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How to Have Sex

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Sex is natural. But you might be wondering if you're doing it right the first few times around. That's perfectly normal. And for those who wait until their wedding night to have sex for the first time, the anticipation can be exciting but also nerve-wracking. So, I've pulled advice from sex experts and my own years of experience covering sexual relations in marriages to put together this comprehensive guide on how to have sex. Here are your step-by-step instructions:

 

1. Learn how to talk about sex.

Bride and groom on bed, woman lying on man
Deborah Jaffe/PhotodiscGetty Images

If you can't talk about sex with your partner, then you're not ready for it. If you're waiting for marriage to have sex and you're engaged, then you better learn how to talk about it with your future spouse if you're not discussing it already. Of course, sex talk can be embarrassing. But you have to be comfortable enough with each other to talk about your fears, what you want in bed, what it takes for you to achieve orgasm, any boundaries you have, STDs, and family planning to name a few.

You don't have to talk about all this stuff all at once. You can prioritize issues and discuss a little at a time. What is important is that you open the lines of communication and start the conversation, so it won't be difficult for either of you to bring up issues and questions in the future.

Additional help with sexual communication:

How to Ask for What You Want in Bed

2. Be prepared.

Sex can happen spontaneously, especially between partners who live together. So, you should always tend to personal hygiene. Take a shower, shave, whatever it takes for you to feel clean, sexy, and ready to go. Also, if you and your partner have decided you don't want to have children (or just not yet), then you should have a form of protection, such as condoms. If either of you has had sex in the past, then he or she should be tested for STDs ahead of time. Of course, if one of you has an STD, you must follow doctor's orders.

Additional help with being prepared for sex:

The Most Common STDs

3. Romance your partner.

Sex is better when you're in love with your partner. It becomes a meaningful way to express your feelings for one another. To keep your bond strong, you have to continue to court one another after you marry. That means dating each other - going out and doing fun things together - and being romantic. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but you do have to show your partner that you value him or her. Be affectionate. Tell your spouse exactly how you feel. And just be kind to one another. Don't take each other for granted. It will make your moments of intimacy all the more beautiful and meaningful.

Additional help with romance:

10 Romantic Ideas

Ideas for Date Nights

4. Don't forget foreplay.

Lots of men, especially newbies to sex, want to get naked and go straight to the good stuff. The actual sex act is a wonderful experience, but you need to build up to it. Some women can't get excited (or lubricated) enough without some old-fashioned foreplay. Making out like teenagers, touching, kissing, hugging, undressing one another, or performing oral sex helps to build the anticipation, which will make the sex act that much more enjoyable. Go slow and let your partner guide you by either moving your hands or telling you what he or she likes. If you are both considerate of the other, you'll find that you have a much more pleasurable experience. Foreplay also makes it more likely that both of you will have an orgasm.

Additional help with foreplay:

How to Get Better at Foreplay

15 Tips to Improve Oral Sex

How to Give a Massage

How to Talk Dirty

5. Get to the sex act itself.

After you've checked off all the other items on this list, you can finally get to the sex act itself. Now, this is the fun part. It's the release you get after you've built up the anticipation. And it can make you feel closer to your spouse and downright euphoric when it's good. There are some things to keep in mind. First, women especially might experience pain or slight discomfort the first few times they have sex. There are ways to minimize this (see our tips for first-time sex). Men have to be aware of this and considerate. It is not the case for all virgins but some. Also, continue talking to each other while you're having sex. If there's something you don't like or causes considerable pain, tell your partner. The goal should be for both of you to have fun and enjoy.

Once you get the hang of sex (yes, it's kind of like you get the hang of it after a while), you might want to try different positions or sharing fantasies or other things that are a little less vanilla. Even if you don't, vanilla sex is still pretty good, even a quickie, when it's with someone with whom you are in love and are creating a family.

Additional help with sex:

How to Make First-Time Sex Good

Sex Positions - A Guide by the About.com Sexuality Expert

How to Spice Up Your Sex Life

6. The Orgasm

Orgasms are more complicated than you might think. For starters, those pornographic films that have you thinking that partners always climax at the same time are big fat liars. The fact is that it is usually easier for men to climax than for women. And you probably won't climax at the same time. A man might even have to distract himself or work on refraining from climaxing too quickly, so the woman can achieve orgasm. (At least, that would be the thoughtful thing to do - hint, hint.) Ladies, don't fake orgasms. It is akin to lying to your spouse. If you don't achieve orgasm every time, you still might be able to enjoy yourself. And if you can't achieve orgasm ever, that is an issue you should share with your spouse, so you can work on it together.

Additional help with orgasms:

All about Orgasms by the About.com Sexuality Expert

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