I agree with what has been said so far. I'd like to add something that hasn't been said so far, and which, as a total newbie, you need to learn:
Not only are the forces on a mainsail large and hard to handle unless you have adequate gear
, they are dangerous to you and to your boat and - most importantly - to your crew.
Most of the old hands here don't often get questions quite so basic with quite so totally newbie questioners. They've given you very good answers to your question. My thoughts aren't so much directed to your question as to much more gritty considerations. Events
in San Francisco
this past weekend show that even very experienced and very capable sailors can be lost
when Mother Nature cuts loose.
When you look at a few books
you'll get the idea of the forces involved and learn to treat them with considerable respect and care. I would also suggest that you get down to the dock
and volunteer as crew on some other boats and get yourself some basic experience. Lots of folks need crew, and if you ask, they'll be a good resource and get you going.
Good luck, stay safe. Fair winds and following seas.