Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
So you’ve noticed each other… started chatting… maybe had a drink and a meal… done some heavy duty snogging… Sooner or later – the same night or several weeks later - the moment will come: your first time in bed together.
Relax. It doesn’t need to be perfect – and it probably won’t be. Both of you will be nervous, perhaps a bit clumsy. She’ll worry that her bum looks big, he’ll worry that he won’t get it up. Neither of you will know what the other really, really likes… It’ll get better over time, and
There is etiquette for the first time together, ways to act so you both get it right. Here are the top ten tips.
1: If you know you’re probably going to sleep together for the first time, hold back on the alcohol. even if you think it’ll give you courage, it’ll just make you more nervous and (for her as well as him) less able to perform.
2: Set a romantic scene – even the guys will have a better time if the sheets are clean, the place smells good, the lights are dimmed and there’s some music on the CD player. (Have the condoms ready, too – you don’t want to spoil everything by having to stop midway.)
3: Make undressing a big deal – seeing each other naked for the first time should be special. So do a striptease, first her then him. Or undress each other – slowly and sexily. Or, tear each others’ clothes off desperately. The only thing not to do is undress in the bathroom and slink back to bed under cover of darkness: stand proud.
4: Start with something gentle and sensual. A massage is a good starter, and gives you both a chance to be naked together without committing to sex; if you change your minds it’s possible to end it there without embarrassment. Massage also means you can slather on the oil – she in particular might be dry because of nerves and the extra lubrication can really help. (Be sure your oil’s condom compatible, though.)
5: Then move to kissing and touching. Discover each other’s sensitive points by simply stroking all over – if your partner gives a sharp intake of breath go back and repeat the move to check it’s having the desired effect. This stage is all about learning what each other likes.
6: Judge what you do when – because people vary in their preferences. Some feel that ‘hand and mouth’ work is a lead-up to penetration; others feel that intercourse is the basic and hand and mouth is more intimate and should wait ‘til later. So go slowly towards her genitals in particular – and don’t assume that either of you is happy to give oral sex; let them offer rather than making a demand.
7: When it comes to penetration, it’s best to let her take control – because then can make sure he isn’t going in too fast, too far or too painfully. If she’s comfortable straddling him, that’s the best bet – so she lowers down onto him at her own pace. If she’s not at ease with showing herself by being on top, then use the missionary position – but let her reach down and use her hand to ease him in at a rate that feels good to her.
8: Always, always, always take a moment after penetration to make emotional contact – gazing into each other’s eyes, an intimate kiss or two, a few words just to register the moment. It’s your first time together – hopefully the first of many. It is a special occasion - so acknowledge that! After that, he should take his cue as to pace and rhythmn from her – not just pounding away, but start slowly and speed up only as fast as she seems to be urging him on.
9: It’s courteous for him to let her come first - but if it’s your initial time together, then she may not be relaxed enough to climax easily. So if he senses she’s not going to orgasm through penetration, then check out (“Do you mind if I come first?”) and go for it. But (of course!) then, offer to pleasure her in whatever way she likes – or hold her while she brings herself off.
10: Don’t, don’t, don’t simply turn off and turn over, or get up and go home! You’ve shared hugely intimate moments - he as well as she needs the comfort of a cuddle and a few kind words ! And though if the relationship lasts you’ll want to coach your partner to please you even better, this time is not the time for complaints and criticisms. This first time, what both of you need to know is that you still like each other – and that you’re grateful for what just happened.
So say thank you nicely, give each other a good night kiss and – if at all possible – have an affectionate breakfast together in the morning!