What Sex Is Really Like For Him The First Time

Sex for the first time can be an awkward, intimidating, and overwhelming experience — but hopefully a positive one, too. What is the first time like for guys? Our cultural understanding of "the first time" is extremely gendered and heteronormative; women's first sexual experiences are often thought to be painful, and to create a lifelong obsession and attachment with the person with whom they "lose" their virginity. And of course, worldwide patriarchy states that we become damaged goods once it happens. On the other hand, men are high-fived and considered to have "scored."

Males are also not socialized to believe that they will "lose" a part of themselves by having sex, and they don't necessarily feel as though they must be in love with their partner for it to be "right." They are also pressured to lose their virginity as soon as possible, rather than to wait for their wedding night. Not only do these expectations contribute to our dangerous gender binary and cause many women to fear or feel ashamed of their first sexual experiences, but they also erase men's emotions and vulnerability when it comes to sex. What is the first time really like for men — cisgender, transgender, and of any sexuality?

Media and pop culture often depicts "virginity loss" for men as humorous and, well, ending quickly. Think American Pie and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. (Also think how, until 2013's The To Do List, there were barely any movies that discussed the "first time" for young women so lightheartedly). But in real life, unlike on the big screen, first-time experiences for men are much more nuanced, and they don't always involve women. What is scary about the first time for guys? Do they want to be in love, or are they more concerned about "getting it over with"? How has it affected the rest of their sexual experiences? Did they feel ready? How did stigma surrounding their gender and sexuality shape their first times? I talked to 11 men to find out. (P.S.: The concept of "virginity" and "losing" something is a social construct, hence the quotation marks.)

1. Dante, 25

2. Svan, 26

3. Anonymous, 31

4. Marc, 38

5. Dione, 29

6. Mike, 37

7. Reginald, 43

8. Matt, 35

9. Tom, 28

10. Chris, 41

11. Red, 23

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