5 Things That Impact When You First Have Sex

There are so many factors that impact when you first have sex. For some, it's peer pressure, and for others, it's the burning desire to experience what every song on pop radio is raving about, what great books are written about, and what some political parties want you to be incredibly misinformed about. In addition to cultural forces, biology and genetics are also at play in the decision, so it's not necessarily a 100 percent conscious choice.

On average, most people have sex for the first time at age 17, but according to the Department of Health and Human Services, fewer teens are having sex in America today than in years past. By the time women reach 20, over 70 percent have done the deed, and the trend continues upward from there. Of course, some folks aren't into sex at all, but for those interested and able to hit the sheets, the majority do end up getting some action by their second decade on the planet.

Although your first time having sex doesn't have to be meaningful or memorable or even signify anything at all (some folks don't agree with the social construct of virginity and I'm so down with that), it's still interesting to figure out what sparks the where and when of the occasion.

Here are five things that can impact the first time you have sex. But first, check out the latest episode of Bustle's Sex and Relationships podcast, "I Want It That Way":

1. Genetics


A recent study published in Nature Genetics analyzed genetic samples from over 125,000 participants aged 40-69 and found 38 different gene variants that can impact when folks first have sex. These include risk-taking genes and those that trigger the onset of puberty. As an article in The Verge points out, however, cultural factors are just as important when it comes to sex, so it's not as if we're solely slaves to biology, either.

2. Consuming Sexual Media


There's a lot of fear mongering out there about what kind of media brainwashes teens to have promiscuous sex, do drugs, and drop out of school to join the circus, but there have been multiple studies offering links between consuming sexually explicit media and increased sexual interest and action. This is kind of a no brainer, though, because sex just looks too good to resist on film (even though real world sex is usually nothing like it).

3. Age Of First Menstruation


The earlier you get your period, the earlier you are to likely have sex. This is of course because the onset of puberty gets those hormonal juices flowing, which will inspire arousal, desire, and all kinds of new feelings that aren't as common before girls start to menstruate.

4. Your Relationship With Your Parents


Teens who reported having a "connected" relationship with their parents also reported having sex at older ages than their peers who did feel close to their parents. Of course, this doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people who experiment sexually at an early age and retain close familial ties.

5. Your Relationship With Your Friends


On top of parental relationships, friendships play a major role in the age people decide to have sex. Basically, nobody likes to be left out, and it's hard to transgress the norms in your social group when you're young, so it's easier to follow the sexual trends of your peers. That said, there's always room for sexual rebels and individual choice.

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