Dramatization. First time encounters may not be as explosive as shown.

“Feels like the first time.”  No offence, Foreigner, but your song is dumb.  Yes, for some people the first encounter with a new partner is an earth-moving, celestial epic – but those people live in Harlequin romances.

Recently, I was asked to write a post about to ensure sex with a first-time partner goes well.

Admittedly, it’s been more than fifteen years since my last first time, but I remember the heady mixture of excitement, arousal and nervous energy that made my fingers fumble and took my breath away. I remember feeling self conscious. I remember feeling vulnerable. I remember that things didn’t go entirely smoothly, but based on my own experience and what others have shared with me, first times rarely do.

And so without further ado here are:


1. Be prepared.

While the only prerequisites for partner sex are you and (at least) one other person, you may want to accessorize your encounter with a few extras. Mitigating your risk by practicing safer sex may help you feel more relaxed. Generally speaking, the more relaxed you are, the better the sex…especially your first time.  Plan ahead and obtain your lube, condoms, dams, gloves or contraceptive prescriptions beforehand.  And don’t forget fun goodies like lube, toys and any kink/fetish gear you may require.

2. Be ready.

Modern hook-up convention suggests that sex after three dates is appropriate. It is…if that’s when you’re ready.  It’s also appropriate if you’re ready after three minutes, or three weeks, or six dates or thirty.  Sex is only good when everyone involved wants it.

And remember, sex isn’t all or nothing.  You might be cool with penetration, but having someone go down on you might feel too intimate. You might feel it’s too soon to bring out your favourite toy. Maybe you’re game to try anything and everything right out of the gate.  Let your body and your instincts tell you what you’re ready for.

3. Awk-WARD!

The first time you have sex with a new partner is almost never the best time. That’s good.  Otherwise what would you have to look forward to?

You’re exploring a body you’re not familiar with. At the same time someone is touring yours for the first time.  Learning the lay of someone’s land requires concentration and focus, which is challenging when all the blood from your brain is headed south.

You’re a least a little bit naked with your bumps, blotches and funny bits exposed.  There are new noises, new smells, new feelings. You might be a little embarassed. You may have baggage or trauma to contend with.

It takes time to work out…or work in, all the kinks of hot, easy-going sex.  So don’t feel awkward if the first time feels a little awk-WARD!

4. Experience Counts…A Little.

When I was getting ready for my first public performance, I was a nervous wreck. How would the audience respond? Would I do all right? Would I make a mistake? I didn’t know what would happened and I was scared.

When I was getting ready for my hundreth public performance, I was a nervous wreck. How would the audience respond? Would I do all right? Would I make a mis– you get the picture.  What experience had taught me, was that nerves are par for my course but eventually I’d get over them and that even if things didn’t go smoothly, I’d figure it out.

It doesn’t matter how many lovers you’ve had. Every body has it’s own sexual idiosyncrasies, which means there’s always a learning curve when you hook up with someone new. Experience may give you the comfort of knowing that it’s normal to feel awk-WARD the first time.

Experience might also mean that your partner is well-acquainted with what their *own* body likes/needs, which is great for you, since they can give you the guided tour.

5. Generosity Counts…a LOT.

Help your partner. Tell them or show them what feels good for you. Be open to your partner.  Look, listen and be willing to learn what feels good for them.  If you feel safe doing so, be open to trying something new. If you’re both patient, kind and giving, great (albeit awk-WARD) things can happen.

6. Be honest.

Just because someone is in you, that doesn’t mean they know what you’re thinking. If something isn’t working, speak up. Speak up nicely and be as sensitive as you can, but your partner won’t know that ‘Ah, that’s too much pressure’ or ‘Blargh, my knees are KILLING me’ unless you say so.

And remember when you fake an orgasm, God kills a kitten.

7. Lights! Camera! Action!

So the camera bit? That’s between you and your partner.

Meanwhile, choosing a well-lit environment for your first hook-up is a good idea. It can be hard to map all the bits of your own anatomy, let alone someone else’s.  The location of clit, the perineum, the anus, the prostate gland, the G-spot, the frenulum and the vaginal opening vary from body to body.  Anyone who’s had their genitals examed by a doctor knows that being poked in the nasties doesn’t feel good. So toss the candles for the first time and sex it up under the overhead lights.

8. It’s not a test.

Nor a race, nor a competition, nor any other sort of goal-oriented activity. Putting pressure on yourself or your partner to orgasm/multiple orgasm/ejaculate/yell/scream/faint or respond in a specific way because you see it as a measure of your success, is a sure-fire way to douse everyone’s libido.

Don’t get me wrong, orgasms are awesome.  We like them because they feel good. But the other parts of sex feel good too, as long as we don’t get so focused on a certain outcome/achievement that we miss what’s happening in the moment.

9. Be polite.

You’ve done it! You’ve had sex with someone new for the very first time! Maybe you plan to spend the night or a lifetime. You might have to go home or rush back to the office.  No matter what your post-sex plans are, take a moment to say thank you. If you have to slip out under cover of night, leave a note, call or send a text. This person has shared their body with you.  If there’s ever a time to roll out good manners, it’s now.

10. Have pancakes.

Pancakes are the perfect post-hump meal. You can enjoy them with a partner, or solo if you had to part ways after your hook-up.  Pancake batter can be adpated to suit most food sensitivities.  It is also scientifically proven (I assume) that sex hormones aid in the digestion of warm, syrup-y food, while the carbohydrates provide fuel for future encounters.

Pancakes are the icing on the first-time sex cake.  So is cake…with icing.

How about you? Are first time experiences inherently awk-WARD or can they be Foreigner-grade sublime? What first-timer tips do you have to share?


  1. Tamara says:

    Hehe. We’ve followed #9 since the beginning, I remember it sounded funny but appropriate too. There’s a sweetness and shyness about it, there still is.

    As for pancakes? I have to try that.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I love that you guys are thank you people. Manners for the win!

      A heaping pile of bacon is a nice alternative if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making pancakes.

  2. Nat says:

    God kills a kitten — ha!

    I think patience, kindness and understanding need to play a huge part in sex.
    Also… I think cars should be off the list, mind you it worked for The Man and I.

    • nadinethornhill says:

      I still find car sex challenging. No matter what happens, I always wind up with some part of me stuck in a cup holder. :-)