Having sex with someone new for the very first time can be super exciting. Since you don't really know what they're into yet, you can think of it as a fun adventure to explore new possibilities you're both comfortable with. On the other hand, having sex with someone new can also be super nerve-racking. You can be the most confident person in the world and still get a serious case of performance anxiety when you're about to do the deed with a new partner. So what do you do when you're feeling
nervous about having sex with someone new?
Even if you feel comfortable and ready for it, when you're anxious over
having sex with someone new, it kind of takes the fun out of it. A recent survey by adult online retailer, Pure Romance, found that a lot of relationships start off with pretty bad sex. In fact, over 50 percent of people said it was "simply terrible," but managed to gave it a few chances before deciding to break it off.
Dr. Megan Stubbs, tells Bustle, that's not surprising at all. "We all come with our own sexual history and we can draw from previous experiences, but no two people are the same," she says. Your one signature move that you like to do may have worked for previous partners, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will do anything for the next ones. When it doesn't go as expected, that can have a way of bringing your self-confidence down.
But just remember, knowing right off the bat what your partner likes, dislikes, or how their body will respond to what you're doing isn't super common. Like most things in life, becoming "good" at something requires time and maybe even a little bit of work. So here are some ways to make sex with someone new "good," when you're feeling anxious, according to experts.
Be Sure You're On The Same Page
Before you even think about the physical act itself, Dr. Michael Reitano, MD, physician in residence at sexual health startup
Roman, tells Bustle it's important that you and your partner are on the same page. That means talk about the details, especially seemingly awkward ones like consent, protection, and STIs. "Assess your expectations and align them with your partner," he says. " Talking about sex doesn't have to be a dry conversation about logistics. The truth is the preparation for sex allows the participants to begin to imagine what is to come and build positive sexual tension all while stressful details are shed."
"Maybe your communication hasn’t evolved yet to a place where you can freely say what you like or what you’re into," Dr. Stubbs says. "Many people want to put their best face forward, especially in the beginning of relationships so certain things may be pushed to the wayside so you don't rock the boat." But it's important to
speak up about what you’re into. As Dr. Stubbs says, your partner isn’t a mind reader. "If they’re doing something you absolutely are not into, say something," she says. "Those who do not ask for what they want, often do not get what they want."
If you want to have a good time during sex the first time around, Dr. Sadie Allison, founder of
TickleKitty.com and author of Ride 'Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking , tells Bustle, stick with what you know and what you're good at. So even if you spent the whole week sexting back and forth about your sexual fantasies and how you're down to try sex toys with a partner, don't do it all on the first try. "Stick with what you’re [comfortable with] so you can stay in a confident place, especially if you’re nervous," Dr. Sadie says.
Also, as exciting as sex up against the wall is, if you're nervous because it's someone new, stick to the tried and locations. "The more untraditional the location, the more adjustments you may have to make," she says. "To keep things easy your first time, stick to a bed, couch or floor, so you have less to worry about."
Do Something Beforehand That Makes You Feel Confident
If you know you're going on a date and it may possibly lead to sex later on in the week, Bethany Ricciardi, sex educator and relationship expert with
Too Timid “The Romance Company," tells Bustle you should do something to help you feel confident beforehand. You can meditate to clear your mind of any anxieties or work up a sweat to help you feel good. You can even just put on your favorite outfit, and sing in the mirror. "Your confidence will increase and you most likely won’t mind when they’re looking at you naked," Ricciardi says. And instead of focusing on any insecurities that might bring up, you'll pay more attention to the moment, and enjoying yourself.
Don't Go In With Any Set Expectations
Since this is your first time together don’t set the expectations high. "You’re just starting to learn one another's bodies and if you don’t climax that doesn’t mean either of you did it wrong," Ricciardi says. It might not be best to think of orgasming as the end goal at this point. Instead, shift your thinking. Make it about fun, pleasure, and exploration. "Don’t sweat it," she says. "A new partner brings on a new experience, and you have to learn what works for the both of you. All new things must be learned."
Use Foreplay To Learn More About Your Partner
"Not only should ever sexual encounter have amazing, long, foreplay, but when you’re sleeping with someone for the first time this is a great opportunity to really start learning what gets your partner aroused," Ricciardi says. "It will also give you more time to relax before the full show."
For some great pro-tips, Dr. Sadie says you can start by teasing and playing with your partner for a good 20 minutes. "Observe what turns them on," she says. Pay close attention to their breathing and body language. Their reaction to your style will be a good indicator on how to adjust and move forward.
Don't Underestimate The Power Of A Good Make-Out Session
"When in doubt, make-out," Alex Fine, CEO of
Dame Products, tells Bustle. "It’s a great way to reset and reconnect from whatever you’re trying out with each other." If there's an awkward lull or you don't know how to get things going, start with a kiss and go from there. Remember that sex isn’t a game, a race, or homework. As Fine says, "Sex is however you define it. In reality, the best sex is an emotional and physical back-and-forth between individuals that results in a sum that’s greater than its parts. You’re building something fun, and hot, and satisfying together!"
When you're nervous about having sex with someone for the first time, the tendency is to overthink and get super serious about it. But that's the last thing you should be doing. In order to make sex exciting, bring laughter into it. "Sex is supposed to be fun," Dr. Sadie says. "Approach it as an exploratory adventure. And if you have an awkward moment, plan to laugh at yourselves, instead of feeling uncomfortable."
According to Ricciardi, sometimes first-time sex can have you feeling like you're being judged. It's natural and happens to the best of us. But that's the one thing that can really prevent you from letting go and having fun. When you relax and just go with it, you're more likely to enjoy your partner and have a really great time.