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Will My First Time Having Sex Hurt?

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Dear Reverend, 

I'm 21 years old and have never had sexual intercourse. I have masturbated more than once before. Will my first time having sex with a guy hurt?

Nervous Novice (female, 21)

Dear Nervous Novice,

There's only one way to find out. Seriously. Every woman's first time is different, and there's no way to know how it's going to feel until you're actually doing it. There are, however, a few things you can keep in mind to prepare yourself.

Painful intercourse can have many causes, including lack of arousal and inadequate lubrication. If you're expecting it to hurt, you'll likely be nervous and tense in the moment, and that will only make it harder for you to be turned on and ready to roll.

Whether it's your first or zillionth time, foreplay is key. You've got to warm up the engine before you head off to the races. If you haven't masturbated all that much, you might want to indulge more often. That's the best way to know what feels good and gets your juices flowing.

The most important thing is to have a partner you trust and feel comfortable with. It's up to you, but it might be helpful to let him know it's your first time. Go at a pace that feels right to you, and speak up if something doesn't feel good. Communication is a main ingredient in any good sexual experience.

With a little forethought, there's no need to be afraid, but you also shouldn't set high expectations. I can pretty much guarantee that it won't be the most mind-blowing sex you'll ever have. That, hopefully, comes with practice — but we've all gotta start somewhere.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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