The first time that you had sex, maybe it hurt.
Maybe you lost your erection.
Maybe it was nothing like you saw from the media – in movies, televisions, songs, pornography, or romance novels.
Maybe you didn’t even orgasm.
But even though you think that moment may be far behind you, the truth is: new partners enter your life. And every time you’re with someone new, you’re having sex for the first time all over again.
So, to ensure that you’ll have great sex any first time around, I’ve come up with the following delicious recipe.
Before there’s even a new partner on the scene, you need to figure out what great sex means to you.
Maybe you like ten minutes of foreplay before anything happens. Maybe you like it soft and slow. Maybe you like sex fast and hard. Maybe you like stripteases or blindfolds or body paint.
Whatever it is that gets you going, you want that knowledge accessible. That way, when the first time approaches, you know exactly what you need to feel good.
There are a lot of different ways to figure out what it is you like – and what it is you don’t: masturbation, pornography and erotica, fantasies, experience.
Take time to think about what good sex is to you, and then write down the core ingredients that you need.
While many people think that the easiest way to have sex is to just go with the flow of the moment, I’m going to recommend that you do something else.
Ask your partner for exactly what you want.
The reason why you ask is (hopefully) to receive. If you don’t ask, the likelihood that you’re going to have great sex is slim, because no one can read your mind. No one. Not even the best or most experienced partner.
Remember that asking isn’t the same as demanding. You want to do the former, not the latter.
Say something like, “You know what feels really good and what I really like? Do you think you could do that?”
The fact is that your partner probably wants you to enjoy your first time with them, so they’ll likely appreciate you giving them some straightforward direction.
But also keep in mind that a successful recipe is one where all the ingredients work together. So just because you want something and ask for it nicely, it doesn’t mean that you are entitled to it.
When it comes to sex, there is no sex act, however seemingly tame, that should be expected. Consent goes both ways and is a constant conversation.
Okay. So you’ve asked, and your partner has agreed to go at your pace and do some of the things that feel good to you. Great!
But what if they’re moving their hands and lips, but not in quite the way you want? What if they’re not quite doing what you expect or know they could?
Instead of staying silent, show them what to do.
Expressing your wants is necessary but it’s also important that it doesn’t sound like you’re telling your partner that s/he’s bad at something.
Say something like, “Can I show you something that feels really good?”
Expression is key, but so is being an active listener, especially if you’re on the receiving end of being shown what to do. By listening to your partner you can fully understand what they need from you, and do so knowing that it doesn’t mean you’re not a good sexual partner.
Like with any recipe, if you don’t taste it along the way to know if you need more lemon or a pinch of thyme, then the outcome may not be what you wanted.
The more that you’re an active player in your exchange, the more your needs will likely be met.
I know how easy it is to start thinking.
Thinking about how you smell. What you look like. What your partner is thinking. When you’re going to ever get the laundry done.
But if you’re thinking, you’re probably not feeling. And if you’re not feeling, then you’re probably not going to enjoy it.
If you find yourself caught up in thoughts, try the following: kiss your partner. Or squeeze your partner close to you.
If your mind is meandering, try focusing on what your bodies are doing. These techniques can bring you back into the moment and help you relax and enjoy.
But also remember that if you aren’t in the mood and lose interest mid-way through you can withdraw consent and stop having sex. It’s okay to ask to stop. Just like you have to throw away a batch of burnt cookies sometimes.
A lot of what trips people up in this area is not knowing if what they are doing is being enjoyed by the other person and whether or not it’s satisfying.
This goes back to what I was saying earlier about how important it is to communicate – to ask and to listen.
Try asking if what you are doing feels good to your partner. If it doesn’t, ask them to show you what would feel good, either by explaining it to you in words or using their hands to guide you.
Because at the end of the day, the key ingredient to satisfying sex is communicating your needs and being open not only to teaching, but also to learning.
Cynthia Kane is a Contributing Writer at Everyday Feminism. Over the last year and a half, she’s relearned the following: how to jump up and down when she’s happy, cry when she’s sad, laugh when something’s funny, take a compliment, smile at strangers, and be open to the fact that everyone is going through it all the time. For more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @cynkane. Read her articles here.