What's your partner really thinking the first time you have sex?
If it’s a casual hook up, then who really cares - but what about when you’re just about to have sex with someone special, that you hope is going to be around for a while… maybe even forever?
Even if you’re in triple-figure territory with the number of people you’ve slept with, sex with someone you like and want to build a relationship with is a big deal.
Contrary to popular opinion, lots of couples who see a future do wait a little while before having full, penetrative sex. We aren’t all diving into bed within the first five minutes.
(Safe) sex with a stranger is far less daunting in many ways.
Allowing someone you really like to see you nude - to feel, smell and taste your body and its fluids - does make you vulnerable. And we’re not even talking about the emotional complications and dangers intimacy implies - this is just the physical bit. The part when a million weird and worrisome thoughts spill into your brain faster than the champagne you’re gulping in a vain attempt to stop them.
Will my body be good enough? How will I compare to their ex? Will this make them go off me? Will they notice the weird mole I have on my back? Do I have spots on my bum? Is he going to freak when he sees my labia? Will she laugh when she notices my penis is bent?
Fortunately, anxiety isn't the only thing making your heart race - after all, we are talking sex with new flesh here. Which is why when the moment finally arrives, you find yourself see-sawing between feeling as nervous as hell and as excited as could be.
How does this all translate in the bedroom? Not terribly well, quite frankly - particularly for him because penises tend to follow their masters.
Say the nervous side is winning. If his penis has come over all shy and feeling a bit like he wants to do that hang-your-head-and-shuffle-your-feet-thing, he's hardly going to burst proudly through his boxers saying, "Hi, about time we met," in a silky James Bond voice.
If he's in the other frame of mind (ridiculously overexcited), his penis could well have introduced himself, wined, dined, done his bit and be back home watching Netflix and eating toasted cheese sandwiches, before he's had the chance to say "Oops! Sorry!"
Meanwhile, as a woman, one of two things is happening. She's panicking because she's either a) soooo turned on, her vagina has expanded and lubricated to the point where she could deliver a 9lb baby without batting an eyelid or b) sooooo anxious, it's not just the easy conversation which has dried up.
In the interests of calming both sexes down, I interviewed a few newbie couples to find out what they both secretly thought the first time they did it with their now partner.
Judging by their experiences, it's something along the lines of this...
What he's thinking
Bloody hell, this is actually happening. Right! You down there. Yes, I'm talking to you. OhpleaseGod, pleaseGod, pleaseGod, behave. We've talked about this, remember? Right. What to do now? OK, calm down. I calm down but get her excited, that's it. Kissing done. Breasts done. Lots of licking. Women like licking. Going well. Erection happening. Erection t-h-r-o-b-b-i-n-g. Oh help. Better stop licking... but she'll hate me. Keep going. No. Bloody hell, stop NOW! Blimey, if looks could kill - that was one hell of a glare she gave me then. Sorry but I... OK. Right. Do it. Just do it. Onwards and upwards and all that. Kiss her first though. Concentrate. Control. Control. Control. Jesus - she's so hot, so sexy - and - Blimey! She's putting it in there already and I'm not mentally psyched up to - ohmiiiiiGOOOOOOODDDDD it's just so wonderful in here. Bugger! Bloody hell! Have to stop. Have to keep going for at least half an hour. Think big pants. Think Mrs Cartwright in 4b. Count backward from 500. 499, 498. Is she? Does that groan mean she's about to... ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh thankkkkkkkkkkkkkkyyyyyyyyyyyyooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu God... Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger. I've blown it.
What she's thinking
This is it then. Completely naked. Which is fine. Really. If I lie nice and flat and don't move around too much, I'll keep a flat stomach and hide my bum at the same time. Except - ummm - this is feeling rather nice actually, so I'll just lie on my side so he can... Oh for God's sake, don't put your hand there! That's where all the fat's squashed up! Move it to... oooohh. That's more like it. Ummm. Ummm. Ooophhh. Where did he learn how to do that? So glad I'm not a boy though. It must be awfully smelly down there. Do I smell? Can't do surely. I had about 65 showers before he arrived. But I did have garlic last night. And Sandra said if you put a clove of garlic in your shoe, you'll smell it on your breath within two hours. Which means if you eat garlic, as opposed to plonk a piece in your trainers, it's bound to... Blimey, he's good. Some girl's taught him this. No way he'd figure it out on his own without lots of guidance. Bet it's that Sarah. In fact, he's probably fantasising about her right now. Bet she didn't eat garlic. Oooopphheeewwww. Phew! Ummm. Who cares, if he keeps on licking I'll marry him. Gosh. I think I'm about to... I am... God, I don't usually... Bloody hell, why is he stopping now? Oh, OK. No, no, it's fine. Ahem. This is it then. Please God let those bloody kegel exercises have worked. What if I'm not tight enough? Say he'll joke about me down the pub. Like they do about Joan Collins. About there being a hotdog stand up there and everything. Must do more kegel... OH. MY. GOD! I'd forgotten how good this felt. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. OH GOD... Oh... Right then. It's over. Shame really... But look at his face! Poor little thing. Better give him a hug. Or maybe he doesn't want one. He probably doesn't care what I think now. After all, he's had his way... and no way was I tight enough. Mental note: must do more kegels...