Sex + Love

An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Debuts

True stories of first times.


  • eva-stark June 6th, 2014 7:33 PM

    omg!! ”why would you even suck on a thing that pees?” this is truly genius.

    and to Meagan’s story- I had no idea you had to pee before and after sex!!!! Wow. Thanks to you now I know :oo

    These are such lovely and personal (also helpful!!) stories. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing them. Thank you Esme!! You are very talented, your drawings are great :)

    • Amy Rose June 6th, 2014 7:52 PM

      Hi! While peeing right before and after sex is a great precaution against UTIs, in many (if not most) cases, you don’t “have” to do it every single time in order to stay healthy. Just wanted to clarify a little so that, if ever you have to wait a little before you pre- or post-coitally pee, you’re not like, “MY BOD IS DOOMED!!” But, of course, do try to make it a habit!

      Here’s some more information:

      • eva-stark June 7th, 2014 9:51 AM

        Ohh I see! Thank you for letting me know :)

  • rabbit June 6th, 2014 7:52 PM

    ahhh i swear whenever i’m going through an issue you guys always post the right advice or something that goes along with it at the same time!

    i learned a lot from this, i think i’m not as worried as i thought i should be and now i know that not everyone’s first time is “perfect” so thank you!

    love love love your comics esme! keep up the good work! <3

  • Emmie June 6th, 2014 8:25 PM

    I love this so sososososososo much you don’t even know!!!

  • Ally_O June 6th, 2014 8:29 PM

    I love the concept of a sexual debut as opposed to losing your virginity! In fact I’ve tried to stop using the phrase ‘lose your virginity’ altogether because it just perpetuates bullshitty notions about sexuality. This is a great piece.

    • Esme June 8th, 2014 11:40 AM

      Can’t take credit for this, I believe the term was coined by our gyal Naomi!

  • Catrine June 6th, 2014 8:38 PM

    This is so adorable and perfect and true. A+ Rookie, I really admire the way you’re able to be so relatable :)

  • Kardvark June 6th, 2014 9:15 PM

    I didn’t know about “peeing after sex” until I got a UTI when I was 24! Why don’t they tell us this stuff? I didn’t have good sex ed in school, and had to seek out a lot of information for myself, but that particular topic was never mentioned in any magazines or books I read.

  • Anaheed June 6th, 2014 9:51 PM

    Esme, this is a masterpiece.

  • Abby June 6th, 2014 10:06 PM


  • CBM June 6th, 2014 11:23 PM

    This is great! Once again Esme you’ve made a wonderfully funny/moving comic <3

  • Laia June 6th, 2014 11:55 PM


  • 3LL3NH June 7th, 2014 12:29 AM

    That was amazing. One of my favorites on Rookie, for sure.

  • miriammmmmmmmmm June 7th, 2014 2:14 AM

    My first time was funny. We were making out in his attic (in a cute-arse pillow fort) for ages, and kept asking eachother “what do you want to do?” – we both wanted to go all the way but we’d only been together for a week so we felt a bit embarrassed about saying we wanted to jump each other’s bones. Also i was going on a student exchange for 3 months in 4 days so we were just trying to soak eachother up while we could. Eventually i just yelled YES, LET’S DO THIS. It hurt so much for me that i teared up a bit, and he kept stopping because he felt horrible about me being in pain, but i still didn’t want to stop – not when we were so close to being fully non-virgins.
    Eventually we figured it out and I, for one, did bleed – the worst part was, it was on his favourite shirt but he pretended to laugh it off saying “i’ll just tell people I spilt ketchup on it”. After that experience, skipping the country for 3 months seemed like a good way to get away from the embarrassment.
    Sex for the first time was very, very underwhelming, and afterwards i went home and ate dinner with my parents, just thinking “why was I so scared of that?.” I also thought I was going to be this different, MATURE ADULT once I had sex, but nothing felt different – to be honest, I felt a lot more different the first time I successfully masturbated. After sex, I still went home and watched the same episode of the Simpsons as the day before because TiVo hadn’t recorded anything other than the Bold and the Beautiful.

  • clarethebear June 7th, 2014 4:58 AM

    All of my friends are really freaking out a lot of the time about ‘losing their virginity’ and I really think I should show them this site because it has helped me so much and I think it will help them too- thank you rookie!!!

  • sonnentanz June 7th, 2014 5:17 AM


  • Laurataur June 7th, 2014 7:14 AM

    This is soooo good! Great job Esme, your attention to detail in the illustrations is superb.

    Also I just want to point out that on Nerve they have a My First Time series worth checking out and John Stamos has a video series called Losing It where he interviews B-list celebrities about their first times and I think both are good. But THIS ONE IS SOOO GOOD!!

  • kimchi June 7th, 2014 8:10 AM

    A word of advice, don’t read this while eating seaweed salad because you might start imagining that you are eating rubbery rubber condoms and then you will end up feeling sufficiently grossed out.

    The best part of my sexual debut was learning how much I hate underpants. Now I hardly wear underpants at all. Not wearing underpants is really awesome until you find yourself near a playground and you are struck by the urge to hang from some monkey bars.

  • hazeleyedgirl June 7th, 2014 9:49 AM

    I love this! The only problem I have is when Stephanie mentioned “breaking her hymen”- you know the whole thing about hymens breaking is a myth, right?

    • Amy Rose June 7th, 2014 6:21 PM

      You are totally correct! For those interested, here’s a great Scarleteen article that breaks (oof, totally punintentional) it down.

  • janevtiamat June 7th, 2014 11:01 AM

    My fav was like, “I didn’t feel like I’d lost something.” And I’m like, yasss! Thank You!

  • novaisawesome June 7th, 2014 11:13 AM

    These are so great!! I have a pretty terrible/funny story if you ever want to do a part 2 let me know! hahaha

  • speakeasied June 7th, 2014 12:37 PM

    I love how you guys included queer sex in the mix of all the *usual* hetero sex (not like I would expect anything different, but still). I often find that the majority of people consider queer sex to be entirely different from it’s hetero counterpart, and it’s really upsetting to me.

    So kudos to you guys for making me feel included. :-)

  • The_Idler_Wheel June 7th, 2014 12:38 PM


  • Estelle June 7th, 2014 1:58 PM

    10 ORGASMS

  • Meagan June 7th, 2014 6:48 PM

    Esme this is absolute perfection!

  • princessmaja June 8th, 2014 1:07 PM

    this is seriously perfect. Thank you so much for writing this! It helped me alot :)

  • hoggster June 8th, 2014 6:43 PM

    I don’t count the ‘loss of my virginity’ as my first time as there were so many other things me and my boyfriend have done that we’re so amazing beforehand that I felt so much more different after :) bodies are LOL though! Love this article, keep it up Rookie <3 x

  • anaisabel13 June 8th, 2014 9:05 PM

    This is the absolute coolest/most poignant thing. Thank you so much for making this Esme!!

  • Abby in the Sky with Diamonds June 9th, 2014 12:09 AM

    Haha the license plate number in the tenth picture

    • emeraldruby June 9th, 2014 1:30 AM

      I didn’t even notice hahaha that’s hilarious!

  • Monq June 9th, 2014 12:58 AM

    Really needed to read this, even though it’s been awhile since I “lost my virginity” or should I say had my “sexual debut.” Either way this is another great piece!


  • Cactus Woman June 10th, 2014 4:13 AM

    this is a fabulous piece! i love all the different variety of stories and the illustrations are great, too.

    i just really really wish there were more queer narratives here. like, more than one (i think there was just Krista’s). as a cis girl who is repulsed by penetrative sex but who is looking forward to sexytimes with other ladies, i would have been delighted to see more of that, and i’m sure many other readers would have loved to see more of that, too!

    love y’all!

  • Mary the freak June 15th, 2014 4:16 PM

    this was so awesome :)

  • gentleman honey farmer June 24th, 2014 10:23 PM

    The pacing of this was fabulous. What a well-done piece!
    Laia, girl after my own heart, such a goddamn champion.

  • NadineFlowers July 3rd, 2014 1:21 AM

    I’m going through June posts catching up. This is great, the art and the stories.

    1. I love the phrasing of sexual debut and gaining an experience rather than losing something. If this had been ingrained in my mind from the age one learns about sex it wouldn’t have taken me so long to work up the guts to do it thus giving me like five or six more years of sexy times.

    2. Please do an actual post about UTIs. People need to know! I got my first one just from receiving oral and not peeing afterward. Then a year or two later when I actually had sex I knew to pee after but we did it like four days in a row and it happened again and it is literally the worst thing ever and I tried to fight it off without antibiotics just drinking lots of cranberry juice and I nearly ended up with a kidney infection. Now after I do it I pee and very soon after drink a cup or two of cranberry tea or juice. Or if I know I’m gonna be doing it, drink it earlier in the day. It’s pretty gross but I’m going to start having a Pavlovian affection for it.