12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Losing My Virginity

     My own virginity story sounds like it came out of a college-themed rom-com movie that I would have made fun of when I was in high school. Picture: a fraternity formal my freshman year. My date was a sophomore frat guy who was well-dressed, very much in shape, and had absolutely nothing in common with me. I bought lingerie for the occasion at the Victoria’s Secret in Southpark Mall. No fireworks went off, no pleasure was had (on my end at least), and I laughed so hard at the absurdity of it all that I thought I was going to cry. But hey, at least I got a formal t-shirt to commemorate the night!

But in all seriousness: here’s a list of 12 things I wish I knew before I lost my V card.

  1. USE LUBE. As a freshman, I thought personal lubrication was an invention made exclusively for post-menopausal women, for couples in nursing homes, or for those very adventurous and kinky partners. In reality, lube is wonderful and normal way to elevate pain during sex especially if it is your first time having it.

  2. There is no sexy or graceful way to take off your socks before having sex. Don’t bother trying.

  3. Foreplay is not overrated. People who tell you otherwise or who push you to “get on with it already” are either assholes or partners that are self-conscious about their kissing and/or oral sex abilities. Taking at least 15 minutes to partake in a good, old fashioned make out session helps loosen you up. Plus, kissing and touching makes your brain to release chemicals like dopamine that tell your sex organs to get ready.

  4. Expect some slight discomfort, but blinding pain is not normal. If the start of intercouse is super painful for you, ask your partner to stop and go back to the foreplay. Take things more slowly, warm up a bit more. Women's bodies typically need lots of attention prior to engaging in sex that is pleasurable. However, if sex continues to be painful, contact your gynecologist or doctor.  

  5. Lingerie is a great idea in theory until you awkwardly have to excuse yourself mid-make session out to go change into it. A cute, matching bra and panty set is a much safer bet.

  6. Make sure you’re somewhere where you won’t be interrupted unexpectedly. This just adds unnecessary stress to the situation. Bad places to have sex include: your parents’ basement while your parents are upstairs, the bathroom during a party, a hotel room where your sorority Little could possibly walk in on you. Seriously friends, lock the door.

  7. Drinking a lot beforehand in order to “loosen up” is a terrible idea. A glass or two of wine (or a Malibu/Lemonade) before won’t kill you. Any more than that though and you’re entering that gray area where you might not legally be able to consent. Keeping it sober keeps it simple.  

  8. You won’t feel any different or more grown up afterwards despite what every teen movie has told you.

  9. Using sex as a bandaid is complicated...and inefficient. In my experience, having great sex with a partner is more of a bandaid than a cure to the underlying problems going on in the relationship. Similarly, if you’re having sex with others in order to numb things going on in your own life you’re probably just adding more issues to a situation that already complex. Make sure you’re in a good place both mentally and emotionally before having sex.

  10. Use a condom. There are so many amazing condom tutorials available on Youtube if you or your partner has never used one before. Educate yourself and bring your own condoms so if your partner accidentally “forgets” to bring them or doesn’t know how to use one, you’re ready.

  11. Pee after sex. It may not be super sexy advice, it does help limit the risk of getting a bacterial infection.

  12. At the end of the day, virginity is a social construct. Your sex cannot truly ever be “lost” and having sex for the first time does not define what kind of person you are or what your values are.