Losing your virginity or having sex with a new partner for the first time is a big step, which is why we get loads of questions about it from men and women, teens and adults.
If you need a little guidance, check out the helpful advice below.
Q: Should I have sex for the first time and lose my virginity?
This depends. The most important thing is to avoid having sex for the wrong reasons. These may be because you feel obligated, because everyone else is doing it, or because your partner has threatened to break up with you if you don’t.
Here’s a checklist that will help you figure out if you should have sex for the first time:
- Thinking about it makes you excited, not filled with fear or anxiety (a little nervousness is okay, but it should be nervous excitement, not dread).
- You’re ready to do it stone-cold sober (i.e., you don’t need to be drunk to get it on).
- You trust your partner.
- You are comfortable enough to talk to your partner about what you do or don’t want to do in bed.
- You are well-prepared and informed about protecting yourself against HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancy, and you know what methods you’ll use to ensure that you have safe, healthy sex. (Tip: Get advice on contraceptives, or quick, painless HIV and STI testing at any Marie Stopes centre in SA).
- If either of you is not a virgin, you’ve been recently screened for HIV and STIs.
- Most importantly: You want to – it feels right!
Q: When is it the ‘right time’ to have sex with my new partner?
Again, this depends on your unique situation – there is no set timeframe for it.
In fact, the checklist above applies, in many ways, to having sex with a new partner for the first time.
If you are comfortable with your partner, you trust them, and you are excited at the thought of having sex with them, then go for it! Make sure you have planned what protection you’ll use to stay safe.
Very important: Just because you might have had sex in the past (either with the same or a different partner), doesn’t mean you have to jump into bed again because your partner wants it. Every time you have sex is different, be it with the same or another person. Make sure you BOTH want to have sex EVERY TIME you do it.
Unsure about this? Read our post on sexual consent to make sure you’re both on the same page.
Q: I’ve had sex before but I don’t want to do it again. Should I have sex anyway?
No. As we mentioned above, just because you’ve had sex in the past doesn’t mean you have to do it again.
You only have sex when you want to have sex, regardless of anything that’s happened before. Every time you have sex – whether it’s your first time, your first time with a new partner, or the hundredth time with your boyfriend or girlfriend – must be because you BOTH want to do it.
If you feel you’re ready to have sex, good for you! Do it the right way by sorting out your contraceptives and STI screening and protection before you dive in. This will ensure you have safe, fun sex without worry. And remember: you MUST use dual protection EVERY time you have sex – only condoms can protect against HIV and STIs.
Need more guidance or advice? Contact Marie Stopes on 0800 11 77 85 or make an appointment online.