Here’s Everything You Should Know Before You Have Sex For The First Time 

Having sex for the first time can mean a lot of different things to different people, but when it comes to doing the dirty there are still a few things to take into consideration going into it, from whether we’re really ready to have sex at that moment to which type of protection we want to use while working out all the kinks. And while having sex for the first time isn’t always as romantic as we might have imagined it to be in our fantasies, the first-time sex tips below will surely help you and your partner get a little bit closer to it.

First Time Sex

Before we dive in too deep, though, it’s important to clarify that there are a whole bunch of sexy, sensual, and fun ways to have sex aside from PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex. And while PIV is what we’ll primarily be focusing on here, most of the facts and tips presented below are still super relevant to any type of sexual encounter. So, let’s get down to it!

Now, let me just start by admitting that my first time wasn’t exactly seamless. I was 17 and had been in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend for just over a year. Neither of us had had PIV sex before, but we had been dancing around the idea of doing it for quite a while before finally deciding to give it a go. And even though it was sexy, fun, and a little entertaining (we really had no idea what we were doing), it didn’t go exactly how I had imagined.

First of all, we were in a park, which is romantic, sure, but doesn’t exactly offer the kind of privacy and focus you might like to have during your first time enjoying some afternoon delight. Then we realized that the condom we had was too old and we didn’t want to risk it (even though I was also on the pill—better safe than sorry, right?). Long story short, we hopped in the car, purchased our very first box of condoms together, and the rest is history. 

What I didn’t realize at the time, though, was how grateful I was that he and I had talked about having sex numerous times before actually going for it, and that we had created a safe space for one another based on shared trust and communication so that we knew we were both in good hands (literally and figuratively). So, before you even think about which panties you’d like to wear, make sure you take the time to communicate with your partner—it’ll benefit you both in the long run.

Even though my partner and I had talked through a lot of the details and discussed what we felt comfortable with, there were still a lot of things that I hadn’t even thought to consider. And the fact of the matter is, whether it’s your first time ever or your first time with a new partner, deciding to have sex can bring up a lot of different emotions and anxieties.

If you’ve never had sex before, chances are you have a bunch of questions swarming around in your head, like:

  • Does the first time actually hurt?
  • Will my partner be able to tell it’s my first time?
  • How long into the relationship should I wait?
  • Should I use lube?
  • Which birth control methods are the best?
  • Will I get pregnant from the first time?
  • Is it like the movies?
  • Will I regret it? 

The thing is, the answer to most of these questions is a vague “It depends.” Everyone’s experience ends up being different, even between the two people who are sharing the same moment together, and so the answers end up being incredibly personal. Yes, it can hurt a bit for some people, but it doesn’t for everyone; yes, some people like to use lube to help get things going, others don’t need it; some people get pregnant while others don’t; the list goes on. And because the journey to finding these answers is so personal, it’s really important to be able to talk to your partner about your questions and concerns beforehand in a space where you both feel safe and heard.

So, once you and your partner have both decided you’re ready, here are a few tips to keep in mind when getting ready to have sex for the first time:

Bring some lube, just in case. 

The thing about the first time is just that: it’s the first time. Neither of you have any idea how excited (aka, wet/aroused) either of you will be, so incorporating a little lube into your play will make things a little bit easier on both of you. There’s no shame in adding a little extra pleasure into the equation! Plus, it can help a bit with any pain either of you might experience.

Bring more than one condom.

Condoms are amazing little things, but they aren’t perfect. And since we aren’t perfect either, sometimes they rip, break, or simply slip off. So, having a few back up condoms on standby is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss a beat. Also, it’s always a good idea to have an extra layer of birth control like the pill or IUD, just in case.

Make sure to have a towel handy.

Sex is sexy, sure, but it can also get a little messy. The encounter can lead to excess lube, cum, and—if it’s your or your partner’s first time—a little blood, so having a towel handy will make you both a bit more comfortable afterward (and avoid any stains).

Always, always pee afterward!

This one is particularly true for people with vaginas—always pee after sex! Be it the first time or the thirtieth time, peeing after sex helps make sure that any bacteria that has found its way between the sheets with you and your partner while you were having sex doesn’t make itself comfortable in your urinary tract. When it does, this can lead to bladder or kidney infections, which can be pretty awful.

Don’t hesitate to ask your partner to change positions—or stop entirely.

The thing about having sex for the first time is that we don’t know what we like, or don’t like, yet. Depending upon the shape of you and your partner’s bodies, certain positions will feel better and worse than others. So, if you and your partner’s play has led you into a position that hurts or just doesn’t feel quite right, do not hesitate to speak up. And, if you feel like you want to stop altogether, then that’s okay, too. Never feel like you have to keep going just because you and your partner started having sex. This is a shared experience, which means you should be sharing in the pleasure together. Besides, there’s always next time! 

You might not cum, and that’s okay.

When having sex for the first time, chances are your mind and body are pretty preoccupied by the hundreds of thoughts swirling around in your head, not to mention the fact that your partner probably won’t know exactly what you want in a given moment (none of us are mind readers, afterall). As a result, you—and your partner for that matter—might not cum at all by the time the mood’s died down and you’re both tired. The thing about sex is that it doesn’t always have to be about coming to orgasm for either partner, it’s about having a shared intimate experience (and some sexy fun) with one another.

Having sex for the first time can make you feel a lot of different things all at once, from excited to nervous or scared. But the thing is, the more prepared and informed you and your partner are going into it, and the more you’ve both communicated about your needs and wants beforehand, the more likely it’ll be that the experience itself is a good one—even if its awkward and not quite like the movies make it out to seem. The added bonus?  Working out these fine, sexy details from the get-go will also put you on the path to having even better sex with your partner, or future partners down the road.

Written by: Anya Betten

Anya is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles, California. With seven years of writing experience behind her, she has had the opportunity to cover a diverse array of topics spanning from sex and sexuality, relationships, social development, world history, and breaking news. When she’s not writing, she spends her time hanging with her sweet calico cat, hiking, and working on too many DIY projects.

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