Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman usually starts with them both getting sexually excited. This is sometimes referred to as foreplay, and might involve kissing and cuddling, touching each other and other sexual activities. Foreplay is important as it means a woman's vagina begins to get moist and a man gets an erection. If the woman's vagina does not get moist enough, then having sexual intercourse could be difficult or painful for her.
Condoms can prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STDs
If a man and woman are having sexual intercourse, then using a contraceptive properly, every time, will prevent the woman becoming pregnant. If two people have sex and one of them has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) then they could pass it on to the other person. Using a condom is the best way to prevent any infection from being passed from one person to the other.
If a couple are going to use a condom for protection against pregnancy or infections, they should put it on the man's penis as soon as he gets an erection. Some men say they worry about using condoms in case they lose their erection or have difficulty putting the condom on. You could get some condoms and practice beforehand. Condoms come with instructions in words and pictures which show exactly how to use them.
After the condom is on, the man or woman can guide his penis into her vagina. The couple then move their bodies so that his penis moves up and down inside her vagina. This usually rubs the penis and makes the man sexually excited so that he has an orgasm. The movement might also rub the woman's clitoris (or sensitive areas inside her vagina) so she can have an orgasm. But this often takes practice and a bit of experimentation to get it right!
Does having sex hurt?
Having sex does not usually hurt, though first time sex may be a bit uncomfortable for a woman because her hymen (a thin layer of skin that partially covers the entrance to the vagina) may be stretched or torn. Some girls are born without a hymen and some tear theirs when inserting tampons or during sport. A torn hymen may cause a little bleeding, but it does not usually last long. Sex is not usually painful for a man.
The best way to ensure pain free sex is for both partners to relax and take their time.
After the first time, sex should become more comfortable. The vagina is very stretchy and will usually accommodate a penis (even a large one) with ease. However, a woman may experience pain when having sexual intercourse if her vagina does not produce enough natural lubrication. Extra vaginal fluids are usually produced when a woman becomes sexually excited to allow the penis to enter the vagina easily. If a woman is tense or rushing when she has sex, her vagina may not become moist enough to allow the penis to move in and out smoothly. Stress can also cause the muscles in the vagina to involuntarily tense up, making penetration difficult and painful. The best way to ensure pain free sex is for both partners to relax and take their time.
Extra lubrication might also help, and can be bought from many chemists and some supermarkets. When using a condom, it is very important that a water-based lubricant (like KY jelly) is used, as oil-based lubricants like Vaseline can cause the condom to disintegrate.
What 'counts' as losing your virginity?
Different people have different opinions on this, and some say there are different types of virginity. But most people generally agree that if a man or woman has had penetrative sex, that is sexual intercourse, then they are no longer a...