This is such an incredibly exciting, pivotal time in your life! You are changing and growing, getting in touch with your body, and experiencing all these new weird and intense feelings and emotions. This is also, undoubtedly a very confusing time as various people, priorities, friends, and significant others are all pulling your head and heart in different directions. And you want to make everyone happy, and want to fulfill whatever expectations they have of you. But know this, this is YOUR life and you need to do what will make you happy. The important thing is to have conviction in yourself, in what you want and need. Remember, no one else is making this decision but you.
The truth is, no one magically wakes up one day ready to take this step, and, unfortunately, even our best-laid plans don't always ensure everything will fall flawlessly into place. So, it's important to be as prepared as you can be, and this means emotionally and physically. Thus, you have properly educated yourself. Take care of your body and heart. After all, this will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Let's have a heart to heart, and read on to see my checklist of 17 things you need to do before you give yourself to him!
17 Make Sure You Feel Seriously About Him
You can rack your head and heart forever waiting for the perfect guy to sweep you off your feet, for the exact right one to take this momentous step with. However, as we know, finding that right is one is no easy task! The important thing to keep in mind is that you should feel seriously about the boy you decide to give your virginity to. Since this is such a huge choice in your life, you shouldn’t treat it lightly. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be in love with this guy. But make sure he is deserving of you and your heart. Remember, you are giving the gift of your body to him, and and he needs to be right there beside you in this decision to support you now and afterwards.
16 Make Sure In Time You Won't Look Back With Regret
If you rush into this experience, it is possible you will make a mistake you will later regret in life. If you do what you need to do now, and prepare yourself in all the ways you possibly can, including emotionally, physically and intellectually, you will be setting yourself up for a more successful first time experience. Because this is such an important decision, make sure you are ready and won’t look back, wishing you had waited for a different guy or different time or circumstances. But know this too: If your first time is not the perfect dream you always wanted it to be, it is not the end of the world either! No one experience, no matter how pivotal, has to dictate the course of the rest of your life.
15 Make Sure Your Expectations Aren't Like The Movies
I will admit it, I was one of those girls who thought life would be like the movies. After all, movies do depict representations of what does happen in real life, but of course you know Hollywood glorifies and romanticizes them. Movies can sometimes even gloss over harsher truths and realities. I'm sorry hun, but the truth is, life isn’t like the movies, so don’t set yourself up for disappointment by hoping for your first time to play out exactly like it did in your fave romantic comedy. That isn't to say this experience can't still be special, but don't pressure yourself anticipating for this larger than life fantasy. Remember, this is your life, and just by reflecting on taking this huge step forward—perhaps the biggest decision yet—it is already is special.
14 Expect It Might Be Uncomfortable
Unfortunately, this is one of the truths of your first time that you need to understand and be ready to face. Your body will be physically stretched in ways it hasn't before, and this can be uncomfortable, sometimes even painful. It is totally normal for this experience to cause some physical discomfort, but there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasant. Know that your emotional state has a huge effect on how you will feel physically, so if you are feeling relaxed and are emotionally ready, the experience will be that much more positive. Likewise, if you are nervous, anxious or scared, your body can tighten up, magnifying your discomfort. This is why it's so important to have a supportive understanding partner who will guide you safely and comfortably through this process. This will also make it easier to be more sensually aroused, which will help make your body more physically ready as well.
13 Ask Your Friends About Their Own Experiences
I know it can be hard to open up to friends about this hugely personal choice in your life. Of course, you may feel pressure to put on this image as if you were totally cool—that nothing could possibly scare you, and you may even feel you need to give off the impression that you have already lost your virginity. However, it is so important to take advantage of your social and supportive networks, being close friends whom you love and trust. Ask them about their experiences and be open and honest about your concerns, fears, hopes and desires. These conversations are vital for you to ensure you will have a positive first time experience. If you have a close relationship with one of your mentors, perhaps a professor, coach, or parent, they can be of excellent help as well to provide proper guidance.
12 Understand The Health Risks
As you know, engaging in sexual relations opens you up to a myriad of health risks. It is important to be aware of these health risks, so you can do what you need to prepare yourself against them and encourage healthy sexual activity. Understand the importance of guarding your body against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with the proper protection. Don't let yourself get caught in the heat of the moment and make a mistake you will later regret. And please, don't let anyone make you think condoms aren't cool or pressure you into putting yourself in a dangerous, risky situation. Yes, sexual relations are fun and exciting, but it's also serious business, and the health risks are not to be taken lightly. You have one body, and one life, so take goof care of it.
11 Be Confident That You're Ready For This Experience
Unfortunately, there is no way you can ever be 100% confident or ready for something. However, you need to feel in your heart that you are prepared to take this big step in your life. Make sure you have conviction in yourself and that you know that it is the right thing for you to do in your life at this moment in time. Again, you don't want to dive in it prematurely when you're not emotionally mature enough, or maybe you're not even physically ready to handle all the heavy emotions and consequences that come with sexual relations. Have an honest and open conversation with yourself, and ask yourself if this is something you truly want to do. If you're hesitating, it's usually a good indicator that you should wait.
10 Have A Strong Understanding Of One's Own Body
As you embark on this new passionate discovery, it is important to be in touch with your body. This means that you should take the time to get your know yourself really well physically on a deeper level. Think of it this way: How will know what you like and what makes your body feel good if you don't get in touch with yourself and allow yourself to have this personal, self-inquisitive experience? Get curious. Your partner, no matter what age, usually need some guidance to know what exactly will pleasure you in bed. So, in order to provide your SO with some feedback, you'll need to get a grasp on what turns you on! If you have a fuller understanding of your body, you will feel more in control, and will be that much more relaxed for your first time. So don't be shy with yourself—explore, get to know and get to love your body!
9 Make Sure You Are Making This Choice For Yourself
Again, no one is making this choice but you. Remember that this should be no one else's decision to make but your own. And this means that you shouldn't feel pressured to engage in sexual relations to satisfy any one else's wishes or expectations of you. In order to make sure you know you are making this decision for yourself, you need to ask yourself if this is something you truly want in your heart. Don't pressure yourself thinking by deciding to wait you are disappointing anyone. That's too bad for them—you have to do what's good for you. The right person will completely understand and should be happy to reasonably wait until you're 100% sure of your decision.
8 It's Not A Race Or A Competition—Wait As Long As You Need
As we grow up, we can sometimes feel like we are in a race with our peers to mature the fastest and do "adult"things faster than everyone else. We don't like to feel like we're falling behind or that we're doing things much later—we want to keep up with our peers. It's totally normal to feel this way, but losing your virginity is not a race or a competition. Know that you have the prerogative to wait as long as you need. There is no one right time to have your first time experience or the right age. Rushing into this step just to keep up with your peers can lead you into engaging in some serious territory before you're truly ready to do so. So, wait as long as you need to. You will guaranteed feel better and more sure of your choice.
7 You And Your SO Are On The Same Page
Having a caring and understanding partner is so important in having a positive first time experience. Make sure you approach in a mature manner and open up to your boyfriend or SO about your feelings and concerns. I know it can sometimes be hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable, but again you need to be honest with yourself and honest with your partner. It is vital that you both are on the same page and that they are supportive of your decision and desires. Having serious conversations are not always easy, but it is a great way to test and see the strength of your relationship. Are you both mature enough to discuss a sensitive matter without getting upset or into a fight? If not, then you probably shouldn't be taking the leap in bed together.
6 Don't Let Peer Pressure Sway You
Ah, peer pressure. The other big thing weighing on you as you consider this huge decision in your life. As teenagers, we may feel that we want to do whatever our peers are doing just to keep up with the status quo. And at the end of the day, honestly, we just want to seem normal. I totally get it. But it is important to remember that you need to make this decision for yourself and you should not let peer pressure sway you in diving in before you are truly ready. Who cares what everyone else is doing or what your peers think is cool? This is your choice to make, and its your body and life. I know it can be hard to be different and to have that self awareness and conviction in yourself. But don't be afraid to be different or not to meet certain expectations of your peers. Make the choice when YOU are ready.
5 Educate Yourself About Birth Control
There are many options available for you in terms of birth control, from the pill, to the patch, IUD, and, of course, condoms. Make sure you have educated yourself about all these forms of birth control and are comfortable with the knowledgeable about the one(s) you choose. As you know, not being careful with these different kinds of protection during physical intimate relationships can leave you vulnerable to the possibility of getting pregnant before you are ready. This is a very serious decision, since it not only entails you and your SO, but might become about a third party too...potentially your baby. It is not uncool to be educated or protected. Surf the web, read up and make the healthy decision to take care of of your body. Your future self will absolutely thank you for it.
4 Remember To Relax And Enjoy It
All of this worrying about meeting expectations, health risks, emotional consequences, and even physical discomfort during the act itself can weigh on you greatly. After all, this is pretty heavy stuff to consider, and there are a lot of factors to take into account. However, don't forget to relax and enjoy your first time! Remember to be present in your body, so you can be fully engaged in the experience, allowing yourself to truly feel and enjoy all of these wonderful new physical sensations. Being truly present in the moment will allow for a much sensual and arousing experience. Don't let your mind wander off, just relax. And of course, keep in mind that this is only your first time—practice makes perfect, and it will only get better with time.
3 Be Ready To Deal With The Emotional Consequences
As emotionally charged as you may feel now while you ask yourself if you are ready for this big step in your life, the truth is, the emotional consequences of how you will feel afterwards are even greater. After having sexual relations for the first time, you may feel differently about yourself. And of course, connecting with your partner on such a physically and emotionally visceral level can make you feel that much closer to him. Sexual activity releases hormones that may make you feel like you are even in love. Whatever ensues, you are sure to feel a surge of new and intense emotions. This is why you need to be prepared before you jump in to your first time so you are ready to face this heavy emotional aftermath.
2 Know This Does Not Necessarily Make You An Adult Now
Ok, so you did it, you lost it. Tada! Now you're an adult, of course. NOPE. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. The journey to adulthood is a lot more complicated and complex beyond just losing your virginity. You may feel that making such a big mature step in your life makes you feel more grownup, and sure that's understandable. I'm still figuring out what adulthood truly is—we all are really—and not one of us honestly has figured it all out. Being an adult is about having responsibilities and taking responsibility for yourself, your life, and for consequences. And hey, don't be in such a rush to get to adulthood. Enjoy and embrace where you are in your life right now. Remember, sadly, it will be gone before you know it...and you'll be paying taxes.
1 There Is So Much More To Learn And Discover—This Is Only The Beginning
Yes, losing your virginity is a hugely momentous part of your life. But remember, there is so much more to learn, discover and enjoy afterwards!! There are also so many more incredible meaningful experiences for you to have as you navigate the tumultuous waters of adolescence to adulthood and beyond. Just because you have had your first time, doesn't necessarily make you an adult now, nor does it mean that was the one big special experience of your life—and now it's over. I know it can feel as a teenager that this period of your life will never end, and you can easily over-magnify every little or big thing that happens to you. But this really is still only the beginning of your life. So, go on and live it! Try, fail, make mistakes, learn, grow, dream, love, and remember—no one has it all figured out.