How to Navigate Sleeping with a New Partner for the First Time

Dive into these tips before diving under the sheets!

Having sex with a new partner can be as exciting as it is daunting.

Regardless of how much experience you’ve had in the past, there are a few things you can do together to make it a little less awkward and a lot more fun.

We chatted to sexual health practitioners Kate Raston and Nicolette Beard from We Are Womxn for some professional insight, so you can be sure these tips are the real deal.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask the unsexy questions about contraception.

If you have a uterus, you probably aren’t planning on immediately getting pregnant with your new partner. You also won’t want to walk away with a nasty Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).

So, as unsexy as it might sound, you’ll have to establish a plan for contraception and sexual health. Whether that’s using a condom, or relying on other means of birth control, you both have to be on the same page.

Kate and Nicolette firmly encourage you to “stand up for yourself.”

“If you don’t want to do it without a condom, just say, ‘no, sorry, not happening tonight’ and move on. Be really firm with your beliefs,” they told us.

You can make the conversation less awkward by raising it prior to engaging in sexual activity. Lay it out before you get under the covers, so you don’t have to interrupt the flow.

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2. Don’t go too fast too soon.

While you may be tempted to go from 0 to 100 on the kink-o-meter, having sex with a new partner may call for a safer, slower approach.

Before you bring out the handcuffs, gauge how open your partner is to less vanilla stuff in bed. You don’t want to overwhelm the both of you before establishing where you stand (or it could become awkward).

3. Respect your partner’s needs.

Sexual health advice always emphasizes your needs, but sex is a two-way street. You need to look out for your partner as well, and make sure they always feel comfortable.

“Everything ties back to consent, healthy communication and being able to say your wants and needs—not only to do with condoms, but also how you like sex and what’s good for you,” Kate and Nicolette told us.

4. Express your preference for aftercare.

Kate and Nicolette recommend you also tell your partner “how you like to be treated after sex, because aftercare is really important, too.”

You may want to spend some time cuddling, pillow-talking, or maybe just get up and have a shower. The most important thing is that one of you doesn’t feel depleted or ignored after sex.

Not everyone wants the same aftercare, so discussing it either before or after sex is your best option for mutual satisfaction.

Remember to keep it 100 per cent consensual and stay safe. And just because sex comes with some contingencies, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

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