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What does a virgin need to know for the first time?
August 23, 2011 12:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm probably going to lose my virginity in the next few weeks. What do I need to know?

I'd like to know any general tips that anyone has to make the first experience a good, enjoyable one. Suggestions for positions, amount of foreplay, necessary items beyond condoms, or any other advice that will help out.

I realize that I need to not put too much pressure on myself and I've told my girlfriend already that I'm a virgin.

I'm 24, she is 21.

She has been with about six or seven partners.

If you'd like to send some advice, but want to be anonymous, please send a message to: theshyguy33@mailinator.com
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (49 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Buy some bacon and eggs so you can cook her breakfast the following morning.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:46 PM on August 23, 2011 [28 favorites]


Just do what seems natural. Don't try too hard. Realize that men and women experience sex in different ways. Foreplay is always a good thing as women take longer to be aroused than men. I wouldn't worry about working your way through the Kama Sutra the first time, though. Chances are, you're going to be done pretty quick. Enjoy it.
posted by dave78981 at 12:47 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go slow, slow, slow.

If your girlfriend is a bit more experienced than you, and she cares about you and is tender, then just follow her lead.

You don't need any items or fancy positions, or anything like that. Except maybe a bottle of wine and lots of time.
posted by hamandcheese at 12:47 PM on August 23, 2011


In your haste to high five everyone after finally losing your virginity, don't forget the post-coital sleepy snuggle, which is almost the best part.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:48 PM on August 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


Three things: relaxation, communication, lubrication.

Also, as someone who lost his virginity rather late as well, it would have been helpful to me for someone to stress that sex is fun, and not some big ritual that must be taken with utter sanctimoniousness.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:49 PM on August 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


your first orgasm of the night doesn't have to be your last orgasm of the night, so if it happens more quickly than you were hoping just relax, laugh about it, and see if you can't rally the troops again in half an hour.
posted by radiosilents at 12:50 PM on August 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


If she's been with six or seven partners, she hopefully already has a pretty good idea of what she enjoys and what kind of stimulation is liable to get her off. Since you're a young and presumably healthy guy, chances are that's not going to be an issue for you at all, although if it is, just talk about it. You should just relax and go with the flow. If there's anything specific you really really want to try, talk to her about it. Ask her what (if anything) she'd like you to do, and what her preferences are. Really, she's the one you should be talking with, not MeFi. The only necessary items I'd suggest beyond condoms would be lube if you'd be interested in having her play with your ass, or maybe toys if you have already gone down that road yourself. If she likes lube for PIV or wants you to play with her ass, presumably she'll already have that covered.
posted by sinnaith at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2011


Lube.

And don't put too much pressure on yourself; it's good that you realize that you shouldn't, but it bears repeating.

Your girlfriend is a bit more experienced than you and (hopefully) knows at least some of what she likes at this point; *ask her* what she needs, what she likes, etc. And then follow through as best as you can. And if she is doing something that really works well for you, tell her so. If she's doing something that you really don't enjoy, tell her that too. Communication is pretty key for great sex, much more important (IMO) than how great your technique is or how many people you've been with. I have had literally dozens of sex partners, but right now I'm having the best sex of my life with someone who's had only three partners before me. And it's because he has taken the time to really become familiar with me and my body, and to not only ask me what I like but then to give it to me.

And remember, this is your first time. Hopefully it will be great, but it will probably only get better as you get more practice ;) As a culture, we put this huge emphasis on OMG Your First Time Having Sex, but it's like any other activity -- you need practice to master the art. So don't worry if things aren't exactly optimal. The first time you rode a bike, or walked, or cooked dinner, or anything else was probably not the time you exhibited the greatest skill at that activity.

Have fun!
posted by kataclysm at 12:52 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Buy a couple of different kinds of condoms now. Try them out when you're, um, by yourself, over the next few weeks. Use the one you like best. Different condoms fit and feel differently, and you'll want to be comfortable and experienced in putting one on. That will help you to relax about the pregnancy/disease prevention and concentrate on the experience.
posted by decathecting at 12:53 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


nthing LUBE!!!
posted by Sophie1 at 12:54 PM on August 23, 2011


First experience? Keep it simple, play it by ear. Foreplay varies wildly from time to time and couple to couple.

The best thing you can do is just relax and enjoy yourself. And take her lead, since she knows more what she's doing. It's not horribly difficult to get started (We are programmed and designed to do this to survive, after all), but there are all sorts of weird angling and positioning issues ("ow, your elbow is on my hair!") that you'll learn over time. And that's part of the fun of it all.

The only other thing I can recommend is to save the big sex talks for when you're not doing it. While it's happening, verbal foreplay and "I like this" and "no not that" are fine, but save the more in depth discussion for before or after.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:55 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


it is happening at your place, make sure there are clean sheets on the bed. and if you have room-mates, or even if you don't, a housecoat that she could use is a nice touch. this is assuming you don't already have spending the night together worked out. she sounds like she knows what she's doing. don't be nervous about asking questions or following her lead. don't get too worked up and don't try too hard. this is supposed to be fun, after all.
posted by spindle at 12:56 PM on August 23, 2011


Latex condoms (assuming neither of you are allergic) with NO LUBE OR SPERMICIDES on them already. Those things cause irritation & allergic reactions in many, many women. It would be good to have a separate bottle of lube on hand, though--water based! Non-water-based can compromise your condom.

Perhaps find a "variety pack" of condoms, or get a few in different brands to make sure you get something that is comfortable for both of you--or do what decathecting says, on preview! Yay, have fun!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 12:56 PM on August 23, 2011


whoops, missed the 'if' that should be at the start of all that.
posted by spindle at 12:56 PM on August 23, 2011


also, not everybody needs bottles of lube onhand (har har), so this is another good time to get with the gal and see if she has a preference. i'm worried that seenig so many LUUUUUUUUUUUBE replies is going to make you think it's a necessity or something, and for many, many, many people that's just not the case.

at least, until you try anal, at which point it's basically required.
posted by radiosilents at 12:57 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Congrats, that sounds like fun. Sex is fun. That said, there is often pressure on people about their first time just because it's the first time and people remember it and they want it to be special. So I'd err more on making sure you have a nice space and some time to enjoy each other and suitable birth control and let whatever happens happen.

A thing that I wish I'd known more about before my first sexual experiences was that there are a lot of funny/weird things that can go wrong and they're much much more normal than you might think and that they don't pretty much matter in the grand scheme of things. People fart, or someone has to get up and pee, or you bump an appendage into a wall or bed, or you have trouble maintaining a rhythm, or maybe you can't maintain an erection, or it turns out the bed makes a horrific squeaky noise, or the condoms are the wrong size, or the cat runs off with one of them. Being able to roll with minor mishaps and being able to laugh about it instead of being horrified is usually a good way to move forward from these things, though not everyone can manage it.

Losing an erection specifically can be particularly troubling to men (and sometimes their partners) even though it's really a pretty normal thing that happens sometimes. Since there are many other ways to make each other feel good that don't involve a rock hard penis, feel free to just gracefully shift to something else if this happens to happen.

My only advice would be if you're nervous to be up front about it and don't try either to hide it or to try to quell that nervousness with a lot of alcohol [a drink is okay, five drinks, not a good plan] or other intoxicants only because it's nice to be able to remember whatever happens. Have fun!
posted by jessamyn at 12:57 PM on August 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


...necessary items beyond condoms...

Correctly sized condoms. It is neither supposed to hurt nor be loose when it is on you. If it isn't loose but still feels constrained, I suggest you buy a 3-pack of large sized ones anyway and try them on for size. If the large ones feel constrained, there's an XL size. Always go with "ultra-thin" if they have that version. Don't worry about ones that make you last longer or warming or cooling or ribbing or whatever. Stick to the basics for now and find something you're comfortable in.

Some lube -- I suggest water-based not silicone-based -- is a great idea. Don't use it until you need it. If you can't figure it out, she'll let you know. Just go with regular, vanilla lube for now. As far as other, more exotic accoutrements go? Save those for later. You need to learn to walk before you can fly, here.

You're probably going to either go longer or shorter than you think you will. You might orgasm immediately. You might not be able to at all. Don't worry about it.

Most importantly of all? Have a blast, dude. Seriously, just go and have fun. She knows what she's doing and she'll give you a tap on the shoulder if you're not and then you'll do it right and everything will be copacetic.
posted by griphus at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2011


Uh, when I say "vanilla" I mean "plain" and not "vanilla flavored."
posted by griphus at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


I highly recommend the Sexual Readiness Checklist and First Intercourse 101 as essential reading on this topic.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:05 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Masturbate a couple of times now to give yourself a better chance of being able to last longer in your encounter, and to freshen up your semen-- but not for a couple of days prior in order to ensure peak arousal.
posted by jamjam at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2011


She knows what she's doing and she'll give you a tap on the shoulder if you're not and then you'll do it right and everything will be copacetic.

And don't get annoyed or frustrated or insulted if this happens, n00b. R-E-L-A-X.

Good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:11 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Clean sheets prior to fun. Have spare CLEAN towels. Make sure she knows you are her first. Lube.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:14 PM on August 23, 2011


I've always liked having some fruit and/or chocolate around for sexy times. Smoking after sex can be nice (if a little cliched) but sharing a juicy tangerine is divine. Also, a glass or bottle of water is a great thing to have by the bed.

Have a ball, tiger!
posted by Chichibio at 1:15 PM on August 23, 2011


I second everything said above. Don't worry about getting it all perfect first go. Think of this as the first of many experiences; you've got plenty of time to try different positions, etc to see what works for you and your partner/s.

And while communication is great, it doesn't have to all be verbal communication. Over time you'll learn to communicate with your bodies. That's one of the fun parts. :)

And I second radiosilents comment about lube. Certainly for putting your bits in her bits, she'll know best how much lube to use, if any.

And for further sex advice later on, you can't go past Dan Savage and his column Savage Love. The quality of his advice is highly variable depending on his mood, but he's got some good ideas and refreshing attitudes.

Have fun! :)
posted by pablocake at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2011


If there is intercourse (and there does not need to be that every time), do not try to enter her until SHE is ready. As excited as you might be, do not try to jump her bones. Keep in playing around with her until she indicates that she wants you in there.
posted by Danf at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2011


Uh... What is it with the lube, everybody? Apparently I'm alone in this, but I say: no lube. First time, keep it natural. Use condoms, obviously, but use don't use lubricants or vibration rings or any other contrivance. There'll be plenty of time for that later. Anyway, you don't need any additional lubrication if the woman's sufficiently aroused. Just bear in mind what Danf said above: "do not try to enter her until SHE is ready". If she's more experienced, she'll know when the time is right and will probably encourage you to get in.
posted by iati at 1:28 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Positions: you're going to need/want/get to experiment -- different things work for different pairs of people.

From-behind can increase both penetration and friction over missonary; IME most "fancy" positions reduce penetration. Woman on top gives different angles for her; I don't know what it's like on the guy end.

Your girlfriend probably already has preferences on positions, but don't panic if they don't work as great for or with you -- again, this is about experimentation. My partner and I sometimes switch in the middle from something that works better for one of us to something that works better for the other.

Keep in mind that even if something doesn't work, it's a success if you learn that it doesn't work.

Almost all sex is heavily improvised.
posted by endless_forms at 1:29 PM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first thing you need is some towels.

Seriously, though: Part of the fun of the first time is that it's a complete disaster. I don't say that to squash your confidence, only as a reminder that if it doesn't go exactly as planned, there's no reason to be devastated. That's just how it goes! Just have fun and enjoy the comedy of errors as it's happening, rather than getting hopelessly frustrated by it.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, you don't need any additional lubrication if the woman's sufficiently aroused.

This is so totally not universally true. There are points in my cycle when I'm just dry, regardless of how much fun I'm having.

To heck with natural. STDs and babies are natural.
posted by endless_forms at 1:32 PM on August 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Oh -- one more thing. Don't let porn guide your expectations. Not for how she should look, not for how she should act, any of that.

It's an obvious point, which I'm sure you realize intellectually, but when two machines of meat come together, it's apt to be like nothing in the movies, blue or otherwise. And that's OK.

Enjoy! Mazel tov!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:42 PM on August 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lube for PIV is perfectly normal for some women, and contrived ideas about what's "natural" are needlessly judgemental. If lube or cockrings or a specific position combined with a vibe for clitoral stimulation and a couple fingers up her ass is how she is able to get off, only an asshole is going to dismiss that as "unnatural" and try to impose a script on it. I think the key thing is that the OP follow his lady friend's preferences on this one.
posted by sinnaith at 1:44 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Smile. Relax. Have fun. Try not to see it as a hurdle to be overcome, but more as a very fun time. That's the key.

She knows you're a virgin. That's about 80% of the pressure off, right there. Be prepared for a degree of confusion. Take your time. Try not to think "OMG we're doing it we're doing it, I'm doing it!" I mean, you will think that, but try not to. It doesn't help. Enjoy the foreplay. Foreplay is the best bit of sex, really. Orgasms are just what you do when you've had enough foreplay. They're mind-shatteringly great, of course, but the journey is more important than the destination, grasshopper.

So try not to think about the mighty fuck as the be-all and end-all goal. Think about the having fun together and pleasing each other. If that goes well, fucking is a nice way to round it off. But it doesn't have to be an absolute essential. One of the great things you learn about sex when you're a bit more experienced is that it doesn't always go where you think you want it to go, and that usually - so long as you're both basically relaxed and into each other - that's fine and lovely.

An aside: I don't know why some folk here are banging on about lubricant. I can't begin to imagine why two young, lusty heterosexual people should need lubricant in a virginity-losing situation, unless it's a very tense and fraught one. And if it turns into that, then you've already fucked it up to an extent whereby lube probably isn't going to retrieve it that much. But perhaps that's just me. YMMV. You're both young and, presumably, lusty. You should be fine without lube. I've never used lubricant in my fifty-two-year-old life - well, not for basic fucking, that is - and so I'm always left more than a little baffled by how often it seems to get mentioned by my American chums. But anyway...

You may find it surprisingly hard to locate the lovely orifice when the crucial moment comes. That's a fairly common issue. She'll help you in, if she's experienced. If not, an exploratory middle digit will help guide you. And when you get there, just hold still and contemplate matters for a moment. That's a precious moment. Don't start jackhammering away. Partly because it's a waste of the precious moment but also because you'll come in seconds flat if you do, and that's a bit of a damp squib.

No experienced woman expects a first-time male to give her a great fuck, and she's usually not disappointed in that lack of expectation. But you can at least take time, not rush, and savour the moment as long as you can. In a sense, losing the cherry *is* a hurdle to be taken; it'll just help you if you saunter up to that hurdle like it's not really so very big. And once you're over it, things just keep on getting better. Enjoy!
posted by Decani at 1:47 PM on August 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


An aside: I don't know why some folk here are banging on about lubricant. I can't begin to imagine why two young, lusty heterosexual people should need lubricant in a virginity-losing situation, unless it's a very tense and fraught one. And if it turns into that, then you've already fucked it up to an extent whereby lube probably isn't going to retrieve it that much. But perhaps that's just me. YMMV. You're both young and, presumably, lusty. You should be fine without lube. I've never used lubricant in my fifty-two-year-old life - well, not for basic fucking, that is - and so I'm always left more than a little baffled by how often it seems to get mentioned by my American chums. But anyway...

1. Have you had sex with this lovely young lady? No? Then let's not assume lube won't help, shall we?
2. Many many many people don't need or want lube. Many many many people have been shocked at how much lube helps with sex and desire.
3. Needing lube is not "fucking up" - it's being considerate, mature, attentive, experimental, friendly, fun, healthy, supportive, and above all, interested in the act being pleasurable for all people involved, not hung up on some pre-defined notion of a woman's natural state of lubrication. 'Cause the wrong kind of friction will shut down the pleasure pretty damn quickly and opens yourself up to all kinds of other issues. [Ouch.]
4. Even with the same person, you might need (or want) lube at different times. Bodies change with food, medications, exhaustion levels, and 9000 other things that have nothing to do with a woman not being turned on.
posted by barnone at 2:02 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if anyone's addressed this with you yet, so here goes: Most men watch or have watched porn, so I'm guessing you have. Porn can lead to weird expectations. The stuff the girls do in porn are not always things girls do in the real world. So you want to remove any expectations you might have going in about how a woman is "supposed to act" during the act, based on things you've seen and may be assuming. You might be setting yourself up for disappointment if you go in thinking she's going to be a total pornstar in bed (unless she is, in which case, you know, FIST-BUMP).

nthing the "have fun" sentiments above, too.
posted by jbickers at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. Have you had sex with this lovely young lady? No? Then let's not assume lube won't help, shall we?

I was just offering my personal experience, dude. As requested, you know? In my experience, young , sexually experienced women don't generally have a problem with self-lubrication, so I thought I'd mention that, in the interests of trying to give the OP my slant on what to expect. And my slant on what to expect is "You probably won't need lube". Okay?
posted by Decani at 2:30 PM on August 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


clearly things can get heated on the pro/con lube front, but don't let the old folks bickering make you worry over it. just ask her if she prefers it, go from there. heck, if she's never tried it then pick some up and you can *both* try something for the first time!
posted by radiosilents at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2011


Don't jackhammer. Slow and steady wins the race.
posted by fso at 2:46 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not too sure about the necessity of lube, either. If you get this young lady nice and warmed up, nature will take care of that for you. That being said, of course, you might want some on hand just in case your special lady wants/needs some. Consideration is a big part of sex, so it's best to be prepared.

As others have noted, certain positions will reduce the friction and make you last longer, if that's a concern (and it really shouldn't be, but whatever).

From what I can gather and from personal experience, when the lady is on top, men tend to last a bit longer. If you try doggy-style, which will make you feel like a stud, maybe not as much. Of course, the bottom line is what you and your lady are down with.

You might be tempted to masturbate beforehand so that you last longer. This is fine, but give yourself a few hours before you think you might be having sex just to make sure you can go again.

Have fun!
posted by Fister Roboto at 3:02 PM on August 23, 2011


Historically speaking, humans tend to pair bond. Often with the first person they have sex with. There are probably reasons for that.(*)

You might find this a lot more emotionally engaging than you expect or are prepared for - Don't do anything rash without thinking about it for a few days, OK?

(* - No citations, sorry!)
posted by Orb2069 at 3:07 PM on August 23, 2011


Jesus. If she gets really wet all by herself, you won't need lube. If she doesn't, you will. Neither one necessarily reflects on how turned on she is or how good in bed you are.

There doesn't need to be a blanket answer for everything.
posted by twirlypen at 3:08 PM on August 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


The first time is not always disastrous.
However, it basically comes down to this: Be Flexible. In expectations and execution. And once you or her stop enjoying it, stop and communicate it nicely.
posted by xtine at 3:36 PM on August 23, 2011


Remember to give her a fair share of fun, too. When I started having sex I was so consumed by OH MAH GOD I'M HAVING SEX that I forgot that just because I'm done doesn't necessarily mean she is.

Also, it will probably be awkward. If you have a respectful and good-humored relationship, however, it will be awkward and fun.
posted by threeants at 3:43 PM on August 23, 2011


As a 20-something girl:

Take it slow. The whole night. Lots of making out and touching beforehand. Women are all different in what they like, but most women like to be touched everywhere. This, done right, is the biggest trigger for self-lubrication. The only times I've had problems are when the guy tries to rush it.

On lube: don't do it. You're already going to have enough to worry about, and if you have enough foreplay beforehand, you definitely won't need it.

Also, I don't have expectations the first time I have sex with any guy. It's always a bit of a "what is this going to be like." Since she knows it's your first time, she probably has few expectations and is going to be extremely understanding. So don't stress, just relax and enjoy it.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:36 PM on August 23, 2011


If she gets really wet all by herself, you won't need lube. If she doesn't, you will. Neither one necessarily reflects on how turned on she is or how good in bed you are.

I'd like to briefly step in and mention that it seems that many people's experiences are all-over-the-map different on this point so if people could maybe not turn this into a "lube or no lube?" thread moving forward, that would be great.
posted by jessamyn at 4:43 PM on August 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, on a very different note, if you're not already the proud owner of a full set of linens, it's a great time to stock up! They can all come in quite handy before, during, and after sex. Shoot for 3-4 pillows, a mattress cover (or whatever you call that thick sheet that goes under the sheet), two blankets / comforters, 3-4 bath towels, and 2-3 hand towels. Pillows make nice body supports, and you don't want the after party to be about wrestling for the blanket or reusing the other person's towel. Not that either of you would really care. Also, think about temperature control. Maybe it is sweltering or chilly at night there, so have a fan on hand? Or a space heater? And if you're camping, figure out how to zip your sleeping bags together, and also bring a couple of those thick horse/packing/army-navy blankets to spread under you. Apologies if all of this is obvious, but temperature control, comfy pillows, and not having your butts and knees grinding in gravel can really add to your comfort.
posted by salvia at 5:51 PM on August 23, 2011


Here is something very basic that no one seems to have mentioned: girls like receiving oral sex in addition to PIV sex. (yes, some do not enjoy it but IME most do.)
posted by elizardbits at 8:07 PM on August 23, 2011


I love jessamyn's point that there are lots of things that can go wrong and laughing them off is the best way to go. This is really worth remembering. In one of my earliest sexual experiences, I managed to actually fall out of bed in a sort of clumsy backwards somersault, and hit the ground quite hard. I still feel a little embarrassed thinking about it actually! But I took a deep breath in that moment after I hit the floor and then came up laughing instead of crying (I really wanted to cry), and it was all okay. Laughing together will make anything embarrassing or awkward turn out all right, so if you have to choose between laughing and crying at any point, definitely go with laughing.

Have fun!
posted by ootandaboot at 8:37 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


relax + sense of play = good sex 99% of the time.
posted by paultopia at 11:38 PM on August 23, 2011


In addition to condoms and lube, I would suggest picking up some Plan B to have on hand if the condom breaks. It is more effective the sooner she takes it, but you do have a 72 hour window if something happens. Plan B has been an over-the-counter drug since 2006, and don't let the pharmacist refuse to sell it to you just because you're a man. You are legally allowed to buy it without a woman present. It's also good for two years, so you can keep it for a while.
posted by chinesefood at 7:32 PM on August 25, 2011


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