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Fact Sheet

Losing your virginity

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Deciding when to lose your virginity

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.
Got any concerns about your first time? Share them in the forums here, or register to post.

Some facts and myths 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.

Where to Next?

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    tropicalvodkaa94

    I lost my virginity two days ago, on the second day I bleed a little, and today I bleed again. Don’t know it’s something normal?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi tropical, we’re not medical professionals so we can’t give medical advice but it could possibly be a normal reaction to losing your virginity. Some bleeding is sometimes common at first but bleeding for days after may not be. You may want to talk to an adult or medical professional. Is it possible you are starting your period? That could be a cause of the bleeding as well.

      Either way, please take care of yourself and seek medical help if you continue to bleed.

      Take care,

      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    redmick9

    hey im going to be haveing sex for the first time and just wonted to know what is it going to be like

    • avatar2

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      misha93

      Hello there , i really need some help , so im a 21 year old virgin ( was at least ) and i had sex for the first time couple of weeks ago with this great girl , problem is , i feel like she doesnt want go forward ( have a relationship , boyfriend , etc ) ... and i really like her , like really , and i dont know if this is just because the sex , or is it real feelings im having , what do u think ? thanks!
      PS: we did have sex 2 more times after that , and was better wink i also hate like im being the woman here ...

      • avatar1

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        ReachOut

        Feelings don’t have a gender! You can’t help how you feel.  Have you told her that you like her a lot?  Maybe being honest would be best—at least you’d know how she feels, and wouldn’t feel the anxiety from wondering.

        Good luck!
        —The ReachOut Crew

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      The experience is different for every person.  It’s best to make sure you’re with someone you care about, and that you’re protected from pregnancy and disease.  This fact sheet can give you more information about preparing to be sexually active:  http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/thinking-about-having-sex

  • avatar2

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    Ag

    Hi there. We have a 5 year difference on age (which isn’t a problem with my parents or anything) and we are both virgins. We tried having sex for the first time last saturday. It wasn’t planned or anything, just happened with the flow. The problem is: it just wouldn’t go in! If he tried putting in, it would hurt and I couldn’t take it so it turned out we tried and tried and tried, but all the time it would hurt. At the begging I had a lot of lubrication (so I know that wasn’t the problem why would hurt) but either way wouldn’t go in. We also tried different positions, but still didn’t help. And he was doing it super slowly too. After a while he putted his finger in to see if it would help us figure out, I am not sure how far in his finger went, but I know that it would hit a point in which would hurt. So idk whats wrong. Do you have anything in mind it could be? Maybe cause my muscles weren’t relaxed? Or…?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It sounds like you tried a lot of the usual tips, and it didn’t help much, so we’d have to suggest that you see a doctor about it!  Of course, you could always try relaxing, taking the pressure off, just enjoying each other without worrying about how it ends, and then see how it goes.  But if you continue to feel pain, a doctor should be able to tell you why.  And don’t forget to be safe!

      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    itsabarbie

    I just had sex for the first time but why do i feel so guilty i cant even look at myself why can i even to to him about it why do i feel so uncomfortable ?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It’s normal to have complicated feelings after your first sexual experience.  It’s a big deal!  But you seem like you’re really struggling a lot.  Is there more going on?  Did you feel like you were pressured?  Are your feelings for him not really resolved?  Do you regret being with him?  It seems like you might want to talk about it to someone.  If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it with someone you know and trust (or even if you do, but just want some outside help) the Your Life Your Voice helpline is a great place to call.  The number is 1-800-448-3000, and they are there 24/7 to talk to you about any situation. If you aren’t ready to call now, you could put the number in your phone, and call later.

      You might also want to click on the “forums” button at the top of this page, and talk to your peers about this, and anything else.

      We’re here for you!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Animegirl

    Me and my Bf are both virgins. I’m 22 and he’s 23. I wants some on how not to make it hurt so bad. How to make me relax, calm and comforable. I done foe replay in the past with other guys but never got to sex. Any tips on him as well to help him.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      The real benefit of having sex is the feeling of being close and valued. It’s OK to just spend that time with your boyfriend, exploring and experimenting, so you still have that feeling of closeness. Make sure you’re being safe (by using a condom every time), and you will probably want some kind of lubrication (like KY lube, or something similar). It’s OK to try different positions, as well.  Neither of you feels pressured to do anything, though. If you’ve been trying, and can’t quite get it done, you could talk to a doctor about it, and see if he has any ideas.

      Good luck!
      —The ReachOut Team

  • avatar2

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    franzine

    It’s my first time with my boyfriend, but when we try it’s difficult because it’s hurts even when he tries slowly. What can I do?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Sometimes discomfort can be helped by using lubrication, such as KY or other products that you can find at most drug stores.  Changing positions can also help—for instance, if you’re trying with your boyfriend on top, maybe switch to you on top.  We aren’t medical professionals, but it shouldn’t be super painful, and if it is, you should probably talk to your doctor about it.  Good luck!

  • avatar2

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    ketch

    helo again,me and my boyfriend were just making out and is both our first time…it was difficult inserting in me and it hurt a bit when he was trying to find his way through..my question is when we were making out is kept removing and when sperms were coming he took it out..we cleaned both the penis and sheets thoroughly, i saw fluid on my thighs and cleaned them though…we tried it again buh dis tym no sperm came out…pls i want to know if i can get pregnant. if yes pls tell me the probability..coz am feeling quite nervous after i read some of ur replies…please help me! please.

    • avatar2

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      sskd

      hi i just had something to ask im ready to have sex with my boyfriend who has already had sex before its my first time im not scared we have talked about the consequence’s of having sex and contraception and all of that he isnt forcing me into having sex with him either but i just dont know what to do during sex like were my legs go or what i do? help me please

      • avatar1

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        ReachOut

        It’s good that you’ve talked everything over before you proceed.  Do you have a good plan for being safe, so you’re protected from pregnancy and disease?  As far as the mechanics of it all, it really does happen pretty naturally, most of the time.  In general, your legs will probably end up on the outside of his legs.  It’s OK to do anything that you’re both comfortable with doing. Don’t be afraid to ask him to slow down, or take it a little slower, so you can get gradually adjusted to everything.  There’s no rush!

        Best of luck to you, and don’t forget to be safe!
        —The ReachOut Crew

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi ketch, yes it is possible that you could get pregnant. Nothing is 100% except for abstaining entirely. We can’t give you odds or percentages, but if you had sex and your boyfriend ejaculated the chance is there. We recommend visiting with a local clinic or your physician for further medical advice.

      Best wishes,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    correa63

    my parents are really strict and me and my boyfriend want to take it to the next level how can i be with my boyfriend and hide it from my parents?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey there,

      This page from Avert might help you, along with our own fact sheet: http://www.avert.org/am-i-ready-sex.htm  If you are SURE you are ready, the important thing is to be prepared in advance so that you can be safe (condoms, etc.).  Beyond that, it’s fine to just relax and let things happen at their own pace. 

      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    XxnomnomrocksxX

    Hey im a 17 year old male and me and my girlfriend both have strong feeling for each other and want to take our relationship to another level i heard there is tons of changes on the females part and im kinda worried but what is main thing is we want to hide it from her mom my girlfriends mom is strict she just seen me kissing her regularly nothing more and shes like if i catch you to again you can see him till your 18 how can i hide taking my girlfriends virginity with out her mom knowing

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi there, I’m sure her mom is just looking out for her and has her best intentions at heart. It sounds like things could go south if you two hide this from her and proceed down this path without her consent. This is something you should really consider before making this move, in some states depending on age you could get in legal trouble. There’s nothing wrong with waiting awhile and earning her mother’s trust. But if you absolutely feel that the time is now, please be sure to practice safe sex, use condoms and at least a secondary form of birth control. Check out our other factsheet for more information: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/thinking-about-having-sex

  • avatar2

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    awt123

    dear admin, today i did sex with my friend but the sad thing is that after 10 to 15 sec of intercourse bleeding was happened continuously from my penis.. i know i was losing my virginity. But i am afraid of penis erection.. is it normal to all males?? and will my penis erect after the wound recovers??
    please help. reply as soon as possible.

    • avatar1

      Reply - Quote

      ReachOut

      Hi there! We’re not medical professionals so we can’t really advise on proper care for your body, we definitely recommend going to see a doctor if you are experiencing troubles. It could be beneficial to you to speak with a school counselor or medical professional about intercourse - they will have a lot of great information to share with you about everything you are experiencing. Please practice safe sex, no matter what! We have some factsheets you could check out too: http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/losing-your-virginity http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/condoms http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/taking-care-of-your-sexual-health

      Good luck!
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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      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

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    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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