The concept of losing your virginity brings about a whirlpool of emotions. Some people fear it because of how they think their friends and family will view them after they have “done it”. Some are afraid of the pain and new sensations while others are simply excited!
Today, we talk about the concept of virginity, how to do it for the first time and what to realistically expect during the experience.
What is virginity?
Virginity is commonly defined as not having had penetrative (i.e. penis-in-vagina) kinda sex. However, there are many types of sex and those who have not had penetrative sex may have experienced oral or anal sex. Virginity is more a concept than a condition, what matters is how you define virginity and whether your experience matches up with it!
Heads up, first-timers. Porn makes sex look easy.
We hate to break it to you like that, but it’s unlikely you’ll have the rodeo-on-steroids kinda sex you see in porn, especially if you watch hardcore. And even more so if it’s your first time.
Understanding the female vulva
For the uninitiated, females have a grand total of 3 (i know! 😵) holes.
Anatomy of a vagina. Image from HowToAdult
1. Urethral opening
This is where urine comes out from. In females, this is located below the clitoris, just above the vagina.
Where her monthly red river (aka menstrual discharge) and sexual fluids flow out from, and more importantly, where little homo sapiens emerge.
For penis-in-vagina intercourse, this is also where the penis enters.
The only hole that is anatomically common in males and females! Located towards the rear of our body (below the spine), this is where your faeces is discharged from.
Understanding the Male Penis
In comparison, males have just 2 openings.
Anatomy of a penis. Image from HowToAdult
1. Meatus (or urethral opening)
Where urine and also semen is ejaculated from. Fun fact: Given the shared anatomy and the length of the urethral tract, it’s more likely that a male who has a burning sensation or discharge when he pees has an infection of the urethral tract rather than a bladder infection, and that almost always is the result of an STI. Women who have urinary pain are more likely to have a urinary tract infection and not an STI (because the urethra and sexual orifices are different in women).
Similarly located towards the rear of our body (below the spine), where faeces is discharged from.
Penetrative sex is when the penis goes into the vagina. Depending on how endowed he is, the whole length of the shaft may or may not enter fully.
What Happens During Sex?
Now that we have identified which is the correct hole to enter, let’s get down to the details of the practical side of things.
When going in
It is normal for:
- Some pain to be felt for both the female and male.
- Some bleeding or no blood at all for the ladies. A few areas of the vaginal corona (hymen), a “fringe of tissue” around the vaginal opening, may be torn whether by playing or by intercourse.
- To enter, place the penis at the entrance of the vagina and push in, in a slightly downwards direction. The shaft of the vagina slopes down, so a useful tip is to slide the penis upwards towards the clit and glide it down before pushing it in. Practical and pleasurable!
- If you and your partner are both inexperienced or not sexually active, expect it to be difficult to enter, as the vaginal muscles may be constricted. An overly tight vagina will hurt for both. To loosen up the vagina, try some good ol’ foreplay. Kiss, touch and explore each other all over. Keep talking to each other and say what feels good or bad. The vagina loosens up when aroused. Being able to slip a finger in with ease is a good sign you’re ready for the next step.
- At this stage, sexual fluids should also moisten her vaginal canal, making it easier for him to enter. Otherwise, use a lubricant if needed! Remember, if you’re using a condom, use only water-based lubricants. Silicon-based lubes will damage the condom making it more full of holes than the plot of the last season of Game of Thrones.
- Crucially, the penis has to be erect in order to enter. The first time can be just as intimidating for a guy and that can lead to flagging. If he is not fully aroused, try teasing one another until he feels hard enough to go in.
- Take it slow. The vagina will need time to get used to the new guest (and guys you don’t want to pop the cork too soon do you?). Forget what porn taught you, jackhammering should be reserved for the construction site, not the bedroom.
- Try different positions. Typically, the easiest position for first-timers is the missionary. However, if you’re having problems with getting in, why not let the lady take charge? Getting on top means she gets to control the action and most men will agree that it’s a real turn on!
- Even with the best preparations, the first time can be painful for some. Take it slow. If penetration is consistently painful, however, you might want to visit a doctor.
- Ladies, especially those with an intact hymen, may experience some bleeding. That’s OK. But persistent or heavy bleeding after sex isn’t. When in doubt, seek medical attention.
She is virgin only if she bleeds after sex.
Ever heard this saying? Not all women possess a hymen and those who do may find simple things like using a tampon or riding a bicycle can lead to a tear. For some, even full-on penetrative sex doesn’t damage their wonder-hymen and a rare few may even be spared the expenses of hymen reconstruction surgery (yes it is a thing) if they have a self-repairing hymen 😮😮
The bottom line? The hymen is as reliable a way of gauging a woman’s virginity as reusing a used condom is for preventing STDs.
It is normal to:
- Hear small “farts”, which are created by trapped air escaping the vagina during sex.
- Slippage is common when you’re inexperienced AND wet. The stuff you see in porn? Let’s not talk about the fact that they’ve probably done Malcolm Gladwell proud by following his 10,000-hour rule. The video you just watched on pornhub has also probably been subject to a bevvy of Mediacorp-class editors.
- Coming out more than you would like? Make the best of it by teasing your partner by rubbing it against the clit or doing a half-penetration to arouse her/him. Alternatively, switch things up by alternating between vaginal penetration and fingering. Try changing positions too.
- Pro-tip: if you’re in the missionary position, a pillow placed under the small of her back will tilt her pelvis up and make it easier to keep it in.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Sex is tiring and takes time. If you feel like stopping, don’t be afraid to voice it out to your partner, you have a choice! Achieving an orgasm is not the only barometer of great sex, so don’t be disheartened if you or your partner take longer than expected to climax. For some, getting intimate with someone takes getting used to, especially if you’re sexually inexperienced.
This article has been medically verified by:
Dr Prem Kumar, MBBS (Singapore); Graduate Diploma Occupational Medicine (Singapore); Member, Academy for Men’s’ Health. Anchor GP, My Doctor @ Admiralty, with 12 years of clinical experience with a special interest in primary care.
The article first appeared on Shy.sg, a blog that aims to improve sexual health literacy among youths in sg. It was started by four NUS undergraduates — Charmaine, Junel, Kushagra and Ruth — while they were on the NUS Overseas College Programme in New York City.