I was absolutely terrified to lose my virginity. I had built it up in my head to be a significant, life-altering step, one that would cement my status as a sexually desirable woman. It turned out to be a disorienting, uncomfortable, disgusting experience that shook my confidence for months. The guy and I were getting hot and heavy, clothes came off, and suddenly he was penetrating me. I went along with it for literally five seconds, and then I rolled off. That was not what I wanted.
There were so many unaddressed factors — he wasn’t wearing a condom, I wasn’t on birth control, I hadn’t exactly consented…it was atrocious. Naturally, I never spoke to that guy again, and quite fortunately, there weren’t any profound consequences. A few month later, I met a new boy and I decided to have sex with him. It was wonderful. Prior to him, with every single “first” experience with a guy was always somewhat traumatic after the fact. I would just feel so anxious, nauseated, and unable to sleep because I would be shaking so hard. This was completely different — I felt calm, content, not upset with myself, and actually excited about having sex again. I think that’s how everyone’s first (and second, and last) experience should be, and this is how I would go about making it happen.
1. Make sure you’re ready.
It’s one thing to be nervous — you’re trying something new, it’s natural. But if you have profound, stomach-turning doubts about being sexually active, don’t do it. If you’re not ready to deal with the possibility of sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy, or even just a flaky partner who stops speaking to you after the deed is done, you’re not ready. Everyone reaches the stage where they’re ready to have sex at different times. I didn’t have sex until I was 21 — not old by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely well after most of my friends had already started doing it. Ignore any pressure you may feel from your friends or anyone else. You’re the one who’s going to be living with the ramifications of your actions.
2. Practice safe sex.
Don’t be afraid to insist on using protection. Some people are completely responsible, and you won’t even have to be the one to bring it up, but some people are a little more…relaxed. Until you are in a monogamous relationship where both parties have been tested and have decided to go condomless
3. Don’t worry about your inexperience.
If it would make you feel better, feel free to disclose it to your partner. Otherwise, just go with the flow. Enthusiasm, confidence, and a willingness to learn go a long way. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner what they want, and don’t be afraid to share what you want. If you’re with someone of quality, it won’t be too awkward.
4. Prepare your body.
5. Get on top.
One of the best ways to get comfortable in any new situation is to take control. If you’re on top, you control the speed and depth, and it will be easier for you to stop if it gets too painful.
6. Don’t expect to orgasm.
It’s just unlikely to happen. Sex can be overwhelming, and your nerves may get in the way. Maybe the first time will utterly suck just because it wasn’t at all like your imagination. Usually there’s nowhere to go but up.
It’s totally normal to feel a little bit melancholy or just…off after you do it. Cuddle with your partner if you’re up to it, or just go be by yourself. Having sex in and of itself is not a huge deal, but our society attaches so much baggage to virginity that you feel a little bit strange or hollow when you no longer identify as one. Remember that you are still the same person you were prior to having sex, that you are not at all slutty or immoral, and that you are worthy of having sex with again. Those are all things I struggled with after my lame first time. Sex is supposed to be fun, energizing, and exciting, so don’t stress too much and enjoy the ride.