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19 Things You Should Know Before You Lose Your Virginity

First-time sex should really come with an instruction manual, tbh.

We've been getting a lot of great questions about first-time sex at sexqs@buzzfeed.com (the official BuzzFeed Sex Q&A email address, FYI), so we put together a primer for anyone who's curious, confused, or wondering what to expect. The following pieces of advice are meant to apply to all cisgender and transgender individuals — regardless of your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. That said, not every tip might apply to every person. Have more advice you'd like to share with the class? Go ahead and post it in the comments.

1. Losing your virginity isn’t just P in the V.

2. That whole “popping the cherry” thing is mostly a myth.

3. Along those lines, a “hymen check” is really no way to determine virginity.

4. It doesn’t have to hurt.

5. Getting properly warmed up is a must.

6. Lube will make everything so much better.

7. Having an orgasm should not be the goal.

8. If you have a vagina, you probably won’t have an orgasm the first time around.

9. You’re more likely to have an orgasm if you and your partner are more familiar with each other — physically and emotionally.

10. If you have a penis, you might come really, really quickly.

11. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t just happen to old dudes, so don’t freak out if it happens to you.

12. You can definitely get pregnant the very first time you have sex.

13. You should definitely still use a condom.

14. Whatever you do, don’t try to copy what you saw in porn.

15. It’s not true that your soul will be forever attached to the first person you have sex with.

16. Think of masturbation as practice for the real thing.

17. Your experience losing your virginity will certainly not dictate the rest of your sex life.

18. There’s no right time to have sex.

19. Everyone is just as nervous as you are.

This post has been updated to explain that oil-based lubes, not silicone-based lubes, can make latex condoms less effective. An earlier version of this post stated that silicone-based lubes could make them less effective.