Sex is one of the greatest joys in life. Anyone who tells you otherwise has simply been doing it wrong. Oh, I know how this sounds; there are of course a large and diverse plethora of activities that will make your life a more fulfilling one beyond lying in bed with your lover taking turns pleasuring each other, but there’s really no feeling quite like being fully relaxed, trusting your partner, and exploring their body or allowing them to explore yours in every way you enjoy. That being said, having sex for the first time can be an awkward, embarrassing, and disappointing, as well as sensual, fun, exciting, and romantic, or any combination of all of the above. For women, a common fear in having sex for the first time is the pain involved. Below, we’re going to take a brief look at what can cause that pain and some ways around it, to allow you to really get the thrills and excitement of your first time.

If you’re worried about the pain involved with losing your virginity, you are far from alone, pain and discomfort is the leading worry for almost all couples when giving themselves to each other for the first time. It is here however that we encounter a paradox. Worrying about the pain and discomfort involved with your first time can actually increase that pain and discomfort on a mental and emotional level. Your kind of tricking yourself into feeling a pain that simply wouldn’t be there were you more relaxed. Or perhaps the pain is a very real pain as the muscle floor of the vagina will contract and tighten if you are uncomfortable. The most important way to lose the fear of the pain that may come with your first time is to have open, honest communication and absolute trust in your partner.

Another important part in not ‘psyching yourself out’ when it comes to first time intercourse pain is to be as informed as possible on generally sexuality, your partners body, and your own body. Communication and information in conjunction with one another will put you at ease and allow you to understand just what is happening to your body as it happens. Knowing you can ask your partner to take a break or stop if the natural pain of your first time becomes too much is also a main factor in putting you at ease and allowing you to enjoy yourself and your partner.

A great question to ask yourself before having sex is if you are actually ready to. Not being ready and having sex for the first time for any other reasons that your own can be an overwhelming contributor to first time intercourse pain. Again, talking to your partner and determining if the two of you are ready for your first time is imperative as a couple that has discussed the emotional, mental, and physical risks are far more likely to be relaxed and enjoy comfortable, pleasurable, sensual sex.

Finally, it’s important to note that not all couples experience pain during their first time. However, knowing and having realistic expectations for yourself and your body is by far one of the most important parts of putting yourself in a relaxed mind state for your first time. Knowing that pain may or may not happen, especially depending on your hymen and your overall all sexual experiences, and accepting that pain and being willing to somewhat overcome that pain, will help in understanding what to expect from your first time. Also, if the pain is too great, don’t be afraid to ask your partner to take a break or wait. Sex is about pleasure and if you’re not receiving that, it’s more than okay to wait until a time when you can. Ultimately though, the keys to an amazing first time are communication, relaxation, and information. Know what you’re getting into, know yourself, know your partner, and lay back, be on top, get on your knees and enjoy yourself.