Deciding to become sexually active can be a major turning point in a person's life. There are many factors to consider when making this decision. Once you have made the decision to have sex for the first time, it is important to realize that it is normal to have certain worries or concerns. When thinking about becoming sexually active, a person must consider getting tested for STI's, educate themselves on the different methods of birth control, and be sure they are emotionally ready as well.
Is This The Right Decision?
Sex can be an incredibly fun and exciting experience, but it does come with many responsibilities. Before deciding to become sexually active, getting educated about sex should be a top priority. Knowing about pregnancy and STIs and how to avoid them is an important step in deciding whether or not to have sex. It is entirely possible to become pregnant, get someone pregnant, or contract an STI from a first sexual experience.
Be sure that becoming sexually active is something you really want before engaging in sexual activities. Some of the wrong reasons for deciding to become sexually active include the idea that everyone is doing it, or being pressured by a partner or peer pressured by friends or the media. It is also wise to realize that having sex does not equal love, nor will it make someone love you. However, being in love with someone before having sex with them may make the experience much more pleasurable and rewarding.
It is important to realize that you only have sex for the first time once. Ask yourself if the person you wish to be sexually active with is the right person. Deciding who to share your virginity with is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. We at SexInfo encourage thinking it through before deciding to have sex with someone to ensure you are making the right decision.
Are You Prepared?
First time sex should be carefully thought out before hand. While it often occurs unexpectedly, it is wise to remember to use the proper protection and to make sure you are making the right decision. An unwanted pregnancy and STIs are risks that each person should consider when deciding to be sexually active. For this reason it is important to be prepared beforehand. This can mean keeping condoms close by to use when the moment arrives and/or seeing a doctor about starting an effective method of birth control. It can also mean getting tested early to ensure you are in good sexual health.
What Should Be Expected?
Some women may experience pain during their first time having sex, while others may feel slightly uncomfortable or feel no pain at all. Each of these situations is normal. In most cases, the subsequent sexual encounters start to become more and more enjoyable. It is also possible for males to experience some discomfort if they are unsure of what to do with themselves or have little experience. To avoid an uncomfortable first sexual experience, consider the following:
- Be sure you are in the right state of mind. This goes for men as well as women. Be sure you have considered the benefits and risks and are ready to have sex.
- Be sure you are fully aroused. Spending more time on foreplay, especially for a woman, will ensure there is proper lubrication, which will make sex more enjoyable for both partners. This goes for LGBT couples as well because proper lubrication is required for anal sex or manual stimulation as well.
- Use lube! Much of the pain women experience during sex is due to the lack of adequate lubrication. It is natural to be nervous your first time having sex, which may inhibit you from becoming fully aroused and therefore properly lubricated. Using extra lube, such as KY Jelly or AstroGlide, will ensure a more sensational experience.
- Use protection. Sex free from the worries of a possible pregnancy or STI is much more enjoyable.
Also remember it is normal for some women to bleed during or after their first time having sex. Bleeding is usually caused by the tearing of the hymen, or other minor tears or irritations. If a woman does not bleed the first time she has sex, it does not mean she is not a virgin. It may be due to the hymen being stretched or torn previously during sports or inserting tampons or other rigorous exercises. Some spotting is nothing to be concerned about the first few times having sex. However, if the bleeding persists or becomes heavier (and is not a menstrual period), it may be wise to see a doctor.
It is important to remember that there are other ways to experience sexual pleasure without having intercourse. Things such as kissing, manual stimulation and oral sex are all great options if a person does not feel ready to have sex. It is also important to realize that engaging in any kind of sexual activity is always a personal decision. Only doing what you are comfortable with is completely acceptable and it is wise to set these boundaries with partners before engaging in sexual activity.
Also, since 'sex' is usually considered penile-vaginal intercourse, many LGBT couples may have trouble with what constitutes losing their virginity or having sex for the first time, since P/V sex is not usually possible for these couples. It is important to realize that every person's definition of sex is different. A man who decides to engage in anal sex with a male partner may still refer to it as sex and could consider himself to have lost his virginity the first time he engages in this activity. The same goes for lesbian couples who engage in sexual activity.
Who Should I Talk To?
Before deciding to engage in sexual activity, it may be wise to communicate with someone about your decision first. This person could be a parent, other trusted adult, counselor (Planned Parenthood provides free, confidential consultations and can provide information about birth control and STI protection as well), teacher or even friends. Although it is wise to keep your decisions your own and not let anyone else's opinions weigh in too heavily.
Since discussing sex with a parent/guardian or other family member may be uncomfortable, some people choose not to tell them they have decided to or have had sex. However, having an open conversation with your parents about sex may be beneficial for you. Either option is okay, but it is helpful to remember you are not alone; many people must make these decisions at some point in their lives and your parents' past experiences or their reactions to your decisions may surprise you.
Your partner, or the person you plan on having sex with, is one of the most important people to talk to before deciding to have sex for the first time. Since this is the person you are deciding to be intimate with, it is important to communicate openly about what you want from the experience as well as staying safe by making sure both parties have been tested for STI's. In addition, it is important to discuss what method of birth control is best for you, if you wish to avoid pregnancy. These things may seem awkward to discuss at first, but the alternatives can be much worse. Engaging in open communication with a partner may also decrease feelings of anxiety over the experience and make both partners feel more comfortable.
Last Updated 23 April 2012