First-time sex is something that’s hard to forget. It opens the door to new sensations, new ways of relating to your significant other and to life. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that we live in supposedly liberal times (some would even call them debaucherous), sex is still a taboo subject. There are a lot of misguided ideas about sex that people spread around using one of the oldest communication methods – word of mouth.
The most glaring false generalization is that sexuality starts with the first time you have sex. This is completely untrue. From the moment we come into the world, we are sexual beings. Some experts claim that there are “pleasures of an erotic kind” that humans experience in different situations. When a baby sucks on its mother’s breast, for example, or when we control or release our sphincters. Also, simple things like touching our own bodies, or feeling our skin brush against different textures, can be gratifying.
“There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be.”
Genitalia is only one of the many dimensions of sexuality. That’s why, in a strict sense, the “first time” is only the sort of the first experience. For human beings, there are many firsts, even in this same sexual territory.
All of this is a clear example of the countless myths and truths that society tells about sex, especially the first time. Let’s talk about some of the common misconceptions that have made the rounds.
First-time sex and age
There’s no “wrong” age to have sex for the first time. Just a few decades ago, society considered a girl ready to get married and have children at age 14. In fact, this is still true in many parts of the world. The opposite is also true. You might be surprised to know that according to a study from Japan, 42% of men between the ages of 18 and 34 are virgins.
Statistically, the average age of first-time sexual encounters is 17. That varies from culture to culture and even among classes or social groups in the same culture. Becoming sexually active early, later, or much later is a personal choice. Being outside the average doesn’t mean you are abnormal (in the negative sense of the word.)
First-time sex should be amazing
This is one of the most wide-spread and false myths. What actually happens is usually the opposite. Inexperience and anxiety make us pretty awkward. It’s rare that someone’s first time is memorable in any way other than for the fact that it is the first time. That’s not true just in terms of sex, either. It’s true in many other facets of life.
According to a study from researchers in the United States, up to 85% of women say they were deeply disappointed by their first time. They didn’t have an out-of-body experience or feel like they were in heaven. They explored, they got to know themselves a little better and moved further into the territory of physical love with a partner. That’s it.
The man is supposed to take charge of the situation
A combination of machismo and fear give rise to this myth. It comes as much from women as it does from men. If he has more experience than her, maybe he has “an advantage.” In that case, maybe he has a greater responsibility to try and minimize the tension in the room. The same is true when the woman has more experience. However, the more experienced partner can’t take charge of the emotions or feelings of the other person, nor should they during first-time sex.
Men and women alike should enter into their first sexual experience willingly. The same goes for all subsequent experiences as well. Neither one has to give into pressure. Nor is it a good idea to take that step before you resolve any possible contradictions with your beliefs. Neither partner should expect the other to take on a responsibility that belongs to both people.
There is a good way to tell if you are ready to have sex for the first time or not. If you can clearly and directly express your emotions, needs, and desires to your partner, then your experience is more likely to be enjoyable. It also can be an opportunity for growth. If, on the other hand, you aren’t comfortable or you feel confused, maybe it’s not the right time yet.
Alcohol and drugs help
One of the effects of alcohol is that it rids you of inhibitions. That’s why many young people deal with their fear of first-time sex by consuming alcohol or some other drug. The first time, like all new experiences, brings fear and doubt. As sure as you might feel about it, you will also have inhibitions.
Consuming a psychoactive substance before your first time will only serve to make the experience false. This type of drug affects your senses and keeps you from clearly experiencing different sensations. It also changes your behavior, and, as a result, doesn’t contribute much to your self-knowledge.
The first time isn’t like a bank transaction. It has much more intimate implications, but neither is it unforgettable. Ideally, it is a loving and satisfying experience that increases trust and appreciation between sexual partners. The key to having a good experience is the desire to live the experience freely and in harmony with your whole self. The rest is all about going with the flow of your sensations and intuition.