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The Badass’ Guide To Losing Your Virginity

Euella gives her top six tips for having a good (first) time.

Flashback to, what feels like a few hundred years ago, to around the time I lost my virginity. Ah memories. At the time, it seemed like everyone was doing it but me. First it was Hannah, then it was Jazz, then Clara. It was like a club that I was excluded from, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure whether I was happy about that or not. There weren’t many people I could talk to. It felt that asking my friends would make me sound ignorant but I also couldn’t just rock up to my parents and be like ‘hey guys, I think it’s time for the talk’. In the months leading up to it, I flicked through countless magazines straight to the sex and relationships agony aunt pages. I would read through the horror stories of girls having sex for the first time and then being deserted by their partners or shamed by their friends. I read stories of STIs, pain and pressure. I read about insecurities about performing well and body image. Was losing your virginity just a painful rite of passage? Well friends, it really doesn’t have to be. When I was younger I needed to see and hear advice that didn’t scare me or make me feel anxious, but there wasn’t any, so I decided to make my own for you. With that being said, welcome to the badass’ guide to losing your virginity.

1. Consent and Control

One of my biggest tips for having a positive first-time experience is being in control of your decisions and your own body. I bet you’re saying to yourself, yeah that’s great but what do you mean by that? It is important that you feel like you have a say in what is happening and you should never, under any circumstances, be pressured into having sex if you’re not ready. Your body belongs to you and you alone. Just because this is your first time, doesn’t mean you can’t have a say and your views aren’t valid. Consent should be a fundamental aspect of every relationship you have, whether it be personal, professional or sexual.

Just because this is your first time doesn’t mean that your partner should have all the control and that you can’t be part of the decision making. Do you think things are going too fast? Say so. Have you changed your mind? Say so. Giving consent isn’t just about the act of being able to say yes at any given time, it’s also about being able to say no too. Listen to your partner, yourself and your body. It’s ok to feel nervous, and even a little anxious. But if you’re feeling overly scared – then it probably isn’t the right time.

2. Be Mentally Prepared

Sex should, in no way, shape or form, be something that you are ashamed or afraid of. We generally tend to have a fear of the unknown, so getting to know your body and what to expect can make your first time more enjoyable and less daunting. You know what they say, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. So, do your research. I know it sounds boring, but it really doesn’t have to be. Watch YouTube videos, read articles (like this one), talk to your friends or family. This might sound a little weird but get to know your own body by masturbating. Come to grips with what it is that you like and what your body responds well to – not only with this make you a better sexual partner but it’s going to enable you to feel more confident in communicating what feels good. Speaking of communication, before you do anything physically, start having conversations with your partner in order to manage your expectations. Yeah, ok it might not be mind-blowing the first time, in fact, it might even hurt a little and it probably won’t resemble anything you’ve seen in porn (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but it’s the beginning of journey to greater understanding yourself and your sexuality – so embrace it and manage your expectations.

3. Be Safe

It’s important that you feel safe and secure throughout – and part of that is thinking about contraception. Yes, contraception – that boring word that you hear increasingly (and rightly so) around sex. Contraception should be a part of any and every conversation you’re having about sex. You should know the different kinds that are available and where to get it from. For those who don’t know, contraception prevents you or your partner falling pregnant and there are a range of different options to suit your lifestyle and needs. On the other hand, condoms are the only contraceptive method that protects you against unwanted pregnancy AND sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases. And you’re right, there’s nothing particularly sexy or exciting about contraception but let me tell you, nothing kills the mood faster than having to tell your partner you have an STI. So talk to your partner to explore your options, and sorry kids, having no contraception is not an option. If you’re a little unsure, there are plenty of places that can help or offer some advice.

Being safe isn’t just about contraception – it’s also about ensuring that you’re feeling physically and emotionally safe too. Do not feel pressured or coerced into losing your virginity because you think it will please your partner. Being safe is about feeling comfortable with your partner, even if it means saying ‘babe, I’m not ready’. If you don’t feel safe and emotionally secure, then you’re either with the wrong one or it’s the wrong time.

4. You Don’t Have to ‘Wait for The One’

My younger (female) cousin asked me a really interesting question the other day. She asked whether she should lose her virginity to ‘get it out the way’ or whether she should ‘wait for the one’. I’m not gonna lie, it caught me a little off-guard because I didn’t know how to answer it. It’s difficult because I know that when I was her age, losing my virginity seemed like a much bigger deal than I see it now. But I understand that losing your virginity isn’t something that you should do with any old person – but not for the reasons you may think. Sex is not a gift, so don’t give it to anyone because they have ‘earned it’. In our society, girls are often encouraged to ‘wait for the one’, whereas boys are encouraged to do as quickly as possible. When girls lose their virginity, something is seen to be lost but for boys, they’ve seen to have ‘become a man’. It’s frustrating. Regardless of who you are and how you identify, I think it’s important to wait until you’re ready to have sex with someone who is right (but this doesn’t mean ‘the one’). I think who you lose it to can sometimes have a big impact on your sexual experiences and habits going forward. So cousin, to answer your question – don’t necessarily wait for someone who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with (because where’s the fun in forever, am I right?) but, make sure it’s with someone who you trust, who listens and respects you and your body and is willing to learn with you.

I’ve lost contact with the person I lost it with (we’re not even friends on Facebook – so that’s saying something) and I know a lot of people who can’t even remember the name of the person they lost it to. I’ve vaguely remember what he looks like, but I will always remember the way he made me feel. So yeah, bear that in mind.

5. Start As You Mean To Go On

Your first time is a great opportunity to start building healthy habits into your sex life and routine. For example, foreplay. Foreplay constitutes any sexual activity that comes before intercourse – whether that be kissing, touching, oral or even giving your partner a ‘helping hand’ (if you know what I mean). In the hype of, what’s considered to be, the ‘main event’, we often forget the importance of warming ourselves and our partners up beforehand. It’s ok to take your time with this, and really enjoy it – don’t feel any pressure to rush this step, because you may find, that if done right, it’s more enjoyable than penetrative sex. And might I add, foreplay shouldn’t be seen as a bonus but integral to any sexual activity – as it’s going to ensure your body is sufficiently aroused and ready for action. It might seem like foreplay isn’t that important, but it’s also about ensuring your partner is pleasured. Foreplay is about caring-giving, paying attention to your partner, checking in on them, listening to their body and reacting accordingly – even if that means stopping- and this comes with practice. Everyone should learn the skill of sexual care-giving but make sure this isn’t one sided. Girls, we have a history of being the sole sexual caregivers in relationships. Try and be in relationships that are as equal as possible to ensure you get the most out of your sexual and personal experiences. So, with that being said, stock up on the lube (lube is good), buckle up for you’re in for a ride (excuse the pun).

6. Virginity Is Whatever You Want It to Be:

In the past, the concept of virginity has been a very hetero-centric concept. What do I mean by that? Well, it has been perceived as only constituting heterosexual sex (penis in vagina penetration) – and nothing else. Open your mind. For some, certain acts may feel more intimate than others and this may change the older you get. It is possible to lose your virginity more than once, depending on the sex act and it is possible to lose your virginity without penis in vagina penetration.

Good luck on your sexual journeys. Go out into the world and be a total and utter badass. You’re welcome.

Did I miss anything out? Let us know @rifemag

For a list of places to talk about contraception options and sexual health, check out the @rifeguide