So it’s prom and your boyfriend rented a hotel room. Or it’s graduation and you figure you better lose it now before college. If you’re planning on your first time coinciding with a major life event, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Are you actually ready? When it comes to sex, there is no “should” (even though it can definitely feel like it!). It’s not like you should have sex because it’s prom or you should have sex before college. What you SHOULD do is have sex when you’re ready. And that may not match up exactly with the big events on your calendar. Being ready has to do with being comfortable with the idea of sex, being okay taking on that responsibility, feeling comfortable, supported, and not at all pressured by your partner, and knowing deep down in your gut that it’s the right time for you.
- Do you want to deal with so many emotions at once? Big life events can come along with a lot of different feelings. Guess what, so can sex. The question here is, do you want to be dealing with all of these emotions at one time? The excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and feeling of nostalgia that come along with anticipated life moments can certainly affect the way you feel about a situation and your judgment. Make sure that the decision you are making feels like one you would have made weeks ago and that you’re not just wrapped up in the moment.
- Know you can back out. Maybe two months ago you promised your significant other that prom would be THE night. But now that it’s here, you’re not as ready as you thought you’d be…if that’s the case, it is totally FINE to change your plans. You are never obligated to have sex if you don’t feel ready—even if you thought you would be. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be a good idea to tell your partner before the big night so that you can enjoy the party without this worry hanging over your head. A partner that cares about you will understand and be happy that you were honest.
- Sex won’t be good unless you actually want to be doing it. You can lie to your friends, you can lie to your partner, but you can’t lie to your body. Sex can be very physically pleasurable, but only if you’re in the right frame of mind to be doing it. And if you aren’t actually ready, it’s not going to be fun, that I can promise.
- If you’ve decided it’s time and you ARE ready, get prepped. One advantage to having planned out a specific day to have sex is that it gives you time to prep for it. Eat your Wheaties, do your strength training, and get some birth control. The best is to use two methods, a condom for him and a hormonal method for her. The more prepared you are and the more you’ve thought out this decision, the more enjoyable it’s going to be! If this is a night you’re going to remember for the rest of your life…you probably want that memory to be a good one.
Sex actually is a big deal and not something you want to do just to "get it over with" or because it's a big night in your high school career. If you're ready—great. But if not, there's nothing wrong with waiting until you are!