When Americans First Learned About Sex, According To A Survey

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I was probably about 12 when I first learned about sex — well, kind of. The boy across the street from me informed my sister and I that sex was when a man put his penis in a woman and "shook it all around." When I shared this information with my mother, she cleared up a few things... but not really. And people wonder why there's such a need for comprehensive, inclusive sex education, sex positivity, and to close the orgasm gap.

According to a recent survey of 500 Americans and 500 Europeans aged 18 to 76, by online doctor, Zavamed, I was actually little on the older side when I first found out about sex. In the United States, most girls first learn about sex at age 10, while for boys it's 11 years old. In Europe, kids are even older, with girls first learning about it at 12 and boys first learning about it at 13.

But, of course, learning about sex for the very first time is just the beginning. Here are the average ages most people in Europe and the United States are when they experience other sex-related firsts, from masturbation to reaching third base, according to the survey.

1. Most People Learn About Masturbation For The First Time At 12

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According to the survey, 12 years old is the average age most people learn about masturbation. In the United States, it's this age for both boys and girls, and in Europe, it's this age for boys. Most European girls don't learn about it until they're 13.

2. Boys Try Masturbation Earlier Than Girls

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In a society that puts female pleasure second to male pleasure and where female masturbation is still far more taboo than male masturbation, it's no surprise that when boys first learn about masturbation, they turn right around and do it. In the States, boys learn about and try masturbation at 12. At 13, American girls and European boys experience their first foray into masturbation, while European girls don't give it a whirl until 14 years old.

3. American Boys Watch Porn For The First Time Before Anyone Else

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American boys are just 13 when they first watch porn, according to the survey. In comparison, European boys don't first watch it until they're 15. When it came to the first time porn was viewed by girls, both Americans and Europeans were 17.

4. 14 Years Old Is The Magic Age For The First Kiss

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Both boys and girls from both the States and Europe had their first kiss at 14 — as in first grown-up kiss, which I believe is still called the "French kiss" in some circles. Although something tells me tongue kissing was probably invented by the Ancient Romans. Now those people knew how to party, sexually speaking.

5. Americans Get To Second Base First

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When it comes to hitting the bases, Americans are a little ahead of Europeans. While both American boys and girls get to second base at an average age of 15, Europeans don't get there until they're 16.

6. Americans Also Get To Third Base Before Europeans

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Maybe it's because baseball is American and the whole "bases" metaphor is related to baseball, or just that Americans are quicker to run through the bases in order to get to home plate — whatever the reasoning, while Europeans are rounding second base at 16, Americans are rounding third base at the same age.

7. 17 Is The Average Age People Have Sex For The First Time

Ashley Batz for Bustle

For Americans and Europeans, 17 is the average age at which people have sex for the first time. As far as order goes within that 17-year-old bracket, American girls are first, followed by European boys, followed by American boys, with European girls coming in last on the list.

There is no right or wrong time to have your first kiss or have sex for the first time. As long as you're comfortable, ready, safe, and there's consent from both people involved, that's all that really matters — the first time, second time, and every time that follows.