Many people have different things to say about the first time they had s£x if you are reading this and you have had the experience already, you sure have your own side of the story, but if you are reading this, and you have no experience yet, you have to know these things before going into it.
Your first time having s£x can be super uncomfortable, a lot of fun, really awful, or all of the above—there’s no right or wrong way to have s£x. Sometimes, it’s hard to define what even counts as s£x. No matter what you’ve seen in movies or heard about from your friends, though, there are things no one tells you about s£x, like how you might feel afterwards or the pain you might have during.
There are SO many different reactions you could have, both emotional and physical, to having s£x for the first time, all of which are completely normal. As long as you use protection and are 100 percent sure you’re ready, you’re in a good place. To be even more prepared, though, keep reading to find out things that no one tells you about losing your virginity.
1. You should think about talking to your doctor first.
Ok, so there’s this thing called doctor/patient confidentiality, which means that whatever you tell your doctor stays inside the walls of the examination room. If you’re thinking of having s£x or if you’ve already started, you’ll want to start talking to your doctor about it. I know, I know: It’s going to feel so weird to talk to an adult about s£x. But, trust me, they hear about s£x and vaginas all day, every day, so nothing will be a shock to them. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask all the questions you’ve been wondering about.
2. You can change your mind at any point on the night-of.
Let’s set the scene: You’re passionately kissing your significant other and you’ve both decided that tonight is the night, but all of a sudden you think: You know, I don’t really want to do this right now. That is 10000000000% OK, and you have every single right to let your partner know that. People change their minds over all kinds of tiny things (like craving a burger but then actually realizing you want nuggets), so why would that be any different for something as intimate as having s£x for the first time? If you’re not down, then it’s not happening, and that’s totally cool.
3. No one actually cares if you’re still a virgin.
Yes, it might seem like all anyone talks about is s£x, like all of your friends are doing it, and the plot of like eight million movies involves losing it, but trust us: you are not the last untouched human on Earth. Not even close. It only feels that way sometimes because your virginity matters more to you than it does to anyone else. And *that* is an excellent reason to wait for the positive experience you deserve, full of mutual deep-feels and next-level respect. That person won’t care about how much you’ve hooked up. They’ll just be PSYCHED to get to share it with you!
4. Losing your virginity doesn’t mean *exactly* what you think it means.
You’ve maybe got this equation in your head: Penis → Vagina = Virginity Lost. But what if you’re into girls, not guys? Does that mean you are an eternal virgin? (Of course not!) “Other activities, like oral s£x, can be even more intimate than s£xual intercourse—and also carry the risk of STDs,” says Kris Gowen, a s£x educator and author of Making S£xual Decisions. “Any time you’re intimate with someone, it’s going to impact you.” So don’t put too much on the technicality of just one act, and instead think of ~losing it~ as a progression. Then you’ll be prepared to handle all of the big responsibilities (am I being safe?) AND crazy-complex emotions (did he/she really just see me totally naked?!) that come with each and every step.
5. Your 🍒 doesn’t *pop.*
Seriously! I know it’s a super popular myth, but it’s false. “The hymen consists of thin folds of stretchy tissue that are just inside the vaginal opening,” explains Michelle Horejs, associate director of youth education and training at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “It may tear or stretch the first time you have s£x—causing some discomfort or a little bleeding—but it’s not something you can break or that disappears once you have s£x.” Chances are, you already tore it a bit on your bike or the balance beam or just by being an active human. NBD, because your hymen is just a part of your body. It has nothing to do with whether or not you’re a virgin.
6. …but it could hurt a little.
Before you freak, let us explain. To prep for s£x (we’re mostly talking penis-vagina intercourse here), your body needs a warm-up phase of kissing, touching, etc. That’s when a guy gets his erection, and also when your vagina lubricates to prepare your body for s£x (because no lubrication = friction = pain). But the tricky part is that nerves can interfere with this arousal process, and you and your partner could get aroused at different speeds. “Guys are like microwaves and girls are slow cookers,” explains Stardell Smith, a health educator at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. You can use your fingers to check if you’re ready down there. And if not: Slow. Them. Down. If you’re not wet enough, don’t be too concerned—there is nothing wrong with you or your partner. You can also try using lube to make the deed a lot more comfortable for both parties.
7. Your body will feel different.
After you have s£x, your vagina becomes more flexible—your vagina will get more used to penetration, which means s£x will get more comfortable for you as time passes. Plus, your boobs will temporarily become firmer, as the arousal will cause your blood vessels to dilate and your breast tissues to swell up. Your nipples will also become more sensitive than normal. Why? Blood flow and muscular tension increase when you’re turned on, which makes your nipples become hard.
8. Your virginity is not a gift.
Perhaps the most confusing question you will ever face in your life is, Am I ready to have s£x? And it’s extra-complicated when you’re in a relationship (or, you know, a sorta-kinda-maybe-relationship) and start to feel like there are expectations on the other end. But just remember that you never owe someone s£x, no matter how nice they are, or much they spent on concert tix, or that it’s your whatever-month anniversary or someone’s birthday or anything else. Yes, we know. You’re looking for a heavenly sign that it’s time. But the truth is, that sign won’t come from anyone else…it has to come from you.
9. Losing it takes a LOT of planning.
Or at least…it should. And we’re not talking lighting candles, cueing up a special s£xy-time playlist, and sprinkling a bed with rose petals. Nope, nope. See, with s£x comes ginormous responsibility: Am I on birth control? Who’s going to get the condoms (if I’m sleeping with a guy)? And where/when can we find a private space and time to get it on? If you’re seriously considering taking the next step, you’ve got to be ready to answer these Qs and understand that s£x can bring life-changing consequences, like pregnancy or an STD you’ll have for the rest of your life. Plus, it’s totally possible to get pregnant during your first time, so always be safe! S£x is not just spontaneous magic, like in the movies. But knowing you were adult enough to do it right will feel WAY more special in the long run.
10. You are going to feel like the newb-iest of newbs.
And guess what? You should just embrace it, because no one would expect you to nail a brand new dance routine or stand up your first time surfing. The truth is, even if it’s not your partner’s first time, it’s their first time with YOU. No doubt, you’re both feeling a little nervous. So rather than obsess silently (am I doing this right? is this good? help?!), be honest about your experience level up front, and straight-up ask what they like throughout. “Whether it’s your first time or your 100th time, communication and comfort are key,” says Horejs.
11. You might think: This totally sucks.
Beforehand, your brain was all fireworks-worthy fantasies. In reality, though, s£x—that first time—may be more like: That’s all?! Really?! In fact, you might want it to be over the second it starts…and that’s 100% normal. “S£x takes place mentally as well as physically,” explains Smith. “So if you feel tense or are scared, which most people do feel their first time, it can be really difficult to enjoy your experience.” In addition, your hormonal changes might lead to emotional outbreaks post-s£x. Your emotions are at an all time high after s£x, so don’t worry too much if you’re experiencing extreme feelings, both negative and positive. When you grow more comfortable, however, you’ll feel more at ease — both with the act itself and your partner.
12. Afterwards, your relationship can get weird-ish.
Real talk: Losing your virginity can bring you and your bae closer. But what no one really talks about is how it can also test your bond in crazy ways. A late period, a questionable bump down there—sh*t can get serious very fast, and those uncertainties can poke holes in your connection. So before you make the decision to hook up (any time! not just the first time), always ask yourself: Is our relationship strong enough to withstand the worst-case scenarios? Can I trust this girl/dude to treat me with total respect afterwards? This is a big decision, and you’ll need the *ultimate* gut-check. Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking that s£x will turn a casual hookup into a relationship. The only thing that leads to a relationship is caring deeply about each other, and that doesn’t have anything to do with when you lose your virginity.
13. It might not be ~magical~.
Movies and TV shows create all kinds of ideas about what first time s£x looks like. If you want candles and romance, you should make that known. But if you want to just do it to get your first time behind you, that’s ok, too. As long as you’re protecting yourself against STDs and pregnancy, you can do it however it feels right to you (there’s no right or wrong way to have s£x for the first time).
14. You can lose it again. And again. And again.
Yes, that sounds impossible, but stick with us here. Because if you have had s£x once (or twice) and it’s not the experience you had hoped for, you can take what you’ve learned about what you want and…get this…wait for it. “Having s£x once does not open up the floodgates,” says Gowen. “You always have the right to pull back and say no.” In fact, being a born-again virgin can be totally empowering. It gives you the chance to hold out for whatever was missing the first time—whether that was true love…or just a real bed. (You deserve both!)
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