Having sex for the first time? Here’s some myths and facts

Losing your virginity is the first step in a long journey of sexual experiences. It is a singular experience, unique to you, that will open doors to a world of pleasure and satisfaction. 

But as you start thinking about having sex for the first time, a lot of questions may arise. You want to make sure you’re ready, but you also want to be prepared, and you just can't be sure what it will feel like or what to expect.

So you do some research on the internet, and what do you find? Lots of stories about what could go wrong, what you are at risk of, and what you can do to make it all better. But there are a lot of sex myths out there, stories that you should not believe.

In this article we’re going to look at myths and facts about sex. If you’re thinking about having sex for the first time, you’ll want to know about the facts and forget about the myths.

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. So grab your notebook and let’s begin! 

Sex Myths Debunked 

There are some rather outlandish myths about sex floating around the internet. And, when it comes to sex talk, the tales tend to be more outrageous than the facts — but that does not mean they are more important! 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about first time sex:

MYTH: A broken hymen means you are not a virgin

The hymen is an area of female anatomy shrouded in some mystery. A story you might have heard is that when a female has sex for the first time, her hymen breaks, starts to bleed a lot, and causes great pain. But the thing is: it’s not true! 

The hymen is an elastic membrane that lines the opening of the vagina. Although the hyman is often thin, it’s size and shape varies from person to person. 

Some women are born without a hyman. And although the hyman can tear and bleed during sex, the fact of the matter is that it can tear from other activities too, like masturabtion, or riding a bike. 

The bottom line: a torn hymen does not mean the person has lost their virginity. Many women lose their virginity without breaking their hymen. 

And, what’s more, if you do break your hymen somehow, the pain and bleeding will not necessarily be so bad. It all depends on how elastic your hymen is.

MYTH: Having sex the wrong way will damage your penis

While young ladies hear myths about the hymen, young men might come across similar myths about injuring their penis. 

It has been said that the penis can get damaged during first time sex because you’re at a greater risk of tearing the frenulum — a short band of skin connecting the foreskin to the head of the penis. It even has a name: “snapping the banjo string”. 

This tightly wound tissue is certainly fragile, but it is as likely to tear from riding a bike as it is from having sex for the first time. And the chances of it breaking at all, ever, are incredibly rare. 

In fact, the frenulum only exists on uncircumcised penises, underscoring the fact that it is not an issue everyone (or anyone, really) should worry too much about. 

MYTH: Everyone over 18 has lost their virginity

Another classic sex myth for the ages. We take pleasure in busting this one because the pressure to have sex as early as possible weighs on a lot of young people these days. 

Wanting to keep up with your friends sexual development is understandable, but it’s important to know deep down that there is no “right age” to lose your virginity, and there should never be any pressure to have sex before you are right and ready. 

The key takeaway here: it’s okay to wait to have sex until you’re ready because most of your peers are doing the same — even if there seems to be a lot of bragging and gossip that suggests otherwise.

What actually happens when you lose your virginity

There are a few important facts to keep in mind as you go about adventuring into the land of pleasure. Having debunked what is not the case, we now focus on what is true. 

In this next section we’re going to look at some important facts about what happens to the body when you have sex for the first time.

FACT: You can get a sexually transmitted disease when losing your virginity

Yes — even when you’re having sex for the very first time, you are putting your body at risk of contracting a sexually trasnmitted infection, or STI, for short. 

Even if you and your partner are both virgins, it is still possible. In other words, that’s no excuse to skip out on protection (to say nothing of protecting yourself against unintended pregnancy)

The good news is that there is a lot you can do to prevent getting one of these STIs. The only rule that matters here is: make sure to use protection. 

Condoms are an easy and effective way to practice safe sex. Everyone uses them. 

The Durex Original Condom is a popular choice for those just getting into the act. You get the protection you need, everytime, with a condom that will flexibly adapt to your shape. It’s a classic. 

If you are not a virgin, but you are looking to have sex with someone new, we have some advice for you in our article Sex with a new partner: get over the first time nerves.

FACT: You can get pregnant from having sex for the first time

Just because you’re a virgin doesn’t mean you’re any less likely to get someone pregnant during your first time having sex — and the most common cause is not using a condom (or not using it properly). 

Before you have sex for the first time, spend some time practicing with a condom on your own. Try different shapes and sizes, and figure out how to put it on all the way to base so it stays secure. 

Explore some tips for picking the right condom for you

In addition to male condoms, there are some other options that women can explore to stay safe during sex, such as contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices (IUD), and condoms for females. Pick an option that works best for you and remember to use protection during your first time — and every time afterwards.  


Want to know more about condoms? Learn everything you need to know about condoms.

FACT: The “why” matters more than the “when”

There’s no need to set any deadlines for yourself when it comes to sex. 

You will gain the most pleasure when you put the least amount of pressure on yourself — so don’t feel like it “needs” to happen by a certain age, or after building up to some picture-perfect moment. 

Healthy, safe sex flows naturally from a respectful environment. The choice is yours: you can wait for it to happen naturally when the right moment presents itself, or you can be more intentional about planning it. 

The thing that matters is not when you choose to lose your virginity. What matters is why you chose to do it. 

Read about how you can make sure you are ready to have sex.

How you will feel after sex

Like a lot of sexual experiences, the feelings associated with losing your virginity are deeply subjective. Some people say it is a life-changing event. Others say it was no big deal and made little difference in how they saw themselves. Others still feel happy and relieved it’s over so they can get on with other explorations in life. 

You might also feel a sense of pleasure, joy, and overwhelming emotional satisfaction at connecting with another person in a new way. 

We put together some basic sex positions to try on your first time. Check ‘em out!

Conclusion 

Whatever sex for the first time feels like for you, remember to keep these myths and facts about losing your virginity in mind. There are things that will help you know more about what sex is really like, and what it feels like. 

And there are things that will make sex seem scarier or more dangerous than it is. It’s important to know the difference, trust your intuition, and proceed with confidence.

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