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Sex. Although it’s becoming less taboo of a topic in today’s society, there are still many misconceptions and awkwardness surrounding it. My goal with this article is to hopefully shed some light on some questions or concerns some of you may have about your first time.


1.The Concept of Virginity

One of the most important things to establish about sex and all that it encompasses is the concept of virginity. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but virginity is a social construct that should have no bearing whatsoever on your value as a person.

Before this summer, I was always embarrassed about the fact that I was 18 and never mind sex, had never even been kissed or held hands romantically with somebody else. I felt like I was running out of time and wanted to get my first time over with so I could relate to what my friends were talking about and join in on their gossip sessions about their most recent hook-ups. Now that I’ve had my first experience, I don’t regret it, but I wish I could tell my past self that the importance she placed on losing her virginity was totally unnecessary. I valued myself then, and I value myself now just as much.

Don’t force yourself to do something you’re not yet ready for just because of social pressure! It may be tiring to hear this from your friends, parents, or whoever, but your time will come if and when you’re ready for sex with a person you feel comfortable with, which brings me to my next point.


2. Comfort Levels & Consent

Hopefully, your first time and all the times that come after will be with somebody you feel 100% comfortable with. If you’re afraid to tell your partner that you don’t like something they’re doing or feel awkward even discussing sex with them, maybe try waiting a bit more for your relationship to build to that level.

I met a wonderfully awkward guy over the summer and I knew I definitely wanted to go all the way.  I actually wrote out my feelings on why I wanted to have sex and how that would affect how I view myself to make sure I wasn’t doing it for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to make sure that I wanted this for myself and not because I felt any pressure to do so. The sex was awkward, as expected from two awkward people, but we had no trouble laughing over our clumsiness and making jokes. Unlike most media portrayals of sex, it doesn’t have to be super sensual and sexy with no talking between the partners! The best part about sex with this guy was that I felt comfortable telling him what I liked and how fast/slow I wanted to go and what I did and didn’t feel comfortable with.

Communication before, during, and after sex is important! Your partner should always respect your wishes, as should you for them. Some of you may be wondering that stopping every few minutes to ask for consent can ruin the moment, but consent can definitely be sexy. Simply asking, “Do you like this?” or “What do you want?” shows your partner you care about their experience while also making sure consent is present. Also, make sure both of your feelings are clear before anything happens. Both the guy I met and I knew we weren’t going to extend our relationship beyond the summer, so we both communicated that to one another before any sexy times were had.


3. Protection

If your partner and/or you have a penis, make sure to use a condom! Not only does this drastically lower any chances of pregnancy, but it greatly helps in the prevention of STIs. If you’re on the pill or any other form of birth control, I’d still recommend using condoms since the spread of sexually transmitted infections has been increasing over the years. Something most people don’t realize is that STIs can be transmitted through oral sex as well. It’s better to use protection and be safe than sorry!

However, there shouldn’t be any shame or stigma behind STIs. If you think you might have an STI, don’t be afraid to see your gynecologist or go to Planned Parenthood or any MedCenter that offer STI screenings. Make sure to check online what services your local center offer, how much they cost, and what insurance they accept. Once you become sexually active, it’s important to check in on your body’s health when changing partners and before engaging in sexual activities with a new partner.

Another important tidbit! Try to use the bathroom before and after sex to help prevent UTIs!


Even though my whirlwind summer romance has ended and I no longer talk to the guy I met, I don’t think I’ll ever regret my first time precisely because the points I mentioned above were present. We both communicated what we wanted out of the experience and we were comfortable enough with one another to laugh and joke while still having a great time.


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