Sex with someone you’ve never had sex with before, someone you think you might really like, someone you’d like to continue having sex with for a long time, can be a bit nerve-wracking. We spoke to Men’s Health Girl Next Door Carolyn Kylstra and Nick Nadel of Guyspeak for their advice on how to deal with having sex with someone for the first time.

1) It never hurts to ask.
Most people know that being too hesitant during sex isn’t really a turn-on; the one exception to this is first-time sex. You don’t know your partner’s limits yet, so if you’re in doubt, go ahead and ask: “Is this okay?”, “Does this hurt?”, “Is this good?” Likewise, speak up yourself — whether you like something or don’t like something, let them know!

2) Everything might be different..
“In general, sex with a new person is likely going to be a little awkward or uncomfortable or clumsy (and if it’s not, then holy cow you’re lucky as sin). What worked on your last boyfriend or girlfriend might not work on this one.”
Kylstra says.

People are different. They’re built differently, they have different turn-ons. Don’t be alarmed when your “signature move” leaves your partner cold — finding out what someone likes is all part of the process. (And as far as processes go, this one’s a pretty enjoyable one.)

3) Don’t immediately blame yourself.
Look, guys and girls have all kinds of sexual hangups and issues. If your partner doesn’t have an orgasm the first time you have sex, don’t assume it’s because you weren’t good, or did something wrong. Feel free to ask afterwards if there’s anything you can do next time that they’d like, but after that, drop it: going on and on about the fact that they didn’t orgasm can make them feel worse if it has nothing to do with you. And, always remember, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have a nice time.

4) Relax. No, Seriously. Just Relax.
“The best thing you can do is relax and get out of your head. Pretend like it’s your fourteenth time with this person and not your first. Remember that your first time will never be the best. If it is, then it’s all downhill from there. Building to the fireworks is better than having them fizzle and die before lift-off. (By fireworks, I mean hot sex.)” Says Nadel.

Try thinking about it this way: if all goes well, you’ll be having sex with this person hundreds of times. So it’s okay if the first one is less than perfect, you know?

5) Remember: You’re Having Sex Right Now! This Is A Good Thing.
Sex is nothing new or overly complicated: people have been doing it for millennia!

Take this advice from Kylstra:

“Keep an open mind. Explore each others’ bodies. Kiss deeply. Enjoy the sensation of skin on skin (I’m talking ribs and arms and thighs and stomachs here, not condomless sex). Communicate—that feels amazing, you’re so good at that, harder, softer, once more now with feeling! Laugh when things go weird, smile, make noises, enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about being good in bed, or lasting long enough, or looking hot enough — focus instead of giving and receiving pleasure, enjoying the experience, learning about what your new partner likes and dislikes.”

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