Your sex questions answered

First time sex can be a lot to get your head around. Here’s our guide to what you really need to know…

your sex questions answered


Sex can often seem like a mysterious, mind-boggling concept, and there are enough myths and rumours around to get you really confused. We looked at some of the most commonly-asked questions about first time sex to sort the fact from the fiction.

What will sex feel like?
Sex is talked about so much that it can be hard to know what to realistically expect from your first time. You may have heard rumours that sex is painful, yet also heard someone saying their first time was earth-shatteringly amazing. In most cases, the reality is somewhere in between. Sex may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, particularly for the girl if she still has her hymen intact, but this should only feel similar to a pinch. First time sex can be a wonderful experience that brings you closer to your partner, but don’t worry if it isn’t the magical experience you’ve seen in films – it takes practice to get it right, and experience in knowing your own body. Talk to each other about your experience and you’ll find it easier to improve – and have plenty of fun perfecting your technique!

What are the chances of catching an STI or getting pregnant?
There’s no exact answer to this, but it’s important to know that you can get pregnant or catch an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) even if it’s your first time. Modern contraceptives are very effective, but remember that the only way to protect against both pregnancy and STIs, if you are having sex, is to use a condom. While the pill, implant and coil may stop pregnancy, they won’t protect either of you against STIs. As there is still a (very slim) chance of becoming pregnant or contracting an STI if you use a condom, it’s important that you and your partner talk things through beforehand and know how you would deal with it if it happened.

How old are people when they lose their virginity?
When it comes to first time sex, some people can bend the truth about how experienced they are. Which means that just because all your friends say they’ve already done it, doesn’t necessarily mean that they have. In fact, a study by The Observer discovered that the average age British men lose their virginity is 16, while it’s 17 for women, with only 32 per cent losing their virginity before the legal age of consent of 16[i]. There isn’t a correct age to lose your virginity, the important factor is whether you’re ready. So take other people’s advice (or bragging!) with a pinch of salt and focus on what’s right for you.

What counts as losing my virginity?
This is a good question, as many people are unsure about what counts as first time sex. There is not one right answer to this. An individual may class an array of sexual experiences as losing their virginity. It does not just refer to vaginal penetration, for some it may vary from being naked together, to engaging in sensual touching or oral sex.

When it comes to sex, there’s no such thing as a stupid question and it’s normal to have uncertainties about the topic. No matter how unusual you think your question is, someone will have asked it before, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from a reputable source.