Losing your Virginity - a Girl's Guide to First Time Sex

Virginity is differently evaluated in different cultures. In some it merely refers to a state of never having sexual intercourse while in others it may be inseparable from notions of purity and honor. At its most simple, losing your virginity implies having sex for the first time and if you are a girl, here are a few things to keep in mind.

A virgin is usually defined as someone who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. Among girls, the absence of an intact hymen – the thin membrane partially or wholly covering the vaginal orifice – is conventionally taken as the evidence of having had sex and therefore loss of virginity. This is because in most cases of first-time sexual intercourse, the hymen gets torn. However a girl can rupture her hymen without having engaged in sex at all. Strenuous physical activities like cycling, swimming or horse-riding as well as certain practices like masturbation with a foreign object can lead to a ruptured hymen. Conversely a girl can engage in oral or other forms of non-vaginal sex without having any impact on the hymen. All this essentially means that losing your virginity may or may not be related to a broken hymen.

Now that you have got the confusing implications about virginity out of the way, go ahead to find out what you can expect before, during and after having a first time sexual intercourse.

Before engaging in sex for the first time, consider your reasons for doing so. Are you doing it under some kind of pressure from your peers, your partner or to make someone happy? If you are unsure about the rightness of the act or worried about reactions from your family, pastor, teacher, just hold yourself back. It is your body and your decision and you have every right to take all the time in the world to go about it. Sexual intercourse for the first time should be an act of pleasure, love and trust – see if that is how you are feeling right now. If not, the act is likely to leave you with unpleasant memories and regrets. Decide to go for it only when you feel completely ready and not before that.

While having sex for the first time, the most important thing is to know what is safe. You must absolutely insist on the use of a condom by your partner. This is not only because a condom provides protection from unplanned pregnancies, but more significantly it protects you from a host of sexually transmitted diseases. More commonly known as STDs, these can infect you in case of unprotected sex and even leave you with long-term negative consequences like chronic infections of the urinary tract, the reproductive system and infertility. Most importantly used of condom will help you to avoid being exposed to HIV and vastly reduce the chances of getting AIDS, which is still a fatal condition. Remember to use a condom even if you are not engaging in vaginal sex. Certain STDs like herpes can infect a person orally and so it is crucial for your health that you are well protected. These days there are various kinds of condoms in the market, depending on size, material, lubrication and even according to color and flavor. Finally remember that safe sex is not only your partner’s responsibility and if necessary, you should be able to buy or carry a condom with you. Don’t worry about this making you look easy – in fact it will only make you appear mature enough to be responsible for yourself and your partner.

Contraception is yet another crucial aspect of preparing yourself for first-time sex. Contraception is the avoidance of pregnancy and can range from birth-control pills, female condoms, spermicides, diaphragms to minor surgery. Here it is important to remember that the most effective forms of contraception used by women need to be in place well in advance. For instance you need to start taking birth control pills at least a month before you have sex while Depo Provera injections, Norplant, IUDs and diaphragms all require the help of a doctor. Spermicides and female condoms offer immediate protection against pregnancies but their failure rate is higher too. Condoms when used correctly are still the most effective way to obtain all round protection from unplanned pregnancies as well as STDs.

Once you are emotionally and physically prepared to have sex for the first time, it is a good idea to know what the actual experience may be like. Spend a little time and effort on foreplay. Kissing, massaging and erotically exploring your partner’s bodies will help the two of you to connect on a deeper level, reduce any awkwardness about it being the first time and more importantly for you, give you the lubrication you need to enjoy the actual act of intercourse. Don’t rush through this most intimate part of sex – it will be over soon enough as it is.

If this is the first time you are having sex, the actual act may leave you sore and in a little discomfort. You might tear your hymen and even bleed a little. You may not even experience the earth-shaking orgasm that popular media is wont to associate with sex. That is all right – as long as it is a natural part of a relationship based on mutual love and respect, there is no correct or ideal way to go about it.

After having sex, if you have had unprotected sex, without using a condom or have reason to worry that you may have an unplanned pregnancy, you could consider the option of morning-after pills. However these require a doctor’s prescription in many states as well as proof of your being above the required age. Moreover these pills have to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse or they do not remain effective. They have their own side-effects and are not for everyone. They are meant to be used only in an emergency and do not prevent STD (Sexually transmitted diseases). It is always better to use a condom as that keeps you safe from sexually transmitted diseases as well as prevents pregnancy.

The time after a first sexual experience is unique in many ways. You may find yourself experiencing conflicting emotions of love, relief, guilt and even a little regret. Remember that you have lost your virginity and it is perfectly natural to celebrate and mourn that loss at the same time.