8 Things to Know If You Want to Lose Your Virginity on Prom Night
In the movies, senior prom is always made out to be one of the most magical nights of your life, which is a far cry from the sweaty, sequined reality it often turns out to be. But despite all the hype, it's still one of the last major events before high-school graduation, which means the pressure to lose your virginity before college is at an all-time high (which is also a very popular thing to do in the movies). First off, let's face it: prom isn't everything these rom-coms make it out to be, and neither is having sex for the first time. That being said, sex on prom night can still be a really special moment that feels a bit more glamorous than hooking up on your living room couch (in theory). If you're ready to have sex and feel like prom night is the best time, here's everything you need to know.
Know That Prom Is Not the Biggest Night of Your Life
In a way, knowing that the entirety of your teenage experience doesn't depend on a school dance is a huge relief. However, because prom is such an iconic part of the traditional high-school experience, there's still a lot of pressure to "make it count," which people sometimes conflate with having sex. Try not to let it get to you — there will be plenty of other opportunities where having sex will feel just as special and monumental. Don't put unnecessary expectations on the night if you aren't completely ready.
Talk to Your Partner Beforehand
Whether you know the partner you want to have sex with or you decide the night of, talking about sex has been found to ease anxiety, increase comfort, and make the overall experience more enjoyable. Good topics to go over include any worries you may have, your specific likes and dislikes, your plan for protection, and anything else that's on your mind. Having an honest conversation doesn't have to be awkward, but if you're feeling nervous about it, try initiating a discussion sometime before the big night.
Find a Private Place
Nothing ruins the moment more than a flashlight in your window and a frantic scramble to find the rest of your clothes. To avoid any potential mishaps or rumors of public indecency, do your research and figure out a comfortable place that will offer you some privacy. And no, the back seat of your parents' minivan doesn't count.
Get Affirmative Consent
If you weren't already aware, enthusiastic consent is sexy. Before initiating any kind of sex, check in with your partner and make sure you have their consent for every sexual act you engage in. When in doubt, the State University of New York says, "Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity." Silence, incoherence, or the absence of "no" is not a free pass.
Use Protection That Works For You
Not all methods of contraception are created equal, so if you're planning on having sex for the first time, check in with your doctor and make sure you're protected against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. A medical professional can also make sure that you're using the safest form of contraception for your own body, since everyone is different. To make sure you and your partner are being as safe as possible, each person should take an active role in making sure they're properly protected before prom.
Mind Your Clothes
One of the most exciting parts about prom is choosing what you're going to wear. After all of the hours shopping, items tried on, options weighed, and dollars spent, odds are you don't want your outfit to end up in a crinkled ball at the end of the night. If nothing else, make sure to unzip carefully, protect the accessories, and resist the urge to tear your clothes off, even if it doesn't seem too important in the moment. You never know when you may need a bedazzled gown or fancy tux again.
Research shows that young women report pain in 30 percent of their sexual experiences, which is an alarmingly high number. To combat this, take things slowly and use a water-based lubricant to keep the condom intact (oil-based lubes can cause latex condoms to break). Although you may experience slightly more discomfort your first time, sex should never be characterized by pain.
Remember That Sex Is Normal
We have a tendency to talk about sex as if it's dirty or strictly taboo, when in reality, healthy, consensual sex is a great thing. In fact, "losing your virginity" is sort of a misnomer, considering sex doesn't actually cause you to lose anything but a few minutes of sleep. If you're genuinely ready and feel comfortable with your partner, you're already on the right track toward having great sex, whether it's on your prom night or not.