Having sex for the first time with a new partner can be total fireworks — or awkward as hell. But having bad sex the first time means the sex will always be bad. You have to leave some room for people to grow together. Sometimes that just means working out their nerves, sometimes it's getting to know each other, and sometimes it's a straight up conversation about the fact that the sex isn't working.
"[Couples with healthy sex lives] have awkward conversations," sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. "Often people can have sex but are scared to talk about it out of fear that might offend their partner or it might be awkward. In order to have a healthy sex life you need to have sometimes uncomfortable conversations about what might not be working in the bedroom or what you want more or less of."
If it's not great in the beginning, there's really no need to panic. I've had some really bad sex with people at first that turned into good sex later. If you've got some natural chemistry, you can get the mechanics right with time. Make sure you're having an open dialogue and stick to positions that aren't too complicated and will help you get to know each other.
Here are the best sex positions for getting to know a new partner, because sometimes it's about laughing together:
1Legs Up Missionary
How To Do It: Start in missionary and slowly move your legs up over their shoulders. Ideally, you rest with your knees on hooked on them, but if not, just stick to a slightly modified missionary — that'll be intense enough.
Why It's Helpful: Missionary is a classic position with enough intimacy to help you get to know your partner. Plus this variation — along with giving you some really intense penetration — requires some communication, verbal or nonverbal, to make sure you're comfortable. It'll show how well they're paying attention.
How To Do It: Straddle your partner and then go for it. You can lean forward as pictured above or put your weight back. For a bonus modification and more intimacy, have your partner more upright, with their back up against the wall.
Why It's Helpful: Some women feel exposed in this position, so it can be good for bonding with a new partner. But mostly, it's just sexy AF and will help you feel confident in showing off your moves.
How To Do It: With you on your hands and knees, your partner sits behind you and enters you from the back. It's really deep, but you can always use your hand (or tell them to use theirs) if you're needing some clitoral stimulation.
Why It's Helpful: How a partner does doggy can tell you a lot about them real quick. Are they uncomfortably hammering away back there? Is it intense but in a great way? You'll know as soon as you get going.
4Weak In The Knees
How To Do It: It's pretty straightforward — and works in a lot of locations. While they sit on the edge of the bed, you kneel on the floor. It's perfect for oral, hand play, and taking turns.
Why It's Helpful: You get a chance to really focus on pleasing your partner and, with nothing else going on, you can really pay attention to what they like and dislike. Then they can do the same for you.
How To Do It: Start by laying down and arch your hips — using a pillow below them if it helps. Or you can start in doggy and collapse onto your elbows. Either way, it should be an intense sensation, but in a good way.
Why It's Helpful: It's really intimate and gives you a chance for dirty talk or whispering without the intense, face-to-face contact that might feel a bit much when you're getting to know someone. Plus, it feels amazing.
How To Do It: Lay on the bed with your hips above your partner's, as they curl around you from behind and enters you. You may need lube or to adjust your angles a bit — when you get it right it'll hit your G-spot.
Why It's Helpful: It requires a little negotiating and adjusting and you may need to add lube into it, so it's a great way to work out communication with a new partner. And because it's such a reassuring, cozy position you'll feel comfortable with each other immediately.
How To Do It: The wall is your friend, so stay close. While your partner stands behind you, spread your legs slightly and brace yourself on the wall. Lifting one leg can make it easier for them to enter you, but lube helps too— and, if there's a big height difference, don't be scared to stand on a pillow or something to even it out.
Why It's Helpful: Because there's a good chance you'll fall over — and laughing about it together is great bonding. And if you get it right? Well, then you'll feel like porn stars.
If the first few times having sex with a new partner is a little awkward, don't worry — it can totally get better. Just let yourself get to know each other, talk it out, and you'll be there in no time.