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First time sex - What to expect from start to finish!

Sex can be awkward and messy the first time around, but it doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable.

Her hair is artfully splayed on the pillow, small tendrils clinging to the sheen of sweat on her face. Her skin glows with a delicate rosy flush, and her lashes flutter in pleasure. Their hips move in the rhythm of moans and shaky breaths.

As they collapse into each other after the climax— their faces inches away from one another— every limb settles into their own place in the tangled sheets. All of it seems orchestrated to perfection.

That’s because it is.

While romantic films are the most available option for first-timers, they’re not very true to life. That stirring scene probably took more than one take, an entire crew, and multiple camera angles to make it seem like the dream lovemaking session.

But if you’re feeling a little anxious about having your own first time, we’re here to help you close in on doubts and develop more realistic expectations around it.

First things first

Most people think that the only way to “lose one’s virginity” is through intercourse. However, that doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone, especially non-hetero individuals. They can also include oral sex, anal sex, or even the use of sex toys to their own definition. 

For some, virginity means a lot to them, so they’re waiting for someone special. Others even want to “save it” for marriage. Then again, the matter can be a source of insecurity, especially for relatively older women who have yet to get it on.

Ultimately, what matters is how much emotional weight you assign to your own concept of virginity.

The desperation to simply get it over and done with— just because you think everyone else has had their fair share— can be overwhelming. But always remember that your body is yours. Only you get to decide what to do with it at your own pace. 

If you’re being forced into it by anyone, no means no, even as you change your mind halfway. And when you do want to engage in sex with someone, there’s nothing for you to lose… only much to gain from a whole new experience.

In one survey of sexual attitudes & lifestyles, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men admitted that they were only pressured to have sex during their first time.

Always be mindful of your sexual health as well. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner about any history with STDs or other relevant health conditions. Openly discuss your options for precautionary measures and contraceptives. Better safe than sorry! Nobody wants their first time to haunt them with medical bills.

Just do it

Your first time would most probably be summed up in one word: awkward. But that’s completely normal. Like any other activity, sex takes practice before you can get better at it— fumbling in the dark is part of the learning process.

There’s a chance you might bleed if there’s penetration involved, but usually not enough to stain the sheets. That’s not to say your hymen’s to blame; this cherry doesn’t “pop” at all during sex. The blood and the pain, if any, usually comes from the vaginal lining especially when it’s not lubricated enough.

If there’s one thing you should never forget during your first time, it’s how it all starts with a KISS: Keeping it sweet and simple. 

Allow yourself to just be in the moment and get comfortable. Savor every physical touch, but always leave some space for establishing an emotional connection. This way, you’ll be less anxious and more receptive to stimulation, which can eventually build up to the much-awaited orgasm.

The finishing touch

Nobody likes talking about post-sex cleanup, but it’s just as important. You can feel gunky down there from all the stuff down your vagina, not to mention all the bodily fluid that can make a mess on the sheets. Remember to keep a box of tissues or a clean towel nearby, and pee afterward to avoid getting a nasty UTI.

You may also deal with a bit of soreness in your hips and lower body in general. That’s to be expected, especially when you don’t exercise often. But if you feel any lingering pain in your vagina or anus, have it checked by a medical professional.

All in all, you’re probably going to be a big bundle of nerves before your first time, even after you’ve read through this article. It’s perfectly alright— your feelings are valid, so just let your emotions take their course. 

You can choose to take it slow and sensual to make it more special. But if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would, it’s not the end of the world. You can always do better the second (or third, or fourth) time around.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is sexual intercourse painful the first time around?

When you’re having intercourse for the first time, there might be pain (and some blood) because your vagina is not as lubricated as it should be. You’re not yet used to the sensation, after all. Using lube can take the physical discomfort out of the experience. But if the pain persists, consult a doctor to address it. 

How about anal sex— will my first time hurt?

Just like first-time vaginal sex, anal sex can involve a little pain and bleeding not only for women but also for men. But slowing down and using a lot of lube before inserting the penis, fingers, or butt-friendly sex toys can ease you into this experience without getting hurt.

What’s the proper definition for “virginity”?

For some, virginity means they haven’t been involved in any form of sexual activity. But for others, it just means they’ve never had intercourse, even though they already had anal and oral sex. What matters is that you alone get to decide when you’re ready. You don’t “lose” anything; you just gain a new experience.

Will my “cherry pop” during my first time?

Your “cherry” or hymen doesn’t cover your entire vaginal opening the way most people imagine. It’s just a thin, flat tissue that loosely surrounds your vagina, so you won’t be hearing it pop during your first time. So never let this one part define the entirety of you— you are more than your “virginity.”

Will my vagina become loose if I have sex?

Many people think that your body will change the more you have sex, but that’s not true. Your vaginal canal won’t get loose or feel any different. While you’ll experience physiological changes like a swollen vulva, flushed skin, and sweating, these are just your body’s temporary reactions to arousal.

When is the right age for me to lose my virginity?

In one survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men admitted that they were only pressured to have sex during their first time. The bottom line? The right time for you to have sex is only when you’re willing and comfortable to do it with a partner.

What if my first time having sex disappoints?

It won’t be easy getting it right the first time. To be honest, a lot of other people didn’t enjoy their first time either. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to bad sex for the rest of your life! Consider it a nifty excuse to try again (soon, hopefully) and get more practice.

Posted by Prism Kristensen

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