Sex Ed

“How Unexciting.” First-Time Sex Doesn’t Always Live Up To The Hype

By Jennifer Newell Jillian LoPiano, MD

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Sex is big topic that can be hyped up in a lot of different ways. Everyone seems to have thoughts on it.

Wait. Don’t wait. Do this and it will be good, but don’t do that or it will be bad. This doesn’t count as sex, while that definitely counts as sex. Ugh, seriously, how is a Betty supposed to know what to expect for her first time?

Well, one Betty shared how her first time didn’t live up to her expectations. Check out her story in the video below.





Realistic Sexpectations

You may have noticed we like the faux word “sexpectations.” You’ll see us use it A LOT, because there are so many misconceptions about sex that can lead to some seriously awkward and sometimes scarring experiences for the Betty’s community.

Having realistic sexpectations is super important to your sexual health, and sexual health is important for your overall wellness. The National Coalition for Sexual Health defines being sexually healthy as “being able to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind.”

There are so many misconceptions 

about sex that can lead to some

seriously awkward and sometimes

scarring experiences.

Misguided sexpectations can make a Betty feel insecure about her body, disconnected from her partner, and anxious about her next sexual encounter. WE. DO. NOT. WANT. THAT. So, we have a few things for you to consider when you decide to up the stakes on intimacy.


Let’s talk about it…sex, that is

There’s one thing that can make or break a positive sexual experience. No, it’s not lube (but that’s a close second!). It’s actually communication.

That’s so boring, right? You may have been secretly hoping for something a bit juicier, like some never-heard-of-brand-new sex position that promises amazing orgasms? Well, that’s just not the case.

The best sex stems from open communication between partners, and that communication needs to start well before you begin having sex with each other.

The first thing you need to talk about is your desire to have sex or to wait to have sex. Know that it’s okay to want to have sex, and it’s okay to NOT want to have sex! About half of women have had sex by the time they turn 20, which means half have not. The choice is yours, and while a lot goes into making that choice, you should be confident in communicating your decision with your partner. If you don’t feel like you can communicate your desire to your partner, it might be time to re-evaluate that relationship.

The best sex stems from open

communication between partners.

Once you do make the decision to have sex, your ability to communicate with your partner becomes even more important. We’re talking about the “c-word” here: consent. You have the right to say no to any activity at any time, even if it’s something you’ve done before. And it’s 100% on your partner to stop when you withdraw your consent. That said, we recommend discussing consent before you and your partner get caught up in the moment. This includes safe words, nonverbal cues, off-limits areas, and any anxieties you may be feeling.

While none of this may seem very sexy, it may surprise you how it translates into a much more satisfying experience. It can lead to discussions about turn-ons and turn-offs and can create a good kind of anticipation—versus the anxiety that often comes with first-time sex (whether first time ever or first time with a new partner).


Safety first and always

We know there is a lot to communicate with your partner when it comes to sex, but stay with us for another important one discussion item, safety, in terms of preventing unplanned/unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

We know that many Betties who have sex for the first time use some form of contraception. Contraception is a means to prevent pregnancy, and there are lots of different forms of contraception available these days, from non-hormonal options that you use only when you have sex, like condoms and diaphragms, to long-acting methods that can work for several years, like intrauterine devices (IUDs). So, there are great options no matter what your or short- or long-term plans are for having sex and preventing pregnancy.

It’s never too soon to talk to a GYN

about contraception and safe sex.

For the most part, condoms and other latex barriers like dental dams provide the best protection against STIs with all types of sex. But it is also important to communicate with your sex partners about whether or not they currently have or have previously had other sexual partners to decide if you may be at higher risk for getting an STI. You can always ask them to be tested!

Make sure you talk to a GYN about your plans for sexual activity and get their input on the contraception method that will be best suited to your needs. It’s never too soon to talk to a GYN about contraception and safe sex. The more you learn, the better prepared you’ll be for when you do have sex.


Join the conversation

Okay, your turn! Ask a question, share a story, or give some advice to your fellow Betties. We do our best to monitor all comments. As you engage with each other, please help us keep the Betty's promise to be a place for trust, inclusivity, and open dialogue by being kind to one another.

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