20 College Women on Being Ready to Lose Their Virginity

Can you ever really know that you are ready to lose your virginity? We asked 20 college women how they knew they were ready — or if they even knew.

“I don't think I ever really knew. I was so young when it happened, 15, that I just did it to do it. Looking back on it I wish I had waited for someone I truly loved.”

-Marissa, Florida State University Class of 2018

“Honestly, I probably wasn't. I was younger than I thought I would be, but I thought I was in love and that it was a good idea. It was awful and totally embarrassing, but I don't regret it at all. It happened, and I felt comfortable with the person I was with. That's how you know you're ready, you feel comfortable waking up next to the person the next morning, with smudged makeup and pajamas.”

-Margaret, Wilfrid Laurier University Class of 2018

“I was intimate with a couple guys but never had full on sex. On some of those occasions I felt really connected with them and emotionally I felt like it was sex. So then I realized that sex is just an act and I should just do what I want to do. The first time I actually had sex, in my mind is wasn't the time I lost my ‘virginity’.”

­-Sarah, University of Michigan Class of 2016

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“It was something I thought about a lot and stressed over but then I was hooking up with a guy I didn't particularly care about, let alone love, and I realized it wasn't a huge deal to me. I realized society wanted me to make it a huge special deal with someone I love and once I thought about it I didn't feel that way, it wasn't a huge deal to me and so I just did it.”

-Dorothy, Marist College Class of 2018

“I don't really know when I was ready. I was comfortable with the idea. At first I didn't really feel comfortable even talking about it and then I met the right person. He was my best friend and then became my boyfriend. If you don't know if you are ready, then you aren't ready. If you feel comfortable about it and it's not something that is a huge thing to you, then you are ready. You just know.”

-Jacqueline, Pace University Class of 2017

“This is so weird, but I knew I was ready when I talked to my mom about it. She always said ‘If you are grown enough to have sex, you should be grown enough to talk about it.’ Once I was with my boyfriend for some time, I told my mom I was ready to have sex with him and needed to be put on birth control. She understandably freaked out, but gathered her composure and understood I was being mature in talking to her about it. We went to my physician the next day and by the next month I was no longer a virgin. I want my children to be honest in talking to me about things like sex and drugs because I'd rather know.”

-Jazmyne, Boston University Class of 2018

“I had only been with my current boyfriend for a couple weeks before I knew I was ready to have sex with him. He'd slept with a couple of girls before me, but don't think for a moment that he pressured me into it. I'd dated more experienced guys before and still hadn't felt ready. But from the very first date, it just felt right with this boy. I was comfortable with him, trusted him, and was very attracted to him. After a while, it started to seem silly that somehow having sex was a ‘big step,’ whereas everything else we were already doing had been fair game from the get-go. I simply didn't see why traditional, penetrative sex was treated so differently from manual and oral sex. That distinction felt very arbitrary, and still does. Some of the sexiest and most intimate nights I have spent with him did not include traditional ‘sex,’ but that doesn't mean they were any less sexual. I simply don't see what's so different about ‘sex,’ as apposed to all of the other wonderful sexual things we can do. That's why losing my virginity wasn't a big deal to me — ‘sex’ is great, yes, but it's really not that different from everything else we can do in bed.”

-Amanda, Ohio State Class of 2018

“For a long time I thought of losing your virginity as a big deal. There was the belief that you should save it for someone you truly loved, or for marriage. As I got more into feminism and sexual liberation, I read pieces that talked about how virginity is a social construction, and that women should be free to do whatever they want sexually without criticism. I liked that a lot more than the idea that my virginity was like a prize. It wasn't that I felt I was ready, but rather that I dismissed the perception that you need to be ready or that it's a big deal.”

-Caroline, Fairfield University Class of 2018

“I didn't. I was tired of not knowing and I realized that I never would. It just had to happen. So my boyfriend and I talked about it and he agreed that we would and we planned. And it was beautiful. And I realized afterwards that it was because of him that I was ready.”

-Maddie, High Point University Class of 2019

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“I always knew that I wanted to wait until after I was 18. After that, it wasn't planned, at all, and I think that's how I knew. I was with someone I then trusted and cared for deeply and he cared about me too. We didn't have it planned out, it just happened and we were adults about it with using protection and making sure it was consensual. Plus I never saw my virginity as this huge holy thing rather than just another step into adulthood, so why not do it with someone I trusted and cared for? Trust and consent are the most important factors and I had that that night.”

-Jessica, Virginia Commonwealth University Class of 2018

“I knew I was ready to lose my virginity when I fell so in love with my boyfriend at the time that I wanted to feel as close as possible to him. I finally relaxed, felt at ease and embraced the crazy, insane love that I had for him. My mind felt ready and I just let the endorphins take over from there.”

-Veronica, Marist College Class of 2016

“Virginity is so hetero-normative. Truth be told, as someone who has only ever slept with other women, I haven't the slightest as to which experience counted as my ‘first’. Does it require penetration? I've had quite a lot of sex in my time, but never with penetration. Some might say I'm still a virgin, as a result.”

-Hannah, Miami of Ohio Class of 2019

“I felt ready to lose my virginity when I stopped living by the standards of what everyone else believed I should do. The second I let go of other people's opinions of my own personal life, I felt willing and ready to do whatever I truly wanted to do.”

-Karen, Marist College Class of 2017

“I knew I was ready to lose my virginity when I had been dating a really amazing guy for a few months. Towards the end of my first year in college, I was almost raped one night after a party. It was a difficult experience to recover from, and I thought that it would be a long time until I would be ready to be intimate with someone. My boyfriend never pushed me to have sex, and we actually waited until five months into our relationship to both lose our virginities. It felt like the right time and the right person, and I still feel that way today, over a year later.”

-Ellie, Kenyon College Class of 2017

“I didn't plan on it. I didn't have a boyfriend at the time but I was talking to someone pretty seriously and he ended up being terrible. I was at a party and met a guy and we ended up going to his room and having sex. We were both drunk but I don't regret it. We ended up finding each other on Facebook and we still hang out and text pretty frequently. I knew I was never going to lose it to a boyfriend of five years, because I've never had a long-term relationship. I just wanted to lose the stigma that came with ‘being a virgin’ and even if it wasn't the typical way all of my friends lost theirs, it worked out fine for me.”

-Katie, Temple University Class of 2016

“I honestly don't think you ever ‘know’ until it's too late. I lost my virginity to someone I wasn't in love with, and someone who never loved me. I only realized how much of a mistake it was once I did fall in love with someone. While I can't change the past, it's a regret that I will always carry that I lost my virginity to the completely wrong person.”

-Kristine, Molloy College Class of 2016

“Sex is the closest that you can physically be with another people and I realized I wanted that with him. So that's how I knew.”

-Hannah, University of Pittsburgh Class of 2018

“Even though I was young (15), I waited until I was in a relationship where I felt secure enough to have sex without feeling unsure of my boyfriend's feelings toward me. He was actually way more terrified of the experience than I was. We had been together for six months already, and it was both of our first times. Honestly, there's no tell tale sign of knowing when you're ready for your first time having sex. You just need to feel comfortable enough with the person you're with to do it in a safe and secure environment.”

-Ashley, UMass Amherst Class of 2017

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“I felt really comfortable with about my body and with the person I was with. I didn't feel as insecure as I usually did when I was with a guy. I wasn't in a relationship and didn't know if we would ever hook up again after spending that night together but I thought I would be happy with my decision no matter what happened. I had hooked up with him a few times and never felt pressured to have sex. One night I just felt really at ease with him and just really wanted it, so it happened. We continued to hook up throughout the semester until he graduated. We're still good friends.”

-Ana, Boston University Class of 2017

“I knew I was ready because I was in love with my boyfriend at the time. Yes, I was young, 16, dating a guy who was 18 and leaving for college that fall, about 2 hours away. But I still was ready, regardless of the barriers I knew we faced. I think what matters most is that at the time you are happy with who it happens with. And in that moment, I knew I wanted to lose my virginity to him. We dated on and off for two years before eventually splitting up. Everything happens for a reason, and at the end of the day, I am happy he was a part of my life for the time that he was. He will always be a part of me, and I will always care about him like how he has said he will always care about me. Young love is something magical, priceless, and so special I think everyone should experience.”

-Nicole, Winona State University Class of 2016