Black couple about to make love

What you need to know before you have sex

It’s not uncommon for teenagers or young adults approaching the matter of sex for the first time, to get intimate with their partner without actually having sex, penetrative sex. So you’d find that they could kiss, cuddle, do fellatio, or mutually masturbate, but stall sex (read penetrative sex.)

A lot of times, they consider penetrative sex as the ultimate “big thing”. Or because they’re afraid it might be painful, that they could contact an STI or get pregnant. Another reason could be, the belief that they’d be committing a serious sin by having sex. If you feel any of this way, you’re not alone and it’s not something to be sad or feel ashamed about. We are all on that long unending trip to self-discovery, and perhaps, have faced and grappled with similar feelings as you are now doing. You should never be pressured to have sex. It’s also possible that you would never want to have sex. But, if you are contemplating sex, here are a few things you need to know before sex:


  • It’s okay to wait

    Your friends and peers are probably already having sex and are revelling–going on and on about how sex is great and how immensely they’ve enjoyed sex with their partners. You might feel pressured by this to have sex, and perhaps would no longer mind as you might have before over whom to have sex, and might also feel pressured to act outside your sexuality. Do remember, that’s okay to wait until you have found somebody you would care about and who would care about you. You might feel some emotional attachment to the person you have sex with the first time, you surely wouldn’t want it to be with someone who wouldn’t care about you or someone that you are not genuinely attracted to.

  • Sex is just sex

    Know that sex might not feel as much a great deal as your friends may have painted it. That first-time sex isn’t going to cause a tectonic shift. It’s not that grand. Remember this and approach it realistically. Sex is not unnatural; your first-time sex would only be a new experience to you and perhaps, to your partner. This thought should help lessen your anxiety about sex.

  • Communicate

    Communication is important and you should be able to tell your partner what you want. Do not assume that because your partner has been experienced with sex that they’d know how to pleasure you. You know your body better and would be able to tell better what your wants, needs and desires are. Know that sex should be mutually enjoyed, and should, in turn, enquire from your partner their wants and desires, as well as their boundaries.

  • Sex is not pain

    Sex isn’t an act of masochism. It shouldn’t be painful. Yes, even your first time.  Sex should always be pleasurable. Once you and your partner use enough lubricant, it would be a seamless sweet ride. This is because lubes function to reduce friction which causes pain. Know that water-based lubricant is best when using a condom or if you’re having anal sex, as it eases penetration.

  • “Would I bleed?”

    Whether vaginal or anal sex, it’s not a given that you would bleed the first time. The vaginal bleeding is caused by the stretching of your hymen (a tissue that covers the vagina). However, a good number of people do not bleed their first time, because their hymen could already have stretched during regular, non-sexual activities like cycling, running, jumping, other forms of exercise, and even, using a tampon.

    If you’re having anal sex, the chances that you’d bleed if you used enough lubricant are thin. But even if it does happen, you shouldn’t be alarmed. The bleeding is due to a tear caused by friction and would heal in due time.

  • “What about excretion?”

    It’s also not a given that you’d shit yourself or your partner during anal sex. It largely depends on your bowel movement. But to be safe, you can consider anal douching–rinsing out faecal matter from the anal cavity.

  • “What if I get pregnant or contact an STI?”

    Condom use would help prevent contacting an STI and prevent an unplanned pregnancy. For other contraceptives, it’s best that you speak to your doctor first.

Regardless of sexual orientation, sex should be a fun and an exciting experience. One way to overcome religious guilt over sex is to always remember that sex is natural, and a form of expression. You should also endeavour to get the right sex education as it would equip you with the knowledge to make the right choices and put you in a better position to have safe and consensual sex.

It’s possible that you might never get around to wanting penetrative sex. And it’s okay and possible to have great sex that isn’t penetrative. Disinterest in penetrative sex doesn’t translate to asexuality. You should communicate this feeling to your partner and future partners and explore ways to pleasure yourselves without penetration. Penetration doesn’t have to be the main event of sex. What’s important is to find the best comfortable way to pleasure yourself and your partner. This I believe, is what fulfilling sex is.

Have questions about having sex for the first time? Drop them below or reach out to our Moderators on our Facebook Page and we will respond.

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