New to Sex

First thing to be aware of is that you don’t have to have sex. If you’re not sure about the situation you’re in, or you feel you don’t know the person well enough – just say NO.

There are polite ways to say no… and saying no now doesn’t mean you can’t say yes next time round – or whenever you feel ready, even if that’s months or years in the future.

We are surrounded by media pressure all the time and magazines and films full of romance and sex. Bur the truth is, everyone else isn’t having sex all the time.

When you do decide to have sex, what will be important is the quality of it, so you want to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to relax with your partner and to talk things over. If you end up having sex in a rush – you’ll almost certainly regret it. For some young people I’ve worked with, having a bad time with their first sexual experience has really put them off for years. This is a great shame, because it can take some work overcoming negativity that stems from feeling rushed, co-erced or finding sex disappointing or painful. Also, be sure never to let a guy penetrate you without a condom as the last thing you need is to find yourself pregnant (or with some sexually transmitted infection), as happened to one of my schoolfriends. They didn’t even get to penetration, because her boyfriend ejaculated as soon as she took her underwear off, but obviously some semen must have got into her vagina.

The other thing to bear in mind is that sex isn’t just penetrative sex. Many young girls can find penetrative sex intrusive or painful and – unless your partner is a sensitive and skilful lover – that it’s all over before you’ve even had a chance to get used to the sensations let alone decide if it’s enjoyable.

Like my friend’s boyfriend, many young guys find it hard to prevent themselves coming as soon as there’s any genital contact with a partner.

Rather than rush this experience and feel disappointed or embarrassed afterwards, think about the beginning of a sexual relationship as a chance to get to know what it feels like when you’re being sensual with a partner. Find out about how you enjoy being touched and where you like to be stroked and how your emotions flow when you’re being intimate with someone you like and feel attracted to. Explore how you can share these delicious new feelings, and the language you can create together to talk about being sensual and learning about sex.

It’s important to really slow down, be gentle with each other, and take the time to learn about how your partner feels, what your partner enjoys and how they like to be caressed. Think about being sensual as a language of touch and textures, of textures and different ways of touching, different speeds, different styles… learn to talk with your partner while you’re touching each other to find out how they are feeling and to learn to share how you are feeling.

Sex is a very intimate experience for both of you and you need to be easy and gentle with yourself as well as your partner.

Having sex is one of the few things we don’t know how to do until we do it. Although many of us have seen images in films, or in pornography, that we imagine we should emulate in our own sex life, there is little relationship between real sex and pornography. Pornography is geared towards what is titillating to some adult men, but I can reassure you that is not the kind of sex that consenting adults are having, or would even want to have!!!

What’s important is to discover your own language of love and sexuality rather than feeling you have to copy whatever you’ve seen in the media. We each have our own sexual style and preferences, and you need to be in a relationship in which you feel close enough and comfortable enough together to explore your own sexuality and each other’s. If it’s not enjoyable or is making you feel upset or unconfident, find a good counsellor or a sex therapist to talk things over with.

If you are new to sex, it’s important to take your time and discover how you feel about sex, how you feel about your relationship with your own body, and your relationship with your partner, and what you like about sex. It’s important to take your time, both with exploring each others body and exploring what is enjoyable about being sensual with this person. Sex is different for each person and the kind of sexual relationship you create with your partner is unique. So don’t feel there are certain things you should do doing sexually, or that you don’t know the ‘right way’ of having sex. Discovering your sexuality is an enjoyable journey, and if you rush to get to some ‘finishing line’ you’re likely to feel disappointed, and have missed out on a lot of pleasure on the way.

It’s also important not to feel rushed into intercourse, or to feel you have to do things you aren’t ready for, in order to please your partner. In fact, I believe that in order to feel comfortable about saying ‘yes’ to sexually exploration, you need to feel that your partner can accept your feelings if you say ‘no’ to anything sexually. What’s most important in a good sexual relationship, between partners of any age and orientation, is good communication. If you are comfortable enough to be sexual with someone, I hope that you are comfortable enough to talk to each other about this new world of sensuality and sexuality that you are exploring together.

Because your partner has their own feelings and sensations to process, it’s up to each of you to communicate to each other about what you like and desire about each other, and what you do or don’t enjoy sexually. It’s always helpful to your partner to tell them exactly what kind of touch you like and whereabouts on your body. Your partner may not know that your earlobes are sensitive, or behind your knees. You may not know either, so it is a good idea to explore each others whole bodies fully, to find out which parts feel deliciously sensitive when caressed.

Many people rush straight for trying to have intercourse, and often attempt it before the woman is ready for it and properly aroused. When you’re new to sex you may like hours of sexual play, which includes genital caresses but doesn’t focus on trying to get the penis inside.

In fact if you feel that your vaginal muscles are tight, and won’t allow the penis inside, look at my special report on Vaginismus.

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