If you're a little bit nervous or maybe full-on freaking out about your first time having sex, congratulations, you are completely normal! First time sex is pretty much never As Seen on TV, ie., graceful, perfect and well-lit. For one, at least one of y'all do not know what you're doing. There will fumbling. There will be weird awkwardness. You might not have an orgasm (actually, you probably won't). There might even be some pain or a little blood. For another, it's your first time! No pressure, right?
BUT if you can embrace all that—it's real life, it's a little messy and holy crap, WE ARE HAVING SEX THIS VERY SECOND!—you can maximize your chances of making it fun, sexy and a good start for what's ahead. The basics are:
- Masturbate: Getting familiar with your body, how it works and what you like is gonna help you beyond measure. (Plus, orgasms!)
- Use protection: If you're having penetrative sex, that means a condom, even if you're already on another form of birth control to protect yourself from STIs.
- Communicate: This is an ongoing process and happens before, during and after sex. Topics will include: Who's bringing the condom (if a penis is involved)? What's comfortable for you both, emotionally and physically? The more you can get in each other's heads, the more you'll enjoy each other's body.
- Try to relax: There may be a queef, a fart, or your bodies might make weird slappy noises when you’re doin’ it. Your partner may rub you diligently in not-quite-the-right spot. Just laugh and start kissing again, and you’ll be just fine.
The Teacher's Pet
When you're first with someone, you can do them (and yourself) a solid but showing them the ways you touch yourself. Sit on your partner's lap facing away. Hold onto their hand, guiding them in the way you'd masturbate. They can do the same for you. No one magically knows what another person likes—spare yourselves some weak-ass wrong touching and just show each other!
How Do You Like Me Now?
Take your time to really explore each other's bodies. One of you lies back while the other uses mouth, hands and maybe a toy or two to see what works. (Some stuff will not work and that's fine, normal and all that. Just stop doing it and all is well.) Do they like their inner thigh licked? A light touch or more firm? You don't have to have a full-on conversation about everything, a “mmmm” or moving a hand gently away if it's too intense absolutely works.
The Brave Little Toaster
If having an orgasm, like, in front of someone else is stressing you out, you might feel braver if there's no eye contact. Have your partner kneel, sitting back on their legs, while you sit/kneel on their lap with your legs outside theirs. They can rub you with lubed had or, if you're really torqued, try a toy that's so sexy and overwhelming that you forget to be nervous. If you do wanna face each other (more opportunity for intimacy, touching, and kissing ofc), this move also works face-to-face.
The Lengthened Lotus
If it’s also your partner’s first time, they might be really, really excited—as in, a little more than they wish to be. Sit on your partner’s lap facing them and rock against them to keep them going a little longer. And if they do come quicker than they wanted: 1. Don’t shame them and 2. Use it as an excuse to do round 2 or 3 or 4 or 10....
The Erotic Explorer
If it’s your first time being really sexual with someone, it’s totally fine to start with masturbating at the same time. If you want to take it a step further, reach over to stroke each other. When in doubt, just copy how they touched themselves and if you’re totally lost, it’s always okay to just ask.
The Slow Cooker
It’ll be way better if you take your time and don’t just jump into the banging. Start with lots of foreplay to make sure you’re super ready for the D, then have your partner kneel to enter while you drape your legs over their thighs so you have the all-clear to stroke yourself. To make it last longer, try a thicker condom (look for “extended pleasure” or “extra strength").
Simple: Your partner gets in outer spoon position, puts one leg over your body and enters you from behind. In a good relationship, inner spoondom is a great place for feeling like you’re safe and all is right with the world. Take advantage of all that cuddliness to make your first time feel all warm and lovey. You’re free to enjoy all the good-feelings of the bonding hormone oxytocin hitting your brain, plus, if you’d like, you have a free hand for rubbing yourself at the same time.
The Sideways Spoon
First time sex is all about connecting in an incredibly intimate way with someone. If you want to lean in that direction, try a side-by-side position. You can gaze into each other’s eyes, touch souls and whatnot, plus the angle isn’t known for deep penetration, lowering your chances of receiving a mechanical jackhammer pounding. (Note re: the jackhammering—No. Just no.)
The Lap Waltz
Woman-on-top positions are great for first timers because you get to control how deeply you want to go. Have your partner sit on a couch (um, maybe put down a towel or something), then kneel over them. One of you can hold onto their penis to guide it as you lower yourself onto them. It’s okay to go as slowly as you want—it just makes it hotter, TBH! Once aboard, put your hands on their shoulders, and use your legs to push yourself up and down so that you’re riding their penis. Once you get the hang of it, you can gyrate, grind against them, or stop for a moment for a long kiss.
It’s a classic for a reason. For more control, instead of going straight into legs-wide-open missionary, assume the usual position, but curl up your legs in front of you (like a fetus, but, you know, a sexy one). Your respective body parts will still get where they need to get, but if you need to slow bae down, you can guide them as you please with your legs.
The Frisky Doggy
If losing your V-card is a little overwhelming, what with all the eye gazing and wondering how the hell you’re supposed to be touching your partner, etc., go with doggy. All you have to do is get on all fours and experience the feeling of another person inside of you for the first time. Press your legs together if you want or need shallow penetration and open wider for deeper penetration. Rock your hips a little or don’t—it’s all up to you!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.