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The Mix's guide to first time sex

JustVJustV Community Manager Posts: 4,970 The Mix Elder
The Mix recently partnered with Young Hounslow Sexual Health to produce a guide to having sex for the first time. Click here for the full version, but here are the highlights (alt text spoilered). :)

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For women, girls, and those with vaginas, there is a weight attached to losing your virginity; the idea that losing it means it’s something you were meant to keep, to look after and cherish – that now you’ve “lost” it, you’re careless or somehow less than a person.

For men, boys, and those with penises, first time sex is often portrayed as a triumphant moment to be celebrated, to be shouted about from the rooftops, rewarded with a pat on the back.

Regardless of what’s in your pants, being a virgin doesn’t equal pure, clean and careful, the same way having sex doesn’t make you impure, dirty or reckless. In fact, having sex does very little to change to your physical body, and shouldn’t change how you or anyone else views you as a person!

Got a vagina?

Your hymen is often thought of as the ‘cherry’ that pops, or something that breaks but really, the hymen is like a doughnut, and it can stretch, and it will usually tear at some point in your life. There are lots of types of hymens and this is why someone may bleed during penetrative sex if there isn’t enough lubricant, or some may tear it in other ways, such as during childbirth.

Got a penis?

Nothing happens to the penis during sex that is unique only to having sex for the first time, other than the sensation potentially being a bit ‘too good’, overwhelming you and causing you to finish sooner than you’d like.

Since there isn’t anything specific that happens to those with penises, this is where the idea that losing virginity is a bigger event for women than men.

It’s also worth noting that ‘losing your virginity’ is a very heteronormative (i.e., only has straight people in mind) concept because many people having sex may not have hymens at all and some may never engage in penetrative sex.

Does sex hurt the first time?

As long as you take it slowly and gently, it shouldn’t hurt, although like all new experiences, it might feel a bit strange at first! If you are experiencing discomfort during penetrative sex, a water-based lube can help. If you are having anal sex then you may need a lot of lube as the anus isn’t self-lubricating. If sex is always painful, you may need to speak to your doctor.

How do I stay safe?

Make sure you have contraception on hand to avoid STIs and unwanted pregnancy. You might want to practice putting on condoms first as it can be a bit tricky the first time. Contraception is the responsibility of everybody who is planning to have sex.

What if I change my mind?

If you ever change your mind about having sex, or just don’t feel in the mood anymore, ask to stop, take a minute or go back a step (e.g., go back to just kissing). In any form of sexual activity, you should have the enthusiastic consent of anyone involved, including yourself.

If you are feeling pressured to have sex when you don’t want to or are unsure, contact someone you trust to get out of that situation.

Everyone else is having sex – should I be as well?

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – you are your own person, and therefore should take things at your own pace.

Don’t rush sex, as it should be something you feel ready for. There is no guide or time frame for having sex for the first time, the same way there isn’t one for when you should have your first kiss.

Need support?

You can also find lots of helpful information on The Mix’s sex and relationships page, such as this guide to premature ejaculation.

Losing your virginity might seem like a huge moment at the time, but it is important to note that it is just that – a moment. There are many more moments in your life you’re yet to experience, so there is no need to put pressure on just one out of so many.

All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
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