We all know, there can be a hell of a lot of pressure to lose your virginity. Peer pressure and feeling insecure or even "too old" to be a virgin are just some of the reasons why. It's important that you are ready, however you choose to go about it so that you don't end up regretting it later. Try not to expect too much from your first time.
There is no global solution to the question "am I ready?" as there is no completely right time to start having sex for everyone, what matters is that it's right for you, If you aren't sure whether you're ready, then you're probably not. It also depends entirely upon what you're comfortable with. You don't have to jump straight in at the deep end, there are many other things you can do to ease yourselves in gently and learn to relax with your partner in the process.
The right environment
If you're shy and embarrassed about taking your clothes off in front of somebody, you're completely normal. Remember, your partner probably feels exactly the same way. If the thought of doing this makes you sick with worry, the chances are you're just not ready. The key here is to be involved with somebody you feel comfortable around, can discuss sex openly with and, above all, don’t treat sex too seriously. Nerves can get the better of anyone.
This isn't to say that not being in a relationship is a necessarily bad thing, it's all about what works for you. So long as you are comfortable, happy with your choice and always make sure that you always use contraception.
Will it hurt?
Many people are concerned that first time sex will be painful for the girl. This is not universally true, but not uncommon. Be prepared for some pain and possibly a little bleeding if the hymen is still intact, though many lose this through using tampons or vigorous exercise without even knowing. If the pain is too much then you may not be relaxed enough, try more foreplay until you are ready to try again. Water-based lubricant such as KY jelly is likely to help (do not use oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline, as these can damage condoms). If you are still having no luck, perhaps wait until another time when you feel less pressure and see your GP if things don't improve as, in very rare cases, there may be a physical problem.
If you're worrying that you might not be any good, that it will be embarrassing and that you might make some major mistakes then you're lacking communication with your partner. It's your first time, nobody is expecting you to be a sexual mastermind and what works for one person might not for another anyway so all first time sex is pretty similar, the great thing about it is being able to make mistakes and learn what works.
Sex is nothing like the flawless, emotionally charged rubbish that you see in films and on the TV. It is, in fact, better. Who wants perfection, really? When, instead, you can make mistakes, embarrass yourself, laugh it off and feel a whole lot closer to your partner for it. Again, don't treat sex too seriously.
You shouldn’t be looking at it like a sentence and it shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable, It should be something you take a lot from and enjoy. I’m not saying that sometimes, over the course of the relationship, your arm won’t fall asleep, your tongue won’t feel numb or your jaw won’t lock up and you’ll be completely fed up of trying to bring your partner to orgasm because you almost certainly will but, so long as you can laugh about it and not feel complete hatred for their inability to orgasm in a time scale that suits you then you’re on to a good thing.
It's inevitable that, at some point over the relationship, problems will occur. Often nerves are to blame and this is why, on the first time, they are much more prevalent. At times men will lose their erections, climax too soon, not climax at all and for the extremely unlucky: frenulums might tear. Sometimes women will tense up, not be wet enough, hymens might rip, air can get trapped and make hilarious noises… these are the facts. These things won’t happen to everyone, and they will happen to some much more than others. Repeated problems will either be down to psychological pressure or a medical issue. More often than not, though, it will be the former.
Communication can put a stop to most problems along with patience and understanding. Be respectful, don't push people into things they are uncomfortable with as it will be much less enjoyable for you both anyway.
Relax, talk to your partner, and let go.