1. Everybody is either lying or bragging about how much sex they’re having.
If you think you’ve had a few dry months, your friend who always tells stories of hot stranger sex at brunch may not have gotten laid in years, so take heart.
2. And also about how good it is. (Or isn’t.)
Don’t worry. We’re all basically in the same boat.
3. Some guys will do anything to not wear a condom.
Like tell you that it’s on when it’s not, or say that they’re allergic to latex, or be like, “I need to have sex with you right now, baby, I don’t wanna stop and put a condom on!” Or say they can’t get it up with a condom on. Or yell, “Look! Over there!” and while you are looking at nothing, they put their condom-less penis in you. Get VISUAL CONFIRMATION that the condom is on.
4. Some guys actually CAN’T get it up when they wear a condom—but that doesn’t mean you have to have unprotected sex.
I know you want to have sex, but you shouldn’t have to be unsafe to do it. Have him go down on you instead! You didn’t hear it from me.
5. Not everyone will be straight with you about STDs.
Again, even if you are on the ball about having the, "Do you have an STD? 'Cause I don't," conversation when casual dating, you can never be too careful.
6. Orgasms are hard to come by.
Basically you’re a down-on-her-luck miner in the California Gold Rush. But instead of mining, it’s sex. And instead of gold, it’s your clit.
7. You could really like the guy you’re with, or at least think he’s incredibly attractive, but still not have an orgasm.
There are many other factors besides having feelings for the person you’re having sex with that produce an orgasm. You can have sex with Channing freaking Tatum and not have an orgasm.
8. Even if the guy does everything right, you still might be too in your head to have an orgasm.
The more self-aware and self-conscious you are in bed, the more difficult it is to have one.
9. You probably won’t come at the same time.
Perfect synchronization only happens in movies. And each of you carving out “turns” for each other to come doesn’t make it less romantic or anything. Totally normal.
10. You need to pee right after sex or you’ll get a UTI.
This is so real.
11. You’re going to queef.
When I was younger I assumed that vaginas just absorbed the semen. This is not true. What goes in must come out, and when it does, there is what top scientists in the field refer to as a “queef” or a “vagina fart.” It’s normal. No one should be freaked out. You can LOL though.
12. You can’t really just roll over and go to sleep after sex.You need to pee (#10).
You have to change the sheets, probably, unless you can get him to sleep on the wet spot. He might need a towel or something. Generally there is all-around cleanup before cuddling can commence.
13. Your sexual tastes are likely to change over time.
Maybe in your early 20s you got off on being submissive, and when you get slightly older, you’re suddenly way more into being dominant. Don’t pigeonhole yourself as one sexual identity if it ends up limiting you from other things.
14. Having sex with someone won’t necessarily bring you closer to them.
You can feel so distant from someone you just slept with, and you can feel super close with someone you’ve never slept with. Funny how that works!
15. The person you lost your virginity to doesn’t always have to be an Important Person In Your Life.
Sometimes it’s just some kid in a puka shell necklace during senior year of high school whose last name you don’t remember now. And that is just fine.
16. Needing lube doesn’t mean you’re turned off by the person you’re having sex with.
Lube isn’t just for dried-up old cactus hags. It’s for people who want sex to be awesome and also not get vulvodynia, which is awful.
17. Balls hit you and make noises.
And it’s kind of funny. Just don’t think about it.
18. The guy isn’t always going to want to kiss during sex, and that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you.
Even in missionary, when you’re facing each other, a lot of times they want to just look straight ahead like they’re staring down an oncoming train or something. It don’t mean a thing. Guys are weird.
19. You don’t need to hand out blow jobs if you don't want to.
Like if you barely know them and they ask for one. Or you know and like them, but they’re being a dickhead to you. It's not your job to solve his boner.
20. Have a condom at the ready or everything can be ruined.
Don’t count on guys for the condoms! Buy some condoms! Keep them in your purse like one of the Sex and the City women! You’ll be glad you did.
21. Changing positions isn’t a perfectly choreographed Hollywood scene.
It’s clunky and awkward and you might kick him in the head. It’s fun!
22. If a guy doesn’t have as high of a sex drive as you do, that doesn’t make you weird.
It just means he may not satisfy you. That’s all! NBD.
23. Longer sex isn’t always better.
It’s quality, not quantity.
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This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan.com.