Aunt Vadge: what does sex feel like?

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

I’m 14 and I haven’t had my period yet, but I do get really turned on sometimes. I can fit a full finger in my vagina – do I still have my hymen? Also, my parents have kind of forgotten to give me ‘the talk’, so I was hoping you could explain if sex would hurt like everyone says.

Age: 14
Country/Area: Colombia

Dear Curious,

If you can fit a full finger into your vagina, then your hymen isn’t there anymore. The hymen is a piece of very thin flesh, like a membrane (think like a piece of stocking) that covers the entrance to your vagina, so if you tried to put a finger into your vagina, you would feel the resistance and it would probably hurt.

As for ‘the talk’.

So, if you are sexually active already (masturbating) then you have a much better idea of what sex will feel like than other girls whose first experience of their vagina is when a penis goes in it. The more you explore your vagina with your fingers and objects and understand what feels good to you, the better your first experience with sex will be.

First-time sex is mostly awkward and strange, because it’s the first time that part of another person’s body actually goes into your body. If neither of you have done it before or have not tried many times, you actually don’t know how to do it, so the first 150 times you have sex, you are learning what it’s like to move with another person, and make it feel good for you both. This is not quite as easy or straightforward as it might sound.

You will have had those games in gym class where you have to use your body weight and grasp each other’s wrists to do push-me-pull-me actions. That sort of coordination and trust is something you learn how to do with your partner. This is why it’s really useful (and nice) to have someone you really like to have sex with at first, since you will do it multiple times and get better at it every time.

Sex is supposed to feel good, not hurt, but while you are learning how to do it, there are always accidents, mistakes, and sometimes swelling and some cuts! This is just normal and completely ok, but it’s your job to tell your partner what feels good and what doesn’t, otherwise they have absolutely no idea: they are not inside your body and it would be like someone asking someone to scratch you in a specific itchy spot – you have to be told where, how hard, and when to stop. Instructions are everything.

Learning about sex is a lifelong activity. Nobody is a master of it, since every single lover you ever have in your life – and if you are lucky there may be many – will need to be learned just the way they have to learn your body and likes and dislikes. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sex, except of course the general concept that the penis goes into the vagina in your standard-issue male-female sexual intercourse encounter. (There are a lot of ways to have good sex that do not include penis-in-vagina action, including sex with other women, and use of toys, tongues, fingers and fantasy.)

If you want to know what sex will feel like, I recommend that you start masturbating with objects that graduate from your finger (then try two fingers), to slightly bigger, and then move on until you have something the size of a regular or large carrot inside your vagina (and feeling good). Without having your own money to buy lovely sex toys (all in good time!), you will need to improvise, so hunt around for different objects at home, and try them all.

As an example, things that I have tried masturbating with when I was your age include deodorant bottles, pens, toothbrushes (not the bristle end!), hairbrush handles, highlighter markers, the handle end of a hammer, and all manner of long vegetables (cucumbers, carrots). I basically tried everything I could find around the house to see which I preferred. Once you start looking around for penis-ish-like objects, you look at everything differently.

Don’t use anything that is glass, breakable, or sharp, and beware of things with flat tops! The suction when you try to pull it out can be strong, so just be slow and careful pulling objects out. Stimulate your clitoris while you have the object inside of your vagina, and play around with angles and move the object around a bit and see what feels good. Your clitoris is actually a really large structure, not just the button top on the outside, so the stimulation of the object inside your vagina will stimulate the underside of the clitoris in ways you don’t know yet. It’s a whole new world in there.

Look online for different ways to masturbate – everyone does it a bit differently, so see what everyone else is up to, copy them, and see if you like it too. You will soon find the methods that ring your bells. This is how you learn about your body, and when it does come time to have actual sex with a real person, you will know what to look out for and how to guide your lover. The sensation of having something in your vagina won’t be foreign to you, and therefore it won’t be painful at all – it could be really great, since a warm hard penis is much more delightful than a cold carrot, and having someone kissing you while you have sex is also rather a novelty compared to masturbating!

We’ve written a few articles about what first-time sex generally feels like, with questions asked by other girls who feel just like you do. Remember, nobody is an expert at sex if they have never done it, and your boyfriend will be as petrified as you are! Read these and get in some practice, and you will feel much more prepared and far less afraid simply because sex is having a heaving puffing person on top of you, below you, or behind you, with the equivalent of a moderate-sized carrot in your vagina. That’s not a glamorous picture, but sex isn’t really that glamorous!

Don’t forget to plan your birth control in advance of having sex. It’s very important.

Please write anytime with your questions – these are important questions for us all, since nobody knows the answer, and a parent isn’t going to want to answer ‘what does sex feel like?’.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge