Aunt Vadge: how do we have sex?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

I’m 17 and ready to have sex with my boyfriend. The only problem is we don’t know what to actually do.

  1. How do we insert his penis in me?
  2. What should we talk about (or should we be talking at all)?
  3. Is foreplay important, and if so, what should we do for foreplay?? 

I am on the birth control injection and we are planning on using a condom.

Age: 17
Country: Canada


Dear Scared,

All good questions!

Learning how to have sex is learning what feels good, and what doesn’t, with the person you are with. That means LOTS of talking and lots of mucking around trying things out.

Before you start putting any penises in any vaginas, you need to dial it back a little and start figuring out how to get both your bodies ready for penetrative sex.

That means being turned on. Like, really turned on. And that means no p-in-v action for a little while yet, so put that on the backburner for the time being while you educate yourselves. If you try to put his penis into your vagina now, it’ll most likely hurt and you’ll not get much out of it.

Penis-in-vagina sex requires a lot of preparation, despite what we may have learnt throughout our lives. Both your pleasure is important, and there’s no point trying to have sex if one of you isn’t feeling horny enough to make it worth your while.

Don’t forget you may have an intact hymen. In which case, I suggest you read about the hymen, and at the bottom of the article, follow the guide for gently stretching it out so that when you do get to p-in-v action, your hymen isn’t a painful impedance.

We’ve put together a few guides, which I suggest you read through with your boyfriend before you try to have p-in-v sex. Take turns to read the guides aloud to each other, and talk about it as you go.

You need to fool around tons, lick each other, suck each other, fondle each other, talk to each other, and of course, laugh. Sex, at first, is awkward and can be quite hilarious. Don’t get too serious about it – you’ll figure out soon enough what feels hot and what is not.

Here are our top three resources for you both:

  1. How to perform oral sex on a woman
  2. Fingering basics
  3. Sex 101

But, to answer your questions regarding the mechanics of sex specifically:

How do we insert his penis in me?

When you get to the p-in-v bit, it’ll be clearer than it is right now, because you would have been exploring your vagina. Your vagina is angled towards your lower back, and when you are very turned on and his penis is fully erect (both essential for this to work!), condom on, and lubed up (both your vagina and his penis) the easiest position may be for you to be on top.

So he lies down on his back somewhere comfortable. You straddle him, with your vaginal entrance (which I’m assuming you know where that is) over the top of where his scrotum (balls) and penis are. Then, using your hand, push his penis to the entrance of your vagina. You’ll need to be sort of kneeling so that your weight is on your knees, not on his body. You get the most control this way.

Position the end of his penis to the entrance of your vagina. Make sure it’s slippery with lube – never ever put anything into your vagina without lube. Wet is key. Not sopping, but slippery. Buy some good quality lubricant and good quality condoms – don’t skimp here, because it’ll make sex worse if your tools are bad quality. (Avoid condoms with spermicide, for example, and only use water-based lubricant with latex condoms, not oils like coconut.)

You’ll then be able to very gently lower yourself onto his penis a little bit at a time. If it hurts, back off. You may need to lean forwards a little, or lie down on top of him so that you can make out at the same time, and your clitoris will be pushed up against his pubic hair and body (which you want – your clitoris is your main sexual point, so never leave it out of sex or sex will feel boring!).

At this point, you may just want to attempt the penis-in-vagina thing by itself, since it’s so new, in terms of the mechanics of it. The horny sex can come later.

You can then slide yourself onto his penis bit by bit until it’s all the way in. If he has a large penis, you may find that it feels really big and may hurt, so just stop for a bit and relax yourself. Take it slow. If your boyfriend loses his erection, that’s ok, take a break and try again in a bit. Keep your p-in-v sex sessions shortish, about 10 minutes if you’re still figuring it out, because nerves lose their sensitivity after a while, making it pointless. It can also start to hurt, especially if the condom gets dry. Keep lubing it up.

On top, you are in control the whole time. Keep checking in with your boyfriend to see how it feels for him, making sure not to hurt him and that he is enjoying himself too. The rest – you’ll both figure out as you go!

What should we talk about (or should we be talking at all)?

Talk all the time! Keep checking in with each other, even if it’s annoying or awkward. Don’t ever assume that something feels good for each other without asking, and don’t be shy to say if something hurts, even if he seems to be enjoying it. You both need to be having a good time. If sex hurts, you’re doing it wrong.

Is foreplay important, and if so, what should we do for foreplay?? 

Foreplay is not a thing in terms of the activities we typically call foreplay: kissing, touching, fingering, oral sex, whatever else you can dream up. These are sex things that can be done with or without a penis ever touching your vagina. Don’t ever think that ‘foreplay’ is only things you do before sex. That’s a mistake.

Your sexual time with each other is not about you orgasming, or your boyfriend orgasming. It’s about having fun and connecting together, which might sound a little vague at this stage of the game – I do realise you just want to figure out how to have sex – but figuring out how to have good sex and be awesome lovers means lots of fooling around, talking, and experimenting.

Suck each other, lick each other, and when you both start orgasming (which is likely to take you a lot longer than your boyfriend), great, but don’t make that the purpose of each encounter.

At some point, both of you getting off (orgasming) will be part of it, and it’s a very fun part of it, but it’s not the only goal.

You learning how to orgasm is also going to require some work by you, so you need to start masturbating. If you don’t know what you like, then how are you supposed to teach someone else? You can bet a million bucks your boyfriend is jerking off furiously as often as he can, and you should be too. It takes a good while for some of us to learn how to masturbate ourselves to orgasm, but it’s a worthwhile task.

How girls masturbate

Have a great time! If you get stuck with a sticky question, feel free to write back anytime. It’s what I’m here for.

Aunt Vadge