Reported by MTV Act.
By Amy Kramer of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
The first time usually isn’t so great. It can be awkward or embarrassing or stressful, and for most people it’s kind of anticlimactic. So, contrary to what you see in the movies and hear from your more experienced friends, if your first time isn’t the best thing ever, you’re not alone. And certainly you saw a lot of this awkwardness on tonight’s “Virgin Territory.”
Among 18-24 year olds, less than half (46%) say their first time was “a mostly good experience.” And the younger they were the first time they had sex, the more likely they are to say it wasn’t great. For those who were 17 or younger their first time, just 40% say it was “mostly good.” For those 18 and older the first time, 58% said so. (The average age for first sex in the U.S. is 17).
And even those who had good feelings about it at the time, when they look back on it now, they feel differently: 55% say they were HAPPY at the time they first had sex, but looking back on it, only 31% say that’s the case. 47% say they felt LOVED their first time, but in retrospect, only 25% say that’s true. 28% say they were RELIEVED, but only 14% feel that way about it now.
When asked if they would change something about their first time if it were possible to go back and re-do it, half (49%) said they would. What would they change? Lots of things, from doing it with someone they loved/someone who loved them, to using a condom, to allowing themselves to enjoy it more, to being sober, to just waiting a bit longer.
A little more than one-third (38%) say their first time was “not as good as I was expecting” and another 38% say it was “about what I was expecting.” Only 19% say it was “better than I expected it would be.”
Remember Lisa from the first episode of “Virgin Territory“– she was married and in love her first time, but the experience itself was kind of underwhelming. Or Kyle, who finally did it in the most recent episode – he was psyched but you can kind of tell it didn’t knock his socks off.
Still, even if the first time isn’t like lighting and rainbows and fireworks, it does get better. The more comfortable you are with your own body, the more you know what you like and how to communicate that to your partner, the more experienced you are in general, the better it will be.