Our culture places huge importance on losing one’s virginity. For many, being a virgin is seen as being ‘uncool’ and this is a big reason why so many individuals feel the pressure, engage in sex for the first time, and sometimes regret it.
But if we’ve caught you before you’ve officially swiped your v-card, that’s good news! We’re hoping to guide you on how to prepare for your first time, helping you navigate your way through your first sexual experience which, in this case, will encompass heterosexual p-in-v intercourse, and the various other ways that you can experience sexual activity that isn’t p-in-v sex.
We also hope to bring light to the importance of intimacy, emotions, and consent, and how different people view virginity. So, for those who place huge value and importance on their virginity, here’s how to nurture it, and to enjoy a tryst that you won’t regret.
The Four Stages of Heterosexual Sexual Activity
You may call them ‘bases’ but essentially, there are four different kinds of sexual activity:
- Above the neck: kissing and French kissing
- Above the waist: breast play
- Below the waist: oral sex
- Intercourse: penis-in-vagina sex
Whichever base you’re currently on, there are ways to immerse yourself in the world of sexuality. This does not mean experimenting with others but rather experimenting with yourself, be it sexually, emotionally, mentally, or physically.
Here are 15 ways you can prepare yourself when it comes to losing your virginity in a loving and comfortable environment:
- Engaging in self-pleasure: become comfortable with your body and your sexuality. You can do this by masturbating, viewing body-positive material, and really looking at and appreciating your body.
- Get in-touch with your emotions, and know your values: Set limits and engage in introspection to really know how you feel about losing your virginity, and how you may feel afterwards.
- Communicate: If you’re currently in a relationship, or discussing losing your virginity with someone, don’t be afraid to speak up. Let them know that you want to try this, but do not want to try that. Be assertive and respectful of yourself to go as far as you feel comfortable.
- Know your (soon-to-be) sexual partner: If you are feeling pressured into having sex, your partner does not respect you. This could lead to feelings of regret after losing your virginity. A loving and consensual partner will continue to ask you “is this okay?” during your sexual experiences, and will always adhere to your boundaries.
- Learn the difference between real-life sex and porn: Sex is not like you see in porn, nor is it often as you see in the movies. The line is typically blurred when it comes to bedroom activities. Some men believe that it’s ‘normal’ or expected to be rough and degrading towards women, and some women believe that they need to be submissive and happy about whatever sexual treatment they receive. This is not real life.
- You aren’t a prude if you say ‘no’: Virginity may seem like something you need to give up in order to fit in, and this is why so many individuals regret their first time. 10 years down the line, however, you may have wished that you saved it.
- Learn about lube: Whether you’re a male or a female, having lube on-hand during your first time will make the experience a lot more comfortable for her.
- Don’t be shy to admit you’re a virgin: It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and if your partner is wholeheartedly respectful of you, knowing this information will prompt them to proceed with caution and care.
- Avoid drinking too much: Alcohol often lowers inhibitions, and this could lead you to doing something you might not ordinarily do. Also, when alcohol is involved, you may not remember the experience, which could lead to regret.
- Learn about condoms: Practicing safe sex has never been more important. Learn about how to use, buy, and enjoy sex with condoms, and you’ll eradicate any worries about pregnancy or the spread of STI’s.
- Consider the logistics: If you’ve planned a date in which to have sex for the first time, try to choose a place that’s warm and welcoming. Clean sheets, candles, music, and flowers are just a few things that’ll be appreciated during someone’s first time.
- Unscheduled sex: Spontaneous first-time sex is rarely a picnic. It’ll be more meaningful and enjoyable if you’ve planned it.
- Don’t have any preconceived notions about orgasming: Women especially find it difficult to orgasm during p-in-v sex, so don’t be discouraged if you or your partner do not climax.
- Sex can be awkwardly humorous: Again, sex isn’t like what you see in pornos. It isn’t always perfect or mind-blowing. Sometimes it can be awkward, like two bodies fumbling around each other. But, if you’re with someone you trust, this will only bring out a few laughs and an even closer bond as you navigate your way through your sex life.
- Aftercare: Sexual satisfaction is increased when partners engage in post-sex cuddling and embracing. This is a way for both parties to let their partner know that they care about them and that they aren’t discarding them after getting what they want.
Losing Your Virginity: The Emotional Aspect
While every human is different, there’s a certain emotional aspect that oftentimes comes with having sex. The activity itself encompasses more than the body, which is why some develop an emotional connection with the person they choose to be intimate with… and these emotions can be very powerful.
Again, with a generation that frequently looks to porn to teach them how to engage in sexual activity, the emotional side is often not discussed or portrayed. But whether you’re about to lose your virginity or you’ve already done so, we can’t hide from certain emotions.
This is why we recommend truly engaging in introspection. While you may not know how you’ll feel after sex, being in-tune with yourself may give you some indication as to whether you should wait or not.
You can also consider the nature of your relationship with the person you’re considering having sex with. If you believe it to be a relationship that encompasses mutual respect, the emotional aspect may be nurtured after your first time… which is usually the ultimate outcome.
At What Age Should You Lose Your Virginity?
Unfortunately, there is no ‘right’ answer. When you decide to lose your virginity is (and always should be) up to you. On the other hand, there have been some scientific studies that indicate possible negative implications for those who lose their virginity under the age of 15.
Researchers Rachel Lynn Golden, Wyndol Furman, and Charlene Collibee, noted that:
“The effects of sexual debut have been largely assessed via between-group comparisons among early, normative, and late debut groups. Such studies provide consistent evidence that early debut is associated with problematic outcomes.
For example, as compared to those whose debut is at a normative or late age, those with an early debut are less likely to use contraceptive, and are thus more likely to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Those who have an early debut have higher levels of substance use than those who have a later debut. Additionally, gender-specific effects of timing have been reported for externalizing symptoms and depression.”
On the other hand, these researchers were not sure if it was substance abuse that led those having an early debut or if it was the fact that the early debut led to substance abuse. They too mentioned that the participants of these studies identified as heterosexual, and that the sample size was relatively small.
Whether you’re a virgin or not, consent is something that needs to be acknowledged and adhered to by all humans. Consent is the affirmative, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity, which can be revoked at any time.
It is when someone agrees to an action based on the knowledge that they know what that action involves. This person should be:
- Voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, informed, in verbal agreement, and have a mutual desire
- Asked, at every level, if everything is okay, and if the process of sexual activity can be continued
There is no consent, and it is assult and or rape, when:
- Someone is asleep, mentally or physically incapacitated, coersed, forced, or threatened
- Someone is not of age
- Someone says not yet (the absence of no does not mean yes)
And last but not least, consent can never be assumed, even for those who are in a relationship. Those in a relationship still have the right to say no, and are not obligated to have any sexual interaction with their partner.
Having said all of this, we hope to have provided you with all of the tools to make a mature decision that brings about a positive experience. We love seeing people thrive sexually with others who have accepting, respecting, and nurturing attitudes. You’re special, so you deserve to be treated as such!