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Thinking about having sex for the first time? You have come to the right place! This blog will explore what you need to think about when preparing to have sex for the first time to make sure your first sexual experience is safe and fun.

1. Do you want to have sex?

This might feel like an obvious question, but it’s important to ask yourself if you are ready to have sex and why you want to have sex. There can be a lot of pressure around sex, and it’s important that you only have sex when you feel ready.

Only you can decide if and when you are ready to have sex. There’s no perfect time or relationship to have sex for the first time. It’s what feels right for you. The only reason to have sex is because you want to. Not because you feel like you should, your partner wants to or everyone else is doing it. If it doesn’t feel right for you, it’s OK to wait.

2. Communication is key. What do you need to talk about?

An important part of any sexual experience is communication.

The more you talk with to the person you plan to have sex with, the better the sex will be. Why? Because you will feel more comfortable with one another. It’s good to get on the same page before you start having sex.

Here are some things to talk about:

  1. Expectations and boundaries

Feeling comfortable with your sexual partner is one of the most important things to consider. Being clear with your expectations and communicating them before you have sex can help to ensure you both enjoy the experience together.

Talk about what type of sex you are comfortable doing and be clear about what you do not want to do. Ask your partner what they are wanting to explore. Choose a safe and comfortable place and time when you can relax and enjoy the experience. Know that even if you agree to have sex at that place and time you can change your mind at any time.

  1. Consent

When it comes to sex, sexual consent is an agreement where people enthusiastically and voluntarily give permission for any type of sexual activity. You need consent to kiss and hug, touch another person’s body, and have any type of sex.

When you consent to something, it means you understand what’s happening, and you agree that you’re happy with that choice. Consent is the most important first step when it comes to sex. It makes sex a mutual, safe, happy and enjoyable experience for everyone. Consent can only be given if it’s voluntary and there is no element of coercion, fear or intimidation involved.

At any time, even during sex, consent can be taken back. You or your partner can ask to change what they are doing (for example, slow down or try something different) or to stop completely. If you or your partner says ‘no’ or asks to stop completely even after sex has started, you or they must stop and respect that decision as they are no longer giving consent.

Read more about consent in our Consent blog and find helpful resources on our Consent & Relationships page.

  1. Be safe: Talk about contraception and condoms

When you start to have sex, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a risk that you might come into contact with sexually transmissible infections (STIs), and for penis-in-vagina sex can also carry the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

Contraception prevents unplanned pregnancy and condoms are the only type of contraception that prevents unplanned pregnancy and protects you from STIs.

Using condoms is always a good idea every time you have sex. You can talk about who is going to bring the condoms and lube. Read more about contraception options in our blog posts here and here and find out more on our Contraception & Pregnancy page.

  1. Be aware of sexually transmissible infections (STIs)

Not all sex can lead to pregnancy, but most sex carries some risk of STIs. That’s why condoms are good for every time you have sex with a penis or sex toy, as they prevent STIs.

If you’re considering having sex for the first time, it’s worth familiarising yourself with common STIs, most of which can be effectively treated or cured. Have a conversation with your partner about what protection you are going to use, and when you can go for an STI check.

3. After sex

  • There’s no need to jump straight out of bed and have a shower after sex unless you want to, but you might feel like you want to clean things up (for example, throw away the condom by tying a knot it in, wrapping it in tissue and placing it in the bin).
  • If you have a vagina some doctors say it’s good to go for a wee after sex, as this might clear out bacteria and prevent bladder infections like a UTI.
  • If the condom breaks and you’re not using other contraception, you can see a pharmacist for the emergency contraceptive pill (also known as the morning after pill or plan b).
  • Remember, if something didn’t go to plan, or you have any worries, you can always contact Nurse Nettie, where a qualified nurse is available to answer your questions. If you’re concerned about a sexual experience you can contact Lifeline Australia.