First time sex can be a great experience that you cherish with you for the rest of your life. It can be fun, pleasurable, exciting, sensational, loving and sometimes all of these. However, for many there’s pressure just to get the act done and out of the way, especially when everyone else around seems to have done it. There is no reason that it shouldn’t be as good as any sex you will ever have later in life, if a little different (it is your first time after all). To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of ten things you can do to ensure that your first sexual experience is an amazing one.

1. Ask yourself “am i ready?”

Do you feel that you’re ready for sex? Who are you doing it for, yourself or your partner? It’s important to feel confident that the decision you make is about you. Does the idea of having sex with someone make you excited or worried? Remember, there’s usually a legal age for when you can have sex (in India, it’s 16).

2. Talk about it with your partner

Communication is key, but not always easy. If you have any fears or worries, then talk openly about them. Also listen to your partner, and look for signs that they are into it too. If you both feel more worried than excited, then maybe you should wait for a while.

3. Educate yourselves

A visit to a sexual health service or a pharmacist can give you the information you need to make sure that sex is safe – then you can concentrate on making it amazing. Remember condoms are designed to prevent infections and unplanned pregnancy, so for first time sex they’re a must for keeping your mind at ease. Other forms of contraception should be discussed with your GP.

4. Get to know your own body

The key for having really great sex is knowing what you like, what being turned on feels like, how to get turned on and where and how you like to be touched. The best way of discovering this is through finding these experiences yourself. Although it isn't for everyone, most people masturbate and it can be lots of fun with someone, too.

5. Pick the right time

Choose a safe, stress-free place where you know that you're not going to be disturbed. You will need time and space to get comfortable with each other. Make sure your first time is not a hurried one. This is a shared experience for the two of you, so it helps to make sure that you set the mood to one of intimacy.

6. Sex shouldn’t hurt

If you are turned on and relaxed, then sex should feel really good (even if it feels a bit new and strange). Use your fingers or your mouths to get each other super tingly and turned on. Water-based lubricants can help (and sometimes is necessary).Listen to your body: if it feels uncomfortable, sore or painful, then stop. It could be a sign that you aren't quite ready or that you'd prefer a different position.

7. It's fine to be embarrassed

It’s not all going to go smoothly. It might be a little bit stop/start to begin with as your bodies will react differently and you may feel embarrassed or awkward – this is okay so long as it feels good, too. In fact, it’s going well if you can giggle and have fun with it.

8. Take your time

There’s no need to rush. Go as slow as you wish and experiment. Unlike in the movies or in porn, sex doesn't have to happen in the same order and not everyone likes the same things. Focus on having the kind of sex you both want. This can take time, but it can be so much more intense and satisfying.

9. Sex talk

The only way to learn what you and your partner enjoy is to communicate. The question then is, how? During sex, keep it simple. Give your partner verbal cues like “Oh yes.” “Wait.” “Keep going.” “Softer.” ”Harder.” “Faster.” Keep your ears tuned for soft moans or whispers of ecstasy from your partner. Watch and feel how your bodies respond to each other to see how much you're both enjoying it.

10. What comes after

Sex means different things to different people. Some people say sex can bring people really close together – intimate moments that only they'll experience. Others see sex as hot and exciting, but just another thing to do. Sex may change your relationship, or it may not – talking about it can help you decide what it means for you. It is important for both partners to be into it so that it can become immensely enjoyable.

Sex can be great, but make sure you’re having it for the right reasons. When you’re comfortable and the mood is right, you can feel the best you’ve ever felt. But if something’s missing, there’s no harm in waiting until the time is right for you.