Everyone has their own timeline and set of expectations going into their first time having sex. No matter what yours are, you deserve to have the kind of sex you want. But having sex for the first time can be fraught with anxiety, fear and so many questions. What will it feel like? Will the sex be any good? How will your partner respond to you? Will you have an orgasm? These questions are great starting points, but you won’t know the real answers until you actually have sex.
The first thing to know is that there is no right or wrong way to go about sex for the first time. What’s more important is how you prepare yourself to have the best possible experience based on what you want and how you want to be with your partner.
Below are a few things to consider prior to your first time. If you are able to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly, you are close to creating the type of first sexual experience you can build upon for the rest of your life.
What type of partner do you want?
Some people want their first time having sex to be with someone they know and trust, maybe even someone they love. Others prefer having sex with someone they just met who they are deeply attracted to, like a fun fling. Thinking about the type of person you want to share your first sexual experience with is a great place to start. You can then decide what steps you need to take to find that person.
Pro tip: Something I hear a lot as a sex coach is that people wish they would have been able to communicate more about what they wanted during their first sexual encounter. One thing that helps is to have a partner who you feel you can communicate openly with, no matter how long you’ve known them.
What do you want your first time to feel like?
Do you want to ease into sex over a period of time, plan an elaborate date night with candles, or do you want to let out all of your sexual fantasies at once? No matter what you want, it’s good to have an idea of what your first time will look like. Where will you feel comfortable? Your home? Away from family? On a trip somewhere?
A note about pain during your first time: There is a misconception that your first time having sex or sex in general will be painful. Some people experience pain during their first sexual encounter, which is why communication is so key. However, persistent pain or discomfort IS NOT what you should expect or accept. If you feel pain, tell your partner and discuss what you can do to alleviate the pain. Can you use lube to ease penetration? Can you go slower? Talk about what you need and demand to be heard.
How will you be safe?
Every time you have sex, including your first time, you should have a plan to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy (if this is a potential risk for you). It’s no one else’s responsibility to have your health in mind, so you need to have your own preferred method of protection like condoms or dental dams on hand and ready to use.
How do you want to feel afterwards?
Sometimes people get so focused on whether the sex will be earth-shattering or not, they forget that sex is an awesome way to share pleasure, explore your full sexual self and just have a fun time with your partner.
Remember that this is only your first time and you’ll have other opportunities to use what you learn during your first sexual experience to improve in the future. Try thinking about how you want to feel after the sex is over. This will help you make good decisions before and during sex.