun, but don’t use first-time sex scenes from TV and film as a model for how your first time should go.

2. Having sex doesn’t change you – virginity is a social construct!

You are the same person before and after you’ve had sex for the first time, you won’t ‘change’ as a person. We’re led to believe that sex will make us different and we’ll ‘lose our purity’ – remember, virginity is a social construct! As the School of Sexuality Education puts it, “the pressures, myths and expectations surrounding the traditional idea of ‘virginity’ are very much the product of norms and ideas created by us humans”.

Have sex when you’re ready, it’s no one else’s business what you’re doing with your vagina

3. Don’t worry about your appearance

It’s disheartening to say, but the Instagram selfie-obsessed world we live in has caused many of us to hold negative thoughts about our own self-image (I can attest to this), which can hamper us from having a fulfilling sex life. Focus on what you’re feeling rather than how you’re looking – if it helps, close your eyes, and enjoy the sensations and explore what feels good and pleasurable to you and your partner.

But believe me when I say this, you’ll look sexy in the eyes of your partner when you’re all hot and bothered!

4. Communicate with your partner – especially when it comes to contraception

Communication is a must when it comes to sex. As sex and intimacy expert, Gigi Engle, puts it, “In order to have good sex, you need to communicate your wants, needs, and desires to your partner.” This includes sharing any concerns or expectations you may have when it comes to sex, the contraception you want to use (the last thing you want to do is worry about STIs and pregnancy during sex!), if this is a casual or serious relationship, or if either of you are seeing other people.

Open up on what’s important to you!

5. Have lots and lots of foreplay to feel comfortable

Foreplay helps to lubricate the vagina, which can make sex more enjoyable – this includes making out, talking dirty, listening to some sexy tunes or podcasts, massaging, dry humping, oral sex…anything that arouses you and your partner. Don’t just consider foreplay as pre-sex activities, but make foreplay part of the whole sexual experience.

When it comes to having penetrative sex, feeling aroused and lubricated can help you feel relaxed, making vaginal intercourse feel more comfortable and less tense.

6. Take the pressure off having an orgasm and enjoy the whole ride

We all know orgasms feel good (I thank my showerhead for that), but climaxing during penile-vaginal sex can be difficult for women to reach, and this is relatively common if you have a vagina. In a 2018 study, 10 to 40% of women reported having difficulty or an inability to reach orgasm

There are other things you can enjoy about sex that takes the pressure off having an orgasm – the close intimacy you have with your partner, exploring each other’s body, enjoying the pleasurable experience, and connecting on a deeper level. 

As you become more comfortable with your partner, you can communicate with each other on how you can reach a climax, with clitoral stimulation for example (whatever you do, DON’T fake your orgasms), but use this time initially to enjoy the pleasurable experience.  

Here’s another way of putting it: An orgasm is the dinner mint at the end of a five-course meal. Pleasure is the whole damn meal — from breadbasket to entree to dinner mint.

7. You might bleed or you might not – and it’s got nothing to do with the ‘hymen’

I was expecting to bleed profusely when I had sex for the first time after I ‘broke my hymen’, and I was pretty surprised that I didn’t. After some research, I found that a vast majority of women don’t bleed the first time they have penetrative sex – some do and some don’t, either is normal. RFSU, a Swedish sex education charity that refrains from the term ‘hymen’ and prefers ‘vaginal corona’ – in order to dispel the myth that a woman’s vaginal opening is covered by a membrane that ruptures on penetration – said that of those that do bleed, few do so because the vaginal corona was tight, but there are other reasons why.

RFSU explains that “if you were not sexually aroused, but rather tense, nervous and too dry, minor ruptures may develop in the vaginal corona and may bleed.” 

8. Don’t ignore your clit!

I really mean it! The clitoris plays a huge part in the sexual arousal and enjoyment of women. The clitoral glans contains 6,000–8,000 sensory nerve endings, more than any other part of the human body (hallelujah!). This sensitivity explains why women enjoy clitoral stimulation – so, to enjoy sensual pleasure with your partner, make sure you both play with your clit!    

So there we have it! I hope you’ve learned something new today and it’s put you at ease when it comes to your first-time.

Do you still want more? I thought you’d never ask!

Check out these other articles from our team:

Five reasons why masturbating is good for women

Let’s dissect the misogynistic arrogance surrounding the clitoris

I found my femininity through masturbation

Here’s how to have sex with trans women

I feel like a feminist failure because I fake my orgasms

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous writes, no matter what, and tells their story regardless of the circumstances.

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