Managing Editor, POPxo
Sex is a wondrous thing. And if you’re having lots of it, then more power to you! But there are some very, very important things to keep in mind while you’re out there getting yourself some action. These are 10 dos and don’ts that every girl should adhere to – so that she feels fabulous not only in the moment but afterwards too. :)
Admittedly it can be terribly awkward and embarrassing to buy condoms across the counter at your local pharmacy, where everyone is staring. The alternative is to buy them at a supermarket or a chain outlet, where both retailers and other customers tend to be less inquisitive. Whether you have a long-term partner or are having a brief fling, you don’t ever want to be stuck in a situation where you’re in the middle of things and don’t have protection handy. (P.S.: Please read the expiration date on the package, and replenish your stock regularly!)
Going on the pill is a decision that you must make with a great degree of deliberation and in consultation with your gynaecologist. Oral contraceptives affect the natural hormonal balance of your body, and for many women have different kinds of side-effects. Please see your doc, and be open and honest with her/him about your precise sexual history and the frequency of current sexual activity. Please also remember that the morning-after pill, despite being available across the counter, should be used very judiciously and only in the case of an emergency (such as if the condom breaks!) – it is NOT an alternative to regular, prescribed-by-a-doctor birth control.
Most of us suffer through at least occasional physical discomfort during intercourse without speaking up about it. Our bodies are temperamental, and sometimes they take a while to catch up with our libidos – don’t have uncomfortable sex just because you aren’t quite there yet physically. Pick up a good quality water-based lubricant for just those moments (and for other, kinkier stuff if you’re in the mood for it, of course!). And a polyisoprene condom is a super alternative for ladies with latex allergy. Try out SKYN from KamaSutra and Durex Play Lubes.
You might be able to hold your drink way better than everyone else you know, but the more alcohol (or any other form of intoxicant) is in your system, the less likely you are to make the most judicious decisions. You don’t want to be waking up the next morning with regrets about who and what and why.
This one is an absolute must. Please get yourself a screening test every few months, especially if you have multiple partners. You can never be sure about another person’s precise sexual history – for all you know, they made decisions when they were drunk and don’t even remember them. Keeping yourself safe should be your number one priority (see point 1!). Most reputed path labs have standard STD panels such as this one that you can opt for. It’s discreet and easy. You also need to get yourself an annual pap smear as soon as you become sexually active. It’s a more invasive procedure, but, trust us, you’ll sleep so much better knowing you’re safe and disease-free! (Here’s a list of the most common STDs you need to watch out for.)
Better sex comes with practice. If you want to master the art of bed-sport, it’s perfectly okay to read up on stuff and experiment. There are thousands of books and manuals you can refer to. And you can also open up and talk to your partner about it. You can try yoga and exercises too – they really do help!
With yourself, and with your partner. If you’re in a long-term relationship, this one’s kind of moot. But if not, then be clear about how you see this encounter: as the start of something new that you want to build on, as just a casual fling, as a one-night stand. No matter how objective and blasé you are about sex, it sucks when he doesn’t call you the morning after. But being self-aware and communicating your thoughts to your partner – and figuring out whether he’s on the same page – means that you’re at least not going to be left wondering.
If you’re uncomfortable with how a sexual scenario is playing out, call a halt. You have every right to. No matter how far into the proceedings you are, it’s never too late to say no. It’s your body, and you do not need to feel pressured into doing anything that feels less than right. And if your partner has a shred of human decency, he will accept your decision regardless of his, uh, frustration.
Think very carefully about the person you’re about to get jiggy with. Is he trustworthy? You can’t really be 100% sure until you’re actually in the “moment”, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few second and third thoughts in advance. Please also do not go off with a stranger without letting at least one trusted friend or family member (cousins are useful!) knowing exactly where you’re going and with whom. If you do get caught in an unpleasant situation, they should know where to rescue you from. Consider downloading an app such as bSafe – it’s better to be prepared than afraid.
There is nothing wrong with being sexually active, provided you’re being sensible and careful about your body and health. If people are judgemental about your life choices and decisions, the best thing you can do is to ignore it. And there is nothing wrong with your body either. If someone you’re in bed with tries to shame you about your weight or shape or grooming habits or whatever else, get out. They do not deserve your body or your time.
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