Aunt Vadge: What is first-time sex supposed to feel like?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

What is it like for first time sex? Like, what would happen with a female vagina on first time doing sex?

First Timer
Age 18, Jamaica

Dear First Timer,

The mechanics of having sex with a man for the first time are relatively simple in a physical sense, but there are some considerations for making it easy and fun. Sex should always be easy and fun – if it hurts or isn’t fun, you’re doing it all wrong.

So to explain physically what you will feel when a penis enters your vagina…

The hymen

First, if you have a hymen, it may hurt at the entrance as the hymen is stretched and torn, which may cause bleeding. Read our article about the hymen, and check yourself in a hand mirror to see if you have one, and see what it looks like.

Hymens can disappear naturally over time just from playing sport, so it’s completely ok to both have, or not have, a hymen. If you do have a hymen and you want to stretch it out before you have sex (so it doesn’t hurt and bleed) we offer tips on hymen stretching.

The sex

If you do not have a hymen anymore, first-time sex can be fun and pleasurable, however it is true that for most people, first-time sex is awkward, can be very funny, and is generally not very sexy at all. This is completely normal. Sex is often funny and awkward and not super sexy. Learning how to have sex takes practice for guys and girls – nobody is born knowing how to have sex, and everyone’s first time is a event.

Managing anxiety and vaginal tension

First-time sex can cause some anxiety because it’s new and you don’t know what to expect, which can cause your vagina to become quite tense (along with the rest of you), and in fact make it hurt more than it needs to since this action means the penis has to push harder against your vaginal muscles to actually get inside.

This means it’s important to manage your anxiety levels, relax, be comfortable with your partner – it’s much better to have your first sexual experience with someone you like, who likes you and wants to make sure you are ok, because you need to be able to say “Ouch! That hurts!” without feeling like you are supposed to like it.

We have one man with an erect penis – size varies from as big as a chicken wing to as large as a big cucumber. Usually, it’s somewhere in the middle. It is important for your vagina to be wet with lubricant – your own vaginal lubricant that gets excreted when you are turned on, and for your first time, it is highly advisable to use a water-based lubricant. If you are using a condom (which is advisable), you must use lube all the time – condom latex sucks up moisture.

The feeling

Let’s say your hymen is gone, either naturally or because of you doing hymen stretching exercises. This takes that stinging, pain and/or bleeding out of the equation.

The penis needs to be guided into your vagina gently and carefully, in between the labia minora (your inner labia) into the vaginal canal (see Vag Basics for diagrams). The first thing you will feel is the head of the penis sitting in the entrance to your vagina, between your labia. Adjust yourself as necessary so the penis is nestled into the entrance to your vagina.

Then, the hard penis will start to enter the vagina – slowly, don’t rush this, and don’t try it with a soft penis (doesn’t work) – and as it slides in with plenty of lube, you will feel a fullness inside your vagina. You can try to squeeze your muscles and see how it feels, or wiggle a bit, try different angles and see how it fits in the best.

If your partner is new to sex as well, you will both just need to experiment a bit and see what feels good. The penis should fit all the way inside your vagina without any problem, but as it goes in, relax your muscles and experiment. Look up Sex 101 to see how it all works.

If it hurts, try something else – don’t allow pain to be the feature of your first time. You don’t have to ‘complete’ the first time by thrusting or the guy ejaculating – your first time may just be your boyfriend inserting his penis into your vagina for one second, and then him pulling it out and that’s it. Any way of doing this is completely ok, go at your own pace, and if you don’t like it or you stop feeling ready at any point, you can stop it. First-time sex is like swimming for the first time – if you have never swam, you have no idea what it should feel like. Practice.

Once the penis is all the way inside, you can feel your vagina responding – you may feel pleasure, or just nothing much, or some pain. You may find the places further up feel quite pleasurable, it might feel quite tense, or you could start to move your hips slightly in a light thrusting motion where the penis will slide in and out of the vagina, but not all the way. Make sure your clitoris is being stimulated either on his body or by a hand. Penetrative sex without the clitoris generally just feels like you have a big thing in your vagina – not sexy and not hot. You need to be turned on for this to feel really good, so aim to stimulate your clitoris as well at all times.

If your partner has a large penis, you will really need to go slow, because the penis can go all the way up to the cervix and bump on it. This can feel good when you are really turned on, but it can also be very painful and uncomfortable. The cervix can be heavily involved in orgasm, but it changes during your cycle and near to your period, especially after, your cervix will be low and hard, causing more pain. When you ovulate, it goes soft and high, to accommodate a penis and allow sperm to enter.

The feeling is one of vaginal fullness, grip, and wetness. Having the pressure of another person on top of you or pressing on you, or you on top of them, being close to you and kissing you while their penis is inside of you is something you adjust to. Keep yourselves comfortable so you can focus on the sensations, and not on a crick in your elbow or a toe cramp.

First-time sex can be all kinds of things to different people, but the physical action is the same: penis in vagina, thrust. Make sure yours feels if not good, then not bad. There is plenty of time to practice and get it right.


You won’t orgasm, so don’t worry about it. Unless you have been very sexually active with masturbation or other forms of sexual activity and are very practised at being turned on and making yourself orgasm, there is very little chance of you getting your rocks off during your first time. In fact, I’ve yet to meet someone who had this experience. Guys may ejaculate during first-time sex, but they feel just as funny about it as girls do, but physically it is usually a better experience for them because they do the entering. We get entered.

Tips for a good time

First-time sex can be made more comfortable by having a loving partner you can talk to, using a lot of lubricant (more is better – keep slathering it on), and keeping it short and sweet. Try for 5 or 10 minutes, and then stop and try again another day. Actual penetration for longer than this is unnecessary and won’t start feeling better – fresh nerves make for the best sex. Save your flesh!

Short sex with lots and lots of sexy foreplay is a great scenario, so don’t skimp on touching, kissing, licking and sucking before you try to put a penis inside your vagina. If you just get home from school or work, and then lie down and say, “Ok jump on Mick”, it will feel bad. If you make out, explore each other with your tongues and fingers first, then attempt penetration, the sex will feel way better. Check out the fingering basics for men and oral sex articles so you have some tricks up your sleeves – get your partner to read them too.

If you want to practice having something inside of your before your first sexual experience with a guy, get a small or medium-sized vegetable (a carrot or cucumber works well), and practice by inserting this into your vagina – be gentle, use lube, and touch your clitoris at the same time – being turned on makes all of this way better! Figure out how it feels so it isn’t all so surprising when it happens in real life. A penis is warm and feels much nicer than a carrot, but it’ll give you the gist of it.

Use protection. You do not want to get pregnant your first time having sex, so make sure you use a condom, lots of water-based lubricant, and watch a video on YouTube on how to put on a condom properly – make sure your boyfriend knows how to do it.

Read about sexual hygiene so you don’t give yourself an infection by mistake – pee after sex, and don’t double dip fingers or penises with toys, fingers or a penis in your anus or near the anus and vagina at the same time.

Take your time, be very gentle, and keep trying – sex gets better the more you do it, but it takes a while to get good at it.

If you need help with anything else, please get in touch anytime – we’d love to hear from you.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX