Losing your virginity

As rites of passage go, your sexual debut is pretty huge. Whether you're waiting for the right time or just desperate to get it over with, The Mix explains how to make it the best experience it can be.

couple with red balloons

"Buying me symbolic balloons won't make me ready any quicker."

As rites of passage go, your sexual debut is pretty huge. Whether you’re waiting for the right time or just desperate to get it over with, your journey into the wonderful (yet sometimes scary) world of sex is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. So before you loosen that chastity belt, make sure you’re physically and emotionally equipped.

Virginity advice for girls

Will it hurt?

If your idea of losing your virginity is penetration then yes, it might hurt. But how much can vary, and there’s lots you can try to minimise the pain. Firstly: foreplay foreplay foreplay. Get to know each other’s bodies first through touching, kissing and licking. If you’re turned on, your vagina will release natural lubricant, making penetration easier and less painful. But the most important thing is to try to relax. If you tense up, your vaginal muscles will too, sometimes resulting in a burning, stinging or aching sensation. Remember you can stop at any time if you don’t feel comfortable.

Will I bleed all over the place?

Some girls bleed when they stick something up their fanny for the first time, but most don’t. The blood comes from the tearing of the hymen – the stretchy membrane that partially covers the entrance to the vagina. It may tear during first-time sex although in many cases it will already have been worn away by using tampons, sport or just general wear and tear. If you do bleed, remember the amount of blood looks much worse spread out on a sheet or in your knickers than it actually is. If you’re worried about stains, put a towel under your bum before you have sex.

I’m scared my naked body is ugly

It’s worth mentioning that the person you’re getting naked with isn’t going to notice your cellulite/muffin top/flabby thighs. Their thoughts are more likely to be “Oh My God! Real life BOOBS, and for some odd reason this GODDESS is letting me sleep with her. Hooray!”

If you’re majorly panicking about getting naked it might be worth asking yourself if you’re really ready for sex yet.

If it’s just getting your kit off that worries you, agony aunt Anita Naik recommends spending more time naked alone to increase body confidence. She says: “You’re not going to have good sex if you’re too busy holding your tummy in or trying to push your boobs together. Stop being critical and try and lose yourself in it.”

Don’t expect to come straight away

If you’re expecting fireworks your first time, you may find yourself disappointed. Sex is a major learning process and it takes time to learn what your body likes. So just because you don’t come during your first time – or your second, or your 202nd – doesn’t mean you never will. Again, foreplay is your friend here. It’s worth noting that most girls find they don’t come through penetration alone.

Virginity advice for boys

Is my penis big enough?

Showing off Mr Happy for the first time might be a little daunting – especially if you’re scared he doesn’t measure up. Here at the The Mix we’ve said it a thousand times but we’ll say it again: Size. Doesn’t. Matter. If you’re sleeping with a woman – vaginas coincidentally are, on average, only four inches deep – so don’t panic. Just remember that whichever gender you’re with, know your way around their bodies with your fingers and tongue. That’s more important. But, if you’re still feeling shy, it may be worth waiting for someone you can trust before you have sex.

Don’t trust porn

You have a computer, you have an internet connection, you have a penis – chances are you’ve looked at some porn. Fair enough. But please don’t assume the sex you see in pornos will be ANYTHING like your own sexual encounters. No, people don’t want to be banged senseless without any foreplay and then have their face ejaculated on. So don’t copy the porn ‘moves’ without prior discussion unless you want your partner seriously offended and crying on your pillow. Most importantly, don’t expect the person you’re sleeping with to look like a pornstar. People have pubes, boobs don’t defy gravity, tops of thighs may well rub together, and penises all come in wonderful shapes and sizes. Distinguish between reality and fantasy otherwise you’re going to be disappointed.

Virginity advice for everyone


Think you can’t get pregnant during your first time? You can. And you can get STIs as well. Contraception may be the last thing you’re thinking about when contemplating doing-the-do, but condoms are essential. If you can, discuss contraception before the big event. Condoms can take some getting used to, so it may be worth practising alone a few times before your debut.

Lose it for the right reasons

The peer pressure to lose your L-plates is always immense but don’t let yourself be rushed.

Anita recommends asking yourself some important questions beforehand.

“Are you doing this for yourself or are you doing this for someone else?” she says. “If you’re doing it only because you think you should or because you want someone to like you, don’t do it.

“Try and do it with someone you really care about and discuss your expectations and concerns about sex – including contraception. Don’t expect it to be amazing, it may not be, and discuss this with your partner. If you don’t feel comfortable having this important discussion with them then you may not be ready to sleep with them.”


Next Steps

  • Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.



By Holly Bourne

Updated on 09-Dec-2015

Photo of couples with red balloons by Shutterstock