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18 May 2023 (Last updated 22 Jan 2024)

4 tips for first time sex

Pleasure Tips 6 min read
4 tips for first time sex

Take it from our sex coach, first time sex should be pleasurable, maybe a little awkward and never painful. Yet, for so many of us, our first sexual experience is the complete opposite. So, if you're reading this and you've never had sex - keep scrolling for the positive experience you actually deserve.

Remember, partnered or solo, intercourse or outercourse - sex if yours to define! 

My clients at my Somatic Sexology practice share many things that didn't feel right about their first time - both people really drunk, no protection, performance anxiety, friends/parents walking in on them, really wanting it 'done and over with,' doing it to 'reach the goal' not to be "virgins" anymore (that's a whole other thing to unpack), trying to copy something they've seen on porn... you name it! I've heard it all.

But, how can we make having sex for the first time with a partner a pleasurable and memorable experience instead?

Things to do before having sex.

1. Explore yourself alone first.

First time masturbating? Looking at yourself in a mirror and drawing yourself are great strategies! Bring curiosity and a sense of wonder to your self-exploration. Learn about your pleasure anatomy, especially the arousal zones on your vulva (hello, clitoris) and inside your vagina. I suggest to initially explore with fingers and lube.

Fact: during partnered sex, more than 70% of women and people with vulvas need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. It's not just about penetration!

See how you like clitoral stimulationThe clitoral glans is the external part of the clitoris that you can see on the outside, on your vulva. It's above your vaginal and urethral opening, and feels like a little nub or mound between the two lips. There are so many ways to stimulate this pleasure organ with its 10,000 nerve endings!

Imagine your partner is touching you when you touch yourself, and explore your entire body too. How does it feel to have hands on your breast, chest and neck?

When it comes to penetration, go slow. Take deep breaths, it may take some time for your vagina to relax and open so don’t force anything. Try with a finger, then two, and if you're feeling ready, an internal vibrator. Long vibrators with a smallish circumference, especially one with a little curve towards the G-spot can be used for external and internal exploration, meaning you can build up arousal before inserting it.

Fact: natural lubrication doesn't always come, well, naturally. Nervousness, stress, hormonal changes... all of this can impact our wetness. Using lube is a great way to ensure there's no friction!

Remember, this is your time to discover yourself and enjoy the pleasurable sensations - pace yourself and listen to your body.

Top tip: avoid irritation or allergic reactions by avoiding flavored lube, know about the lubricant your using and if it's body-safe.

2. Set boundaries with your partner.

Ok so you got together with this hot person and things are getting really exciting. You’ve only just started making out for the first time, and are preparing to take things further. Is it the first time for both of you?

Have a chat about your sexual experiences so far, and what you'd like from this. Give your partner some context. If you have not had sex with another person or want to take intimacy slowly for any reason, they should empathise with where you currently are. Starting an open dialogue early on will manage both your expectations.

Pressure = red flag behaviour. Don’t ever give into physical advances you don’t want, especially if they put you under pressure, or emotional blackmail. Seeing how your partner responds to the boundaries you set will help you to build trust and mutual respect.

Lead by example and always seek consent for any sexual activity. This will also establish a healthy tone which your partner should mirror when wanting to engage in any sexual activity with you.

If you lose a partner because you set boundaries for yourself, rest assured that you are better off without them. There will be someone else just as attractive who is kind, and respectful too.

3. Talk about pleasure and what it feels like to you.

Learn to give feedback, and communicate about likes and dislikes. Sound challenging? This doesn’t have to be as confrontational as it sounds. In fact this can be part of the fun and help build intimacy.

Try communicating via platonic touch. Platonic touch = non sexual touch, which includes the buttocks, genitals and female breasts. If this sounds like something you would like to explore suggest to your partner that you try the Betty Martin 3-Minute Game.

A bit shy? No worries! Send a screenshot of this blog post or bring up the suggestion casually. It can be as simple as “Hey, this looks like a fun way to get to know what we both like?” or “Before we go all the way, how about we do some mutual exploration?”.

4. Try to plan ahead.

Feel protected. Confide in someone you trust like your local nurse, parent, friend or sibling beforehand so you are informed on using contraception correctly if this is new to you. This is a very responsible and empowering action to take.

Know the basics. It is important to also both be of legal age. Check what this means for your country. As well as having adequate birth control and STI protection in place, you should both know your status regarding STIs and your last test date if you have had any sexual activity with another person before.

Set the mood. You want to be in a safe, familiar place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. Make the space tidy and beautiful. A tidy space makes us relax; work or chore reminders may distract us. Relaxation is conducive to feeling more, as well as really being able to focus on the sensations and our partner. You can even light some candles to transform a room into a more sensual setting, just remember to keep them away from the bed.

If you can, take things a step further by creating a romantic ambience. Buy flowers and the chocolate you really like, or ask your partner to bring some. Don’t drink alcohol (if at all, one small glass of wine or equivalent only!) and don’t take substances as you want to make sure you are both able to give consent for every step of the way. Wear layers of clothing that feel nice to the skin, make you feel beautiful, and are comfortable too. Dim the lights and play music if you're worried about being heard.

To conclude, trust yourself and listen to your body.

'Going all the way' is the invitation - not the plan. Listen to your body, your partner, and their body, and if something doesn’t feel right, respect that. Ask your partner to stop and explore the feeling for a little while.

Remember you have agency. Make an agreement that each of you can opt out at any time - that is managing expectations, and is also sexy!

Stella's extra first time sex advice.

Scroll - Free guide to sex from Bish UK.

Read - Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston

Play - 3 Minute Game by Betty Martin

For specific questions about sex coaching, checkout and drop me an email - I offer up to 20 mins complimentary zoom consultations. Look forward to hearing from you!

For sexual wellness content that inspires even more pleasure in your life, follow @SmileMakersCollection - or check out our colorful collection of different types of vibrators for beginners and beyond.
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