Two partners with tattoos rubbing noses in bed together.

How To Prepare For Sex Before Getting Down

Nobody's first time having sex is the exact same experience. Some people stumble, fumble, and improvise their way through the intimate act without a second thought. Others may claim sex god status and have a flawless performance as validated by the judgment of their sexual partner. Still, everybody can benefit from a little pre-coital knowledge to help stimulate the body and brain before going in for the thrill.

If you want to be on your A game before things get X-rated real fast, discover how to have sex for the first time using our well-crafted list of first-time sex tips. While sexual instances can feel awkward at first, we’ll help you find the fun and pleasure in it. As always, make sure you find the right condom before things go underway and know your fit (or ask your partner about theirs). Nothing feels better than protecting the pleasure.

Woman touching the nose of her partner resting on her lap.

1. What To Know Before Your First Time Having Sex

Typically, it seems like a huge deal for first-timers to have sex. This can inevitably lead to anxious thoughts, feelings of pressure (especially if your friends are all having sex), and other internal challenges. But sex should feel wonderful, and you should never feel rushed to do it – it has to be done on your terms. If you feel ready, see how to have sex for the first time and how to go about this exciting new beginning. Afterall, safe sex IS a beautiful thing.

For extra help applying protection, check out How To Put A Condom On Correctly For Safe Sex.

2. Ask Yourself If You’re Ready

First and foremost, 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 about it, a great way to gauge whether you’re ready is by checking in to see if sex makes you worried or excited. Your first time having sex should be a personal choice, not an outsider push.

A couple wrapping their arms around each other in a park.

3. 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, talk to them about it as openly as possible to head into sex on the same page. If you’re feeling shy, the chances are your partner’s feeling the same! Look for signs that they’re into it just as much as you might be, and don’t assume they’re ready to go all the way just yet – you have to ask them directly. Listening to their needs is equally as important as them hearing you out.

4. Educate Yourselves

Make sure you’re clued up on everything to do with safe sex, including STI knowledge and how to use a condom safely. The more education you read up on the better, as it’s never a bad idea to be informed when it comes to your health and the health of your sexual partner. If you need to know anything else about contraception, or other types of birth control, it’s best to pop into your doctor’s office or a sexual health clinic and have a private chat.

Woman cuddling with her pillow while laying in bed.

5. Get To Know Your Own Body

The key to enjoying sex is knowing what you like, what being turned on feels like, how to become turned on, and where and how you like to be touched. The best way to find all those things out is on your own – and in your own hands. Although it might not be for everyone, most of us masturbate in order to get to the bottom of our personal pleasures (which is fun to do solo and with a partner watching, if you feel comfortable). On top of masturbation, trying out a vibrating toy such as our Durex Intense Bullet* on your body can help you find your sweet spots.

6. Pick The Right Place And The Right Time

For your first time having sex, it’s integral that you 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. Try not to worry about the ‘perfect’ or ‘most romantic’ setting; the one that feels best for yourself, and your partner will help you both enjoy the moment with more ease.

Two people having a playful pillow fight.

7. Practice Foreplay

Among many things you’ve probably heard about sex, one of the most popular questions is, “Does it hurt the first time?”. To answer this, it’s obviously different for everyone – but a good amount of foreplay can help loosen you up and get you ready to enjoy more layers of pleasure. We suggest using lube* to enhance the experience and make sex run even smoother. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, in pain or sore during or before sex, then voice it and stop right away. There’s always next time.

For more tips on improving your sex game for times to come, look at How To Be Good In Bed And More Sexually Experienced.

8. Brush Off Any Embarrassment

If you feel embarrassed about having sex, your abilities, or your body – try your best to remove that shame. Though sex may be something totally new to you, and your bodies will react differently, the experience can be treated with a laugh and deeper satisfaction – even if one partner gets off before the other. Sometimes, sex IS fiddly or sensitive or ticklish. In those moments, other forms of connection happen. Some of the best moments may lie in the clumsiness.

Woman looking deeply into the eyes of her partner in bed.

9. Take Your Time

There’s no need to rush things, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about your first time having sex or any time. Go as slow as you like and don’t be afraid of experimentation. After all, you won’t know if you like something unless you try it (with exchanged consent). Unlike porn, sexual experiences don’t have to happen in the same order and not everyone likes it the same way. Focus on exploring the sex you both want.

10. Use Sex Talk

The only way to learn what you and your partner like sexually is to communicate it. During sex, keep it simple and guide your partner to keep doing things that entice you with words like: “Oh yes”, “Wait”, “Keep going”, “Softer”, “Harder”, “Faster”, and so on. Listen for sounds and body language but don’t feel the pressure to perform like a pornstar just yet. Feel how your bodies naturally respond to one another to show how mutual enjoyment can be achieved.

A couple embracing each other on the beach.

11. Understand The Aftermath

Sex may change your relationship or dynamic with the other person, or it may not. Talking about it afterwards may help you decide what the future holds. First-time, or first date, sex can be awesome, but make sure you’re in tune with your emotions and have it because you feel ready. And when the mood is right, let loose and enjoy every minute. Or hour.

Want more advice and clearance on sexual misconceptions? Pay attention to Myths And Facts About First Time Sex for sexpert statements and informative observations.

*Ensure this product is right for you. Always read and follow the label before use.

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