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Fact Sheet

Losing your virginity

9

ReachOut fact sheets are written by young people for young people and edited by a mental health professional. Want to discuss the topic in more depth? Visit the ReachOut Forums.

It seems like everyone talks about sex. Your friends, TV show characters, magazines, movies and maybe even your family. Sometimes it’s hard to work out what’s true, or what information you need to make a decision about becoming sexually active for the first time.

It’s normal to feel excited or anxious when thinking about losing your virginity. Just remember that there’s no right or wrong time to become sexually active—it varies for each person. It might take time to decide what’s right for you.

Being sexually active can mean different things to different people, and can include different activities with partners that are the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. Sex is about giving and receiving pleasure in a way that is comfortable for both people.

Am I ready for sex?

You might choose to become sexually active for a variety of reasons. You might:

  • Think it could be fun;
  • Feel like you’re in love;
  • Think it feels good;
  • Take it as a sign of commitment;
  • Feel emotionally ready;
  • Feel informed, and like you’ve thought it through;
  • Feel prepared and ready to practice safe sex;
  • Be curious and want to experiment;
  • Think all your friends are doing it.

There might be several reasons why you choose not to have sex. You might:

  • Not feel ready or comfortable yet;
  • Not think you’ve found the right person;
  • Have religious or cultural reasons;
  • Feel more anxious than excited;
  • Not have condoms or dams on hand to practice safe sex;
  • Not want to respond to pressure from your friends or partner;
  • Be too young legally. Check out the laws on age of consent in your state for more info;
  • Feel you don’t have to prove yourself by having sex.

It’s really important that you feel like you’re able to talk to your partner about how you feel and any worries you have about having sex and using contraception. It can be weird and embarrassing to have this sort of conversation, but if you’re not comfortable enough to talk about it, then maybe you aren’t ready to have sex.

Some facts about your first time

You might have a lot of questions about what your first time will be like. It’s not always easy to find the answers you need. Here are some common myths that people believe about sex—and the facts.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) the first time.

FACT: Yes you can! When thinking about being sexually active, you need to consider protecting yourself against pregnancy and STDs by practicing safe sex. Using protection like condoms and dams will not necessarily make sex less enjoyable. The important thing is to be safe. To find out more about practicing safer sex, check out the fact sheets on Condoms and Emergency contraception.

MYTH: First time sex will hurt.

FACT: For some people, the first time can be pleasurable, comfortable and fun. For others, first-time sex does feel uncomfortable—it could even hurt. Pain during sex could mean you don’t have enough lubrication or need to try a different position. It could also mean your partner is going too fast or using too much pressure, or that you’re nervous. It could be a combination of all of these. If it’s hurting, stop and talk to your partner. Try some more lubrication or a different position, or ask your partner to go slowly. If it’s still hurting, stop. Sex shouldn’t be painful. It’s important to talk to your partner about these issues and work out ways to make sex more comfortable.

Sometimes there might be some bleeding for girls during their first time. This shouldn’t last long. If pain or bleeding continues, it’s important to talk to a doctor or nurse.

MYTH: The first time will be perfect.

FACT: TV and movies often glamorize the first time, which might give you unrealistic expectations about what it’s really like. It’s O.K. if your first time isn’t perfect. It’s not uncommon to feel awkward or self-conscious about your body or sex. And sometimes unexpected things happen when having sex for the first time, so it’s good to feel comfortable enough to talk about it with your partner.

What happens after I have sex?

After you have sex, especially if it’s your first time, you might experience a whole lot of emotional stuff—some good and some confusing. For example, you might feel worried or guilty, or sex could enhance your feelings of affection for your partner. If you’re having trouble dealing with these issues yourself, you might want to talk with your partner, or with other people you can trust, like friends, family members or a counselor or other mental health professional.

Acknowledgment

For more information on this topic see “Am I Ready for Sex, from Avert, an international AIDS charity.

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    asvp_nae

    hi im scared to lose mine because most of my friends lost theirs as an 8th grader and gotten pregnant : they used a condom also . I told my boyfriend ill be ready 9th or 10th grade he said hes ready when im ready .

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hey there asvp_nae. It’s great that you’re waiting until you feel ready and that your boyfriend supports that. There’s no rush and don’t let someone pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do. If you have some questions about safe sex, pregnancy, and STD’s, check out these Fact Sheets: http://us.reachout.com/facts/romance-sexuality-and-pregnancy/safe-sex-and-stds Best .of luck!

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    jkat343

    So I am a freshmen in college and have had a college boyfriend for about 3 months now. We spend a lot of time together and I really like him. He can make me laugh and has the best jokes. However on the weekends he always asks me to sleep in his room and we do stuff together because his roommate goes home. He has had sex before and I haven’t I think I love him but I’m not ready to have sex yet. He always asks me too and tells me that I’m am only being stubborn about sex when honestly to me sex would be a big deal and I don’t think I am prepared for it. How do I communicate that I really like him and the fact that I don’t want to have sex doesn’t change that because I have tried to tell him this and he just keeps pushing for sex.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hey jkat343. That’s a tough situation to be in. Having sex for the first time is a big decision and it’s totally okay that you’re not ready. Talk to your boyfriend just like you talked to us here - honestly and from the heart. Tell him you love him, but you’re not ready, and he needs to respect that and stop pushing. If it’s too hard for him to have you spend the night without having sex, you might want to think about not doing that for a while. Best of luck!

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    kittykitty16

    i am 16 years old and i am 19 weeks pregnant… and i am saying if you want to lose your virginity make sure its to the right guy who will take care of you no matter what happens and make sure you know the consequences. not all guys will stay with you… my sister got pregnant at 16 and her baby daddy ditched her so please wait until you know your mature enough to handle the consequences…

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    redrose92

    when i was 15 i made a promise to god and have kept it until now. now i am 21 and had sex for the first time but during sex it hurt, i talked to a close friend and she said that my partner may have been forcing it and doing it to hard. can that be ?? i also felt used at the end of it and not only that but i felt ashamed of me not keeping my promise to god. my partner wants to do it again but i am a little scares because of the Experience and the fact that it hurt after is that normal ??

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Although your first time can be a little uncomfortable, it really shouldn’t hurt so much.  If you’re having pain, it could be that you need more lubrication, you need to change positions, or your partner is in too much of a hurry.  Talk to your partner before the next time, and let them know that you need to be able to communicate about it, and that a slow experience would be better for you.  Good luck!

  • avatar2

    Reply - Quote

    sizzy98

    I’m a fifteen year old virgin who is in love with God.  I fell in love with him when I was about twelve, and the next year my parents bought me a ring, which became my promise ring.  A promise ring, or purity ring, is promising God to save yourself for marriage and a no drugs/alcohol thing.  Well now I’m starting to doubt my ability- or desire- to keep my promise to God.  If I decide I’m ready to have sex, should I even though I promised God not to?  Would that be bad?  Or is it really better to wait anyways?

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      It sounds like you’ve worn your purity ring “successfully” for about three years.  That’s pretty awesome.  Sometimes the decisions you make for yourself at one age are right for that age, but then our needs and priorities change at a different age.  It seems like even though you’re questioning this decision, your faith is very important to you, so maybe you could reach out to a trusted person from within your church, and talk to them about it?  At least you would feel like you’d received advice from a variety of resources, before you make a choice.

      This would be a great topic to discuss on our forums, where people can interact more easily.  Have you ever been there?  To participate, just go here:  http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php  Feel free to post this as a topic!

      Thanks,
      The ReachOut Crew

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