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Ask Trixie: How do I impress my girlfriend to allow me to take her virginity?

How do I impress my girlfriend to allow me to take her virginity from her since I'm also a virgin and kinda on the short side and I don't know what to do during sex – Smoke198

Having sex for the first time shouldn’t be about impressing anyone. And virginity is not an object sitting in someone’s pocket, which means it can’t be taken or given or anything like that.  So, can I change the question to: How do my girlfriend and I decide we are both comfortable and enthusiastic about having sex for the first time?

Only you and your girlfriend will know when you’re ready to have sex, and you’ll only figure that out by talking about it. Take your time, make sure you can trust each other, can talk to each other, feel comfortable with each other. This might take a while, but keep in mind it’s not a race to the finish line. It’s a long process and intercourse is just one part of it. Go slow. 

If you’re thinking about having intercourse, I’d definitely suggest trying some something else first that might feel less intense or intimate. And when you’re comfortable with that, try the next thing. (A lot of women say that manual or oral sex (you giving and her receiving!) is more fun than intercourse. And it’s often a better way for her to have orgasms, so bonus points for doing more of that. 

Another reason to take things slow is that your girlfriend might be nervous that penetration/intercourse is going to hurt. For some people, it does, but often it’s because they’re not relaxed or lubricated enough. I wrote about that here.

Check out a great article from our friends at Scarleteen that has advice for how to talk to your partner about sex. You and your girlfriend should also check out Scarleteen’s Am I Ready For Sex checklist.

You also mentioned you don’t know what to do during sex. Well, no one is born a good lover. It takes some practice, good information, and good communication with your partner to know what each of you think feels good. 

And finally, if she really doesn’t feel ready to have sex with you, that’s totally her choice and you need to respect it. 

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Shakti "We were two deeply geeky kids who loved science and did a lot of research"

A little about myself: 

American, female, 51, been with the same guy since we were 28. I started out doing neuroscience, but switched careers in the 90's, and now I'm a strategic planner for a large organization. I also write a blog [] about tantric sex from a practical and scientific perspective, not a religious or spiritual point of view. What interests me is helping couples have incredible sex, and figuring out just what it is about tantra that makes it so incredible.

How I define virginity: 

I usually use the normal definition (never a penis in a vagina) even though it's stupid.

Here's my story: 

My first time ever was actually with someone I would describe as a close friend, but not a lover. We were lab partners, study buddies, and best friends, and we'd both just finished a human biology course. We were 20-year-old virgins and curious, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. We did some actual research first - this was the early 80s, so there was no Internet to make it easy! - and we kind of worked up to handjobs, oral, and finally the real thing.

During my research I had found some advice on preparing for the first time and I followed it carefully. When we decided we were ready to try out the main event, my friend helped me come orally and then I got on top, cowgirl style, and eased onto him very slowly. Perhaps as a result, there wasn't any pain and I didn't bleed at all.

(For more about what I did to get ready, read "Aunt Shakti's Action Plan for Proactive Modern Virgins". I wrote it for my nieces when they got to the right age to be curious about such things, and recently revised it and put it online.)

I thought the actual sex was a bit of an anticlimax, but he seemed to enjoy it a lot, so we did it some more, trying out many variations. It was fascinating, because we could talk about everything in a completely frank and natural way that would have been very hard if we were deep in a romantic fog and really trying to impress and please each other. So we could laugh ourselves silly when things didn't work, and try different things until we found out what did work, and why. After we got over being shy about nudity, kissing was actually the most awkward thing about it!

Maybe it only works well for two deeply geeky kids who love science more than anything else, but it was fascinating, educational, and fun, and I suspect that it would be a great way for many people to learn about sex, without the urgency and the anxiety and all the fumbling around in the dark.

So if you're a curious virgin and you have a willing friend of the appropriate gender, I'd say go ahead and give it a shot. It doesn't have the magical intensity that sex can have when you're both head over heels in love, but it can definitely have its own rewards.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all ourV-Card Diaries here.

There are many kinds of First Time Sex. Here are some tips on how to navigate it.

The wise and wonderful Cory Silverberg from Sexuality on First Time Sex:

"Many women, for example, may have had a lot of sex, but still be waiting for their first orgasm. For people whose first experiences with sex were not by choice, the idea of “first sex” can be very different and may evoke more anxiety or fear than excitement. But there aren’t any rules to this, we each come to every first time sexual experience with our own history as well as our own unique feelings and expectations."

Tips and techniques for First Time Orgasm, First Time Intercourse and First Time Anal Sex are here.

Lube & Lighting: Ten Things to Know Before Losing Your Virginity

The Times of London recently published a list of Ten Things To Know Before Losing Your Virginity. With all due respect, here's our Former Fundementalist with a few important things they left out...I don't mean to dismiss the informative and precautionary aspects of this list, but these don't come anywhere close to what I wish I would have known before losing my virginity. This article focuses its aim on the "no duh", boring and fear-baiting things, but I will give you the hot sex dope of what you really need to know. Take it from me, my first time blewwww.
1) It hurts when you're dry as a bone. My husband ripped into me like I was his Christmas present. I'd recommend at least a few minutes of foreplay or just, ya know, wet-in-a-bottle: LUBE.

2) Make it special - not cheesy like Donna and David on 90210 - but don't drop your wedding dress to the ground in the middle of a sunny afternoon, throw yourself onto the unmade bed, scold the dog and spread your thighs. At the very least, make the goddamn bed ahead of time.

3) Don't build it up as THE END ALL BE ALL TO YOUR DAIRY QUEEN FANTASY OF LIFE. Sex is rad, but it isn't everything. Lowered expectations are clinch for a sucker like me who routinely builds up events (parties, meals, movies, losing her virginity, marriage) in her mind and then is violently crushed by the devastating reality those singular events hold.

4) I mentioned it hurt like a bitch already. But I can't emphasize enough: heavy petting (as my mother calls it).

5) Music would have been nice; I was lulled into torture by the sound of my newly betrothed grunting and his misinformed whispering, "You're just programmed to stop it. Let go. It's OK now." On second thought, considering the power music holds in associative memory, perhaps the lack of tunes saved me from potentially hating Pink Floyd.

6) Don't be afraid to really wait it out and do it how you want to. If your first-time fantasy takes place at night, then wait until it's dark out. I always wanted a night time wedding but my ex insisted we get married as early in the day as possible so we could get to the boning that much faster.

7) Try to keep it a secret from your parents, uncles, pastors, and school teachers. Leaving the church that day after we pledged eternal earthly damnation, everyone was giving us creepy eyes since they knew we were gonna get it on. That's just weird.

8) Encourage your partner to masturbate ahead of time. The more he masturbates, the longer he can go. Now, this one doesn't really apply to me since I wanted it over as soon as possible - which he obliged.

9) Try not to cry. If you follow the wet rule, you could probably escape crying. Crying makes it realll awkward.

10) I'm defiling my Christian roots here, but don't wait until you're married. Really. The event gets way too built up, and sex is another important way to get to know your partner. I knew in my heart that my lover was selfish, and self-promoting, but it wasn't until he slammed it into me that I could clearly see that about him in its raw glory.