A few months ago, I was talking to some of my friends when the topic of losing our virginity came up. As my friends talked about how old they were and what it was like for them, I sat there quietly, giggling at their stories and nodding enthusiastically without actually contributing anything to the conversation. Why would I do this, when one of my favorite things ever is dishing about embarrassing sex stories? Years ago, I had come to the sad realization that, um, I don’t remember losing my virginity. Seriously. I really don’t remember.
When I finally told my friends this, they all stared at me in shock for a second, then quickly exchanged glances, and then turned back to me with concerned expressions on their faces. “What do you mean, you don’t remember?” they asked. “Were you drunk?” Nope, not drunk. “Was it horrible?” Nope, not horrible either. After a few more questions, they finally just looked at me sadly and said variations of, “That sucks.”
I have to disagree there. I guess it’s pretty weird that I don’t remember what was supposed to be a very important moment in my life (according to society), but I don’t think it sucks, exactly. I’m not sure why I don’t remember losing my virginity, but I’m not that bummed about it. However, when the same conversation was brought up with different friends a few days ago and I got the same reaction, I figured I should probably write about it.
See, it’s not that I don’t remember anything about losing my virginity. I know it happened when I was about 16 or 17-years-old, with my first boyfriend who I was very much in love with. I have a hazy memory of thinking, “Ow,” and then thinking, “So… is this what sex is?” and then thinking, “Huh, well, that was… something.” I remember that it wasn’t nearly as exciting or wonderful or amazing as I had ever thought it would be – but I don’t remember any of the specifics. I don’t know exactly how old I was, I don’t know where it happened (I think it was in my bedroom?), I don’t know how long is lasted, and I don’t really know what happened during the whole thing.
I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t on drugs, and my boyfriend definitely didn’t take advantage of me. I don’t even think it happened at night! For some reason, I feel like it might have happened in the middle of the day. All of this is to say that I have no idea why I don’t remember losing my virginity, but I would like to figure it out. Here are the possible reasons for this major brain fart:
We had tried and failed so many times before. I had been dating my ex-boyfriend for, I think, about two years before we had sex. Because we were in high school, those years were filled with many failed attempts at having sex. First, I wanted to wait, and while he respected that, it was also sometimes difficult for both of us. When I finally decided I was ready, two things happened. One, we had no idea where we could do it without getting caught by our strict parents. We couldn’t rent a hotel room and we could never find alone time together. It seemed almost impossible. I wish I could tell you what we finally figured out, but, um, I don’t remember.
Two, I was terrified of tampons (this is a story for another day), or anything going in down there at all. Whenever we would try, I would clench up and freak out and then nothing would or could happen. It was incredibly frustrating. We spent months trying to get things to work down there, and my body just wouldn’t cooperate. It wasn’t until after I finally started using tampons that I was able to relax and let things happen. So, when we finally DID have sex, it just happened after one of our attempts – and that got lost in the sea of other attempts, I guess.
It didn’t live up to my expectations. As a little girl, I spent most of my time dreaming about being a princess, so it’s no surprise that, as a teenager, I spent most of my time dreaming about my perfect first relationship. This included dreaming about my perfect first time. Thanks to watching an unhealthy amount of movies and TV shows, I had convinced myself that my first time having sex would be a magical experience. It wouldn’t be awkward or weird – it would be with someone I loved, who cared about me, and it would include candles and rose petals and presents (what? I like presents).
But it wasn’t like this. Like I said, I don’t remember where we were or what exactly was going on, but I have a feeling that it probably happened on a floor with both of us trying to be quiet so we didn’t get caught. It most definitely did not involve rose petals or candles. It was just… I don’t know, it was just hooking up, but going further than we had before. That was it.
I also don’t really think it even felt that great for me. I mean, it’s just a blurry, distant memory, but I don’t think it was particularly mind-blowing. The fact that it was so blah could be a huge reason why it doesn’t stick out in my mind.
Nothing changed afterwards. Like many people, I assumed that my life would change completely once I had sex. But it didn’t. I had sex, and then… that was it. I didn’t become more mature. I didn’t look different. No one noticed anything new about me. I was just a girl who had started having sex with her boyfriend. I thought that, afterwards, we would lay in each other’s arms and talk about how much we loved each other, but I don’t think we did that. We already knew that we loved each other. So… that was it, really.
Forgetting my ex was my way of getting over my ex. Maybe this is awful, but when my ex and I broke up, my way of getting over him was to forget everything about him and our relationship. I didn’t even do this consciously, it just happened. I spent five years with my ex, but if you asked me what we did those five years, I would be able to write about it in maybe five pages. Maybe. I don’t remember much about our relationship, because I pushed it all out of my mind as a way of getting over him and moving on. It worked, but it obviously worked too well, I guess. Also, I feel pretty uncomfortable with the fact that it feels like junior and senior year of high school didn’t even happen. Not cool, brain.
I just don’t care? The truth is, I really just don’t care. When I was younger, I had imagined a perfect losing-my-virginity scene. But once I entered a secure relationship, I stopped caring so much. I never thought of losing my virginity as that big of a deal. Sure, I was scared to do it, but I was mainly scared because I have a lot of anxiety and I knew it would hurt. And sure, I made him wait for a while, but I did that because I felt like that’s what I was supposed to do. I went to Catholic school for nine years and was taught that I was supposed to wait until marriage to have sex. It wasn’t until I started thinking on my own, without Catholic nuns guilt-tripping me, that I realized I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t think sex was that serious.
So, I guess it comes down to that: losing my virginity just wasn’t a big deal to me. I had always thought that it would be, but in the end, it was just like any other hookup session. And that’s okay. I don’t think it needs to be one of the most important moments in every girl’s life. It’s great if it is – I’m not saying you can’t think of it that way. I’m just saying that you don’t have to think of it that way.
I’m writing this because I read questions from you girls every day about losing your virginity: you regret how it happened, you’re worried about it doing the right thing, you don’t know if you’re ready, you’re ashamed you haven’t done it already. When it comes to virginity, there are so many things to stress about. But take it from me: it doesn’t have to be the most important sexual moment of your life. I mean, I literally do not remember losing my virginity, and I’m fine! I’ve been with other people since then, I’m in a very happy relationship now, I’m not damaged in any way. Everything’s good!
So, please, stop stressing about having sex for the first time. Let things happen when they happen. Realize that it doesn’t have to be a fairytale production. I lost my virginity to someone who I loved at the time, and even though I can’t remember it and it probably happened on a gross, uncomfortable floor, that’s good enough for me. Stop feeling like you have to wait for a “perfect” moment. Stop feeling bad about yourself if you’re a virgin. Stop believing in the idea that your first time is one of the biggest moments of your life. For some people, it is, and that’s okay. But for others, it’s not… and that’s okay too.
Do you remember when you lost your virginity? Can you relate to this story? What was your first time like? Tell me in the comments!