Having sex for the first time with a new partner can be total fireworks, awkward as hell, or everything in between. But having a cringe-worthy sexual encounter doesn't mean the sex will always be bad. Sometimes, you have to leave room for you and your partner to grow together. One or both of you may be nervous, and that lack of familiarity can breed discomfort. But the most effective way to break through that unease is by communicating honestly and directly about each of your sexual preferences.
"[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 your first sexual experience with a new partner isn’t great in the beginning, there's no need to panic — instead, consider opening up a dialogue about what turns you on. In fact, the 2020 SKYN Sex & Intimacy Survey, a survey of 2,000 males and females in the U.S. ages 18-39, found that 77% of participants frequently vocalize their sexual preferences to their partner(s) during sex. And as you get to know each other both inside and outside of the sheets, try sticking to positions that aren't too complicated. When all else fails, communication, a sense of humor, and a willingness to try new things can get you through it.
Here are the best sex positions for getting to know a new partner.