Remember all of those scenes in the movies where people lost their virginity? The lighting was soft, the perfect music played in the background and in the end, the couple cuddled with satisfied looks on their faces. Oh, if only reality could be an ounce of what the movies show us.
It’s these scenes in our heads, along with the ideas about the significance of losing our v-cards, that have been pushed on us since middle school that can often cause people to leave their first time feeling disappointed. Between the complexity of women’s bodies and the physical awkwardness of trying to get your body to move in ways it hasn’t moved before, these disappointing first times are more common than not. Some are able to move past that and look forward to improved sexual experiences, but some dwell on the awkwardness of that first night. It can turn people off from sex or pursuing any healthy sexual relationships.
Laura M. Carpenter, Ph. D., led a study on the opinions and feelings people had about losing their virginity and found a group which she named “Gifters.” These are the people who put great pressure on the first time and view it as a romantic and important experience. Carpenter does not fault this point of view, but found that these are often the people who are disappointed or devastated when the first time doesn’t go “right” and can have sexuality issues down the line.
But there is hope for Gifters around the world. According to Carpenter, the best way to move past a bad first time, or really any bad time in bed, is to think of an experience as a chapter of your sexual life. Once it’s over, it’s over. You can evaluate and learn from the experience and bring that into your next sexual chapter. Carpenter found that people who thought this way seemed be happier with their sexual experiences.
Your first time does not need to define you—or your relationship, or you as a sexual person or as a woman. It can still be an important and impactful experience, but it’s important to remember that when it’s over, you still get to write more chapters. No one likes a book where everything good and interesting happened in the first chapter anyway.
Was your first-time a disappointment? How did you overcome that? Tell us on our Facebook page!