11 Things You Should Know for Your First Time Having Sex

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L to R: Elliott Williams, Miles Marshall, Marco Tapia, Olivia Petipas, Alethea Tyler, and Elliott

by Miles Marshall, Alethea Tyler, Elliott Williams, Olivia Petipas, and Marco Tapia

NOTE: This page was created in FG212/RM200/FM206 Critical Media Studies with Professor Heidi R. Lewis during Block 4 2018. Click here to view the other parts of the final project for which this list was created.

Ask anyone (who you feel comfortable enough with) about their first time having sex. A lot of people may be uncomfortable talking about sex and virginity, but if you want to talk to someone about it, find someone you trust and who is willing. Sex encompasses much more than just putting the p in the v. Sex can occur between people of all genders, all sexualities, and with all types of genitalia – it ranges from purely physical to deeply emotional. Because of this, it’s impossible to tell you exactly what to expect for your first time. But hey, here are 11 pieces of advice so that you feel more prepared.

(P.S. If you don’t want to have sex, don’t have sex. That’s totally cool too.)
(P.P.S. If something we say doesn’t apply to you, ignore it! Who knows you better than you?)

1.) It’s okay if it’s awkward.

It’s totally normal if it’s awkward, but it also doesn’t have to be. A lot of sexual scenes in movies (and in porn) depict things going smoothly. But, intimacy with other people, no matter how comfortable you are with one another, can be awkward. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, talk to your partner about it. Rest assured, you won’t be the only one feeling this way.

Pro Tip: Laughter cures all, and it can help in easing nerves. Don’t be worried about ruining the moment. Laughter can be really sexy!

2.) Don’t skimp on foreplay.

One of the most important things in sexual activities is letting your partner(s) know what feels good. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up! Moving their hands or suggesting a different way of going about things are simple ways of improving your own pleasure. If you are having sex that could involve penetration, don’t rush towards it. Foreplay is incredibly important as preparation for any penetrative sex, and it also feels amazing. And of course, sex without penetration is still sex.

3.) Make sure you are conscious about protection.

It is important to remember that no matter your sexual orientation, it is always possible to get and give sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Also, depending on the circumstances, there might be a chance of someone getting pregnant. Birth control and contraceptives are reliable ways to prevent pregnancy. However, not all contraceptives prevent STIs, so make sure to do your research and be safe. Also, asking your partner, if this is not their first time, if they have gotten STI tested is super important.

Pro Tip: If you are using a condom, roll it on instead of unraveling it before wearing it. It’s packaged this way for a reason.

Pro Tip #2: Oral sex of all types can spread STIs. Before performing oral sex, make sure your partner does not have STIs.
(P.S. Cold sores are oral herpes. They can be spread to mouths and genitals!)

4.) Don’t be afraid to investigate.

Don’t be afraid to look or explore. Closing your eyes is okay, but don’t look away out of fear. See what is happening, and change it if it doesn’t feel good.

5.) You won’t know whether or not to play music, have a conversation, or proceed in silence.

Do whatever feels right! And don’t be afraid to stop and switch things up! Lucky for you, we made a playlist that gets us in the mood every time:


Here is sneak peek into what we have in store for you!

6.) Sometimes sex hurts.

No matter what you are doing, if it hurts more than it feels good, stop! Switch it up! Do whatever feels good for everyone involved. Being relaxed and comfortable is incredibly important, and the key here is communication. Don’t ever be afraid to ask your partner to change up what they are doing in order to make it feel better for you.

Pro Tip: Lube! Lube!! Lube!!! Lube is penetration’s best friend.

7.) Experiment with positions!

You might move one way, and your partner might move the other, and before you know it there will be limbs all over the place like the most awkward Twister game you’ve ever played. To avoid this, make sure to talk with your partner! Experimenting with different positions can be fun, but don’t feel obligated to switch it up or do anything crazy.

8.) Be prepared for fluids.

Sex is wet. No matter what genitals you have and what genitals you are interacting with, you can’t avoid the liquids. Just embrace that you might get a little sticky, it’ll make it more fun! If you have a vagina and are engaging in vaginal penetration for the first time, you might bleed a little. You also might not. Both are normal. You don’t have to ignore it, but you don’t have to address it either. Whatever feels right.

9.) Losing your v-card doesn’t have to be a big deal.

There’s no one definition of virginity because sex means a lot of different things to a lot different people. Losing your virginity doesn’t have to be a life-changing experience and it doesn’t have to be memorable, but it can be. If it’s a big deal to you, that’s cool. And if it’s not, that’s cool too!

10.) Sex = exercise!

You know when you try a new workout and the next day your muscles feel like lead? Sex is a form of exercise too and it’s perfectly normal to feel sore afterwards. Especially if it’s the first time.

Pro Tip: Be aware of your body. Don’t freak out if you’re feeling a little weird down there for a few days.

11.) Wait until you’re ready.

Everyone has a different definition of “ready,” so make sure you are checking in with yourself. There’s no perfect age to lose your virginity. This isn’t a race. We can’t tell you how many of our friends (including some of us) rushed to lose our virginities just because all our friends had and we didn’t want to feel left out. You have all your life to learn the motion of the ocean, and your time will come whenever you feel ready.

Miles and Elliott

Miles and Elliott

For More Information…

Here are some things we didn’t cover in-depth but are still important to go along with the conversation we just had.

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