how to have sex - the bish guide for the first and every time

How To Have Sex

This article will help you make sure that sex feels good for the first time and every time. It’s all about consent, not just ‘how to put it in’. It’s all free, written by one of the world’s leading experts. We’re not trying to sell you anything here, it’s just expert sex education.

Sex should never feel painful, and if you learn about how to do it properly it won’t be. In this article you’ll learn how to put a penis in a vagina properly (as well as how to put fingers, or sex toys in vaginas and anuses too). But sex is a lot lot more than that. You have know how to create the right vibe, how to be relaxed, but also how to get aroused. The key to all of this is consent and communication. Don’t worry, we have the answers for you here.

Here’s the most important thing though. First time sex should feel really good. Especially if you know the kind of sex you both want to have, if you feel comfortable together and you can communicate.

Do you want to do it?

Remember that the only reason good reason to have sex is that you actually want to do it. You’re not doing it for anyone else, or to prove yourself, or to say you’ve done it, or to show you love someone etc etc. There’s more about this in the Should I Have Sex post.

What do we mean by have sex?

People often think they know what ‘having sex’ means, but actually they don’t. Don’t assume that sex is just penetration, it isn’t. A lot of people don’t have the kinds of bodies that can enjoy penetration and a lot of people find it painful and uncomfortable.

So you should think about sex differently and think about the many different kinds of sex that you might want to have (not the kinds of sex you should have). This post about working out what kind of sex you want to have can help you with this.

Learn more about what is sex, about lots of the different kinds and how to do them safely and consensually.

Take your time

It’s important to take your time for first time sex, yes to ‘make it special’, but also to make sure that you both have enough time to get comfortable, get turned on and to actually enjoy it. Quickies can be fun, but probably not for first time sex. I know that young people don’t get that much private time where they can be alone, but try and give yourself a couple of hours.

Try to give yourselves a couple of hours so you have enough time to get used to each other and to get over how strange it might feel at first.

Sex should never feel painful at all – if it is please both stop. However it might feel a little bit strange at first and there’s a lot to get used to. Taking clothes off with someone, touching someone and having someone touching you for the first time can all feel really weird at first. So it’s good to have a bit of time to get used to it and to be able to talk about how it’s feeling.

How to avoid painful sex

The only time sex should be painful is when you both (all) plan for it and do it consensually. For example with either kink or rough sex. If that’s your thing, you really need to do your research to make sure you do them safely. Click on those links two sentences ago! A lot of people choose to have vanilla sex when they first have sex.

Also, don’t try to do everything at one visit. If you’re new to someone or new to sex, it can feel really strange at first and a bit overwhelming. So even if you have a list of things that you would like to try, don’t aim to do them all in one go. Just try one or two things and see how you both respond to it. This also puts less pressure on you both and makes it more consensual.

Here’s more on how to make first time sex really good. 

Find the right place

You might not have your own place or have enough cash for a hotel room, so finding somewhere to do it can be tricky. However you should be inside, in a private space where you can close the door so that no-one will interrupt (and where no-one else has to hear what you get up to #consent).

In order to enjoy sex you need to be relaxed and comfortable and not worrying about being interrupted.

Sometimes parents or carers will allow their kids to do it in their house, or might ‘look the other way’ if they go out for an evening, or they might not. Remember it can be difficult for parents to deal with this: what would you do if you were a parent of a teen?

It’s important to be aroused

If you aren’t really feeling it then don’t do it! Both people need to be turned on and relaxed for sex to be good. Wanting sex and being turned on aren’t the same thing – as you can read more about desire and arousal here.

Whatever bits you have in your pants, they should be throbbing.

Vaginas will usually be quite moist; if it isn’t then the sex may feel painful, especially if the vaginal corona is tight. The vagina expands and relaxes when sexually aroused (turned on), this means that fingers, a sex toy or a penis should slide in without it hurting. If it hurts, please stop. This is why it’s important to get really turned on first with stroking, nibbling, kissing, holding, is very important. Learn more about the clitoris and vagina here.

For extra wetness use some water based lubricant: for anal sex or sex with toys, use loads of it (the anus doesn’t respond to sexual arousal in the same way as the vagina does). Water based lube is safe to use with condoms.

Penises get hard when turned on but not always. It can be hard to get a hard on sometimes: nerves, pre-sex tension, worries (‘will they like it’, ‘this is the first time anyone has seen my hard on’, ‘will their parents be back soon’ etc) can all seriously affect the hardness of a penis. Once an erection arrives it can soon go away too, but once it goes away it can also come back quickly too. You can read more about why the hard on is tricky

As I said at the top, a lot of people are told that vaginal sex = sex. It’s not. Remember that many, if not most people actually prefer having different kinds of sex. Read more about why penis in vagina sex can be ‘meh‘ here.

Here are the latest posts. Yes, they are all this good!

Stress stops you being aroused

If you get stressed your body can stop you from getting aroused. It’s as simple as that. Blood is diverted from your genitals; your sight and/or hearing adjusts to listen out for threats; and your muscles tense up rather than relax. Your body just takes and does this even with quite small things: fearing being body shamed; concerns about getting caught; expecting it to be painful. So read more about how to deal with stress here. If you (or your partner) are feeling stressed, just pause and breathe out before you do any more sexing.

signs of stress bish
signs of stress

How to put ‘it’ in

They make entry sex (penis in vagina or penis in anus sex) look dead easy in films – one person gets in between the legs of the other and easily slides into them – but it’s not as easy as it looks. If you’re doing it for the first time then it’s a good idea to masturbate each other for a bit first.

You could also insert a small wet, finger inside your partner first. Do this slowly and carefully allowing for the entrance of the vagina or anus to gently open up. When your partner is more relaxed you can move your finger around and then insert another finger. This makes the opening big enough to insert a penis or sex toy (not lego). It helps for other person to guide their partner to the right place.

If you’re going to have entry sex you need to go really slowly and carefully at first. Nothing should be pushed in.

Then put the hard penis (inside a condom) or toy inside, very very slowly at first. Slowly slowly. Keep checking in with each other that this feels okay. If it does then you can gradually build up the speed and hardness if you want. Once the penis is sliding in and out easily you can decide to move more quickly and hard, or do it slowly and deeply.

If you have a penis it’s important to be slow and patient even if you are worried about losing your hard on. If feel like your hard on is going away, please don’t rush the other person or just push your dick inside the other person until they are fully ready. This can hurt them.

Remember, if it doesn’t feel good, or it feels uncomfortable, do something else. This is just one kind of sex and there are loads and loads of other kinds.

What position should you do it in?

In my opinion people are a bit obsessed with the right position for sex. Finding the right position depends on what you both like, how mobile you are and what kind of sex you want. There are no rules and no magic positions: just do what feels good.

If you’re doing it for the first time it might be best to choose a position where you are both facing each other. Communication (both with or without words) is easier when you can see each others faces. Apart from that it’s all about finding out what the best sex position is for you.

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How to communicate

If you’ve talked about the kind of sex you want to do and don’t want to do then you may have an idea of what to expect. However if things start feeling uncomfortable or not what you expected then you should both stop.

During sex it’s important to really pay attention to whether each other are enjoying it.

You can use words and short phrases (which are often easier to blurt out) whilst you’re doing it. You can also do sex talk through other noises, facial expressions and the way we touch each other. Allow yourself to make these kinds of noises and indications if things are feeling good.

Listen out for words. Short phrases are often easier for people to say during sex than before. Like "touch me here" or "like this" or "harder please" or "just like that"

Doing this also can increase how enjoyable sex is because you are communicating with each other what feels good. That can build between you because we all enjoy things more when the person we are doing it with enjoys it too. It also makes sex more consensual if we can communicate in this way all through sex. Read this about consent and sex and how to do it.

How you can have an orgasm

In films, TV, porn and books everyone has orgasms really easily. Orgasms can feel great during sex, but not everyone has them when they have sex with someone. Different people need different kinds of sex and touch to have orgasms. For instance penis in vagina sex is usually more stimulating for the penis than the vagina.

Also it can be difficult for people to ‘let go’ during sex and have an orgasm. When you really want something it can make it harder – just like when you really need to get to sleep but can’t? So try and chill, take the pressure off and just feel what feels nice. Sometimes people aren’t that fussed about having orgasms or not (but don’t assume that someone isn’t interested in orgasms). Read this article about orgasms for more about this.

In my opinion I think that it’s just better to aim for sex to be enjoyable for both of you, rather than ‘make’ someone have an orgasm. It’s an activity you are both taking part in together – it’s not a competition.

How good can having sex feel?

If you do all of this, with someone you like and trust, then sex can feel pretty amazing. How great sex feels is difficult to say but sometimes it feels nice, comforting, intimate. Sometimes it feels exciting, exhilarating, passionate, knee trembling. Sometimes both!

If it feels bad, disgusting, scary-in-a-bad-way, unsafe, boring, just something you are doing because you think you ought to: then why are you doing it at all? If you want to learn how to be good at sex I made a little animated video about that.

As you can see, it’s a lot! I bet your sex education has not gone into this kind of detail. If you would like to do a course for yourself in sex ed, I’ve got you covered. The Teach Yourself Sex Ed course is a load of fun self-reflection activities for you to learn and think more about sex, love, bodies, porn, safety, consent, gender, and sexuality. It’s free, check it out here.

Comment below if you like (I moderate all comments before they go live, so no being cheeky!)

See what else you can find out about today!

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© Justin Hancock, 2023

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If you’re over 18 and would like an advanced version of BISH check out my podcast Culture Sex Relationships. Also I’ve written a sex advice book for adults with Meg-John Barker called A Practical Guide to Sex available wherever you get books. We also did some zines to help you to figure out what you want from sex and relationships. They are at our website.

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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health.

61 thoughts on “How To Have Sex

  1. When you do sex do you feel like peeing during sex and if you feel like peeing during sex is it safe to pee in there pussy

    1. I’m not medically trained, but I can’t think of any reason it might be unsafe. It might be quite difficult to do, because it’s difficult to pee when you have an erection, and you might need an erect penis to be inside the vagina.

  2. This is a great website my first time having sex was at fifteen which was this yr. And I had my child this year I’m twenty years old.the first time was great for me because I got so horny and wet it worked out good until I turned out pregnant and I’m just in the ninth grade.

  3. love sex. A guy can masturbate by lubricating his hand and sliding it up and down his penis. nothing compares to vaginal sex

  4. Hello
    I m 21 male, how many times can i do masturbation in a month,if i do 4 times in a month it ll causes any my health problem

    1. im not encoraging u to have sex but you are too young you need to find things that distract you from the feelings you are having ie pc games xbox ect if all else fails then i dont see its wrong for you to go somewhere quied and where you cant be distracted and pleasure your self ie masturbate there is no harm in that but i would try other distractions first

  5. i want sex alot of the time i love having sex only thing is it feels great but i dont seem to have an orgasam he cums inside me and i feel i want more so i end up watching pon and playing with my self help

    1. Not everyone can have an orgasm from entry sex. Most females (for instance) need external stimulation of the clitoris in order to enjoy sex to the full. It’s fine to continue pleasuring yourself after your partner has cum, he should know that it would be ok (and good) for him to help you out too, or be involved in some way (if this is what you want).

      If he doesn’t show any interest in how much you’re enjoying sex or in trying to meet your sexual needs then perhaps he isn’t the right person for you to be having sex with right now. Have you seen my Relationships Graph? Check it out, it might help you to think about whether this is the right relationship for you at the moment.

      Hope this helps


      1. the thing is we have been together 3 years now and when we first got together we used to do it all the time and i dident have a problem then but now we dont do it as much as we used to could that be why or do you think there is more to it than that do u think its me

    2. It’s very difficult for me to say, but sometimes sexual problems are symptomatic of relationship issues. Do you feel like your needs are being met in the non-sexual aspects of your relationship?

  6. Hi I’m 17 and a girl and my boyfriend is 19. He had only had sex twice before he and I started, and he and I done it several times and he always uses a condom, but I was just wondering if its possible for a girl to get pregnant even if the guy wears a condom, because my period’s kind of late. I took two pregnancy tests today and both were negative. Any helpful advice? Or do I need to get in contact with Planned Parenthood?

    1. It’s *possible* but very unlikely (unless the condom broke and he ejaculated inside you – condom breakages are often quite obvious). The most likely scenario is that your period is late just because periods can be random – particularly for teenage women. This should explain why that is You are probably not pregnant and this is what the tests are saying. However you could take a trip to Planned Parenthood if you want some more peace of mind.

      If you are concerned about avoiding pregnancy you could continue using condoms and use another method of contraception such as birth control pills, implant, IUD, IUS etc (more about this here )

      Or you could continue using condoms but also avoid him ejaculating inside you. This would reduce your pregnancy risks even further (although the risk of pregnancy from using condoms is very low – they are 98.5% effective).

      Hope this helps!


  7. Hi, I am 12 and I really want to have sex, but I know I am too young, can u give me something to make me feel like I am having sex. Maybe with a pole or pillow or something.
    I am very horny and I need to like get my hand and rub my Virginia until it stops tingling help me????

  8. im 13 y/o and i have a sex/porn/gay/lesbian/everything else problem. have ruined my moms computer from porn sites abd need help to stop. i want sex ALL the time, its insane. please help me

    1. Jesus is definitely a start, but if you aren’t a fan of God (which is the best bet for your multiple problems), I would totally suggest counseling.

  9. After reading this, I still honestly don’t know how to have sex. I’m 16 and my boyfriend is 17. He keeps (I guess I would call it) Pressuring me to “Have it” with him. I do want to do it with him, but I’m still really scared to do it, at the same really want to. Any tips or hints on how to overcome my fears??? :O

  10. I’m a 13 year old boy and everything turns me on. Can you tell me how to masturbate with a travel neck pillow? Please reply.

  11. Im 9 years old and i love having sex, but because im not old enough what shall i do ? im a girl by the way.

  12. how can i be sure that i wont be pregnant if my boyfriend wont use condom when we’ll have sex ? he said he’ll just do self control.. he wont cum inside me so our cells wont meet then i wont get pregnant, is that true??

    1. No it’s not true, sperm leaks out the penis no matter what, if he won’t wear a condom maybe you should try femidoms (condoms for women) or the pill, there are lots of different things you can do to prevent pregnancies but definitely if your not planning on getting pregnant use some kind of protection

    2. Hi Lyn
      You can’t be sure that you won’t get pregnant. If you have penis in vagina sex there is no method of contraception which is 100% safe. Withdrawal of the penis (like you describe) can be reasonably effective if it’s done properly, however because it’s so hard to do properly that many people get pregnant from doing this. I’ve explained more here

      But you are putting yourself at risk of a Sexually Transmitted Infection. If he’s had sex with someone without condoms before he could have an infection that he could give to you (even if he doesn’t ejaculate inside you). Also you could give him an infection if you’ve had unprotected sex.

      Also (this is the most important point I want to make to you) should you be having sex with this guy at all? A good boyfriend is someone that will want to take care of your health. If he respected you and valued you and your health he would use a condom even though he didn’t like using them. Some things are more important than whether a condom feels good or not. If he’s not letting you have your say about your own health choices you could perhaps consider ending this particular relationship.

      Check out my relationship graph here How well is he scoring? Do you trust him? Does he care about you? Is this a guy you want to call your boyfriend?

      If he is, great. Some guys have genuine problems using condoms. He could watch my video about this here which has some advanced user tips to make using condoms easier. Also he could watch my video on how to use condoms

      You could also consider having non-penis in vagina sex. For instance you could have really great non-entry sex, which has all the excitement but non of the risk of entry sex

      You could consider (as Jenna says below) using a more effective method of contraception (birth control). More about this

      Hope this helps


    1. This what you should do:
      Go grab some cookies and milk and watch cartoons. Make sure you dont stay up past 9 because you have to get ready for school in the morning. You’re welcome!!

  13. This may be weird and everything, but Im very horny, and Im not old enough to have sex. I watch horny things, and I feel tingly down there. Why is that? Oh and, Im a girl b.t.w.

    1. Try shagging a pillow and when you meet someone and then get a bit older then you can get in it with him but don’t rush into having sex.

  14. i know this is weird but can you do how to hump a pillow? I get very horny (just so you know I am 19) but my boyfriend is never home because he has to work to pay some of the bills…. so i just want to know how to hump a pillow so if he ever is home we can hump each other and have sex

    1. It’s not weird! Lots of people hump pillows. Lots of people find that it gives them just the right amount of pressure on their clitoris and the vulva generally. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. Perhaps try lying face down on a bed and position the pillow between your legs and then just move your hips around. For more about masturbation in general go here

      Hope this helps!


    2. Try being in private and taking all your clothes off and shag the pillow and when your bf is home tell him how your feeling and ask him if he will help you or even mayde be have a shag with you if he does make sure you are close and have a good think about it but if you are remember to where a condom !!!

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