Afraid of getting intimate, fear of it hurting or simply not knowing what you should be doing… Having sex for the first time can be worrying for many reasons. Read our advice so you can feel more comfortable about taking the plunge.
Afraid of getting intimate, fear of it hurting or simply not knowing what you should be doing... Having sex for the first time can be worrying for many reasons. Read our advice so you can feel more comfortable about taking the plunge.
At what age?
In the UK, the average age at which both boys and girls lose their virginity is 16. But statistics are of little importance: the essential thing is not to rush into it and make sure you wait for the right moment. If you want to enjoy your first time, you need to want to do it. Don't put pressure on yourself: stress won’t help you relax. Your muscles could contract and make penetration difficult.
How do you know when you’ve lost your virginity?
Once penetration takes place, you are having sexual intercourse and are no longer a virgin. The erect penis enters your lubricated vagina and makes back and forth movements before finally ejaculating. This might seem quite mechanical but don’t worry, it all happens very naturally!
What is foreplay?
Don't skip foreplay. It's the chance for you and your partner to discover each other’s bodies and create a closer bond before penetration. Take your time to discover all the unknown sensations that you both enjoy: intimate touching, kissing or erotic massages turn you on ready for intercourse. The penis becomes erect and your vagina becomes naturally lubricated. If you're not lubricated enough, penetration will be painful. If you experience this, use saliva or an artificial lubricant to moisten your vagina.
Save the acrobatics for later on! And don’t be afraid of asking your partner to slow down if you feel pain. Take your time. For first time sex, the missionary position (you lying on your back, him on top of you) is a good option. Penetration is more natural in this position and his penis will find its way into your vagina more easily. The second option is where you sit astride him. This allows you to guide his penis into and out of your vagina, giving you control over the movements.
What is the hymen?
Losing your virginity means breaking the hymen. The hymen is a thin membrane that partially covers the entrance to the vagina. Inserting a finger or using tampons before having sexual intercourse can cause it to tear slightly. Once you have sexual intercourse, the hymen tears completely, which can sometimes cause bleeding and pain. It’s also possible that you may bleed again the second time you have sex. Bear in mind that some sports like dancing or horse-riding can break the hymen. If your hymen is already broken, first time sex will be less painful.
Disappointed with your first time?
It’s rare for the first attempt at love-making to leave you feeling euphoric. There are a number of reasons for this: fear of pain, stress, etc. Sex is like anything else: the more practice you get, the more comfortable you feel! The vagina isn’t a zone filled with multiple pleasure sensors, so it can take time for you to start enjoying sex. Once you overcome your feelings of apprehension, you’ll realise that it gets better over time and that penetration isn’t the only source of sexual pleasure.
Precautions to take
Just because it’s your first time doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about protecting yourself. Use a condom to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections and talk about protection with him. Consider all the methods of contraception out there, but remember that only condoms protect against both infections and unwanted pregnancies. The majority of other methods only prevent pregnancy. Book an appointment with a doctor or nurse so you can find out about the contraceptives available and discuss which would be best for you.