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Having Sex for the First Time

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What is virginity?

A 'virgin' is traditionally seen as someone who has never had sexual intercourse before. However, people have different ideas about what 'losing your virginity' means. For some, it's having heterosexual sex for the first time. For others, it can mean having any sort of sex – including gay or lesbian sex – for the first time.

Does oral / fingering / anal / hand jobs count as losing your virginity?

This is a difficult question, and again, people have different views. Whether you think these things 'count' or not, don't forget that all of them can transmit sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And whatever you think 'being a virgin' means, remember that the most important thing is making sure you're ready before you do anything sexual, whether it’s the first time or not. There's nothing wrong with being a virgin, and you shouldn't feel like you have to go further then you are comfortable with because of peer pressure.

Won't I look inexperienced if I admit it's my first time?

No - be honest with your partner. There's nothing embarrassing about telling them that you haven’t been with anyone else. If you're close enough to someone to be thinking about having sex, you should be close enough to be able to talk honestly to him or her.

"We've sort of decided to wait a bit longer before we do it. I mean, we have kissed and felt each other and all that sort of thing, you know, maybe just going a little bit further each time"

Won’t I be judged if I admit that I’ve had sex before?

Again, it’s usually better to have enough of a trusting relationship to chat openly about your experiences. You deserve not to be judged. If anyone makes you feel bad for things that have happened in your life, they’re probably not good enough to give your time to. Remember that there is no definite way of knowing if a girl is a virgin or not, a lack of bleeding is not proof (see 'will first time sex hurt' below).

I’m getting married and have not had sex before…

A young couple holding handsIn some countries, it’s common for young people to get married. Sometimes families arrange the marriage, sometimes not. You may have already been in a relationship with your partner, or you may not know your partner very well. Whatever the situation, talk to your partner about sex before you do it, and don’t feel like you have to rush into it on your wedding night.

Will first time sex hurt?

First-time sex can be painful or hurt, and some girls or young women do bleed a little bit. The bleeding usually occurs because the girl has a hymen which breaks the first time she has sexual intercourse.

The hymen is a small piece of thin skin which goes across the opening of the vagina and protects it when she is young. It has some gaps in it where the blood can come out when she has her period. Sometimes a girl might already have broken her hymen without knowing about it. For example, this can happen as a result of playing sports or horse riding.

Sex the first time shouldn't be painful or hurt for a boy or young man, but he can make it easier for his partner by being gentle and taking it slowly - try to make it special for you both.

Is the first time someone has sex enjoyable?

Some couples say that on their first time they both enjoyed it, other couples say that neither of them had an orgasm. It's an individual thing, just try not to expect too much from your first time - like anything else, it takes a while to learn about your body and about your partner's. Just make sure that you're ready and you've got contraception sorted out.

“What was it like? - Well it's difficult to describe because I'd never felt anything like it before really. I'd had orgasms through masturbation before, but sharing yourself with someone you love and respect was really good. It brought us closer together. ”

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