What can you do to have good sex for the first time?

First time sex can bring nervousness and excitement. You might be worried about your sexual performance or your body or knowing what you like and don’t like.

Sex is a skill that doesn’t only build with experience. You can build sexy skills by learning pleasure techniques, praticing good communication and identifying your boundaries. 

Most people focus on performance, like we see in porn. We’re not performers, so we don’t have the benefit of scripts and editing. Instead, focus on mutual fun, sexual health, emotional safety and good communication. 

What is having sex for the first time like? 

Some people have great first time experiences, some have not-so-great experiences and other people have neutral experiences. It’s normal to be nervous and excited. You might be worried about your sexual performance with questions like, will I be good at sex? Will I make them cum? Will I have an orgasm? What will it be like afterwards? What if my body smells? These are normal concerns. Your first time can be at the pace you feel comfortable and can include the sexual activities that you’re most excited about. 

How to focus on pleasure during sex.

Mainstream media and porn often defaults to penetration as the main definition of sex - but sex is actually whatever you consider your first sexual experience. That might be oral, fingering, dry humping, mutual masturbation etc. 

Focus on mutual pleasure with these communication tips:

  • Ask what kinds of touch they enjoy
  • Ask where they like to be touched, kissed, licked
  • Invite them to tell you what they like at any time
  • Be enthusiastic when they give you direction like harder or faster or slower
  • Let them know what you’re not into
  • Pay attention to their body - is their breath changing? Toes curling? Back arching? Making eye contact?
  • Ask them what they sound like when they are feeling sexy; are they loud? Quiet? Non-verbal? 

You don’t have to do fancy sex moves or extreme sexual things to have great sex the first time. Focus on what feels good for both of you. People will remember how they felt, not that you tried to be a sexual olympian! Drag out kisses, find under-serviced erogenous zones like ears, backs of knees and lower back, use sex toys, share your fantasies. Do what feels good until you both feel like moving into other sexual activities. 

Discuss sexual health and safety beforehand. 

When you’re having sex for the first time, talking about sex can be intimidating. Talk about sexual health beforehand with your partner, during a non-naked time. Discuss things like:

  • What are your boundaries? Limits can be on activities and words like pet names. 
  • What barriers, like condoms, gloves, dental dams, do you need to feel safe?
  • What do you need to know about each other’s sexual health status? E.g. last time tested, status of sexually transmitted infections.
  • What do you need after sex? E.g. cuddling, sharing a meal, text the next day

Don’t forget to use a good quality lube!

To shave or not to shave - sexual hygiene. 

When having sex for the first time, it’s normal to worry about how your body will smell or taste. Unfortunately, many of us have learned shame around or natural body scents and hair, and we feel pressure to hyper sanitize ourselves for sex. Do what feels comfortable for you - if you feel sexy removing hair, go for it! If you feel sexy with no perfume or cologne - that’s great! Remember that genitals aren’t supposed to smell like lavender and vanilla. Even if you shower before sex, clean doesn’t mean odourless. Bodies have natural scents and fluids produced during arousal. 

Keep communication and consent on-going. 

When thinking about how to have good sex the first time, it’s important to think about what good sex means beyond orgasms. Good sex means that both people felt emotionally and physically safe to enjoy sexual pleasure. 

Discuss what you both want to happen and what you’re comfortable with. It can be awkward to talk about your desires and you might feel it steals from spontaneity - but in reality it builds anticipation, seduction and confidence of both of you. 

Check in with each other throughout and communicate if you need a pause or a break. Checking in can be asking things like:

  • I want to do this right now, are you ready for that?
  • Do you like this speed?
  • Do you want to change things up?
  • You said you liked to do this, should we do that right now?

Provide aftercare for each other. 

Having good sex the first time includes having good post-sex the first time. Post-sex time is when all the feel good chemicals in our body are settling down and your bodies are readjusting to a non-aroused state. Some people might feel vulnerable or in need of intimacy during this time. Other people like to close out sex with affection or hanging out or eating food. This can be a nourishing part of any sexual experience whether you’re in a relationship or you’re having casual sex with someone. Treating each other with comfort, warmth and fun after sex can leave you both with a great memory of your first time. 


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