Okay, so you have decided to have sex for the first time. Maybe you’ve decided to get it on with someone you just met on a dating app or are finally taking the plunge with the partner you’ve been going steady with. Whatever the case, having sex for the very first time can seem a little overwhelming, especially with how movies, books, and basically every media platform puts the experience on a pedestal. But we’re here to tell you that “sex” can mean anything you want it to—it doesn’t have to be traditional penetration, and the whole getting your “cherry popped” doesn’t have to be a big deal if you don’t want it to be. Also, a reminder: you are never too old to have sex for the first time. Maybe you’ve just turned 18, are in your twenties, or in your thirties. Whenever you do decide to take that step, Cosmo India has got your back with these tips.
Make sure you trust the person you’re going to sleep with
Even though you necessarily don’t need to be in a relationship to have sex with someone, it’s important to trust the person, especially if it’s your first time. After all, you don’t want to get intimate with someone you’re not comfortable with. If they pressure you to have sex when you’re not ready, then they’re not a good partner. In addition, while having feelings for the person is not a prerequisite for engaging in sexual activities with someone, make sure you at least tolerate them—waking the next day having slept with someone you don’t even remotely like is a recipe for regret.
Mentally prepare yourself, but don’t get too much in your head
Like most things, it’s always nice to go prepared. Beforehand, talk to a friend, older sibling, or a counsellor—discussing your decision with someone who is mature and experienced will give you much-needed perspective on what to expect, and help you look out for red flags. While the concept of “losing virginity” is a social construct you shouldn’t feel intimidated by—you won’t become a different person after having sex, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into, and what you’re looking to get from the experience. But don’t overthink—if you stress too much it’s going to stop you from being present in the moment and enjoying your first time.
Don’t go into it with lofty expectations
The way pop culture (and porn) portrays sex is quite different from how it all pans out in real life—it’s not all effortless pulling off of elaborate sex positions and synchronised orgasms. It gets awkward, so don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner to have a perfect time—just have fun and go with the flow. And don’t try to match your first time with someone else’s—sex is not a cookie-cutter experience and it’s essential to remember that both your partner and you come with your own quirks that will translate into sex.
Consent is key
Never think that you have to say yes to something you are not hundred per cent on board with. Giving, and getting enthusiastic and affirmative consent will make sure both you and your lover aren’t just doing something just for the sake of it, or to satisfy the other person. Repeat with us, consent is sexy!
Be vocal about what you want
Before you get into it, have a talk with your partner about your expectations and boundaries. The secret to good sex is communication—don’t be shy about telling your partner what you like, what you don’t, and how and where you’d like to be touched. It’s also the ideal time to discuss any past trauma or abuse you may have experienced so you can discuss what your partner can do to help you feel safe and comfortable.
Foreplay is the name of the game
If there is one thing you shouldn’t miss from this list (apart from practising safe sex, of course) is foreplay. Especially for women, engaging in kissing, touching, dry humping (or whatever gets you off), will make you turned on and naturally lubricated, and ensure that when you finally have sex, it will be all the more pleasurable.
Stay safe—protection is a must
And most importantly, never engage in sex without protection. Discuss with your partner what safe sex precautions you’re going to take before—be it condoms, dental dams, or birth control. And if they try to convince you into having unprotected sex because “it feels better”, leave immediately!