I was talking to a friend (Actually, it was only a couple of messages but you get the gist) and I said “I should be a sex counselor” and she replied with “Exactly”. In that spirit, I decided to post this article that I think would help all of us. No matter your background, age, or experience, having sex for the first time is a big deal. You can (and should) prepare for it as much as possible, but you still can’t know exactly what it feels like until the deed is done. Obviously, everyone’s first time is going to be different, but there are still some things everyone should know before they lose their virginity. These tips will help you get through the experience without being SO nervous because you’ll have a better idea of what’s going to happen . And that’s always a little comforting, right? Here are a number of things you need to know before you lose your virginity… And remember the most important one: HAVE FUN!

Also there is, of course, no failsafe way to make sure that you only have positive, multi-orgasmic, flowers-and-rainbows sexual experiences; sometimes you can do everything “right” and still end up in bed with the wrong people . That said, there are some simple, practical measures you can take that will help to ensure that a good time is had by all. Read on:

1. It’ll probably last five minutes tops; When you want to have sex with a guy, don’t expect too much. Unless he’s super experienced or super whatever or he uses some stuff, he probably won’t last so long. 

2. You might not feel pain or bleed. Even if you do feel pain, it will hurt, but it won’t be that painful. I get tons of questions from girls asking if their first time will really hurt. Truthfully? Yeah, it could hurt a little – but it’s not going to be an awful, horrible pain that you can’t live with (unless something is wrong). It should just feel like a lot of pressure in a sensitive area. To make it less painful, take things slowly and don’t be too rough or fast. Don’t force yourself to try out a bunch of crazy positions during your first time – just be careful. And, seriously: it will hurt more if you’re more nervous, because your body tenses up. Try to relax! It probably won’t even hurt at all. That doesn’t mean you’re not a virgin.

3. Get their id, full name and phone number; If you’ve known someone for ages, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re hooking up with someone you’ve just met at a bar, or you’re meeting someone you found online, it’s important that you have that person’s real name and contact info, if only so that you can Google them and make sure they’re not an escaped serial killer. What?! You think there are no serial killers on dating sites?

I suppose the exception would be if you’re trying to have actual anonymous sex, in which case… Actually, scratch that. I’m just going to out myself as a stuffy old lady and say, “Don’t have anonymous sex” (Imagine me hunched over and wagging my finger at you). It simply isn’t safe. If you’re going to let someone else put his or her body parts inside you , you deserve a name and phone number. If you want anonymous sex, opt for an event or club that caters to providing people with that experience within a safe context of knowing that someone, somewhere has vetted these people whose names you would rather not know.

4. Just because you have sex with somebody, it doesn’t mean you have to love them or marry them. The moral lesson here is, do what you want as long as your partner is aware. Consent and comfort is key when sexual relations are involved.

5. You might not have an orgasm the first time or every single time you have sex; but that shouldn’t be the norm. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen the first time. And don’t fake it just because you feel bad or whatever. If you don’t ever orgasm however and it becomes an issue, then speak to a gynecologist. Don’t let your partner have all the orgasms without speaking up.

6. How are you going to prevent STDs and  pregnancy? Look, this doesn’t to be some massive State Of The Sex Parts summit that you two have in the stark, sober daylight. I mean, it can be, but it can also be a quick, “Hey, do you have condoms at your place or should we stop and pick some up?” on the way out the door of the bar. You know when is not a good time to think about contraception? When you’re in the middle of a sex-fueled haze. Take time to think about and discuss how you’re going to prevent pregnancy and STI transmission before you get between the sheets, and make sure you have necessary supplies with you. If your partner hassles you about using protection (i.e., “I don’t like condoms”), hastily get yourself out of there. Unless, of course, you’re trying to get pregnant or you trust the person to be clean and whatnot. 

7. Do you really want to have sex with this person? “Wanting to have sex” may seem like a really obvious criterion for, you know, having sex , but I’m serious: Don’t sleep with someone unless you really, honest-to-God want to. You should never feel pressured to have sex because you think you’re expected to, regardless of how much you’ve been flirting or how long you’ve been dating.

8. Habits and Allergies: A severe allergic reaction to latex could put a real damper on the proceedings, so figure these kinds of things out first. Also think about issues like food preferences—is your partner a hardcore vegan and you are a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore? He or she might prefer that you brush your teeth before coming over. (I mean, brushing your teeth before hopping into bed is probably a good idea regardless.)

9. Demand foreplay! Demand foreplay with the same intensity that you demand chicken and chips at KFC. Without foreplay, there’s no way you’ll be lubricated enough to have actual intercourse unless you get turned on by sight alone or whatever. If it’s your first time and he doesn’t want to engage in foreplay, leave that place with your pride intact. Any man that’s willing to deflower you without foreplay is no man. This also begs the question of whether you want to do it with this person or not.

10. You won’t see fireworks. If you’re expecting it to be really good, it’s fine, but you could end up lying there thinking, ‘Oh, this is sex? This is it?’ simply because you had built up sex in your mind for a long time, and then all of a sudden it happened and you’re not a virgin anymore. You won’t feel any different. Don’t expect to automatically feel more adult.

11. Your cherry doesn’t pop. Seriously! The hymen is majorly misunderstood. So if you’re picturing something sealing off your vagina like Saran wrap, know that’s just not the case. AT ALL. “The hymen consists of thin folds of stretchy tissue that are just inside the vaginal opening,” explains Michelle Horejs, associate director of youth education and training at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “It may tear or stretch the first time you have sex — causing some discomfort or a little bleeding — but it’s not something you can break or that disappears once you have sex.” (Chances are, you already tore it a bit on your bike, or the balance beam, or just by being an active human. No Big D {Pun intended}, because your hymen is just a part of your body. It has nothing to do with whether or not you’re a virgin.)

12. You could feel literally nothing. It won’t be good. It won’t be bad. It could feel like absolutely nothing to you, like someone touching your leg. 

13 . Losing it takes a LOT of planning. Or at least … it should. And we’re not talking lighting candles, cueing up a special sexy-time playlist, and sprinkling a bed with rose petals. Nope, nope. See, with sex comes ginormous responsibility: Am I on birth control ? Who’s going to get the condoms? And where/when can we find a private space and time to get it on? If you’re seriously considering taking the next step, you’ve got to be seriously ready to answer these questions and understand that sex can bring life-changing consequences, like pregnancy or an STD you’ll have for the rest of your life. It’s not just spontaneous magic, like in the movies. But knowing you were adult enough to do it right will feel WAY more special in the long run.

14. Afterwards, your relationship can get weird-ish. Real talk: Losing your virginity can bring you and your bae closer. But what no one really talks about is how it can also test your bond in crazy ways. A late period, a questionable bump down there — shit can get serious very fast, and those uncertainties can poke holes in your connection. So before you make the decision to hook up (any time! not just the first time), always ask yourself: Is our relationship strong enough to withstand the worst-case scenarios? Can I trust this girl/dude to treat me with total respect afterwards? This is a big decision, and you’ll need the *ultimate* gut-check. Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking that sex will turn a casual hookup into a relationship. The only thing that leads to a relationship is caring deeply about each other, and that doesn’t have anything to do with when you lose your virginity.

15. It feels better without a condom. You know, people really get on their high horse when it comes to using condoms. Here’s the thing: You know those PSAs or HBO Families in Crisis movies about the importance of safe sex? And there’s always a guy who’s like slimy and tries to sweet-talk his girlfriend into having sex without a condom because “it feels better.” Well, he’s right. It totally does feel better. I know, I know! Condoms are important for many reasons and you should wear them. But for some people, it feels way more natural without one and they’re much less likely to get a UTI. And if he re-ups and is able to fuck you again, and you guys go through with foreplay again, it doesn’t taste as gross when you go down on him (You dig?) This begs the question of how much you know yourself.

16. Queefing: You probably won’t need to worry about queefing the first time, because most likely, you’re so new down there that you’re pretty much airtight. But picture this: You’re in the middle of having the kind of sex that fantasies are made of. You’re going at it, totally lost in the moment, when your vagina lets out a noise that sounds suspiciously like you had too much beans for lunch. It could qualify as a record-scratch moment, but it doesn’t need to. You just queefed, no big deal. 

16. Lube, Lube, Lube. This is seriously the most important thing for D in the V. (Or B…but no butts yet, please!) Ideally, you want to be so turned on that your vadge is naturally wet, but that might not happen the first few times, for whatever reason (nervousness, fear, etc.) So just make sure you have a bunch of lube on hand. However, if you got a lot of bottled lube down there, you shouldn’t attempt doggy style, because all that stuff will get in your pee hole and it will give you the mother of all UTIs.

17. Tampons will fit better after. No joke. They really will. I read this somewhere, “I was never able to get tampons up there before I lost my virginity, probably because I was too tense whenever I tried. But the weekend after I did it for the first time (and the second, and third, and fourth, and so on), I decided to try to insert a slender/regular, even though I didn’t have my period. Not nearly as much resistance and you will be able to get the entire thing up there.”

So there you go! Now, if you ever get around to it, you won’t be so lost when you actually try to do it. Just remember to be safe and wear a condom. (Even though, yeah, it feels better without it.)

When I remember all the things I forgot to include, I’ll be sure to put up another post.

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