Dear Mrs Salisbury: I'm 17 and a virgin - what do I need to know for my first time?
Psychologist Robyn Salisbury helps a reader with a relationship dilemma.
QUESTION: I am deeply in love with my boyfriend who is 18.
I find him hot – he's got a great body and beautiful eyes. When he looks at me I feel like I'm melting.
I'm 17 and a virgin but I have explored my body. I can give myself an orgasm and know when I'm turned on, and that's happening a lot now. He has had sex once with a girl when they were both drunk. He's masturbated to porn quite a lot. We've talked about all this and how much I don't want to be compared to a porn actor or used like one.
I believe he does grasp that making love with someone you really care about can be very different to what he's seen and had, but neither of us are really sure if we know how to go about that. We know which bit goes where and to use contraception, but what else should we know?
ANSWER: You are divine and know more than many about your own arousal, how to hold your power and to ask clearly for what you want. Savour this special time, move slowly together into exploring sensuality.
Feed each other a piece of fruit and describe what it tastes like, revel in a piece of chocolate melting in your mouth, smell a flower or herb with your eyes closed and describe it to each other, run your hands over the different textures of grass, concrete, steel. When you each wash or moisturise your own body lavish it with your love and acceptance.
Then, when you're both ready and can provide a private, comfortable space and plenty of time, do some sensual experiments on each other, discover what kinds of touch and where each enjoys, and what it feels like to caress.
A good kiss is incredibly intimate and requires lots of learning about what each other desires. Hygiene matters, as does keeping your body relaxed, starting gently, gradually building up and conveying your feelings through your kisses. Let the tips of your tongues play with each other. Be guided by each other's body language and be honest about what you do and don't like.
Only move into intercourse when all parts of both of you are yelling "Yes" and you can't wait any longer.
Robyn Salisbury is a clinical psychologist. Email questions to MrsSalisbury@sextherapy.co.n