Aunt Vadge: is there some kind of cherry to pop?

Hey Aunt Vadge!

I’m 16 years old, and my boyfriend and I are planning to have sex. I’m a virgin, and I’ve never had sex before. I have tried fingering myself before – I can usually fit one finger fully inside of my vagina without any issue. The feeling is a bit unusual. The problem is, I struggle to fit more than one. I have never used tampons and I do not plan to.

My concern is, would I be able to have sexual intercourse with my boyfriend even if I am this tight? Is there a way I can sort of ‘loosen’ myself up? Or would a penis going inside my vagina pop some kind of cherry to loosen me up? I’m so confused!

Sincerely,
Confused
Age: 16
Country/Area: Australia

Dear Confused,

You have a bit of reading to do! The bit you are missing from this equation is being turned on. Being turned on is the secret ‘change’ to your vagina that makes sex not only comfortable with a full-sized penis, but takes it from ‘feeling unusual’ having something in your vagina to feeling genuinely good in a sex way.

There is no cherry to pop – that euphemism comes from the hymen being broken by the erect penis – popped – and the red blood from your body being the juice from the cherry. It’s actually not that nice when you think of it like that. Probably a man invented that saying.

Read about the hymen here, and examine yourself to see if there is any sign of yours. Often, it is completely gone by the age of 16 from bike riding and general activity, but you can find out yourself if your hymen still exists. You should be able to see it. There are instructions at the end of that article regarding how to gently stretch out your hymen yourself over a week or so, so that sex doesn’t hurt.

Your learning curve has only just begun, and figuring out how to fit a big penis in your ‘tiny’ vagina is maybe not where you want to start. Figuring out how to make you turned on has got to be step one! To put your mind at ease, your vagina is very, very stretchy and can accommodate – when it has to – things as big as a baby. I know, crazy, but true. Vaginas = very stretchy in the right circumstances.

There are a few elements in figuring out your vagina to consider: 

A) Being turned on – don’t try to put his penis in until your body (read: vag) wants it. Not your logical, reasonable brain that wants to share this time with your boyfriend and lose your virginity and figure out how to fit the penis in the vagina. You will know when your body wants it, because you will feel it. These feelings are going to be new for you, but you’ll know them when you come across them – they are not thoughts, but feelings in your body. You have to get a vag boner the same way your boyfriend needs to get a penis boner to successfully have sex, and this means being properly – properly – turned on. Wet, swollen, and gasping, preferably. Then you can put his penis in, and it’ll feel marvellous.

B) Understand your anatomy – you are delving into a whole new world of sex and your vagina and vulva. You need to know where everything is, and how it works. There is just no way of knowing what’s inside until you explore, and explore, and explore. If you try something and it feels bad, understand why. Often, it feels bad because you are not turned on, yet you expect something to be ‘happening’.

Do the same action when your body is turned on, and voila, magic sex stuff happens with the screaming orgasms of the movies (or at least just a quiet breathless toe-quivering moment on your own). Learning what turns you on – which will be different to anyone else – is key to good sex. Working out how your junk actually works is a long process that will constantly surprise you, but is worth doing properly. Do you know how many grown women out there in life have never masturbated or had an orgasm? Don’t let that be you. Learn your body.

C) First things first – dry humping, oral sex, fingering, touching, making out – do all these sexy things before you try to put a big hard penis in your vagina. You have an infinitely greater chance of success (as in, it not hurting or feeling weird) if you and your boyfriend tingle your nerve endings, instead of overwhelming them by thinking p-in-v sex is what sex is about – it’s not (but it’s one version). Sex comes in many forms, and you will soon discover that you can be turned on in more than one way, and that p-in-v sex is likely the last of those. Nerve endings love to be tickled gently, then they can become magical. Don’t rush.

D) Touch yourself! – The best way to figure out how your vagina works is to try touching yourself with some coconut oil or lube at home by yourself (lube is important!). It can be funny and difficult to turn yourself on when you aren’t sure what you’re doing, and seem fruitless at times (like, what’s the big deal about?). Remember that your vagina is part of your whole body, and your whole body and mind needs to be on board with sex before it will ‘change’ into a body that is ready for sex. Your body will go through a series of changes when it’s turned on, but you’ll know, don’t worry. Getting this feeling sorted at home on your own means you know what you are aiming for. Remember, tickle your nerve endings, don’t go too hard unless it seems time. Nerve endings are ticklish!

E) Timing – figure out around the time you are ovulating (unless you are on hormonal birth control, then this won’t happen) because you body will be much more responsive to your boyfriend’s touch then. This is maximising your chances of being turned on. Get a period tracker app or calendar, and it will tell you around the time you are fertile. Remember if you do put your boyfriend’s penis into your vagina, use a condom and lube! Unwanted pregnancies are not a great start to your sex life.

Top tips for sexual learner drivers

  • Always always always use lube – coconut works well as a cheap option, but if you have some spare change, go into a sex shop and ask for a recommendation of a good quality silicone lube – they are soooo silky smooth and much nicer than KY Jelly.
  • Go slow! Tickle nerve endings, not slam them. If it stops feeling good, stop – you need to reset your nerve endings. Don’t overstimulate yourselves to the point of numbness. Take a rest, do something else for a while.
  • If it hurts, tell your boyfriend, and stop whatever it is that hurts. Pain is never, ever ok during sex and means you are damaging yourself. You’ll end up swollen, bleeding, with cuts and pain. It’ll heal, but avoiding this damage in the first place is key. Learn how to say stop, then practice! Remember your boyfriend has no idea what it feels like for you.
  • Talk about how it feels all the time. Feedback is key during sex. Nobody is born knowing how to be good at sex, so talk to each other the whole time. It’s the only way to both teach each other to become good lovers. It feels different to you both.
  • Have fun – laugh! Sex is sometimes hilarious and awkward – learn how to move on from it being awkward by laughing, then get right back into it. Being graceful about how awkward it is is a lovely skill to have throughout your entire sexual life, which will be long and luxurious.

Further reading:

Write anytime!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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