The tale of the first sexual experience of an able-bodied, cisgender women and cisgender man, in heterosexual union, is so innate and so powerful that it can be almost impossible to imagine any other scenario. Any other options. Though if you think about it a bit more, there are so many, diverse first time experiences in the world.
It’s not easy to summarize first time experiences representing the full diversity of people, love, gender and sexuality all on one page. That’s not to say that there isn’t a universal and essential factor that is shared across these experiences. What do you need to have and what do you need to prepare for your first time? These are the questions that anyone wanting to have sex should consider. It just happened, the mood was right, we thought it was time… rather than a passive approach like this, making a plan and preparing can help to ensure a safe and pleasurable first time having sex
S T E P 1 Explore my body and my sexuality, and make my own decisions about sex
Although gender stereotypes and inadequate sex education are realities in our society, all women should feel confident in understanding their bodies and desires. Your first time having sex shouldn’t be a sombre ceremony gifting your well-kept purity to a partner, but an independent decision made as a woman based on her own wants and needs.
The first condition for your first time is that it should be what “You Want”.
How can we make an independent decision about what we want?
It helps if you have a concrete idea of how you want your first time to play out.
Questions like, Do I want to have sex now? Do I want to have sex with this partner? Do I feel like my body is ready for this now? Where do I want to have this experience?… can help you develop your own criteria. Knowing what you don’t want can help too. Not there. Not while drunk. Not on the first date. If you want to have your first time in your college dorm room after a bit of kissing, go for it. If you want a comfortable space with candles and roses, prepare it for yourself. The key here is to ‘know your own desires, and not lose yourself immersed in someone else’s’
S T E P 2 Choosing a partner who is right for me
What kind of person should I choose to explore this independent decision with?
Above all, it would be preferable to have someone who you have built up a comfortable connection with, to make for a safe and enjoyable first time. Let’s look at a few conditions for a good partner to help you feel confident in your choice.
Making the decision yourself on when and with whom to have sex for the first time is a necessary condition to experiencing safe and respectful sex. If you can find a good partner, the probability of making great memories will also increase.
S T E P 3 Required Materials : Consent, Contraceptives, and a Comfortable Space
Different to masturbating by yourself, communicating with your partner and ensuring consent is essential. Sexual consent means not just consenting to sexual activity before it starts, but also agreeing that you can stop at anytime throughout. You should also agree on any kinds of contact or behaviour that are off limits. In a truly equal relationship you should feel comfortable expressing both consent and rejection. This means that silence or hesitation are not consent.
It’s also important to remember that there are consequences involved with having sex. If you are a female having penetrative sex with a cis-gender male understand that there is a risk of getting pregnant, and if you don’t want to get pregnant you need to use contraception. The decision of if and when to get pregnant is a matter for individual women to decide. Unplanned pregnancies are shown to have a great impact on a woman’s studies, career and general outcomes in life.
During sex education classes, I often ask students what they think they need to prepare for their first sexual experience. I get a range of answers, including money for a motel, scented candles, sexy underwear, lube, and toiletries like shower gel. But no answer would be complete without ‘this’. One of the most important things to prepare for your first time having sex is a condom. The other two are clear consent and a comfortable space.
Condoms are the cheapest contraceptive method with the least side effects while protecting from pregnancy and STI’s. When planning your first time some kind of contraception is not an option but a requisite.
At least, we’ve uncovered the formula for having a safe first time.
Now we can move forward into a world of desire and joy through fun and safe sex.
- What to prepare for a safe first time having sex…
- My conviction, a decent partner, consent and condoms