If you're over the age of 18, I'm going to assume your introduction to sex looked one of three ways:
#1: Sex education in high school, (if you were taught it in the first place), focused on cis-gender, heterosexual sex for the purpose of reproduction and reproduction alone.
#2: You were raised in a religious household that emphasised purity, and taught that the first and only person you should have sex with is your husband or wife.
#3: The connotations with having sex were negative, ("you're a slut", "you're a whore"), which either made your first time uncomfortable, (because you felt you weren't in control), or deterred you from having sex altogether.
Either way, sex isn't something we're necessarily taught to enjoy unless its in an incognito tab at one in the morning.
That is why today we are going to talk about what happens before, during and after the first time you have sex, so that we can prioritise both education and pleasure.
#1: My focus will be on cis-gender, heterosexual sex, but some of my tips will apply to anyone, regardless of sexuality and/or gender.
#2: These are my opinions, not facts! Do your own research before taking my word as law!
Now, let's talk about sex, baby!
You might've been taught that having sex for the first time should be with someone you love. While I do agree that this can make having sex for the first time more intimate, whether you love someone or not doesn't actually make a significant difference, in my opinion. I was in love with my first boyfriend, but that isn't what made my first time particularly "better" or "worse". What made it as enjoyable as it could be was that it was with someone I was comfortable with and someone who cared about me. Those are the traits I would consider to be important. It can be with your boyfriend, best friend, friend or even an acquaintance.
As long as they are:
-- A consenting adult (and so are you!)
-- Aware that it is your first time (because, consent)
-- Tested and protected
Who it's with doesn't necessarily affect the experience.
Another tool that can improve your experience is masturbation, because it helps you understand what you like and dislike, sexually. Read my blog post about masturbation, here!
I'm not going to sugarcoat this -- the sex is probably going to suck.
It may be uncomfortable, awkward, and the chances of you having an orgasm on penetration alone is very slim. You can enjoy it, however, by using lube, trying different positions, and being communicative with your partner, (e.g. "that does/doesn't feel good", "can we take a break?").
Another thing to remember is that you can stop at any time. Sex, much like anything you'll experience for the first time, can be intimidating, which is why it is important to move at a pace you're comfortable with.
PEE. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, PEE. You've just had sex, you don't need to add UTI to your list of firsts.
Remember that almost everyone has or has had sex. You aren't "dirty" or "impure" for exploring your sexuality, a normal and natural part of the human experience. If you do feel uncomfortable after the experience, contact a healthcare professional or trusted official to help you navigate how you feel.
I spoke to both my mum and dad after my first time, because I felt comfortable enough to do so, but you shouldn't feel pressured to share your experience with anyone if you don't want to or if it'll put you at mental/physical risk.
Having sex is often exaggerated in the media, particularly where women are concerned, but in reality, it's just something you do. Simple as that.
Below are some resources for people you can contact if you need help, regarding sexual assault: