1. Resist the urge to fake it. It is tempting when he's on minute 17 of hammering away and it's just not working for you to give a few screams and get it over with. But faking is basically cursing yourself with seven years of bad sex. And all that guy's future hookups with seven years of bad sex. Which leads me to...
2. Masturbate. This is vital to figuring out what you like in bed. For example, if you think you might be into nipple clamps but you're like, "How TF do I casually ask if he wants to clamp my nipples?" you can try them out while masturbating. If it works, now you just have to ask him to clamp your nipples. Which leads me to...
3. If your partner isn't making you orgasm, tell them how to make you orgasm. Almost no one is going to be amazing in bed the first time you sleep together, unless the last person they hooked up with liked the exact same things as you. Guys love sexy directions.
4. If he refuses to use a condom, you outtie. No sex is good enough to warrant spending two paranoid weeks texting photos of your ingrown hairs to your doctor.
5. Ask every hookup if he's been tested for STIs, even though it's awkward. What's worse than stopping a makeout session to ask if a guy's been tested recently? Getting an STI!
6. Stop worrying about not being perfectly groomed down there. If you want to wax, fine, but don't stress about it. Have you noticed the hair salad that is a male pubic area? They can deal with a little stubble.
7. Get rid of any timelines you might have created in your head. My fiancé and I had our first kiss at the end of our third date literally because I was a young rule-follower and I'd heard in rom-coms that you're supposed to kiss on the third date. It all worked out fine, but it would've also worked out fine if we'd kissed on the second date like we wanted to. This story is dragging but the point is: Do all the things whenever you want to do them! And kissing rules.
8. Don't do any sex thing just because you feel like you should. Yeah, it seems like everyone's doing anal, but I DON'T WANT ANYTHING IN MY OUT HOLE, OK?!
9. Say no if you don't feel like having sex or if you change your mind when you've already started. And if he's like, "Come oooonnnnnnnn, how about just a blow job?" and you don't want to give him a blow job, you can just say, "I'd rather not, bye!" That is not a good dude who respects you.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.