What To Expect The First Time You Have Sex

Having sex for the first time certainly isn’t a light or trivial issue as a woman. But many women feel the pressure from their peers (both men and women alike) in our post-modern, hyper-sexualized society to have sex and “get it out of the way because virgins are prudes.”

By Jenny White4 min read
pexels-yaroslav-shuraev-8892336 (1)
Pexels/Yaroslav Shuraev

On the other hand, some select women are actively choosing to wait to have sex until marriage. Many women are dropping out of the dating scene and avoiding hookup culture altogether in favor of waiting to honor marriage vows because, to them, what’s the alternative? It’s become increasingly difficult for women to find a man who values marriage itself (with many men who shun marriage in favor of being uncommitted and promiscuous), even less so delaying sex until marriage.

Firstly, only you can know when you are ready to have sex for the first time. You need to be able to give full consent while also feeling safe, loved, and cared for. You mustn’t allow yourself to be pressured by anyone to have sex when you’re not ready. And you should be with a man with whom you are in a loving, committed relationship, who will be responsible for your safety and your emotional well-being, who will treasure the sacred gift of your virginity, and with whom you’re prepared to accept any consequences of having sex.

With that out of the way, it’s important to discuss having sex for the first time from a woman’s standpoint, e.g., how it feels, the heavy emotions involved (yes, they are in fact heavy), and what you may feel after your initial sexual experience.

Sex is a beautiful thing. But it’s neither easy nor quantifiable to determine if sex for the first time for the majority of women is all that intensely enjoyable physically. Many women complain it’s downright painful. Emotionally, it can also feel a bit uncomfortable, depending on how the man treats you both before and after the experience. For example, if the man in question doesn’t care about you and you are not in a committed relationship, it tends to make the experience far less emotionally and physically fulfilling and satisfying, and it can often lead to heartache.

So, what can you realistically expect the first time you have sex as a woman?

Will It Hurt?

Some women insist losing their virginity is painful physically, while others insist it’s relatively painless. But sex the first time “certainly can hurt a lot if you're not really ready for it. Being nervous can cause you to clench up your muscles, and if you and your partner haven't worked up to intercourse by making out and touching each other a lot first, your body won't be aroused – and that can make things pretty uncomfortable. When you're aroused, your vagina lubricates to prepare your body for sex, but without lubrication, there can be friction, which can cause pain. Sometimes nerves can interfere with your ability to get aroused, and you and your partner could get aroused at different speeds.”

Furthermore, some women’s hymens (the hymen is a thin piece of skin that partially covers the entrance to the vagina) aren’t intact, which is said to make the experience a bit less painful. A woman’s hymen can typically break due to playing sports in adolescence or through the use of menstrual products. If sex isn’t painful for you, perhaps your hymen isn’t intact, thereby allowing you to feel less pain.

A woman’s hymen can also break due to playing sports in adolescence or through the use of menstrual products.

The degree of pain you should expect also varies. Some women say it isn’t painful at all, while others have said the pain can be very intense. And the pain itself will generally last during penetration only. It’s also typical to feel some minor soreness afterward. If you’re concerned about lessening the pain, you can encourage your partner to use lubrication to help ease friction during penetration. 

The many new and undiscovered sensations in the overall first-time experience will feel markedly different from woman to woman. The way a man feels against your body, for instance, will be a very different experience for every woman. And intercourse itself may not always involve pain and can also be pleasurable. 

Will I Bleed?

Bleeding is also debatable, where one size doesn’t fit all for women the first time they experience sex. Again, if your hymen is intact, bleeding may or may not occur. Both outcomes are considered normal. Bleeding is a result of the hymen stretching or tearing during a first-time penetrative sexual encounter. 

If you’re wondering how much you will bleed and if it will be noticeable to the guy, don’t worry. The amount of bleeding can vary, but it’s unlikely to be in the amount or consistency of a normal period. Some spotting can be expected, but profuse or heavy bleeding is not a regular occurrence.

Your partner may notice some bleeding, or it may be so minimal that it may go unnoticed. You’re unlikely to bleed heavily all over your partner and yourself, and how long you may bleed should be of a shorter duration, say a day or two afterward. Again, bleeding after sex for the first time isn’t like menstruating.

If you have concerns about bleeding, understand that whether or not you do bleed is perfectly normal, and either can be part of the first-time experience. Bleeding isn’t something that you should be overly concerned about, but if you have any trouble with excessive bleeding, then talk to your gynecologist, and he/she will be able to help you determine if there’s a cause for concern.

How Will I Feel Emotionally?

The first time you have sex, you may begin to feel a very deep attachment to your first-time love. Sex is a bonding experience for women, and the hormone oxytocin is the driver. Women release large amounts of oxytocin during lovemaking as well as before and after the sexual encounter through touch and physical affection. It’s a proven fact that women “have higher oxytocin levels than men. It’s a key hormone involved in childbirth and lactation, after all.” Both men and women experience similar effects from oxytocin, as it “facilitates bonding with children, increases romantic attachment, and plays an important role in reproduction for both sexes.”

And it isn’t just intercourse itself that can lead to a large oxytocin surge through your system. The simple act of kissing or “making out” can produce oxytocin: “Some kisses are rooted in attachment. Kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It’s often referred to as the ‘love hormone,’ because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment.”

With a loving, caring partner, it shouldn’t feel awkward to express your emotions and let out your tears.

As a woman, perhaps you might consider a healthy bonding alternative before having full-on penetrative sex in hours-long make-out sessions with your guy. And chances are great it will also help promote a bonding experience as well, and you can stoke and explore your desire together while also waiting for sex until marriage. 

Crying before, during, or after intercourse is also a common experience. Having sex for the first time is a very intimate act, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed emotionally. With a loving, caring partner, it shouldn’t feel awkward to express your emotions and let out your tears. He should be able to comfort you and make you feel safe and protected in expressing these deeper emotions.

Will I Achieve Orgasm?

It’s possible that you may achieve orgasm as large amounts of oxytocin can be released during your first-time experience. However, it doesn’t mean you’re not normal if you don’t have an orgasm. If you do reach orgasm, you may feel a powerful pulsating and quivering inside your vagina, you may secrete fluids, and it may feel intensely exhilarating and pleasurable to you. 

And it shouldn’t be too messy afterward. A towel on hand can be used to wipe away excess fluid that may occur through bleeding and/or achieving orgasm and semen.

Closing Thoughts

The bottom line is a woman giving away her virginity is a very big deal. There are a lot of issues for women surrounding the social, physical, emotional, and psychological impact our first-time experience may instill within us, both good and bad. The female body is designed to release oxytocin during sex. The woman's body becomes attached to the man who impregnates her for the sake of the potential child. So it’s much more risky for a woman to have sex than it is for a man, since she’s the one who has to bear the child.

Keeping both the emotional and physical significance of sex in mind, you can see why sex is best saved for marriage with a man who loves you, respects you, and has committed to you!

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