Couple stroking each others bodies
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

First time sex: what to expect

When people talk about the ‘first time’, they usually mean the first time you have full intercourse. That’s what people mean by ‘losing your virginity’.

But the first time might also mean your first kiss or the first time you masturbate someone or someone masturbates you. Or the first time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Whatever first time it is, it’s something you’ll never forget. It’s exciting and special. That’s why it’s important to make sure it’s something you'll want to remember.

If you are a virgin or have never had sex with your partner before, it’s natural to be nervous for your first time. But, we’re here to help you out! Here are some tips to overcome those first-time worries.

Learn as much about sex as you can

Have a look at all our information on making love and our tips for first-time sex. The more you know about sex, the less worried you’ll feel!

Talk about it

There are a lot of reasons people might feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about sex. You don’t want to seem too forward. You might not want to seem knowledgeable – even though knowing stuff about sex doesn’t mean you’ve been practising, it just means you’ve done your homework!

The secret to great sex is communication. The more you dare to be open and honest with your partner about your needs and your worries, the more rewarding sex will be for both of you. Take a relaxed moment to discuss fears and concerns so you can go into the night relaxed and prepared.

Get sex education

Depending on your cultural background, you may even get some sex education sessions to prepare you for sex. Along the Kenyan coast, for example, kitchen parties or hen parties are common. Aunties and friends will pass on their knowledge to women when they are preparing to get married.

Start when you feel ready

There is only one person who can decide if you’re ready to have sex for the first time: you. Listen to your own feelings and don’t let yourself be talked into anything.

On average, people have intercourse for the first time when they’re 17 years old.


Ease the pressure off yourselves. You don’t necessarily have to have sex the first time you are intimate unless you really want to. Make sure to take time to explore and discover each other’s bodies at a comfortable pace. Building it up over days, weeks or months can make it more exciting.
You can also chat to feel relaxed. Talk about how life, food, friends – just some fun stuff.

Take your time

If you feel nervous, be honest. Chances are high your partner feels the same way.
Take it slowly. Don’t rush into anything. Take time for lots and lots of foreplay. Kiss, touch, and caress each other. Make it last. Make each other feel loved. Make sure it’s not rushed and traumatic, but sexy and memorable.

Notice your partner’s body language. Respond to their feelings and moves. If you are confused, afraid, or in pain, tell them gently. You can even ask them to stop until you get more comfortable with each other.

Listen to your feelings

Once you’ve started, you might realise that you actually don’t want to do it. Don’t ignore this feeling. You can always stop, whatever the other person says. Do things at your own pace.

Be clear. If you say ‘no’ but at the same time keep kissing and caressing, your partner won’t be able to tell what you really want.

Pay attention to your partner

You don’t have sex just for yourself – you have sex together. So pay attention to your partner.
Are they enjoying it? Ask.

Are they nervous? Try to reassure them by saying loving things.

Does your partner feel insecure about you seeing them naked? Tell them how gorgeous they are.
Can you tell your partner doesn’t want to go any further? Respect that. You can really enjoy making love without having intercourse.

Talk to each other

The first time you probably won’t know exactly what to do.
Pay attention to the way your partner responds. Do they moan? Do they guide your hand to a particular place? These are signs that you’re heading in the right direction. But often the signals aren’t so clear, so talk to each other about what you’d like to try. Many people find talking about it really arousing too.

Use a condom

Always use a condom. That way you not only prevent unwanted pregnancy but also protect against STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Most other family planning methods only stop the woman from getting pregnant.

Accidents with condoms are nearly always the result of using them wrongly. So read the instructions carefully and use one to practice. Boys can practise on themselves, and women can practise by putting a condom on a banana.

You can read more about using condoms in the section on birth control.

Don’t pretend to have an orgasm

There’s no rule that says you have to have an orgasm. Don’t pretend to have one: it’s not fair to your partner. Anyway, making love without having an orgasm can be wonderful too.

It’s okay to laugh

The first time you’ll probably both be a bit nervous. You want everything to be perfect and the first time to be amazing, so you might both be a bit tense and serious. But try to keep the mood light. Humour and sex are a perfectly good mix!

Don’t take erection problems too seriously

Don’t make a big deal of erection trouble. Because of nerves and pressure to perform, men can have trouble getting an erection. Guys, go easy on yourselves, it can happen to anyone. Ladies, remember it’s not because he doesn’t think you are sexy. Take the lead, and enjoy the challenge of turning him on. But don’t take it personally if his penis doesn’t respond this time.

Blood (or no blood) is okay

Don’t make a big deal of bleeding – or not bleeding. First-time intercourse might make the woman bleed if the hymen tears. But bear in mind: if she doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t mean she is not a virgin.

Do check out our myths and FAQs about the Hymen and Virginity.

Easy does it

Be gentle. You don't need to be rough to 'break' virginity. It’s possible that the woman might feel some pain the first time (though not necessarily). The way to minimise pain is for her to be as relaxed and aroused as possible, so her vagina is really wet and doesn’t tense up. The vaginal tissue is very tender and can be easily damaged, which can be very painful for the woman.

So comfort her and love her with all your heart. And take plenty of time for foreplay to drive her wild with desire before you move on to intercourse.

Our tips will get you started, but you may still have some questions about having sex for the first time. Keep on reading to get answers to all your queries.

First-time sex FAQ

Does the first time always hurt?
No. If a woman is relaxed and sexually aroused, it doesn’t hurt. If you’re very tense, the vagina can stay dry or may tighten up. This increases the chance of the hymen tearing and intercourse being painful. The first time you’re often excited or nervous, so this can easily happen. But if you both take your time, it doesn’t hurt.

Ways of making love: do you lose your virginity?

  • Masturbating: no
  • Kissing, stroking, feeling, caressing: no
  • Oral sex (stimulating the penis or vulva with your mouth): opinions vary depending on culture and tradition, or from one person to another
  • Anal intercourse (penis in the anus): opinions vary depending on culture and tradition, or from one person to another
  • Vaginal intercourse (penis in the vagina): yes

Do all women bleed when they first have sex?

No. Research has shown that a lot of women don’t bleed the first time. For one thing, your hymen might have been stretched by using tampons or doing sport like horse riding. You might have a very thin or stretchy hymen or have been born without a hymen.

Whether you bleed or not says nothing about whether or not you’re a virgin.

You are less likely to bleed if you take your time making love, you’re relaxed and your vagina is moist, and your partner goes gently. On the other hand, if your hymen is thick and not very stretchy, you might also bleed the second or third time you have sex. That doesn’t make you a super-virgin!

In some families, it’s the custom for a woman to show a sheet with bloodstains after her wedding night. This is supposed to be proof that she was a virgin. The family may think that if she can’t show any blood, she must have had intercourse with a man before. But that’s a misconception.

How can I make sure I bleed the first time?

Some women particularly want to bleed on their wedding night. They might want to convince their new husband they’re still a virgin, when in fact they aren’t. Or they might still be a virgin but are worried their husband will have doubts about their virginity if they don’t bleed.

For all these reasons, women look for ways to make sure they bleed on their wedding night. There are lots of tricks, ranging from pricking or cutting your finger and dripping some blood on the sheet, to using an ‘artificial hymen’. Some women also opt to have an operation to have their hymen ‘restored’.
If you use one of these tricks, remember you’re helping to keep the myth alive that women always bleed the first time they have sex!

Did you learn something new?

Ras Zed Jah
Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:15 am
First time is a new life, patience and gentleness means alot in this time, its hard to make this day real and effective but with the congress of you two bond with love then its crazy magic, never gonna loose respect for this hour, it takes life another mile but must be positive as you await the rain
Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:08 pm
Thanks for this article. It really advises. Far from this, may I inquire to know if size of penis(though irrelevant to this topic) determine who or which kind of a woman to have! Assistance
Hi Otieno, ones penis size doesn't determine which kind of woman to have or be with. Remember, sex is only one part of a relationship. People get into relationships for various reasons including companionship, love and friendship. Think about what you want from a partner and from a relationship before deciding to get into one or even whom to get into a relation with. We wish you well. Check out this article;-

Hi there, You should have sex when you feel like and only if you have sexual feelings for a person. Don’t do it because you have reached a certain age, because of peer pressure, or because it will make your partner happy. This is entirely your personal decision and you don't have to be forced into it if you do not feel ready regardless of your age. It is however important for one to be mature enough enough to be able to deal with the consequences of having sex. Think about whether you are ready to handle the issues that come up with having sex. Remember, you can always say no if you do not feel ready. Check out the following article;-

My penis ni ndogo Sana. I am really embarrassed about having sex, which penis enlargement creams or drugs can I use to make it bigger. I have a gf I want to have sex with her soon please.

Hi Joe, first non of the products that promise to enlarge penises really work or provide permanent results. The only option that is likely to work is surgery. It is important that you do talk with your partner about what their expectations are about sex. You will find that your partner appreciates quality sex and not just quantity or size, affection and even foreplay. Learn as much as possible about sex but also get to know what your partner wants or enjoys. Check out the following articles for more information;-

Hello Nicho, Penis enlargement products including creams do not work. There is no evidence that they do work, for this reason we would not encourage you to try using them. Sex is about affection, and you may also find that your partner appreciates longer sessions of foreplay. Do talk to your partner and get to know what they like and enjoy. Check out the following article;-

Hey there, there is so much to sex, it is important that you take time to learn as much as you and at the same time talk to your partner and get to know what they like. If it is the first time for both of you, allow yourselves to learn what you both like. Don't have very high expectations of each other or the experience, allow time for you both to get to learn each other and to also learn what you each enjoy. It will get better with time and with communication between the two of you. Check out the following articles for more information;-

Hi Bryan, the vagina gets wet when a girl is aroused. Sometimes partners may need to spend alittle more time on foreplay for this to happen. Also, what turns on or arouses one person may not not have the same effect on another, for this reason it is important for partners to talk about what turns them on. Lastly, was she prepared to have sex, did she want to have sex? If one is unwilling or unprepared to have sex, she is like not to get aroused since she doesn't want it. Talking about sex helps to improve the experience for both partners. You can also consider using artificial lubrication like KY Jelly which can be purchased at a pharmacy. Check out the following articles for more tips;-

Hi Peter, kama unataka kufanya mapenzi na dem yako ni poa umwambie vile unahisi uone kama yeye pia anataka. Kama hataki, itabidi uheshimu uamuzi wake. Kama mtafanya mapenzi kumbuka kutumia condom kuzuia mimba and mangonjwa ya zinaa ama STI. Check out these articles;-

Dear Daisy, bleeding may or may not happen during the first time one has sex after the first time it will not happen again as a result of the hymen being stretched. Remember even when having sex for the first time, one may not bleed and this doesn't mean they are not a virgin. Check out this article;-

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 06:43 pm
I have afiance she seems to loveme and I also love her deeply but she is afraid of meeting me even when I asure her that my aim to have her in my house isn't sex and I dont want to lose her how can I explain for her to believe me?

Hi there, is this your fiance or girlfriend? Have you tried to meet her at a location that she is comfortable, one that is not your house or their house? Also, have you asked her why she doesn't believe you when you tell her its not about sex? I am not able to tell you how to explain to her so she believes you, however, your partner doesn't seem to be ready to have sex and it is important that you respect this choice. Also, you don't have to meet at your house, if you do love and respect her meet where she feels comfortable which may include a public space and within time that she is comfortable for you both. We wish you well. 

Hey Neily, if you and your partner are at a place where you feel ready to have sex, you can go ahead. It is however important that talk about first, including how you plan to prevent unplanned pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). You can consider using condoms which when used correctly and consistent help prevent both unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Check out this article;-

HI Joy, first, the decision to have sex is your personal decision. Only choose to have sex if you feel ready to have it, if you feel you are with the right person and if you feel it is the right time. Sex for the first time doesn't have to be painful, it is important that you are relaxed when having sex and that your partner takes time to prepare you or to get you aroused which will cause the vagina to self lubricate or become wet. This makes intercourse or penetration easier, reduces the discomfort and enjoyable for both partners. Also, should you choose to have sex, remember to use protection. Condoms can help prevent both unplanned pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Check out the following articles for additional information;-

Hi Clement, sex is better when partners talk about it. It is important that as partners you talk about what you like, enjoy and want during sex. Communication ought to happen before, during and even after sex. Have a look at the following articles for more tips;- 

Hi Ben, Vaginal odour, or smell, is normal. Every vagina has its own, individual scent, and one shouldn't try to change or disguise it. When there is a drastic change in the odour, it may indicate the presence of an infection, this is something only your partner maybe to tell unless you have been with them long enough to tell that there has been a drastic change. Check out the following article for more information;-

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