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The first time

Frequently asked questions

What’s the ideal age for the first time?
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That’s easy: there isn’t one! There’s no specific time when you should want to have sex for the first time. Everybody has their own pace, history, and feelings: you’re ready… when you’re ready! Sometimes your body might be sending you signals: desires and urges. It seems to be ready… but your head isn’t there yet.

In addition to the ideal age, there has to be an ideal situation. Do you trust your partner? Does he/she trust you? In case statistics can make you feel better, in secondary 5, only 1 out every 2 kids has already had sex.

Source: Lavoie, F., Hébert, M., Poitras, M., Blais, M. & l’équipe PAJ [2015]. Les activités sexuelles entre jeunes. Montréal: Université du Québec à Montréal.

How do I know if this is the right person?
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To know this, you can ask yourself 2 very important questions. First, do you want to have this physical experience with this person? Second, do you trust him/her? You need to be ready to talk to the other person about your doubts, wishes, expectations… in short, your intimate life. Does your partner know how to listen to you, give you confidence, and reassure you?

Sexuality is an experience, a process, a kind of learning. It’s as if you were going on a trip with the other person: Do you trust that person enough to set out alone with him/her? Do you have compatible interests and desires? Of course, your desires and needs may be different at times. It’s impossible to always agree about everything, but there has to be some common ground!

Help! I’m scared I won’t know what to do!
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In the beginning, everyone has fears or worries. No matter how much experience your partner has, remember that for him/her it’s also the first time… with you! After all, every person is different, with their own desires, drives, and limits. So it’s important to talk together about what you know and what you want.

Sex isn’t an exam! Nobody’s grading you – you don’t need to be “good”! Now is the time to explore! Give yourself time to learn more about your partner and yourself. Go slowly and remember there’s no one technique, since everybody’s different. If you feel comfortable about it, ask your friends and other people questions to help prepare yourself.

Is it true that my first time will hurt and I’ll bleed?
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First sexual intercourse can sometimes be a bit painful. If a girl feels stressed, the muscles of her vagina contract, which makes penetration more difficult. And stress is also bad for arousal: then there might not be enough vaginal lubrication, which can make penetration uncomfortable.

Ultimately, if you’ve never experienced full vaginal penetration, the hymen – a small membrane located at the vaginal opening – is tight. Depending on the shape of their hymen, some girls won’t feel anything, others may feel slight discomfort, and some may feel more or may bleed a little.

Did you know that your hymen might already be dilated if you play various sports, use tampons, or masturbate? In addition, hymens come in all shapes! If you’re afraid you might feel pain, you can help dilate your hymen by pushing it aside with gentle massage and stroking.

Am I ready to make love?

Here are some things to think about:

  • Do you want to explore your sexuality with your boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • Do you trust your current partner?
  • Do you feel that he/she respects you?
  • Do you want to share this kind of intimacy with him/her?
  • Are you comfortable enough to talk about it with your partner?
  • Are you really doing it for yourself, and not to please your partner or because you feel pressured?
  • Do you know about contraceptives and protection against BBSTIs?
  • Have you chosen one? Do you have it on you?
  • Have you made your decision with a clear head, without drugs or alcohol clouding your judgment?

If you answer YES to all these questions, you may be ready!

Now is the time to imagine the experience of your dreams: the time, the place, the mood, etc. Talk about it with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Why not organize this first time together?

When the big day comes, remember that there’s no rush. Take your time, go at your own speed, and pay attention to your partner. You can start with foreplay: kissing, stroking, sweet talk, massage, etc. You can also tell your partner what you want and what embarrasses you, what you like and what you don’t like, activities you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with. Give yourself the right to discover and learn. Remember that you can stop at any time if you no longer feel ready!

Signs that this isn’t the right time

Do you feel like you’re ready to make love, you want to, but something’s bugging you or making you hold back? Then this may not be the best time to have this experience!

Here are some situations indicating that this may not be the right time:

  • You’re being harassed, blackmailed, threatened, or pressured
  • You don’t feel respected in the relationship or the current situation
  • You don’t feel comfortable or trusting with the other person
  • You’re not sure you want to have your first sex with your current partner
  • The only reason you want to make love is to please the other person
  • You want to have sex because you’re fed up or embarrassed about being a virgin
  • You feel that the other person’s being pushy
  • You’re putting pressure on yourself
  • You’ve consumed alcohol or drugs
  • You know your partner wants to try a sexual activity that you’re not comfortable with
  • You don’t want to any more

You should never feel obligated to make love. If you feel that this isn’t the right time, you’re probably right. Trust yourself!

Good to know

What is virginity?

Virginity used to be associated with vaginal penetration. As soon as penetration had occurred, you weren’t a virgin anymore. Today, virginity tends to mean that you’re not sexually active yet. So the definition is much more flexible and applies to guys as much as girls. For some people, masturbating with their boyfriend or girlfriend “counts.” For others, it doesn’t. But labels don’t really matter! The important thing is that you go at your own speed and feel good about your choices.

How can we resolve misunderstandings?

Did something not live up to your expectations, so you’re disappointed? Is a misunderstanding making you uncomfortable, angry, or sad? That happens, and there really aren’t a million ways to deal with this kind of situation: you have to talk about it with your partner. Desires, tastes, expectations, moods, limits, methods of protection, fears… you can discuss everything! If you find it embarrassing, use humour to lighten things up.