Navigating sex with a new partner
So you met each other online or maybe at the game night your friend guilt-tripped you into attending. There was light flirting and eventually, numbers were exchanged. You even survived the app where relationships go to die – WhatsApp – and now, after several hot and heavy make-out sessions that have left holes in your pants, you’re ready to make the next move.
First time with a new sexual partner? Well, we’ve all been there. While the media seems to show two extremes: romance movies with well-lit sex scenes that feature deep longing looks, effortless switching of positions and simultaneous orgasms, that have left an indelible impression of what a perfect first time should be like. Porn, on the other hand, shows us that our first time with a new partner should involve vigorous sex in unrealistic positions, for as long as possible. Even though we might want these things, the truth is, unlike porn or your favourite movies/tv shows, you don’t have a director coordinating your every move, which means you’ll both have to figure things out together. Will it be awkward at some point? Yes. Will it be perfect? Probably not. You’re both figuring out a foreign body and while you might have hinted at it before, neither of you will know what the other really, really like. So how do you make it work?
Deal with the Awkward Moment. Better still, Laugh it off
Sex is messy. Anyone who has had sex can attest to that. From your body making weird unplanned noises – queefing or farting – to accidents that might occur in the process of contorting your body to fit a new position, or that awkward moment where you’re both wondering if it will fit, there are a thousand and one things that could ruin your hot session. But guess what? These mishaps are entirely normal so stop beating yourself up, take charge of the situation by addressing the elephant in the room, laugh it off and get back on the saddle.
Admitting that these moments happen more often than you’d imagine, Ikenna, a movie producer, tells Love Matters Naija, “If it’s minor, you find a way to laugh it off. When it’s major, you take a break, recuperate and go again.”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first, second, or eighteenth time having sex, unexpected things can still happen while you’re getting it on. Communicate with your partner, and find mutual ground to make a joke out of it because trust us, it might happen again.
Closed Mouths don’t get fed. Be Vocal
In a country like Nigeria where sex is talked about in hushed tones and slut-shaming seems to be the norm, a lot of people have become mute – refusing to talk about sex, or even during sex. Getting the short end of the stick, several sexually active persons due to their refusal to communicate techniques and wants, leave their beds unsatisfied. “It’s important to communicate and also to comprehend. For someone who is sexually active, I’m very vocal. I’ll tell you what I like and don’t like because it’s a mutual enjoyment activity, and I want to enjoy every bit of it,” says Veronica, a Port Harcourt-based sommelier.
Communication before, during and after sex, is important when it comes to dealing with a new partner. Before sex, talk about what works for you, what you’re good at, your sexual health and protection, and encourage your partner to share theirs with you. If you prefer to give than receive oral sex, tell them. If you’re more comfortable with a certain form of protection, explain it to them. You’re already planning to have sex with this person so it’s important to leave the shame at the door.
During sex, be sure to point your partner in the right direction. Sometimes you don’t have to use words, ‘Nnia, an Abuja-based creative, recognizes that an encouraging moan can be a good tip as to whether or not you’re doing the right thing. “What’s also important is reading body language and recognizing verbal cues when moving your hand or face here, or simply pulling back a bit if there’s pain or discomfort.”
Be vocal about what feels amazing and don’t hold your tongue when you’re uncomfortable. Telling your first-time partner what works for you helps them understand and please you better. Who doesn’t want that?
Save the Acrobatics for the Gymnasts
As previously stated, there is a lot of pressure that comes from being intimate with someone for the first time. And as humans, our first instinct is to go all out. It is at this very moment – even though you haven’t stretched since your inter-house sports in secondary school – that you remember the most complex position you’ve ever seen, you know, the one where you become a human rubber band? Well, this is not the time to pull your wildest sex tricks out of the blue in a bid to impress your partner, so take it down a notch.
You don’t want to be experimenting with a position you’re both not used to and trying out some Karma Sutra tantric maneuver on your very first night together. Chances are you’ll both get frustrated because of the work involved due to your unfamiliarity with each other and your strengths. All these extra toppings can be saved for later. Stick to positions that are familiar and feel comfortable for everyone involved.
“I think people just want to impress their partners,” Cheche, a tech expert, tells me, “but most times I just want to be free and be myself,” he adds.
Take Foreplay Seriously
Experts around the world have hailed foreplay as an integral part of the puzzle when it comes to having great sex. Foreplay could very easily be the difference between a memorable sexual experience and a bad one. “Sex without foreplay should be banned,” says Ugochi, a communications specialist and event producer, adding, “If a guy sucks at foreplay, how can you trust him to penetrate you properly? He has to please the gates of my vagina first before he can enter my compound.”
Foreplay isn’t a clear cut process, so you have to make it work for you and your partner. From regular activities like kissing, caressing, petting and fondling, to more intentional activities like erotic massages and oral sex, there are a plethora of things to do before officially launching the rocket. Don’t make the mistake of rushing everything. Take your time, understand each other’s bodies and find out what drives your partner crazy.
Ikenna explains that while the traditional power dynamics of sex expect men to be the experts and the ones in control, it is not realistic. Foreplay, which he describes as an intense sometimes “non-verbal” conversation helps both parties explore and understand each other’s body, creating a more safe and comfortable environment for sex.
Always with Consent
Consent is an intelligent, knowing, voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and clearly communicated agreement.
Thanks in part to the MeToo reckoning across the world, men and women have been forced to re-evaluate their relationship with each other especially when it comes to sexual interactions. A much-needed wake-up call that has exposed an endemic abuse and cover-up culture, the movement has offered victims of abuse and harassment, a platform to be heard, however, Nigeria still has a long way to go. Recognizing this, it is imperative to seek consent before and during sexual activities.
“Consent is very important at all times, not just the first time. You need to make sure your partner is okay, still interested in participating and enjoying the activity at every step of the way. Ask questions before you try something.” Chika, a Jos based writer tells Love Matters. While a pertinent question in the discourse surrounding consent and sex has often revolved around proper communication, Chika adds, “If you’re no longer interested, you are free to walk away. Talk to your partner and get them to stop.”
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