I lost my virginity to someone I loved, and to this day, I feel very lucky for that. As a gay man, I had always figured my first time wouldn't be special; that the expectation that two men would be down to bang immediately after getting together would cheapen my experience. Luckily, I was wrong.
Still, as a man, everything I had learned about sex in the media up to that point had taught me that I was supposed to feel next-to-nothing the first time that I had sex; that it didn't matter for me in the long run the way it seemed to for women. Movies like American Pie and Porkey's taught me and my peers that young men are supposed to sleep with as many women as they can — and love it. Girls in my high school were taught to protect their virginity as if it were a prize, while men were taught to be rid of theirs as fast as they possibly could. I remember feeling ashamed to enter college as a virgin, afraid to tell my male roommates that I had yet to experience having sex.
Men are taught from a young age that sex is just something men do — but that doesn't mean losing our virginity isn't also complicated for us. I wanted to know if all men felt like their first time was a throwaway, so I asked some guys what losing their virginity was like for them. Here's what they had to say.
"For me, losing my virginity was honestly nothing special. Like, it was amazing, don't get me wrong. But it just wasn't that important to me. Just a blip on the emotional radar. I got a tattoo today, and that seems like an infinitely bigger deal to me than losing my virginity ever was!"
"It was an incredible experience, like a celebration. it was the sealing of my relationship with my [now] ex who I'd been dating for about 3 months. We were in love and waited to be sure of that, so when we finally did, it was within this awesome love relationship. 10/10."
"I lost my virginity my senior year of high school to my girlfriend. We watched Princess Diaries while we had sex. If that wasn't already an indicator, cumming into a vagina for the first time only proved to myself that I was gay. Aside from that, there were no emotions on my end. Only the feeling of not belonging in a vagina. So I never went back."
"I was nervous but ready because I had been putting him off for a while. I wanted to be sure that I was completely OK with it. But I don't think I was, especially since holding onto my virginity was something that was so sacred, something that had religious connotations growing up.
So then it happened. I don't know that I felt different afterwards, but I did feel and know that I had given it to whom I wanted to when I wanted to. I think in the end that is why I tried so hard to make what turned into toxic relationship work. It was because I didn't want that gift, or what I had made to be a gift, to have been given away in vain."
"Losing my virginity was a big stepping stone in my acceptance of my sexuality. I thought it was such a big deal until it had happened (and it happened quickly lol) but once it was done I had one thing less to worry about."
"I just felt that the idea of knowing you'd done it mattered more than doing it."
"I think for me it meant emotionally breaking down a barrier and moving towards maturity. It was never going to be beautiful. It was never going to be perfect. It was just a step in my path to becoming comfortable with my body and my sexuality and myself."
"When I lost my virginity, it was to someone I loved at the time. So the experience, emotionally, was amazing! I had never felt so close to a person than in that moment."
"I was definitely in checklist mode. I was scared, and then sort of relieved when it turned out to be awesome. To be honest, the sex with that person was to date some of the best sex I've ever had. Which is ... wow, very sad."
"Honestly, I wish I had a romantic story to it, but it was kind of about getting it over with. It was basically a random hookup, but my first. I thought (think?) of virginity as a label to be discarded when one is ready, so they can move on to having better sex after that first time."
"I'm thankful it was with someone I knew, trusted, and [that were were] both sober — but there was no intimacy to it. I received a text saying "so, wanna do it?" And that's not paraphrasing, that's verbatim. I accepted because holy sh*t I was about to have sex. She came up to my dorm room, I gave my roommate proper warning not to come in, folded down his futon, and the deed began. I don't remember being particularly hard or enjoying it at all because it felt so empty. Neither of us loved the other...it was just weird. I remember more about the highlights playing on ESPN than I do the sex. After we were done she just left. That was it."
"It really had no emotional meaning to me, even though I had always wanted it to. Actually, after it was all said and done I kind of felt empowered to take charge of my own life in a way I hadn't before. And that basically started my semester-long slut stage."
"I didn't feel much of anything, to be honest. There was no stereotypical crossing into adulthood moment. If I'd had real feelings for the person with whom I lost it, things might have felt differently."
"I mean, I guess I would just say that losing my virginity was one of the most influential moments of my adult life ... People say that you're more likely to be an alcoholic if you throw up your first time drinking — I think it's the same way with sex. If your first time is scary or remarkable in some way, you are more likely to have problems with your sexuality. I was so ready to be done with being a virgin, that I allowed him to do things that I CONVINCED myself felt good, but in retrospect it was a lot of pain, and I shouldn't have let him ... but that's just part of your first time.
I did it because I was ready to explore my sexuality. It wasn't an enjoyable time, but it was the best decision I could have made. It hurts, it's not pretty, and you have all these expectations you think you need to live up to — but it was worth it to then begin my foray into having sex and enjoying my body."
Images: Giphy (14); Universal Studios