Homelove, sex & relationshipssex & consenthow do you prepare for first time sex?

How do you prepare for first time sex?

Feel like you might be ready to have sex for the first time? Good for you. But how do you know for sure? And what are some things you need to know before you make a move?

How do you know when you’re ready?

That’s a question only you can answer. But there’s no rush. Try not to let concerns about ‘being cool’ or pressure from other people guide your decision. It’s your choice. 

  • If you feel like it’s the right time for you, and you’re excited about it – go for it! 
  • If you don’t feel like you’re quite there yet, that’s fine too. 
  • You also might not be sure yet. And that’s also okay. 

Sex is all about consent. Consent is when you mutually, and freely, agree to participate in sexual activity. 

It means saying an enthusiastic yes to sex (which includes anything from kissing to penetrative intercourse) without any pressure from others. Consent means everyone involved wants to be there, wants to take part, and cares about the safety and experience of others.

Remember: virginity is a myth 

Having sex for the first time doesn’t have to be a big deal. For some people, it can be an emotional or reflective experience, but it doesn’t have to be life changing or scary. 

You might have heard people in movies or TV shows talking about “losing their virginity”, or “being a virgin”, but this is an outdated concept. It’s also a false label used to categorise women as a ‘slut’ or ‘prude’. 

What do we mean by ‘slut’? 

‘Slut’ is a highly disrespectful insult, mostly used against women. The word ‘slut’ weaponises women’s sexuality by judging and shaming women who enjoy sex or have had multiple casual sexual partners. No matter your gender, there is nothing wrong with enjoying sex! As long as everyone is consenting, sex is a healthy and natural part of life.

And what is a ‘prude’?

A prude is someone who doesn’t engage with sex or finds it embarrassing. Another term commonly used is ‘frigid’. In reality, someone who isn’t interested in sex is just exercising their rights — no one should ever feel under pressure to take part in any kind of sexual activity they don’t want to.

Old fashioned sexist attitudes are highlighted with these two examples, slut or prude, and the ways these labels attempt to limit women and girls. 

Do what you can to resist these outdated terms. If and when you decide the time is right for you to have sex, do it because you want to. It’s none of anyone else’s business.

Click through this infographic to learn more about why virginity is a damaging and made up concept:


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A post shared by Teach Us Consent (@teachusconsent)

Will I feel different after having sex? 

Maybe, maybe not. The experience is different for everyone, and that’s okay.

How can I prepare for sex?

Great question. Before having sex, it’s a good idea to learn more about: 

If you have more questions and want to talk to an expert, we recommend heading to your local sexual health clinic. They’re here to help (and they’ve heard it all before).

Spend time getting to know yourself

Before making a decision about whether or not to have sex, it’s a good idea to become familiar with your own body first before exploring it with another person. 

And by this we mean: masturbation. Masturbation is a normal, healthy sexual behaviour. If it isn’t your thing, that’s okay – it’s all about what works for you. If you are interested in exploring yourself and what you like, masturbation can be really useful. 

It might also be a good idea to grab a mirror and take a good look at your bits!

Does sex hurt? 

It can, but it doesn’t need to. Inserting anything into your vagina or anus for the first time can be painful, so it can help to start by just exploring with your fingers. Make sure to have clean hands first to prevent any nasty infections. 

Although sex can be painful, especially for the first time, it shouldn’t be if you are both making sure that everyone is experiencing pleasure. There are also products called ‘lube’ that can help prevent pain during sex. 

Note: There are some health conditions to be aware of that can cause pain during sex, like vaginismus or endometriosis. If this is something you’re worried about, we recommend heading to your local sexual health clinic

How do I have safe sex?

Before having sex for the first time, make sure you’re across:

  • Different types of contraception
  • How to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections/diseases
  • Important: Condoms are the only form of birth control that prevent STIs. 

Another part of being sexually active is getting regular check ups for STIs. Sexual Health Clinics can help you with that.

Where to get help

If you need to talk to a medical professional about contraception options or anything to do with sex and your body, we recommend heading to a Sexual Health Clinic. These are free to access. Follow the links below to find a clinic near you:

Need someone to talk to? Free, confidential support is available.

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