Sexy Time: Cashing In Your V-Card

I was absolutely terrified to lose my virginity. I had built it up in my head to be a significant, life-altering step, one that would cement my status as a sexually desirable woman. It turned out to be a disorienting, uncomfortable, disgusting experience that shook my confidence for months. The guy and I were getting hot and heavy, clothes came off, and suddenly he was penetrating me. I went along with it for literally five seconds, and then I rolled off. That was not what I wanted.

There were so many unaddressed factors — he wasn’t wearing a condom, I wasn’t on birth control, I hadn’t exactly consented…it was atrocious. Naturally, I never spoke to that guy again, and quite fortunately, there weren’t any profound consequences. A few month later, I met a new boy and I decided to have sex with him. It was wonderful. Prior to him, with every single “first” experience with a guy was always somewhat traumatic after the fact. I would just feel so anxious, nauseated, and unable to sleep because I would be shaking so hard. This was completely different — I felt calm, content, not upset with myself, and actually excited about having sex again. I think that’s how everyone’s first (and second, and last) experience should be, and this is how I would go about making it happen.

1. Make sure you’re ready.

It’s one thing to be nervous — you’re trying something new, it’s natural. But if you have profound, stomach-turning doubts about being sexually active, don’t do it. If you’re not ready to deal with the possibility of sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy, or even just a flaky partner who stops speaking to you after the deed is done, you’re not ready. Everyone reaches the stage where they’re ready to have sex at different times. I didn’t have sex until I was 21 — not old by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely well after most of my friends had already started doing it. Ignore any pressure you may feel from your friends or anyone else. You’re the one who’s going to be living with the ramifications of your actions.
2. Practice safe sex.
Don’t be afraid to insist on using protection. Some people are completely responsible, and you won’t even have to be the one to bring it up, but some people are a little more…relaxed. Until you are in a monogamous relationship where both parties have been tested and have decided to go condomless.
3. Don’t worry about your inexperience.
If it would make you feel better, feel free to disclose it to your partner. Otherwise, just go with the flow. Enthusiasm, confidence, and a willingness to learn go a long way. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner what they want, and don’t be afraid to share what you want. If you’re with someone of quality, it won’t be too awkward.
4. Prepare your body.
5. Get on top.
One of the best ways to get comfortable in any new situation is to take control. If you’re on top, you control the speed and depth, and it will be easier for you to stop if it gets too painful.
6. Don’t expect to orgasm.
It’s just unlikely to happen. Sex can be overwhelming, and your nerves may get in the way.┬áMaybe the first time will utterly suck just because it wasn’t at all like your imagination. Usually there’s nowhere to go but up.
It’s totally normal to feel a little bit melancholy or just…off after you do it. Cuddle with your partner if you’re up to it, or just go be by yourself. Having sex in and of itself is not a huge deal, but our society attaches so much baggage to virginity that you feel a little bit strange or hollow when you no longer identify as one. Remember that you are still the same person you were prior to having sex, that you are not at all slutty or immoral, and that you are worthy of having sex with again. Those are all things I struggled with after my lame first time. Sex is supposed to be fun, energizing, and exciting, so don’t stress too much and enjoy the ride.


  1. Isabella says:

    Good article and sadly very true. My first time was with a random older guy I met a couple of times. There was no love: he was horny, I was eager to lose my virginity, we were both a little bit drunk…The day after was one of the most horrible in my life. I hated him, myself and what we did.
    Please don't do it my way!

  2. Claire says:

    Definitely a good article! I just had sex for the first time two days ago and I'm 22. I had thought I'd probably be in a relationship before I did but it ending up being with a friend of mine who I used to hook up with. It was a good experience because he was sweet and caring about how I was feeling but it did happen out of the blue because we hadn't been doing anything with each other for a long time. I definitely don't regret it but I definitely felt weird and upset the day after. I definitely think it's really important for people to remember that even though sex doesn't define you and it doesn't make you a different person that you might end up feeling a little depressed afterwards. I might not feel the way I do if I knew if the relationship with the guy I did it with were going anywhere or will remain just a friendship but emotions can be surprising especially if you are a bit older by the time you have sex for the first time. Also, the one thing that did help was knowing that I could talk to the guy I had sex with afterwards and get reassurance from him that everything is still good between us. So I think it's important to make sure to at least have sex for the first time with someone you trust and you feel you can talk to especially if you end up feeling a little down afterwards.

  3. Spiya says:

    I think we're definitely encouraged to put too much emphasis on virginity so lots of people build up the event into this life defining moment, and when it does finally happen there's just a massive sense of disappointment. I think you should take the same precautions as any other time you sleep with someone, and since you're going to be more vulnerable on your first time, take extra care that it's with someone who's going to be considerate (although it doesn't have to be the love of your life).

    My first time was just uneventful, 16 with my boyfriend at the time neither of us knew what we were doing – I think we were so busy worrying about what it should be like we didn't actually relax and enjoy it – practice made perfect. I guess that's an argument for having your first time in a relationship – so you actually have some one you feel comfortable with so you can actually keep doing it till it actually gets fun.

  4. […] • Taking a step back, here’s some stuff about losing your virginity. (College Candy) […]

  5. anonymous says:

    Great article i should have read this like 2 days ago =
    had sex for the first time bc he wanted too and i didnt wanna lose him =
    we broke up like 4 hrs after sex lovely

  6. Kadee says:

    This is a great article! It really helped put things in perspective.

    I graduated a month ago, and the night before all the families were pouring into town I found myself in bed with the guy I had been hooking up with on and off over the last semester. We had done a bit more than we had before and I was frightened that in my slightly drunken state and with the overbearing feeling of finality that comes with graduation I might do something I'd regret. I'm still a virgin and I'm glad nothing happened that night but I felt so scared that night of how I might feel physically and emotionally, during and after. I was also frightened of dealing with the consequences by myself (the guy and I will probably not see each other or talk for a while. At least he had the decency to wish me happy birthday) in the middle of family and graduation mayhem.
    I'm 22 and frightened of being a virgin in the "real world" but I'm glad I waited. I can't imagine feeling weird all alone about losing my virginity (don't get me wrong I don't think it should be a big deal but I know myself) for the three months before I start grad school. Distressing thoughts are not good summer companions!

  7. Florida says:

    I have to agree, great article… I'm 21 and I'm still a virgin but I struggle with cuz lets face it a girl has needs. I do know how I am and I know just giving it up and not being mentally ready would be worse though. I'm glad to hear when people (male or female) do wait. I was a mess in high school and to toss in the confusion of sex would have been terrible… not for everyone but me personally. I don't know if I'm waiting till marriage or Mr. Right… I just know I don't want Mr. Right-Now-Drunk-2am-Friday-Night lol I know it doesn't change who you are but everyone feels different afterwards… I just don't want to vulnerable with a guy that I possible barely know or aren't in a relationship. But thats just me.

  8. gwendolynelliott says:

    i was always unsure of what to do when it came to eye contact. i still sort of am but i think if you can make prolonged eye contact its one sign of readiness.

    Best advice BOTTOM LINE: if you're unsure, just wait. I have yet to meet anyone who was disappointed by waiting, yet I know TONS of people who were upset they did it early.

  9. Nic says:

    Great article. I had sex for the first time with my boyfriend of 2 years after dating for a month. It was his first time too, and although we didn't go far because of inexperience, it was still a great overall experience.

    I'm glad I waited. I had opportunities before with other guys, and even considered it with an ex, but the moment he mentioned "it doesn't matter if we have sex or not" I decided against it. I probably would've regretted it than and been unsatisfied if I did go along with it.

  10. Therese says:

    Thanks for the article. We can't have too many first person stories like this to normalize something that gets blown all out of proportion.

    If you're interested in reading more like this, from people who have had sex or are waiting, please check out our blog The American Virgin. It's the companion to a documentary we're now finishing up about our strange American virginity culture.

    We're at or on tumbr at And we welcome your contributions to our First Person series!

    Thanks for reading!

  11. Alessandra says:

    Good article :)

    I'm a virgin at the age of 19 and I don't mind that one bit. I'm in university, where it seems like everyone is having sex (or something of the sort) but I know that's not true. Many of my friends are like me, and they are fully committed to waiting until marriage. I'm not sure when I will have sex for the first time, but I know that it will have to be with a guy I love deeply. I refuse to sleep with someone who is drunk and is looking for a late night booty call. I would be disrespecting myself.

  12. Lauren says:

    A really great article! This will probably sound nuts but…I’m 26 and still a virgin. I’ve been intimate with a few guys but never felt ready to have sex. Maybe it’s my hormones but lately I’ve been giving it a lot and have been thinking about if I should still wait. I know what my body wants…but I’m still unsure. Lets face it – having to “date yourself” (lol!) just gets old after a while. I’m a woman and I have needs! It’s natural and human to want sex but then emotions and thought rear their ugly head. I’ve been saving myself for marriage but I thought I’d be married by now. Sex is something fun, normal and human. It should be enjoyable and not something you’re scared of. If you are, then you need to wait. If you’re like me and not scared, the choice is yours. Sex can’t change who you are as a person. You’re still you and no one or nothing can change it.

  13. Beautiful-malenge says:

    I'm 21, almost 22 and it never felt right doing it with just anyone. I am also a Christian and I try to please God with my actions. It's not easy staying true to your principles in this day and age but I am glad I waited. I never thought I'd fall in love, the real kind of love until I was at least In my late twenties or early thirties, but I have. It's when you meet someone who really cares about you that you will be proud of having waited. I have the best boyfriend. He is not a virgin himself, and he thinks having sex will change the dynamics of our relationship.I however feel excited by the thought of it and that he is in my life, but on the other side, I'm not sure I can compromise my beliefs. I wish I was still a little girl playing with dolls, climbing trees and coloring in my colouring books. To anyone facing a dilemma similar to mine, I will not judge- just remember to be responsible in whatever you decide to do and that only YOU will live with the consequences of your actions.

  14. KateV says:

    This article was truly an eye-opener. I’m 17 years old and are a virgin. I’ve got friends that are already sexually active and I’ve just got that curiosity thing about how one’s first experience is like. I’ve got a very close friend of mine(a guy) who is rather experienced and has offered to “guide” me through it. I know its bound to happen someday and I feel like I’m ready but I want to know almost eveything before I actually get to it. I appreciate this article though because somehow I feel a lot better.

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