You can be full of questions about first time sex, and it really can take a while to wrap your head around the idea. We compile a guide with information that you really need to know …

Sex can seem – and often is – a mysterious, mind-boggling concept. Unfortunately, there is a lot of wrong information and rumours about it, even as there is a lot of correct data also. You can get really confused and wonder what to believe! Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about first time sex that will help you separate fact from fiction.

What will sex feel like?

Sex is talked about so much, most of it in whispers that is really difficult to know what to realistically expect from your first sexual experience. The most common rumour about sex is that it hurts a lot during the first time – but there are others who say that their first time of sex was an earth-shattering experience (which does not make you any wiser!) In most cases, the truth lies somewhere in between these two points of view. Sure, sex may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, and this is true particularly for women who still have their hymen intact. But the pain is often not more uncomfortable than feeling a pinch. First time sex can actually be a wonderful experience that brings you much closer to your partner, but there is really no reason to worry if it does not shake and rock your world like they show in films. Good sex is a matter of practice and knowing your body and its needs. Once you’ve had first time sex, do talk to each other about your experience and you’ll find it easier to improve your subsequent sexual encounters – besides, you can have plenty of fun perfecting your technique together!

What are the chances of catching an sti or getting pregnant?

There’s no exact answer to this, because the occurrence of pregnancies and STIs cannot be predicted. But it is important to know that you can get pregnant or catch an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) even if it’s your first time having sex, and more so if you don’t use contraception. Modern contraceptives are very effective, but there is often some confusion between contraceptives and safe sex tools – do remember that the only way to protect against both pregnancy and STIs is to use a condom. To make the distinction easier, let’s say that the pill, implant and coil may stop pregnancy, they won’t protect either of you against STIs. As there is still a (very slim) chance of an unwanted pregnancy or contracting an STI if you use a condom, it’s important that you and your partner talk about the method of contraception beforehand – this will make it easier to come to terms with a complication at a later date.

How old are people when they lose their virginity?

How old are people when they lose their virginity?

Having sex by a certain age is a modern myth that society perpetuates, so most people may lie when they talk about their first time and how experienced they are. So if all your friends have been saying that they’ve already had sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have! In fact, a study by The Observer discovered that the average age British men lose their virginity is 16, while it’s 17 for women, with only 32 per cent losing their virginity before the legal age of consent of 16[i]. There isn’t a correct age to lose your virginity, but there is a legal age to have sex. The most important factor is not your age but how ready you feel for the experience. So it is better to take other people’s advice about first time sex with a pinch of salt and focus on what’s right for you.

What counts as losing my virginity?

This is a good question, and it does not have a clear answer. Many people are not even sure as what counts as first time sex! While one may think that a series of sexual experiences counts as losing one’s virginity, others might refer to vaginal penetration as loss of virginity. For others, it might mean being naked with their partner, while others might think they have lost their virginity after oral sex or sensual touching.

But whatever your query, be sure to find out the correct information – there are no dumb questions when it comes to sex, and it is better to dispel any uncertainties about the topic. No matter how unusual or stupid you think your question is, there’s always someone who has asked it before, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice from a reputable source.