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  • What happens the first time you have sex?

People define "sex" in different ways. Some people believe that it only counts as sex if a penis goes into a vagina, but this isn't true for everybody. If you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, it’s a good idea to be ready with barriers (condoms, dental dams, etc.) to help prevent STDs, and birth control if you’re having vaginal sex. It’s also really important to be open and honest with your partner about what you’re both comfortable with. Here’s what happens when you lose your virginity.

Does it hurt to lose your virginity?

“Virginity” is a weird word, because it means different things to different people. Generally a virgin means someone who hasn’t had sex yet. But there are different kinds of sex, like vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and you get to decide what sex means for you. And the term “losing your virginity” isn’t great because it implies that when you have sex for the first time you lose something, which hopefully isn’t true. Hopefully the first time you have sex you actually gain something, like intimacy, pleasure, or empowerment.

If you have vaginal or anal sex for the first time, it may hurt, or feel good, or both. There might be pain and/or bleeding when a penis or fingers go into your vagina/anus, but it doesn’t happen to everybody. If you’re having vaginal sex for the first time, pain and bleeding can happen if your hymen gets stretched.

If pain and bleeding doesn’t get better after the first time you have vaginal sex (penis-in-vagina), you can slowly stretch your hymen tissue with your fingers over time to make it less painful. In rare cases, people may need to see a doctor for a small procedure to open their hymen. If you're worried about your hymen or have pain during sex, talk with a nurse or doctor, like the ones at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

You may have pain or irritation during vaginal and anal sex if your genitals aren’t lubricated (wet) enough. It’s totally normal to not have a lot of vaginal lubrication — this doesn't mean something is wrong with you or your partner. Using lube can help make sex more comfortable and enjoyable. It may also help to wait until you’re fully turned on before putting anything in your vagina, because you usually get wetter as you become more aroused

Anal sex may hurt the first time (and every time) if you don’t use lube. The skin on your anus and rectum is delicate, and it doesn’t make its own lubrication the way vaginas do. So using lube is really important to make anal sex safer and more comfortable. Lube reduces friction and helps prevent pain and tearing. It’s also important to go slowly, make sure you’re relaxed, and listen to how your body feels. Some people don’t ever like the way anal sex feels, even if they do all these things — that’s totally normal and okay.

If you have a penis, sometimes friction during vaginal or anal sex causes irritation. But using lube can help fix this, and the irritation should go away after a while. If you keep having pain in your penis or testicles during sex, it could be a sign that something’s wrong. You can go to a nurse or doctor — like the ones at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center — to get checked out.

Oral sex doesn’t usually hurt, but it may not feel good if you’re not turned on, you don’t feel comfortable, or you don’t like the way your partner’s touching you. 

Nobody should have sex that feels uncomfortable or painful. If something hurts or doesn’t feel good, stop and tell your partner. If you’re having pain during any type of sex that doesn’t go away, visit your doctor or your local Planned Parenthood health center.

Everybody is a bit different, and so is what they like sexually. That’s why it’s really important to talk with your partner — and listen when they talk, too — so you can both know what feels good for the other person. This is how you make sure you’re both having great sex

Can you get pregnant when you lose your virginity?

It’s definitely possible to get pregnant the first time you have vaginal sex.

Whenever semen (cum) or pre-cum gets into your vagina, pregnancy can happen  — whether it's your first time or your hundredth time having vaginal sex. Pregnancy can also happen if semen gets on or near your vulva (your outside genitals), or if fingers that have wet semen on them touch your vulva or vagina. There are millions of sperm cells in semen, and it only takes one tiny sperm to cause pregnancy. 

You can’t get pregnant from oral sex or anal sex, unless semen gets on your vulva or into your vagina.

Using birth control is the best way to prevent pregnancy if you have penis-in-vagina sex. Adding condoms gives you extra pregnancy protection and helps protect you from STDs, too.  

Even though oral sex and anal sex don’t cause pregnancy, they can lead to STDs. So it’s a good idea to use protection — like condoms and dental dams — no matter what kind of sex you’re having.

Read more about how pregnancy happens, and how to have safer sex to prevent STDs.

Is it possible for a penis to not fit into a vagina?

It's possible, but it’s not very common. Vaginas are pretty stretchy — remember, they can give birth to a whole baby! Most vaginas are between 3 and 7 inches long, but they can get longer and wider when you’re turned on. Rarely, some penises won’t fit comfortably into some vaginas. Everyone’s body is different, so sometimes people have a harder time fitting them together.

If it feels like your partner’s penis isn’t able to fit, you can try foreplay to get more turned on. Using lube can also help. Lots of people use lube to make sex feel better for both partners. Go slow, and tell your partner if something hurts or doesn’t feel good. 

If a penis goes very far into your vagina and hits your cervix, it can feel uncomfortable or painful. Your cervix moves around a little bit throughout your menstrual cycle, so you may notice this more during certain times of the month. You can usually avoid it by trying different positions, going slower, or asking your partner not to put their penis in as far.

Sex should feel good, not hurt, so stop if you’re feeling pain or discomfort. And keep in mind that there are lots of ways to get sexual pleasure and have orgasms besides penis-in-vagina sex, like oral sex, masturbation, and touching each other. There’s no one way to have sex that’s better than another — whatever works for you and your partner, and gives you both pleasure, is good sex.

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