I'm a woman in my late twenties and about to get married in a month. I and my partner have never had sex before and we are both shy and nervous about our first time with each other. Will it hurt? What if we don't orgasm? We have many questions and fear about doing it right. Do you have any advise for us?
Someone would be lying if they said their first sexual encounter was perfect. You feeling shy, nervous, awkward and excited are all completely understandable emotions that comes with first time sex. Which is why my first advice would be to know that sex is awkward and messy. It's a skill that you can perfect and co-create together as your sexual experiences grow.
The entire pop culture has placed an extra weight on how perfect your first time should be and why "losing it" is special. Honestly, it is all on you. Virginity isn't something special rather a sexual script that has been used to shame us or induce guilt when we engage in any sexual activities. It is totally up to you on how you define sex and what you want to include in your first sexual encounter.
There is no right or wrong way of having sex, there is just your way! Hone your skills and communicate together on how much or less you both want to explore sexually.
Does sex hurt?
Sex should never be painful unless you love the pain (spanking, choking, biting, etc.) However, many women and vulva-owners do report painful experiences with penetration. Hence, it is always better to carry a lubricant or focus more on outercourse play to avoid the ouchies. Despite this, if you still experience pain, burning or itching like sensations, consult an OB/GYN and get yourself thoroughly checked for differential diagnosis.
What counts as first-time sex?
This is another thing I'd like you both to focus on individually and together as partners. What counts as sex for you? Does it include penetration or achieving orgasms or just anything intimate passes as sex for you? The reason behind this exercise is to help you understand and restructure your ideas around sex that do not come from a place of shame, but come from a place of pleasure. When you define sex and your expectations of it, there is little room left for performing sex. It becomes an experience and pleasure rich journey that you get to create on your terms. First-time sex can look however you want it to look!
Same concept applies on orgasms. Faking an orgasm is the worst thing you can do to your sexual life as you consciously set low bars for your sex life, but encouraging your partner for doing something that did not work for you. Orgasm does not mark the end goal for sex neither is it a testament that all parties involved had the best time of their lives. It's okay if you or your partner didn't orgasm. As long as you had a great time together, it is all that matters.
What to do the first time I have sex?
When looking for inspiration you could visit ethical porn sites that use pornography to show real life sexual dynamics, pick up an erotica to read or listen to a sexy story that explicitly describes the nature of sex. Remember, I said inspiration and not copying. Pick up the technical elements like dirty talking, sex positions and/or using sex toy aids, etc. and then incorporate your thoughts and moves into it. One can also masturbate before having sex for the first time or use mutual masturbation to their rescue to explore their bodies and make future sexual experiences super empowering.
Another thing to remember is to communicate. Nobody can or will completely live up to your sexual expectations, not even you. You understand your pleasure best and if you want someone else to include those elements of pleasure, talk to them. Show them what you like. Tell them what they could do better. Listen what you could learn more. Take feedbacks with compassion, not criticism. Discuss and debrief the acts in a non-sexual context or after sex. Partnered experiences have to be co-created and that can only happen when both of you talk and listen to each other.
How to feel less nervous about having sex the first time?
Mental health is sexual health. Sexual health is mental health. We all want to be great at sex, but do not want to put in the work it requires to make it a wellness practice. Sex first happens on the brain and later in the genitals which is why our mental state has such a huge impact on desire, arousal, and lubrication.
One of the easiest ways to mindfully regulate our bodies during sex is by using our breath. Deep breathing through the nose or just allowing yourself to make some noise during sex are best ways to keep the mood high without getting worked up about it. Breath kisses or teasing your partner by blowing air on their sensitive spots to warm it is another way to co-regulate emotionally and lower your nervousness. Shallow breathing or speeding up your breath during sex or moaning is a great way to create tension in the body, intensifying all the other sensations.
Alternatively, keep checking in along the way with your partner if they like it or are comfortable with whatever you both are doing. it creates a sense of security and autonomy for them allowing them to have a more immersive experience.
One of the best ways to have good sex is to stop worrying about good sex.
Use humor, love, romance, food and/or anything else that bonds you and brings you together. Trying to be on the same page as your partner, acknowledging their and your preferences and caring about each other will always be the key recipe to co-create good, pleasure filled sexual experiences. Don't let the internet or anyone else tell you otherwise.
Now, go have the sex of your dreams!!