You might wonder if it will hurt the first time you have sex, or what it will be like. A lot of people also have a complex idea of virginity and what it means to them. Making sure you’re ready to have sex and have all the information you need can help make it fun and pleasurable! In this article you’ll find information on virginity and how to know if you’re ready for sex. We also explain what you can expect your first time, and answer some common fears.
What is virginity, even?
The word ‘virgin’ is often used as a label to describe someone who hasn’t had sex. BUT since sex can mean many different things, so can ‘virginity’. It’s great to spend time thinking about what the word means to you.
The beauty with any label is that it can mean whatever you would like it to. For some people, losing virginity might mean masturbating, oral sex, or touching private parts. Maybe you aren’t ready to do those things yet and that’s ok too. For other people sex might mean vaginal or anal sex and for them, that’s what it means to lose their virginity. It is different for everyone!
This is a decision no one can or should make for you, but something you choose for yourself. Only you can decide how you lose your virginity, or what virginity even means.
Here are some other questions we invite you to consider about what virginity might mean to you:
- What does “losing my virginity” look like to me?
- Are there intimate and romantic things that I don’t consider sex or losing my virginity?
- What do I value in virginity?
Before you and your partner get ready to have sex you should ask yourself some of these questions:
- What does sex look like to me?
- What sexual acts am I comfortable with?
- Why am I doing this?
- Who am I doing this for?
You and your partner can talk about these questions with each other. It’s important that you know what you are comfortable with. If you’re not comfortable with it, you can 100% decide not to do it! It’s important that you aren’t just having sex because your partner wants you to, or because all your friends are having sex. Sometimes we can feel pressure to do things that we really don’t want to do. Being able to talk about things with your partner is a really good sign. By talking about what each of you want, you can find something that will be amazing for both of you!
First time safety
It’s also important to protect you and your partner during sex. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a barrier, like a condom or a dental dam (a square sheet of latex you put between a mouth and a vagina or anus for oral sex). This way you can lower the chances of getting or giving an STI (sexually transmitted infection, previously known as STD). Adding lube can help make things feel better for everyone and make it less likely condoms will break. You can find lube next to the condoms at a pharmacy or get free at places like Head and Hands or ACCM.
Using birth control can lower your chances pregnancy, and you can use most kinds together with a condom. There are links with learn more information on birth control options at the end of this article. Getting testing every 4 to 6 months also helps keep you and your partners safe.
Your first time
Everyone’s first time is going to be very different. It can be fun, awkward, painful, or exciting. We hear a lot of people talking about virginity and what it means, often that you should stay a virgin for as long as possible, or the complete opposite. It’s a lot of pressure to handle! Try to keep in mind that your virginity doesn’t define who you are. Everybody’s sexuality is different and your sexuality will develop over time.
A lot of people worry that having sex the first time will hurt a lot. Some people worry that the hymen in their, or their partner’s vagina will “pop” and bleed a lot. Others worry that they won’t last long enough or will lose their erection. These are all totally normal concerns to have – keep reading to find out more!
Will I bleed the first time I have sex? Will it hurt?
Sometimes people will bleed a little the first time they have sex, or might feel a little pain, this is sometimes caused by the hymen, a thin stretchy piece of skin that partially covers the opening to the vagina and can be irritated or tear. It’s a common myth that the hymen will pop or rip, but this isn’t really the case. Over time, as hormones change and as people put in tampons or fingers, the hymen will wear away and won’t cause as much discomfort.
How can I reduce the chance of pain the first time?
There are also a few things you can do to reduce the chances of this. We like to say that sex should never hurt unless you want it to, and that’s true for your first time too! First off is going slow. If anything doesn’t feel good, you can stop, go back, or go slower. You can also lower yourself onto fingers, a penis, or a sex toy – this lets you stop as soon as it feels uncomfortable.
Usually people know that a penis needs to be hard before vaginal sex, but they might forget that a vagina can take even longer to warm up! Making sure everyone is aroused and excited makes sex better! Oral sex, on the vagina can help warm it up and lubricate it. It should feel good as well and help make your sex more fun. Using a lubricant that is safe to use with condoms (something water-based is usually best) will help to make sex much more comfortable. You can find lube next to condoms at a pharmacy, or pick it up for free at places like ACCM or Head and Hands.
Will I cum too quickly?
Sometimes, people with penises will ejaculate quickly when they have sex. But, this doesn’t need to be a big deal if you don’t treat it that way! Two people don’t need to finish together, and that’s actually really rare. Some people like watching their partner cum, or like taking turns bringing each other to orgasm.
To cum later, you can use thicker “tough” condoms, which can make things less sensitive. If you find you’re close to cumming, you can also switch to kinds of sex that don’t stimulate the penis. You can give oral sex to your partner, masturbate them, or ask them to touch other parts of your body.
After you ejaculate, you can still take steps to make give your partner pleasure and happiness. If you’d both like to, you can use your hands or mouth to help them orgasm too, and they might like that even better!
If you’re worried about it, you can also talk about it with your partner before. You don’t really know how they might feel if you came, or what they might want you to do! Chances are, they’ll have great ideas for exactly what they want!
If they do want you to last longer, you can try different things, like having sex again soon after cumming, or switching between different kinds of sex that lead you closer to and further from orgasm.