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How Was Your First Time? Part I

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The title of this article brings to mind an episode of Sex and the City, “Great Sexpectations.” The first time Carrie has sex with her new boyfriend, the experience isn't quite what she imagined it to be, so she goes to her friend Miranda for advice. After assessing the situation, Miranda suggests that perhaps Carrie's expectations had simply been too high. As an afterthought, Miranda comments, “From now on people should tell it like it is. First time sex, tricky.”

We can all agree that there are a lot of myths circulating about both male and female sexuality. You can’t get pregnant while you’re on your period, you can’t get STDs from oral sex. You name it and someone has probably believed it at some point (and told all of their friends it was true). The fact that the majority of women lose their virginity to someone who has no idea what it's like to inhabit the female body can make it very difficult for women to have the best experience possible.

One of the most common reactions a woman has after losing her virginity is disappointment. This is due, in part, to sensations related to the breaking of the hymen. When a girl has her first period, a small hole appears in the hymen to allow for the flow of menstrual blood. That hole is often stretched wider through tampon usage and sports, but not always enough to accommodate the size of a fully erect penis. Therefore, some breakage of the hymen is bound to occur when she loses her virginity. This can result in anywhere from mild to moderate discomfort, and can even be severe if the hymen stretches to form permanent vaginal bands, which require surgical removal.

Another problem that can occur during a woman's first sexual experience is general vaginal irritation. The muscles of the vagina are extremely adaptable. They can stretch wide enough to fit an infant’s head or tighten small enough to make even the smallest penis feel uncomfortable. A woman who has never had sex before, or even simply abstained from sex for over a year, will need to adjust to penetration with a new partner slowly and without excessive pressure to "perform." This can be difficult if her partner is overzealous or unaware of her needs.

There are many other factors that come into play when a woman engages in intercourse for the first time. These will be discussed in greater depth in my next article, How Was Your First Time? Part II.

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EmpowHER Guest

Shaina, I enjoyed your article. My name is Dr. Barry Buffman, one of the experts and HerArticle writers. Please search my name for pertinent content.
Men too, suffer from first time disappointments after their long-awaited, anticipated "fireworks" frequently ultimately only resemble a "snuffed out match" instead. This is due to many factors including, but not limited to, expectations that were too high, (like women), not having the chemistry, connection, nor bond with the first mate. Not knowing simply what to do to please a woman from plain inexperience and ignorance. (Women don't come with instruction manuals, nor do men in the same conversation). Write me so we can stay in touch. I am a Men's Health Expert, Board Certified Urologist, and director of the Los Angeles Office of the Boston Medical Group. This office and the 50 plus similar offices internationally deal with only the sexual difficulties of men. My background is in psychology and I specialize in male sexual dysfunction and relationship problems, nutrition and stress and anxiety reduction techniques, although I am a fully trained cancer, trauma, stone, and incontinence surgeon. Look forward to talking to you and/ or corresponding with you. 310.295.0140.

February 5, 2010 - 5:10am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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