How to Prepare For Your First Time

by Anna

on Sep 2, 2020

No matter your sexual orientation or gender, getting down and dirty for the first time can be a little daunting. Many people can feel under pressure to ‘get it right’ when they lose their virginity, or want it to be ‘perfect’. Luckily, Lovehoney is here to take the edge off.

sex for the first time

Although this guide to cherry-popping will focus a little more on penetrative sex, it’s important to know that sex doesn’t have to involve internal action to be valid. Your fun sexual experiences count, no matter how you do it (or each other!).

Preparing for sex and knowing what to expect can help make sure your ‘first time’ is a positive and safe experience for both you and your partner. It’s time for some new adventures!

Before you have sex

When it feels like the stars are aligning for you to have sex for the first time, it’s normal to feel a little bit worried. Especially if you’re not really sure what you’re ‘in’ for! However there are a lot of things you can do to mentally prepare for sex.

The most important thing at this stage is managing your mindset. It’s easy to worry about how ‘good’ you’ll be, but the fact is, no-one’s an expert in anything the first time they do it!

Instead of focusing on creating fireworks and the perfect fairy tale moment, your introduction to intercourse should simply be about having a positive and safe experience. Keeping this in mind while you’re getting ready to have sex for the first time will help take a bit of the stress off.

Get learning

You may have done some sex ed stuff at school, but let’s be honest, it’s probably not enough to help you feel totally ready. After all, “sex tips for beginners” isn’t normally covered!

Luckily there’s plenty out there for you to read and watch, which can help you prepare for popping the proverbial cherry.

Firstly, it may be tempting to start watching porn, notebook in hand. It’s important to know however that porn often doesn’t give a realistic impression of what sex is actually like, and that a lot of the ‘techniques’ porn actors use are for the camera - not for intimacy.

Reading erotica, on the other hand, can help benefit your blossoming sex life. Erotica can help you find out more about what turns you on, what doesn’t, and make you feel more relaxed about the idea of having sex.

Another thing that can make sex for beginners a little less scary is feeling like you know what you’re doing. As before, no-one is an expert first time, and like most things sex takes practice! Spend some time learning about what your ‘erogenous zones are and how to stimulate them, why foreplay is so important, how to give a blow job, or how to go down on a person with a vulva.

If your first time is going to involve anal, our guide to anal sex for beginners will give you low-down on getting, well, down low.

Pleasure yourself

Before you have sex for the first time, it helps to already have an idea of what you like, and what feels good for you. Take some time to explore your body - a solo play session never did anyone harm!

If you have a vulva and you are planning on having sex for the first time with someone with a penis, it may benefit you to experiment with the feeling of insertion. Try playing with an internal vibrator, such as a rabbit. There are loads of different types to choose from, which can be a little bit intimidating! Luckily, our Lovehoney sexperts are on hand to explain all about how to use rabbit vibrators, and what makes them so great:

Video: Guide to Rabbit Vibrators

Discover what makes a rabbit vibrator so great with the help of the Lovehoney team.

Got a penis? Why not try pleasuring yourself with a stroker? Or if you’re about to experience anal action for the first time, you can play with the feeling of insertion as well using a Lovehoney butt plug.

It’s important to know that for anal, you have to use butt-specific toys. These have a flared base to avoid any accidents - our butt plug guides can help.

Go shopping

Before you get started, it’s good to have some supplies.

Protection is vital for sexual encounters! If you are having sex with someone with a penis, condoms are a great all-rounder. If you or your partner has a latex allergy, you can still use condoms. Just pick a non-latex variety.

If you’re planning on oral sex with someone with a vulva, a dental dam may be the way to go. This is a small square of latex (or similar material) that you can place over the vulva (or anus!) before going downtown.

Another thing to add to your shopping list is lube. Lube makes everything better. If your mattress mambo is likely to involve penetration, a squirt of the slippery stuff will make this easier and more comfortable for both parties. Lubricants can also help enhance sensations.

Finally, some sexy lingerie can help you feel on top of your game. We have countless options for all genders, body shapes, and styles!

During sex

The lights are low, the air is thick with desire, and the kisses have taken on a naughty edge…

This is it. It’s time to start your new life having sex.

Before you begin, make sure you and your partner have the same idea in mind. Consent is as sexy as it is vital!


Your partner needs to be aware that this is your first time. Them knowing means you can ensure you’re both on the same page, and can help you feel comfortable and safe.

Communicating about what you’re feeling is the best way to have an enjoyable experience. Sex should not be painful - even for beginners - so if you do experience pain tell your partner so that you can slow down together, change position, use more lube, or try something else.

It also helps keep you safe. Remember that it is okay to change your mind - even after you have started. It’s never too late to stop, and if you withdraw consent, your partner must respect that.

This works both ways. If your partner asks you to stop you must do so immediately, even if you personally are having a great time.

Remember that if your partner is new to sex too, they may not feel comfortable asking you to stop, even if they want you to. This is why communication is so important - keep checking in with your partner about how they feel, if they are okay, and if they want you to do anything differently.

Use lube

Regardless of what is in your pants, lube makes everything better. More pleasure and easier penetration (if that’s your kind of thing) makes it a win-win!

You should already be stocked up thanks to this handy guide, but if not, Lovehoney can help you choose the right lube for you.

Stay protected

It’s important that you and your squeeze stay safe. If at least one of you has a penis, you should use condoms for both oral and penetrative sex. This counts even if you have a vulva and are on birth control! If you don’t have protection or your partner refuses to use it… reschedule.

Go slow

There is absolutely no rush when it comes to losing your virginity or having sex. Take your time!

If you need to stop, stop, and don’t feel guilty about doing so.

This isn’t about having the best night of your life - it’s about introducing sex into your life in a way that is positive and safe. Relax, breathe, and enjoy the moment.

After sex

You did it!

There are a lot of different ways to feel after having sex for the first time. Lots of people wonder what the big deal was and why they were ever worried, others still can feel a bit overwhelmed.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel, but if you fall into the latter camp, be kind to yourself. Be sure to have lots of contact with your partner afterward, talk about what happened, and reassure each other where needed.

Best sex positions for beginners

Although there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ sex position, some are easier for first-timers than others.

If you have a vulva and are having sex with someone with a penis, one of the easiest sex positions is for you to go on top. This allows you to be in control of the depth and angle of penetration, as well as speed. Penis-havers, if your partner is on top, don’t start thrusting yet! Allow them to get used to the sensation of you first.

Another one of our favourite easy sex positions is missionary with a pillow. For this, the person being entered lies onto their back, with their legs apart and a pillow or two under their hips. The addition of a pillow helps support your spine, and deepens the angle of penetration. Again, make sure you start slow with this and keep checking in with your partner.

Want to push the boat out a little? Each week we share a new sex position on the Lovehoney blog to help you mix things up. Our favourite easy sex positions for beginners from the blog are the Kite and the Hard Press.

These give you great sensations, good control, and won’t make you feel like you’re in a yoga class.

Happy humping!


Written by Anna. Lovehoney Editorial Team
Anna has been writing for Lovehoney since 2020, and is a co-host of the Sexual Happiness Podcast.
She believes that everyone deserves to feel confident in their body, sexuality, and relationships, and loves to help them do so

Originally published on Sep 2, 2020. Updated on Nov 18, 2020