I find it almost comical there's so much emphasis on losing your virginity. Aside from Beyoncé's "Lemonade", it's one of the most talked about subjects in the world. Everyone has a story about it. And the funniest part is, we're almost trained to imagine it will be magical. Think about it: as soon as you learn what penetrative sex is, the act of doing it for the first time is touted as one of "the most memorable experience of your life."
But the truth is, losing your virginity can suck. The only people who seem to enjoy it are in the movies, and if I'm being honest, a lot of those experiences look pretty abysmal too. Also, it's a movie.
Losing my virginity wasn't all that memorable, because frankly, I don't really want to remember it. It was weird, uncomfortable, and painful — and now that I'm at the age at which several friends of mine are having kids — I feel confident saying: I was way too damn young.
Do I regret it? Of course not. A virginity story, whether good or bad (but mostly bad), can feel like a right of passage — a quintessential part of growing up. And I'm here to regale you with mine, as well as what I learned from it. (Aside from the fact that I don't think condoms ever get better, that is.)
Fasten your seatbelt, it's going to be an awkward ride.
1. Saying It Was "Extremely Awkward" Is An Understatement
It doesn't matter if you're both virgins, or just one of you is, this process can be uncomfortable. Even talking about it can be awkward. And there was a lot of talking about it, particularly in my case. Here's why: I lost my virginity to my boyfriend, who was graduating senior, when I was a sophomore in high school. Yes, I fell victim to the fake urgency of it all. You know, the kind in which you feel you have to have sex, because your boyfriend is going to college, and you may never see him again. AND IT HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING. I was 16, what do you expect?
He was not a virgin; in fact he had sex with couple people prior. In my eyes, this made him Ron Jeremy. I was both intimidated, scared, and intrigued at what I viewed as massive levels of experience. Keep in mind, he was 18. Pretty sure a guy at that age is only really experienced at masturbating.
2. Like New Year's Eve, Expectations > Reality
After months of talking about it — plus my best friend losing hers (in pure 16-year-old logic, this solidified my own decision) — we made a plan. I wanted this to be romantic, dammit! I daydreamed about this like the total school girl I actually was.
We decided to go to this little park near his house, lay out a blanket, and bring it on home. Before you get all "um, you went for the public sex on your first time?" we went at night, and were pretty serious about picking a secluded spot near the water.
The idea was good in theory, but terrible when executed. First of all, this was Florida. It was hot as hell outside, and there were bugs everywhere. After a few minutes, and 300 mosquito bites later, we both literally and figuratively threw in the towel and opted for the back seat of my car. Yes, you heard that right, I lost my virginity in the backseat of my car. I guess some things are like the movies, because this is totally something Rizzo would do. But the fact is, when you're in high school, the options are pretty limited.
3. It Flat Out Hurt
Most of the time, pain is in your mind. For instance, I was terrified to wear tampons the first few years of my period-having life thinking it would be the most painful thing in the world. And the first time I got a Brazilian wax, I got drunk before because I was so scared. Well, both have now been happening regularly for more than 15 years. And I lived to tell the tale.
The pain of having sex for the first time was actually worse for me. I immediately screamed "get it out of me! get it out of me!" the first time the inaugural entering occurred. It actually felt like getting the wind knocked out of you, or when I used slide down mountain rocks into natural spring water all those years at Summer camp. It was just a shock to the system for me. I couldn't for the life of me comprehend how such a painful act could ever lead to actually having an orgasm. Ever.
4. It Was, Um, Messy
Now I realize the popping of your cherry is not a thing for everyone, but it was for me. It was a thing that got all over my sheets the second time we had sex. When this didn't happen that faithful day in the park, I thought I was one of those people who just avoided this very gross happening. But, alas, no such luck.
And when mine did, it was in my own bed while my parents were out of town. Me trying to wash those sheets is an entire other story, let's just say my first self-taught laundry session wasn't remotely seamless.
5. Sex Didn't Get Better... For A While
I'm not sure why I thought I just had to endure one bad sexual episode before entering euphoria. My guess is the movies again? The times we had sex afterwards may not have been as brutal, but they certainly weren't enjoyable. If I'm being 100 percent honest, I think it may have taken hitting my 30s for good sex to be anywhere near consistent.
And that's a long way past 16.
Images: Author's own; Giphy