Whatever anyone says, having sex for the first time can feel like a big deal. But it doesn’t have to be an awkward fumble. It can be a really fun and pleasurable experience that you remember for all the right reasons.

However, if all your friends have already done it (or at least say they have), you may feel under pressure to just to get it out of the way. No matter what, there’s no rush and you should do it when you feel ready to.

Read our list of ten first-time sex tips to make sure your first time goes without a hitch.

1. Ask yourself “am i ready?”

Do you feel you’re ready? Who would you be doing it for, yourself or your partner? Or are you just thinking of doing it because all your mates have?

It’s important you make the decision to have sex for the first time for yourself and no one else. If you’re not 100% sure, a good way to judge is whether the idea of having sex makes you feel excited or worried? That should tell you all you need to know.

2. Talk about it with your partner

Letting each other know what you’re thinking is important, but not always easy. If you have fears or worries about your first time together, try to talk about them as openly as you can. 

You might be feeling awkward, but the chances are your partner will be feeling the same. It’s just as important for you to listen to them too. Look for signs that they are into it just as much as you are. If not, it’s better to back off for a while. Don’t assume your partner is ready to go all the way. You must ask them directly. That doesn’t have to mean ruining the mood. It can be as simple as whispering “Is this OK?” in their ear before you take things further.

3. Educate yourselves

Make sure you’re clued up on everything to do with safe sex, including how to avoid STIs and how to use a condom. If you need to know anything else about contraception, or other types of birth control, it’s best to pop in and have a chat with your doctor or sexual health clinic.

4. Get to know your own body

The key to enjoying sex is knowing what you like, what being turned on feels like, how to get turned on and where and how you like to be touched. 

The best way to find all this out is on your own. Although it isn’t for everyone, most of us masturbate and it can be lots of fun to do it with someone else as well as on your own. 

5. Pick the right place and the right time

For your first time with your partner, choose a safe, stress-free place where you know you’re not going to be disturbed. To feel totally relaxed, you’ll need some time and space to get comfortable with each other. Don’t worry about the ‘perfect’ or a ‘romantic’ setting; the one that feels best for both yourself and your partner will help you both enjoy.

6. Sex shouldn’t hurt

From some of the things you may have heard, you might be asking yourself “does sex hurt the first time?” If you’re turned on and relaxed then having sex for the first time should feel really good, even if you’re understandably a little nervous. 

Spending a long time on foreplay will help get you both ready. And using lube for your first few times will help to make everything go a lot smoother and more comfortably than without.

Above all, listen to your body. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, sore or painful, then stop. It could easily be a sign that you aren’t quite ready yet or pushing yourself too much too soon. Don’t worry or put pressure on yourself to cum; just enjoy the sensations and the other person. There will be plenty of future opportunities, so feel free to enjoy this one in the moment.

7. Take your time

There’s no need to rush things, and there’s no right or wrong way how to have sex for the first time or any time. Go as slow as you like and don’t be afraid to experiment – after all, you won’t know if you like something until you’ve tried it. 

Unlike in porn movies, sexual experiences don’t have to happen in the same order and not everyone likes the same things. Focus on exploring and having the sex you both want. This can take time to discover, but can be so much more enjoyable, intense, even silly at times!

8. It’s fine to be embarrassed

However well you think and plan it to go beforehand, the chances are in real life it won’t be as perfect as in your mind – it is your first time after all. 

It may feel a little awkward to begin with – you are trying something totally new - as your bodies will react differently and maybe you’ll feel a bit embarrassed at different moments. This is okay so long as it feels good too and you can have a bit of a laugh about it with your partner.

9. Sex talk

The only way to learn what you and your partner like sexually is to let each other know. 

During sex, keep it simple and guide your partner to keep doing the things you’re most enjoying with your words: “Oh yes.” “Wait.” “Keep going.” “Softer.” ”Harder.” “Faster.” 

Listen for the sounds and body language from your partner too, but don’t feel like you should be performing like people in porn may. Watch and feel how your bodies naturally respond to each other to show how much you’re both enjoying it.

10. What comes after

Sex may change your relationship, or it may not – talking about it can help you decide what it means for you and your partner.

First-time sex can be awesome, but make sure you’re having it for the right reasons especially the first time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. 

When you’re comfortable and in the right mood, sex can make you feel the best you’ve ever felt. But if something’s not quite right, then there’s no harm waiting till you absolutely know you’re ready.