Does a Virgin Need a Dildo to Get Ready?

Dear Rachel and Claire,
I am a virgin and a friend suggested that I start using a dildo so I can have some practice, and so I don't bleed all over the place when I actually do have sex. Does this help? Is it a good idea to get the size of dildo that's close to your partner’s size? 

-Eyes Wide Open

A:

Dear Eyes Wide Open,
The thing to practice is feeling your sexual energy and trusting your body. When you have vaginal penetration with a partner for the first time, it’s more important that you feel turned on and excited than that you are “practiced.” So masturbate, touching yourself in a way that feels sexy to you. If you're curious about penetration, go for it--with a dildo if you want to. But don’t focus on your partner’s size--starting small is probably the way to go for feeling good. Stress about your “deflowering” moment may be wasted because it’s different for everybody, and if you do bleed, it probably won’t be much. When you look back on your first time, I hope you have memories of feeling sexy and excited and having fun with your partner.