Having Sex for the First Time

Your questions answered


Whether it’s your wedding night or the early days of your marriage, having sex for the first time can be a worrying milestone for many couples. Men and women both have anxieties and fears about making love with their spouse for the first time and, if you have never had sex before, it can be a daunting prospect.

First Time

Here, we’ve answered your questions about first time sex so you can find out more and pick up useful strategies to help make your first time happy and enjoyable — for both of you.

Q. Will sex hurt the first time?

Sex may be a little uncomfortable the first time, because you are not used to it, but if your partner is patient and gentle it shouldn’t be too painful — it can even be enjoyable and feel good! The best thing to do is take things at a pace you are both comfortable with; having sex before you are ready, or rushing into it, can hurt.

Q. How can we build up to having sex?

Get to know each other’s bodies by touching, kissing, massaging and caressing each other; this helps to build trust, as well as intimacy, and because the contact is passionate, it should put you both in the mood for sex. It might not seem as romantic, but talking about sex can help too; sharing any fears or concerns you have will help your partner to understand how you are feeling and he/she can take that into account once you are ready to have sex.

Q. Should we have sex the first time we sleep together — or on the wedding night?

The first time you share a bed with your spouse, or are naked together, might not be the first time you have sex — and it doesn’t have to be. Sex is much better if you feel comfortable being intimate with each other. If your partner is pressuring you into having sex, explain that it won’t be pleasurable for either of you unless you are both happy and ready — even if it is your wedding night.

Q. When will I know that I’m ready to have sex?

The chances are that if you are asking this question you are not quite ready yet. Eventually, your body will let you know. As you get to know your spouse, you might start to feel aroused by his/her words, presence or touch - or perhaps you will feel great desire when you are in bed together. Sex is a very natural and pleasurable thing and if you listen to your body, and try to relax with your partner, you will know instinctively when the time is right.

Q. I’m worried that I will disappoint my partner in bed...

Most of us have fears about our performance in the bedroom the first time we have sex. This is completely normal. But if your partner enjoys your company, finds you attractive and wants to become more intimate with you, they will be excited to start a sexual journey. If they know you are a virgin, or not very experienced, they won’t expect you to be an expert lover. They may also have doubts about their own abilities — even if they have some experience. First time sex is rarely perfect, so try not to worry and as you become more experienced — with sex and with each other — you will learn how to impress and please each other.

Q. Can I get pregnant the first time?

This depends on the time of the month and if you are ovulating (releasing eggs from your ovaries). If the time is right then yes, you can certainly become pregnant. If you want to get to know your husband better before you start a family, or enjoy some time on your own with him before children enter the equation, the best thing to do is to talk about contraception.

Q. Will there be blood the first time?

Sometimes, the first time a woman has sex, there are a few spots of blood on the sheets. This can be caused by her hymen (a stretched, very thin piece of skin inside her vagina) breaking. But this does not always happen — and if there is no blood, this does not mean that a woman was not a virgin when she had sex. Some women break their hymen when they are taking part in a physical activity, like running, gymnastics or horse riding. Others simply wear their hymen away from everyday activities like washing, walking and using tampons. Whether or not there is a little blood the first time, it does not mean anything about your sexual status and it is nothing to worry about.

Q. How can I make sure the first time is a good time?

Sex takes time, patience and knowledge to master — but it is also very personal, so what is “good” for one person might not work for another. There really are no rules apart from relaxing, enjoying yourselves and being sensitive and kind to each other, as well as passionate. Your first time will be “good” if you are both 100% ready and happy to have sex — the second time might be a bit better because (hopefully) you will feel more confident. If you are committed and patient with each other — and willing to learn about each other’s bodies, minds and likes/dislikes — you’ll soon be enjoying what is “good sex” for you.

Q. I’ve had sex for the first time and didn’t enjoy it — will it always be this way?

No. There is always a risk that first time sex will be uncomfortable, embarrassing or unpleasant — you might even find it boring or disappointing. Many couples find that sex gets better as they get to know each other better and become more experienced. Then you can relax more, experiment with different positions and techniques, and as love grows between you, the sex will become much better, and more emotional, too.


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