I am a 24 year old attractive female. I have never had sex or even come close. I would like to. I am nervous that when I do have sex I will not know what I'm doing. Should I "practice” with someone or even pay someone to "practice"?


Although it may seem like pretty much everyone has had sex, or is having lots of sex, it’s not the case. Most people have engaged in sexual activities by their mid-twenties but not all have. Our US national survey data clearly show that some people wait to have sex until they are in love, until they marry, or else they may have simply not felt particularly turned on or into someone. Some people want to engage in sexual activities but feel like their shyness gets in the way.


You seem to be pretty concerned about your “performance” – essentially, whether when you do try to have sex, you will look skilled or silly. Guess what? That’s a common concern! And it’s not just common for the very first time someone has sex, but can be something people think about when having sex with a new partner for the first or second (or tenth) time. Even people with long-term partners don’t always feel confident in their sexual skills.


Paying for sex is not legal most places in the US but is legal in some particular places and is one option, if that is really what you want to do. Another option is to meet with a sex therapist (find one through aasect.org or sstarnet.org) who can talk  with you about your worries and your concerns as well as about the kinds of experiences you’ve had and how you might put some of your nerves aside and create the kind of romantic, intimate and/or sexual connection with another person that maybe you want. Books like Sex Made Easy, Come As You Are, and Becoming Orgasmic might also help you explore your own sexuality and develop greater confidence.

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