If you're having sex for the first time, it's normal to be nervous. In fact, if you're having sex for the first dozen times, it's normal to be nervous. Everyone gets the hang of it at different speeds, so if you're a month or a year in and still not feeling super confident, don't worry. That's totally normal— you'll get there. While I definitely support going for any sex acts you feel comfortable with, there are some sex acts that you may just want to avoid until you feel more comfortable. You want to stick to sex positions that will boost your confidence.
And if you're having sex with someone who's new to it? Let them be in control. “Although it might be easy for you to initiate and establish the lead when it comes to sex, see if you can resist and allow for some space for your less experienced partner to take the lead,” Dr. Kat Van Kirk, sex therapist and resident sex expert for Adam and Eve tells Bustle. “This will help them feel more comfortable and give them some confidence.”
But if you're a newbie and not sure what to do, stick with positions you feel secure in. You don't need to jump into everything you've ever seen in porn. Here are some sex acts and positions I would suggest avoiding, at least until you feel more relaxed (though if you already know you like these, definitely go for it):
Why do you want to avoid this position if you're new? Well, in one word— ouch. A Brazilian study in Advances in Urology found that most penis fractures (yup, penis fractures) were most likely to happen in woman on top positions. But in regular cowgirl you can at least see what you're doing. In this position, you're partner's more... vulnerable. Do them a favor and work your way up to this one.
2Anal Play With No Buildup
Anal play can be great fun but, if you're new to it, do not— I repeat, do not— jump right to anal sex. You need to start with smaller steps first— fingering and playing. "A good way to ease in is to start by playing with the perineum or circle the opening, rather than darting inside," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. "Check in with eye contact and non verbal cues or ask." Oh, and be liberal with the lube. Really, really liberal.
It's not a disaster position if you're a newbie, but I just don't think 69 will be much fun when you're still finding your feet. You're not going to accidentally bite your partner or anything but, if you're nervous, you want positions where you can make eye contact and check in with each other. You don't get any of that here — there's just a lot going on. This can be an overwhelming position anyway, where even an expert can feel a little bit of sensory overload, so don't feel bad if you want to hold off for a while.
4Weak In The Knees
Similarly to 69, this position is just a little much if you're feeling nervous. It's actually one of my favorite positions. But if you're new to sex— or new to sex with a woman— you may find it too overwhelming at first. Try kneeling on the floor with your partner sitting on the bed and you'll be able to get a better handle on what's going on, while still really being able to jump in and go for it.
Standing up sex is difficult enough. But combine standing up, water, and slippery soap and you're asking for trouble. I'm not a massive fan of shower sex anyway (unless there are some very specific footholds) and if you're new and feeling nervous, I would definitely recommend practicing standing sex first— on dry land.
When it comes to sex, there are no hard and fast rules about what's right and wrong, because everyone's different. But there are some acts and positions that might just feel a bit much while you're still feeling new and nervous. There are so many amazing sex positions where you can still feel grounded and connected, so you'll still have a lot to chose from. Start with those and, once you have a strong foundation, you can play as much as you want.