Am I the only one who has found losing their virginity hard?

Dear Suzie, Please help. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly six months and we have started to try and have sex. I can make him come by blow jobs but so far he has only given me handjobs. These used to be very intense for me but recently I just haven’t got turned on. And so if we try to have sex I feel really tight. Also it feels like he is pushing down rather than up into me. Can anybody give me any tips – I feel so ready for this and frustrated that it is not happening. Please tell me I am not the only one who has found losing their virginity hard.

No, you’re not the only one to find first time sex can be painful and confusing and difficult. Like riding a bike – not as easy as it seems!

I do need to clarify a couple of things first. I do hope both of you are around the same age and over 16. If the answer to either of those is…”Ah, well, um, not exactly” then that might be part of the problem. Sex when you know it’s not right, too soon or when one of you is taking advantage of the other is likely to be difficult and it’s a damn good warning to heed; back off!

There are three reasons why a guy may find it difficult to enter into a woman in the early days of sexual experimentation. One is her maidenhead or hymen. Most women have a small flap of skin that rings the entrance to their vagina. In some it is very thin and laps partway round the sex passage, just inside. In other women, it goes all the way round like a flange or skirt and can be fairly thick, and partly blocks off the entrance. First sex can be painful and provoke bleeding when this skin is broken – that’s what some societies demand as proof of virginity. If you’ve used tampons and you and he have touched you, the likelihood is that even if yours was quite prominent it will have become stretched and no longer be a barrier. But that’s not necessarily the case. You may need to be patient and to touch yourself or to ask him to touch you, gently stretching the area, using lubrication and lots of loving care, until it feels more comfortable. Doing this when you’re warm, after or during a hot bath, sometimes helps.

Another and more common reason for feeling he’s pushing up against a barrier is simply that you aren’t sexually aroused so the vagina is dry. If you’re scared and expecting pain this is all the more likely. The remedy is to take your time, for him to be loving and caring and to use kisses and caresses to stimulate you. Some lubrication from the pharmacy wouldn’t go amiss, either.

And the final reason could be that fear and anxiety cause the muscles around your vagina to clench up. This is called vaginismus. It often happens because of early trauma or because sufferers have learned alarming messages about sex – that it’s painful and dirty and something to fear. If this is the cause, it may be best to have a word with your doctor and ask for a referral to someone to talk to, or contact Relate for a session with a counsellour. It’s not something that will go away or that it is easy to deal with on your own. Good luck!

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