This is the beginning of a lovely relationship between yourself and love. So you might as well begin as you mean to go on.
This is not a "how to go out and get laid" article. This is simply some advice on what to do when it's your (first) time.

1. There are only three rules:

- Don't have love with someone you're not hot for.

- Don't let anyone bully you into it if you’re not ready.

- Use protection because there are a lot of icky sicknesses out there. And you really don't want to get pregnant after the first time.

2. Choose your space

There'll be plenty occasions in future to have sweaty backseat love so don't let your first time be in a car. Many a girl has walked away after such an experience with clearer memories of the gear lever digging into her back than the actual love. A bed works best, so make a plan.

Don't worry too much about stuff like candles, rose petals and the perfect song because it might just make you more nervous (although I know a girl who still hangs her head in shame because she lost her virginity to Warren G).

3. Be straight with your partner

Tell him you're a virgin if he doesn't know this already (which in retrospect might not make him the best choice as a first time partner.) If he's not a virgin and he’s a bit nervous that you are, keep him. If he looks extremely pleased, kick him out. You do not want to lose your virginity to a "collector".

Respond honestly during foreplay so that he can get an idea of what you like. Listen to him to see what he likes. If you’re really nervous and struggling to get aroused it sometimes helps if you focus on his pleasure. Seeing how hot you make him will give you confidence and help you relax.

4. Foreplay, foreplay and some more foreplay

First time penetration is sore, so you really want to get the juices flowing before you attempt it (P.S. this is a good rule to keep for future love too.) So take your time. Kiss and touch and stroke and pet. Move against each other until, as Kings of Leon would say, "your love is on fire". Let him kiss your whole body. Lose yourself in the sensation. Enjoy the feel of his skin against yours. Hold each other. And trust your body. Remember, love is a wonderful thing and humans are designed to enjoy it.

5. Keep it simple

Don't feel the need to attempt any positions that might make you feel uncomfortable, shy or silly. Good old "man on top" works best for losing your virginity. If you have to lower yourself onto him you’ll stop when it hurts, but if you’re with a sensitive partner, you can use his bodyweight to make it quick. It shouldn't be agony. If it is, then you're not ready yet, so go back to foreplay. One of my friends suggests using lubrication. A little extra can go a long way.

6. Do not

Take pictures. You don't want your first time ending up on the internet and men under the age of 24 can be... erm...callous.

Don't worry if you don't bleed. A lot of women don't.

Don't be unrealistic. If you met him on holiday, it's called a holiday romance, not honeymoon.

Don't expect too much. Another friend says she wasn't sure afterwards if it happened or not.

Don't do it when you're drunk/stoned/wired. Too many women can't even remember their first time because of this.

Don't lose faith if the first time didn't rock your world. As with everything: practice makes perfect.

PS. Do wait until you're at least 16 years old. You'll be thankful later and besides, any creep willing to sleep with a girl under 16 deserves nothing but your utmost contempt

What was your first time like? Share your tips and opinions in the box below.