Sex + Love

Losing It

Tips, warnings, and corroboration for the first time you have sex—however you define it.

Illustration by Sonja

You could ask a million different people about what happened when they lost their virginity, and you’d probably get a million different answers. At the most basic level, losing your virginity could be defined as “having sex for the first time.” Even this definition isn’t that helpful though, because there are tons of different ways to have sex, and not everyone can engage in all of them. Sure, your first time might include penis-in-vagina intercourse, but does that mean gay girls and boys never lose their virginity? Do bisexuals lose it twice? How can you lose something that isn’t even tangible? Where does it go? And why do we call doing something new “losing,” anyway?

What “counts” as losing your virginity?

To avoid having to answer a million questions, I prefer to regard “losing your virginity” as a choose-your-own-adventure. Oral, anal, vaginal, manual, sex toy, something else? YOU PICK! When it comes to identifying as a virgin, only you can decide what “counts.” Maybe you “lost your virginity” the first time you gave oral to your girlfriend. Maybe you it was the first time your boyfriend fingered you. Maybe it was your first-time P in V. There is no wrong way to decide when you’ve lost your virginity. It is an intangible characteristic that only you get to choose whether or not you identify with.

That said, maybe you think the whole concept of virginity is stupid. Who’s to say that you ever had one in the first place? Who’s to say that you lost anything when you had sex for the first time? I prefer to think of first-time sexual encounters as gaining a new experience, not losing something. Instead of thinking of things in terms of virginity, feel free to tell someone that you gave oral sex for the first time, or that you haven’t tried vaginal intercourse yet. There is no wrong way to talk about first-time sexual encounters, and anyone who tells you otherwise is likely just as clueless as the rest of us.

Opinions from strangers:

“Sex is whatever feels like sex to the person doing/receiving.” —Amber

“My first connotation when I hear ‘sex’ is definitely boy-and-girl, penis inside the vagina. I know that we qualify other intimate acts as ‘sex’ and I don’t find those less sexual; I just kind of put those in another category in my head.” —Caroline, 21

“I don’t want to use PIV as a definition, because that excludes my queer friends who choose not to have that experience. I suppose it’s a threshold that you define for yourself, and I doubt it’s possible to provide a definition that covers everybody fairly.” —R., 18

“For me, virginity is an irrelevant social construct that really has no inherent meaning or value.” —Wilma

“Losing my lezzo-virginity was about as insignificant as my first go at P-in-the-V sex, but it was way more fun. Losing my one-night-stand virginity sort of left a bad taste in my mouth.” —Alyssa, 21

How do you know when you’re ready to “have sex” for the first time?

However you define sex, you will want to make some kind of decision before you have it for the first time. Every person is different, and only you can decide if you are prepared to try it. Deciding if you are ready for sex is a decision you make alone first, and with a partner second. This is a great time to be selfish! Here are some questions to think about individually:

  • Do I want to have sex? (If you don’t, don’t!)
  • Do I feel safe with the person I want to have sex with? (Sex is supposed to be a positive experience. If you feel threatened, pressured, or otherwise unsafe around the person you are thinking about sleeping with, you probably should hold off.)

After you’ve decided that you as an individual want to have sex, you should talk to your partner. Ask questions like:

  • Do we both want sex? (Just because one person wants sex doesn’t mean the other person is ready yet.)
  • Can we talk about, access, and use protection properly? (If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your partner about things like birth control and STD/STI protection, then you aren’t ready to have sex. If you can’t get protection for any reason, you should wait until you can.)
  • Are we prepared to deal with something like an STI or a pregnancy? (This doesn’t mean that you have to raise a baby together, but it does mean you should have a plan in place in the event that something doesn’t go according to plan. Be aware of things like emergency contraception, free clinics, adoption, abortion, etc.)

Being “ready” for sex is kind of a weird concept to impose on somebody, because you can never really know if you were prepared for an experience until after it happens. You might never be 100% sure that you are ready for sex until after the deed has been done. This is OK! Part of being a human is making choices and evaluating how those choices worked out. If you choose to have sex and you regret it afterward, that’s OK. You can try again later! Having sex does not make you a bad person. After you have sex for the first time, you can always choose to wait until you have sex again.

Anecdotes from strangers:

“Sex was very new and scary to me, but hearing him calmly ask me what I was ready to do, and hearing how he was willing to wait when I said no, made me feel calmer.” —Nina

“I wasn’t ready. It just kind of happened. I think it is important for girls to know that ‘being ready’ is a good idea in theory, but in the heat of the moment, when endorphins are flowing, sometimes you just want to push your boundaries. AND IT IS OK. Doing it before you’re truly ready doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t spoil sex in the future…it’s simply a life experience, one of many, that shapes who you are.” —Meaghan, 26

“Can you please plug Scarleteen in this piece? I honestly think that’s all anyone ever needs. Link them to the Sex Readiness Checklist.” —Tracey, 20

Will having sex change me?

Having sex may or may not change the way you think about things. Some people find their first sexual experiences empowering. Some leave their first bone thinking, Hey, I’d like to do that again. Other people remember their first sexual encounter as a disappointment, or worse. Sex might change your perspective on things like yourself, your body, or your relationship, but it does not alter the content of your character. If you were a good person before you tried sex, you are going to be a good person after.

Will having sex change the way people think about me?

Maybe. Whether or not it is fair, sex is more than just a physical act in our culture. This is why we have names like slut and stud for people who have sex. Some people look unfavorably on people, especially girls and women, who have sex before marriage. Or have sex with more than one partner. Or have sex casually. Or have sex at all! People might think you are “easy” or “free-spirited” if they find out you’ve had sex. These people are stupid, and are intimidated by your ability to make your own choices in life. If someone talks shit about the choices you’ve made, ignore them. Or tell them to fuck off. If they harass you, go to an adult you can trust. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about choices you made because you were curious/horny/in charge.

Will having sex change my relationship?

In some ways, yes. Probably. Lots of people have sex as a new way of exploring the intimacy they’ve created with their partner. After you have sex, you might feel closer. Or you might realize that you never liked them as much as you thought you did. Or you might feel the same way about them as you did before. Sex has the potential to add a new dimension to a relationship, but it doesn’t always. What sex cannot ever do is save a relationship. If someone is going to leave you because you won’t have sex with them, they’ll leave you for another reason eventually. Don’t have sex because you think it will change your relationship; but when you do have sex, be open to exploring the new feelings that it brings—good and bad.

Anecdotes from strangers:

“I expected to feel closer to this person than anyone else, and I did.” —Erin, 33

“I thought I’d orgasm, I thought my vag would bleed, I thought I’d regret it, I thought people would be able to know somehow, I thought I would become more emotionally attached to that boyfriend, I thought I would be able to know how to do all sorts of crazy sex moves, I thought it would feel significantly different from other sex acts. None of those things happened.” —Alyssa, 21

Does having sex for the first time hurt?

For some girls, first-time vaginal intercourse does hurt. The hymen is a thin membrane that covers your vaginal opening. It can tear during lots of nonsexual activities, like bike riding. If your hymen was torn before you had sex (this is normal), sex probably won’t hurt. If it hasn’t torn (this is normal too), sex will hurt a little (not enough that it should scare you away!) and you might bleed a little (less than your period). If you bleed a ton after having sex for the first time, or experience intense pain during sex, you should go see a doctor! There are lots of treatable reasons this might happen.

Anecdote from a stranger:

“There were two things I expected: pain and blood. And those criteria were certainly met. Although there was less blood than I had expected, which was a relief. It wasn’t until later that sex seemed in any way pleasurable.” —Lucia, 24

What should I expect from sex?

Like with any new adventure, be open-minded about your expectations. Don’t expect candles and rose petals and let’s-get-it-on music and fireworks and butterflies. These things might be present (you can always bring them…), but it is more important that you focus your expectations on feeling comfortable with your partner(s) (hey, who knows?) and enjoying yourself. First time sex (and second-, third-, fourth-time sex) can be awkward. Sex is messier and sillier than it looks in movies (or porn). Go into your first sexual experience ready to try new things and laugh.

Anecdotes from strangers:

“I used to think I cared about sex being romantic, that my first time would involve candles and rose petals or whatever. But upon losing my virginity I realized that that stuff really doesn’t matter at all—it’s all about feeling comfortable with the person you are with. That makes a world of difference.” —Jo, 20

“Bodies are gross and make weird noises but it’s OK, and boys without crazy porno expectations don’t mind!” —R., 18

“Being able to laugh during is helpful. Too serious, and we probably would have gone to bed mad.” —Erin, 33

“I had a feeling similar to ‘let’s get this over with,’ but also excitement and nervousness. So, kind of what I would imagine waiting to get a medical exam on a roller coaster would feel like.” —Amy

Any tips?

You will learn how to make sex with your partner work by practicing and by talking about what each of you like. Sex is personal. That said, here are some general tips to make first-times go more smoothly:

“Foreplay, lube, communication.” —Amber

“No matter how platonic you are, you need some kind of attraction in order for sex to work, and if that attraction is encouraged with sex, it’s hard to go back to where you were before in terms of friendship.” —Francisco, 20

“If it hurts, say something!” —R, 18

What if it sucks?

If your first time sucks, don’t fret. You have your whole life to get better at sex. If the experience falls short of your expectations, you can be disappointed, but get over it. It is just sex. You are still a rad person. Second (third, fourth, hundredth) chances are a real thing.

Anecdote from a stranger:

“Sex can be boring. People neglected to tell me this. As a young virgin boy, I assumed that getting off always equaled to having fun, but it can actually be an ordeal for a large number of reasons. Body parts can hurt, people can be in a bad moods, the temperature may be too cold or too hot, lubricant may be itchy or sticky, you may discover you’re allergic to latex (cough), you may have a lazy partner who turns sex into a mechanical ordeal, etc. Like, people, listen, IT CAN BE BORING. I don’t mean to say it’s overrated, but it is definitely overhyped.” —Francisco

So, to boil it down, if you decide you want to have sex:

1. Think about it first.
2. Choose a partner who respects you.
3. Talk about it with said partner.
4. USE PROTECTION.
5. Relax!!!
6. Enjoy yourself.
7. Do it again.

73 Comments

  • KinuKinu April 12th, 2012 3:30 PM

    WOW!!! I feel so educated. I am so scared of having sex it’s unbelievable. In my head,I always think it’s gonna be some big disaster or that the guy I choose won’t be the right one, or the worst….my dad won’t like him. I mean,yeah,it’s my choice, but I’m positive he will disapprove of every guy I ever date. I just can’t imagine him liking ANY guy I will be interested in. My dad’s like every other dad in the universe, in other words. I’m first-born so it’s gonna be even worse.

    • chawi April 14th, 2012 7:03 PM

      I totally agree with the dad comment…it’s terrifying to think he won’t like the boy in question!

  • chilljill47 April 12th, 2012 3:43 PM

    THIS IS WONDERFUL

  • SparklyVulcan April 12th, 2012 3:45 PM

    “People might think you are “easy” or “free-spirited” if they find out you’ve had sex. These people are stupid, and are intimidated by your ability to make your own choices in life. ”
    ^^^ So true. :P People are so stupid. (and this is coming from someone who hasn’t had sex yet.) Even people like my boyfriend are like “oh she’s known as a ENTER DEROGATORY WORD HERE” but then I ask him about the male involved in the fling and he has no issues with it. :-| Luckily my boyfriend takes me seriously when I tell him off for stuff like that and admits he was wrong and listens to me.

  • Abby April 12th, 2012 3:48 PM

    I loved this. It was so nice and educational and funny. I’m a virgin…(well I guess I should explain what I mean… NO sexual touching with another person ever), and I’m sort of scared for whenever my first time comes… probably it will be in college, but who knows? But this definitely helped. Thank you.

    • Kathryn April 12th, 2012 10:57 PM

      Same here! And they say not to worry about the pain but I am totally worried about the pain… I have always been terrified of the pain of having sex and going through labor ever since I found out that they were going to hurt.

      • Anaheed April 12th, 2012 11:18 PM

        Labor is usually really painful. First-time vaginal intercourse hurts for a couple of seconds, but not very much, usually. Like when you fall down and skin your knee. It’s not so scary.

        • midwesternlove May 6th, 2012 1:10 AM

          This isn’t necessarily true. The first time I had PIV sex, I didn’t experience any pain or any bleeding at all. Additionally, I know people that have gone periods without having sex, and experienced pain and bleeding as if they were a “virgin.” I highly suggest you watch this video about the hymen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qFojO8WkpA&feature=player_embedded

  • isabellehungryghost April 12th, 2012 3:49 PM

    ahahaha! do it again. :D
    well, i hope i will have one day a boy that loves my enough to go through this with me.

    http://therestlesswillstay.tumblr.com/

  • SweetThangVintage April 12th, 2012 3:52 PM

    The main reason I’m scared of sex is because I’m really ticklish. LIKE REALLY TICKLISH! My best friend is always saying “How are you even going to have sex?” when I yell at her for touching me because I’m ticklish.
    haha I’m sure I can work through it…

    • Arden April 12th, 2012 4:17 PM

      I am THE MOST TICKLISH PERSON ALIVE. And I was always really afraid of this interfering with my sex life. Honestly, it did a bit. I would laugh constantly whenever my boyfriend slid his hands over my breasts or stomach, and yeah, he would get annoyed. But you don’t have to worry, after time (and lots of practice!) I learned how to control it and trick myself into thinking it felt good, and not ticklish. Good luck to you!

    • missblack April 12th, 2012 5:37 PM

      hahahaha AGREE. I am so ticklish. Like, even if someone touches me on the leg or the shoulder….I’m definitely expecting future complications from this :D

      Little&Trivial

    • zoe-bop April 12th, 2012 7:36 PM

      omg my friends say the same thing!

    • SparklyVulcan April 12th, 2012 9:28 PM

      Me too!! Even just making out my boyfriend tickles me all the time. :D I’ll start laughing and he’ll look at me and ask me what’s wrong and I’ll just say “…you tickled me!!” :) He makes fun of me (in a totally loving way.) for it all the time. :D

      • SweetThangVintage April 12th, 2012 11:44 PM

        YES! I’m not alone! ^^^ I DON’T have to be a nun!

  • suzabel April 12th, 2012 3:56 PM

    I recently had PIV sex for the first time. There seems to be an obsession with LOSING your virginity — at least among the girls I know. I was the first one of my friends to lose it in the traditional way. But this article is so cool.

    I totally agree. The first time you have sex in whatever way you define sex, should be about GAINING not LOSING. I love this idea. Like, the whole stigma and controversy and pressures put on girls (and GUYS!) can totally be seen in just the way we describe the first time someone has sex. Losing your virginity.

    I knew I was ready for sex the first time, it was great and we were safe but this article has really shed light on the way I’ll think about sex and this intangible concept of virginity. This is awesome.

    THANKS!

  • whodatgal April 12th, 2012 3:57 PM

    The whole V ripping thing and blood scares me! :/

    • KinuKinu April 12th, 2012 4:05 PM

      I’m with you to to millionth power

      • Lurkingshadows April 12th, 2012 6:46 PM

        Agreed. Aside from being completely not ready for sex any time soon, ive always been really afraid of both of those happening and it hurting in general. This is a very comforting article

    • Claire April 12th, 2012 6:25 PM

      Have you read The Bell Jar? For some reason, the way Sylvia Plath describes this process makes it less traumatizing in a way…that sounds weird, haha, but it’s a memorable part of the book.

    • mdemariah April 12th, 2012 6:38 PM

      Don’t be scared! I am a huge hemophobic (scared of blood) and I tend to pass out when I see blood, but luckily, no blood was involved during my first time! So you may be lucky too, I have friends who haven’t experienced any blood or any pain during their first time!

      It hurts a little, but if you’re with someone that you love, or at least, that you feel comfortable with and that you can confide in, then tell that person to go slower, or to stop, and try a little after. You hear no ripping, it doesn’t hurt an awful lot, it’s just something you might not be comfortable with, but in a couple of minutes, the pain will be gone, and everything will be over! (For me, at least, was a kind of “let’s get this over with!”)

      I think that, after doing it a hundred times more, like I now have (I lost it last year or so), and with the same person, actually, you start understanding why sex is so amazing and unique, so don’t be afraid! :)

      • midwesternlove May 6th, 2012 1:15 AM

        You shouldn’t have sex with someone that you don’t feel comfortable telling to slow down or to stop. Having sex with someone that you feel uncomfortable communicating with during sex is really dangerous and can lead to sexual assault and/or rape. Not only is sex without communication dangerous, but usually, it isn’t fun! Your partner NEEDS to know what you like/don’t like, and you need to know the same of them. We’re not psychic. How can we expect to have a pleasant sexual experience if we’re just guessing the whole time? Talk to your partner and have an open dialogue. Tell them what feels good, what doesn’t, and ask them to tell you.

  • decemberbaby April 12th, 2012 4:02 PM

    I knew this article was coming. Very comforting and helpful. Thanks!

    Also, I love, love, love Sonja’s illustration!! It took me several minutes to notice that it isn’t a photograph.

  • Ruby B. April 12th, 2012 4:15 PM

    Isn’t Rookie just so great?

  • zimmawoman April 12th, 2012 4:22 PM

    Such an awesome post. I had a good first experience but even reading this beforehand would have helped a ton with my anxiety. You guys are amazing!

  • suburban grrrl April 12th, 2012 4:28 PM

    In the words of Pulp:

    “Do you remember the first time?/I can’t remember a worse time/Oh but you know that we’ve changed so much since then/Oh yeah, we’ve grown”

    http://sub-urbangrrrl.blogspot.com

    • taste test April 12th, 2012 11:46 PM

      well quoted, my friend, well quoted. now that’ll be stuck in my head the rest of the night. not that that’s bad.

  • ellice April 12th, 2012 4:33 PM

    This article is a great resource. ANOTHER great resource for folks to know about is the forthcoming documentary HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY, directed by Therese Shechter (also the mind behind I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST). Interested in hearing real people’s stories and feelings about first times like the ones quoted above? See the first-person curated series, trailer, and more on the film’s blog at: http://www.virginitymovie.com/. Pssss: look out for renown rookie mag contributor Sady Doyle’s appearance!

  • Fortune_Goddess April 12th, 2012 4:36 PM

    Can you break your hymen by getting fingered?

    • Claire April 12th, 2012 6:23 PM

      Yes, but it’s not a 100% guarantee. Everyone is different.

  • Ludo April 12th, 2012 4:41 PM

    Wow, I really wish my school’s health class could have been this honest and straight forward about sex. It would have saved me a lot of confusion in the long run. I also like that this article stresses to use protection. I would love to see Rookie do an article about STI’s, pregnancy, condoms, birth control and other contraceptives.

    http://skeletons-on-parade.blogspot.ca/

    • mdemariah April 12th, 2012 6:39 PM

      I think that article idea would be awesome too! :)

    • misshopejuly April 12th, 2012 9:20 PM

      Yes! I totally agree!

  • Myfriendgoo17 April 12th, 2012 6:17 PM

    this is CRAZY this comes out the day after I lose my virginity…

  • Claire April 12th, 2012 6:22 PM

    This piece probably teaches more about the subject that any health class ever has, which is really kind of depressing. Scarleteen is an awesome resource as well; thanks for including it.

  • Claire April 12th, 2012 6:27 PM

    P.S. I like the picture used for this article – is that the “cherry bomb” from The Runaways?

  • WitchesRave April 12th, 2012 6:34 PM

    “These people are stupid, and are intimidated by your ability to make your own choices in life. If someone talks shit about the choices you’ve made, ignore them. Or tell them to fuck off. If they harass you, go to an adult you can trust. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about choices you made because you were curious/horny/in charge.”

    Why i love this site :D

  • MissGorgeous April 12th, 2012 7:12 PM

    What is “foreplay” and “lube”? :P I’m very uneducated in this topic, I know… :)

    • Jamie April 14th, 2012 10:10 AM

      foreplay is when you do other stuff like kissing and touching before have sex. it makes everyone more relaxed and makes your body more ready to have sex.

      lube is kinda like lotion, but for sex. it is a (usually) clear liquid you can buy in the drugstore that you put on your hand or your butt or your vagina to make penis or fingers or sex toys slide more smoothly. it makes penetration a lot easier and better for a lot of people

      hope that helps! :)

  • grungelove April 12th, 2012 7:15 PM

    omg i feel so much better about..everything..thank you!

  • lilghostie April 12th, 2012 7:35 PM

    this article makes me smile. before i had sex i was terrified!! beyond terrified! but i wanted to do it so badly! mostly to get it over with and because all of my friends had (bad reason!!) but it was really nice. we had just started dating and lost our virginitys to each other in his bunk bed. it was awkward and neither of us knew what we were doing. we just kept trying over and over til we got it right. it didn’t feel good but there was something so innocent and sweet about the moment that i know i’ll never have again. i know that most first times are awful but i am truly happy with mine. i’m glad i lost it to the person i did. he was such a good high school boyfriend.

  • Pocket Cow April 12th, 2012 8:11 PM

    I feel like I’m one of very few girls who don’t regret their first time. My first time was AWESOME, but maybe that’s just because the person it was with was (is) AWESOME, and equally inexperienced. But GOD did it ever hurt.

  • lorobird April 12th, 2012 8:20 PM

    Wonderful Rookie! I wish you had existed when I was a teen :) . This article would have made the road less bumpy, methinks.

    And another idea for a post could be consent, and negotiation in a relationship, maybe?

  • Pikaa April 12th, 2012 8:33 PM

    Very nice article, funny and ACCURATE.

    “Bodies are gross and make weird noises but it’s OK, and boys without crazy porno expectations don’t mind!” —R., 1

    I can’t tell you how much I laughed and nodded along with that one. I’m not a stranger to sex but I’m STILL not 100% sure what I’m doing. It’s just a weird ol’ thing.

  • Adrienne April 12th, 2012 8:41 PM

    This is exactly what I need! Even though I’m planning not to have sex until after a few years, this article is extremely helpful. I’m a subscriber to Seventeen magazine, and even though they address sex sometimes in their issues, I feel like they aren’t as relatable or clear or helpful as this! Thanks so much Jamie!

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • Yellie April 12th, 2012 9:12 PM

    I totally respect everybody else’s feelings but i’m so sick of hearing about sex ARRRG It’s EVERYWHERE and i just don’t really care that much.
    Besides that, this was a pretty chill article though, thumbs up.

  • misshopejuly April 12th, 2012 9:13 PM

    I was one of those first-time horror stories and I’m happy to admit that I have a normal, wonderful sex life now. :)
    I had sex for the first time when I probably wasn’t entirely ready, and the worst thing was that I had no one to talk about it with. I was with a guy who was completely inconsiderate of my feelings and this situation. So basically we went into his basement, and I laid on his cat pee soaked rug while he flopped around on top of me. We were in a relationship so this happened almost everytime we were together. No, not once did I enjoy myself or the time that was spent having sex. I would later find out that I was pretty much a tool he used to lose his virginity and would later cheat on me. I had no self-worth at this time in my life and eventually the bitterness would turn me into a sex negative person. Luckily I found someone else wonderful who turned this all around and is willing to be honest with me. He cares about how I’m doing when we’re doing it which was really confusing to me at first. If you have bad sex your first time, don’t sweat it because it will get better. The piece of advice that I have is, wait to experience your first time with someone who cares. Speaking personally, I was extremely fragile and I needed someone who could understand that. The more sexual experience you get, the less you’ll probably need that. I sometimes regret not waiting to have sex until I met someone who cared about me more. Happily now though, I have sex with a wonderful sex positive boy who cares about me and my orgasm.

  • MissKnowItAll April 12th, 2012 9:33 PM

    This is excellent but I have a few questions.
    How do you know when your hymen breaks? Does masturbating make it break?

  • yourenotfunny April 12th, 2012 9:42 PM

    I remember this one girl I hung out with a little was like “you’re the coolest virgin I know!” uhm, okay :T I’ve been thinking for a while that the concept of virginity is kind of bs when you really think about it, I’m glad the article addresses this instead of acting like “losing it” is some kind of universal right of passage, or abandonment of innocence or whatever.

  • nifty April 12th, 2012 10:30 PM

    man, i think rookie can read my mind! right after i had my first fight with my best friend, that article on friend breakups popped up, and now this after hearing other girls’ sex stories all day. i’m very sex-positive, but it’s humiliating to feel like a pathetic, defective virgin because you’re 16 and still haven’t slept with anyone yet! rookie, you are like the friend/older sister/health teacher i never had. your articles hug my brain.

  • Tweed_Cat April 12th, 2012 10:58 PM

    I had the best experience:). Girls if you plan on having sex with someone, do it with a guy who respects you and cares about you, not some low life guy. The 1st time you have sex will be awkward but it should fade away. My first time wasn’t at all romantic, but it was meaningful. Before having sex, I was traumatized at the fact that I might bleed all over him, and one VERRY important thing to have is communication between you to, I shared with him my worries, and he totally understood. Fortunately I did not bleed but it was painful. Don’t be worried about the way you look in bed, all those movies,tv,porn over sell sex. Those people on tv aren’t even human. Don’t stress, if its the right guy, he won’t care if you have a tummy, he’ll just want to have a good time. Good luck to everyone, and Always always use a condom!!!

  • Zoe with two dots April 12th, 2012 11:07 PM

    General consensus among people at school is that I must be frigid, because I’m the straight-A former principal’s daughter. Some guy said to me at school, ‘You’re a virgin, I can tell’, to which I replied ‘virginity is merely a heteronormative concept imposed by the patriarchy to oppress women’ and he said ‘wtf?’ and left me alone.
    Since then, I actually have lost my virginity though. Not to my boyfriend, but to my male best friend. It was…well. It was rather painful and VERY awkward, but we could laugh throughout it, and both agreed that post-sex naked cuddling was more fun.

  • Mags April 12th, 2012 11:18 PM

    I was TERRIFIED of having sex, and then one day it didn’t seem so scary anymore. It was almost like a switch went off and I suddenly felt ready to have sex. My first time was very painful in the beginning and then about halfway through to the end it was great :) I’m so glad I waited until I was ready. It was a good experience. It wasn’t super romantic (no candles), but it was lots of fun.

  • ann ann ann April 13th, 2012 1:35 AM

    For those of you who are afraid of possible pain the first time you have sex, I HIGHLY recommend you read the following article. It should clear up a few myths about the hymen and pain/blood during intercourse:

    http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/my_corona_the_anatomy_formerly_known_as_the_hymen_the_myths_that_surround_it

  • lelelikeukulele April 13th, 2012 3:47 AM

    I wish I had read this article about six months ago! My then-boyfriend and I (both fairly inexperienced) attempted to have sex for the first time back in October….and by attempted I mean that he put the condom on before he was…ahem…ready…and as a result, there was not a lot of “PIV” before it…ended. Can I put it any more delicately than that? :)
    So anyway, neither of us really knew if it “counted” as sex or losing it or THE FIRST TIME or whatnot, and eventually we decided it didn’t, mostly because we thought we were going to get another chance to try again. We were dating long distance, so I went and got on birth control a while before I was scheduled to fly out and visit him at school, where I think it was supposed to HAPPEN. Unfortunately he broke up with me a week before the visit, and even though I went anyway, sex was obviously off the table. But I decided that our not-quite-sex did count as the first time, at least for me. Maybe it was awkward and funny and didn’t end up the way we expected or wanted, but it was really sweet, and…sincere, I guess? And despite our horrible/messy/ugly breakup, I still want (wanted?) him to be my first time. So I agree with this article, that YOU should get to define what that is.

    Oh and P.S. HAVE THE GUY WAIT TO PUT THE CONDOM ON. :D

  • Lemons April 13th, 2012 4:35 AM

    wow…. reading this makes me wish I was a teenager again. I’m only 21…but seriously, this right now, this moment right here discussing/dreaming/cursing/laughing/wondering about your first time….its precious. You guys are so lucky…

    My mum always drilled it into me that my first time should be with a serious boyfriend, and so I put off the advances of most men/boys. I never thought it would feel right with anyone ever!….but one summer, in the middle of a foreign place I met the most beautiful and amazing boy I had ever seen…that night it felt right…..and for the rest of the summer. I never looked back. Trust your gut and love the moment……..
    Being a teenager is one of the best times in life! xx

  • coolschmool April 13th, 2012 5:38 AM

    “Bodies are gross and make weird noises” TAKE NOTE EVERYONE

  • aminwonderland April 13th, 2012 8:59 AM

    Gooood piece. If I may, I would like to contribute with a little something that in my experience would’ve been useful to know about: in order to mitigate first-time PIV and hymen-breaking pain (just to be safe, cause you may not experience it at all), the key words are trying to RELAX (can’t stress this enough, you need to avoid stressing because no matter what your partner tries you won’t be able to enjoy yourself, which leads to you not lubricating enough or at all, which that my friends is a bitch and in my experience n°1 causing pain..so, relax and even maybe having some lubricant at hand just in case); another must item is to experience it with some one you trust and can talk to, it doesn’t have to be a lover, it may as well be a really good friend, someone who cares and you trust so you can relax in his presence; and last but not least, you know what helps a lot? if you masturbate with your fingers/ if you and your partner experiment with fingering, because it’s all about getting comfortable with the feeling so you can relax and enjoy yourself instead of over thinking how awkard it might make you feel (also see a lot of foreplay time).
    And if at some point you’re getting a bit stressed cause you can’t avoid beeing nervous, I highly recommend to shut that over thinking head of yours by enjoying your partner, focusing in their pleasure, cause having yourself being able to make your partner get pleasure from you is gonna blow your mind.
    Hope this piece of advice helps.
    ♥ rookie

  • pleasedontaskmyname April 13th, 2012 1:50 PM

    Oh man! This made my day! I think I might even pass this along to my 13 year old niece! (I think she’s young… but I definitely had classmates who lost their virginity at that age!) Thank you for being so honest… It’s a refreshing and welcome change!

  • chicanery April 13th, 2012 8:03 PM

    The hymen doesn’t really cover the vaginal opening (it can, but it’s really rare, it usually only surrounds it like a sort of wreath) and it’s not supposed to tear. It can be injured, like any other body part, but you don’t need to break it to have PIV sex. It just sort of widens/stretches (which might hurt too, but isn’t as scary as actually having a bodypart be torn apart!).

  • violetlilies April 16th, 2012 4:58 PM

    god this scares me so much! everyone at school is so into it right know and everyones like omg have you already? wow thats so cool! but i dont think its cool seeing as ive only just turned 14 and there are lots of people in my class still younger than that. am i just being weird to not want sex until im done with my a levels (at18/19) or is everyone just gonna think im a complete prude?

    • midwesternlove May 6th, 2012 1:08 AM

      the concept of “prude-ness” is totally sex shaming. Listen to your own question… “Should I have sex so that people don’t think I’m a prude?” The answer is no. You should have sex because you want to, whether it’s with someone you love or someone you just met. Calling people prude is just as harmful as calling someone a “slut” as an insult. So basically, don’t worry and just do what you want to.

  • Roxxxanne April 16th, 2012 11:07 PM

    Sex!

  • insteadofanelephant April 17th, 2012 12:01 AM

    these stories are seriously amazing. i wish rookie had been around for me in high school!

    instead of an elephant

  • PacificOcean April 18th, 2012 6:34 AM

    I think it’s really important for women to educate themselves about what used to be known as the ‘hymen.’ Now dubbed by Swedish scientists as the vaginal corona.

    It is a PERMANENT part of the body that does not break but is an elastic folding of tissue.

    Ideas of breaking, popping and ‘reconstruction’ come from thousands of years of myth mongering.

    If you bleed during a physical activity it indicates just that: bleeding. And it can happen any time in life. 9/10 it shows that someone isn’t aroused or there’s a problem.

    And it’s your cue to stop. Just as you would if you bled during a meal.

    Jezabel covered the story here: http://jezebel.com/vaginalcorona

  • Cukiernica April 22nd, 2012 1:11 PM

    So, I always thought that during my first time I’ll do everything wrong and everytime I’m thinking of this it’s like ‘what should I do? I’ll be terrible in THIS!’
    But, after reading this, I’m more like ‘hey! my partner’s first was same thing, right?’

  • Jen May 7th, 2012 8:34 PM

    oh, wow… this brings back so many memories! my first time was the summer after junior year in high school, I was 17. (I’m 33 now) and it was scary, awesome, nerve-wracking, exciting – all of the above. The memories that stick out the most? It was in his bedroom, on his waterbed (complete with black satin-y sheets!) and his parents weren’t home. The Crow Sountrack and Type O Negative provided the background music on his CD player. It hurt a little at first, and afterward, just the tiniest bit of my blood left a mark on his skin. It wasn’t gross – like I said, it was a tiny amount. He said that it looked like a birthmark. :) I remember the tattoos on his arms, his long-ish blonde hair on my bare skin, and the mischievious yet playful look in his eyes. And even now, after 16 years, I still remember my Scotty. And I always will. Thank you, Rookie for bringing me back to that moment.

  • sunshinette May 12th, 2012 7:10 PM

    I agree with everything, except, it did hurt a lot for me. It hurt a lot just to be fingered, and no, there isn’t anything wrong with me, I’m just a lot tighter than most.

  • pantslessbeauty May 20th, 2012 12:02 AM

    Ahhhh the hymen shouldn’t cover the vagina fully!!! It shouldn’t be broken at all, really, it just needs a little stretching.
    here’s a video that is really helpful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qFojO8WkpA

  • imperfectparadox13 August 4th, 2012 4:41 PM

    i agree, girls should be free, just like guys, to have sex whenever they feel right about it. what makes me anxious about sex, however, is the fact that when a girl is a independent like that, guys tend to use them and take advantage of that:/ any thoughts on that?