This may sound like the title of a cheesy teen movie, but we wanted to talk about something that is very personal, intimate, astonishing, hurtful and embarrassing, for some considered to be a very big deal and maybe even marking the steps into adulthood or personal freedom, for others not a big deal at all and just something they wanted to ‘get over with’.
So, we at E&M want to know from young Europeans: what was the first time having sex like? And because the answers kept coming when we asked you half a year ago (read here), we were keen on collecting more stories. We all have different experiences and we have had different concerns or expectations when it happened. Different dreams about with whom, when and where. What we wanted to wear, how much we would enjoy it or not. However, regardless of the importance we give to the experience, losing one’s virginity is a crucial step and opens up the sexual dimension of our lives. Good and bad.
In this section we talk about sex, so we went to ask young Europeans how it started for them. They shared some details about the experience they considered to be their first time.
Ida, 30, Germany
Ooh, it was so long ago. To be exact, it was the 25th of September in 2004. My granddad’s birthday, of all days. I guess that’s why I remember the date so well. We started trying the week before though, but consistently failed.
Finally the stars aligned and he popped it in.
I was 14, he was 19. It actually took us three or four times until we made it work. We used a condom. He was as gentle as possible, I was actually the pushy one because I was so frustrated that it just didn’t work! Finally though, the stars aligned and he popped it in.
When we did make it work, it hurt for about a minute and then it didn’t feel like anything. So, honestly, I just kind of waited for it to be over. It wasn’t a magical first time. The magic, for me, came later. I am not sure how many times it took us until it was fun for me, but it’s funny how my teenage body told me to just do it, although it wasn’t that impressive. I definitely enjoyed trying, though. I cannot remember the first time that sex started to become actually enjoyable for me. I think it happened more gradually. It just got better and better. And, honestly, it still does.
Jon, 28, Sweden
He asked after we had done it for the first time, laying there trembling, tired and, truth be told, incredibly sweaty in a summertime southern European apartment with absolutely no air condition to save us. It was midday, a lunch break.
“Was this your first time?” he asked.
“No,” I replied. Lying through my teeth.
“Didn’t think so,” he replied and scooched his head a bit higher up my chest.
Within that same chest, a strange sense of pride swelled within me. It’s hard to know if Austin – because that was his name – actually believed me, but I felt such a joy I had handled my debut with another boy so, seemingly, brilliantly.
I didn’t want to come across as a sexually inexperienced 18-year old. Like, who would? Boys and men are seemingly supposed to know all the ins and out that first time. We are supposed to take the lead, hide our insecurities deep down. Anything else is thought – or we seem to think – as unattractive.
Who wants to end up like Steve Carell in that film? I sure as hell didn’t.
There’s especially a stigma to not even have lost your virginity. Just look at the movie “The 40-year-old virgin”. Who wants to end up like Steve Carell in that film? I sure as hell didn’t. I was so glad, laying there in the blistering heat with Austin, that I now never would.
So then we did it again. And it was just as fun as the first time.
Justine, 32, France
It’s tricky for me to recount my “first time” because there wasn’t a dramatic before-and-after losing my virginity. Here is how it happened:
17 and trying to do it for the first time with my 18-year-old high school boyfriend, sneaking into his aunt’s flat when she was out because neither his family nor mine knew about it… and not managing. Somehow, I would just close up, to my own annoyance and his worry that he’d done something wrong. For 13 months we would try repeatedly and it would invariably end up with me being completely tense and us not getting any further towards having penetrative sex. Now I know it was a very common condition called vaginismus and it can happen to anyone with a vagina – if that’s you then don’t fret, you’re not broken and it will get better when your body is ready.
Now I know it was a very common condition called vaginismus and it can happen to anyone with a vagina.
19 and sneaking in the room of my 33-year-old ski instructor not telling him I’d never managed to have sex before, and lo and behold when it didn’t matter it just worked. The casualness meant I didn’t feel under pressure to be a certain way or to perform as the perfect girlfriend, I guess. I could focus on just me without being self-conscious because this man hardly knew me and I wouldn’t see him again. It may sound callous, but it’s not, I am grateful that it happened and I found out that I wasn’t broken and was perfectly capable of having sex thank you very much. The next few years were a mixed bag but it got more and more enjoyable.
Dave, 31, Germany
The first time I had sex was when I was fourteen, but there was nothing special about it. More important than my first time(s) were actually the last times I had sex with someone I really cared for. Because these moments were the moments that stuck with me… Sometimes I already knew that it would be the last time that we’ll share this intimacy. And sometimes I realised only later that the moment has been special, because the person was special to me.
More important than my first time(s) were actually the last times I had sex with someone I really cared for.
It wasn’t always love, but more a feeling of true intimacy, trust and the desire to feel loved! So, most of my first times can fuck off, because the last times are the ones that stuck and have the ability to make me smile and cry. Or both.
Pieterjan, 28, Belgium
I remember really anticipating my first time. After some playing around, I was really looking forward to ‘the real deal’. I started seeing this girl from my scouting group and was amazed that she would go out with me. I was 18 at the time and was quite anxious about losing my virginity before I turned 19. I don’t know why, blame ‘American Pie’. Anyway, I was ready to find out what everyone was talking about.
I lost my virginity drunk. We were on a weekend and we were lying together in the same sleeping bag with the rest of the monitors of the scouts. We were fooling around and when we woke up my girlfriend had to remind me what happened Crap, not exactly how I would have liked my first time to go. Luckily she was cool with it.
It was the first page of my ‘book of sex’ and boy, did I enjoy the following chapters.
But, as one does, I created a mental construction that allows me to disregard this as my first time and in November (around a month before turning 19) I had sex for the first time. This time officially! I felt great. It gave me confidence. My girlfriend was super sweet (and luckily a bit more experienced). I must have been a lousy lover then, and came, cliché, way too early. It was an experience. Not great, but something that had to pass and I’m grateful it was in a safe environment, with someone I loved. It was the first page of my ‘book of sex’ and boy, did I enjoy the following chapters 😉.
Cover Photo: Dainis Graveris on SexualAlpha