Is it worth the wait?
August 11, 2005 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Is losing my virginity worth waiting for? A lot

I'm a 21 year old male, finished 16 years of school in a fairly conservative environment in a non-western country until college in the US, but am not conservative myself (I actively try new food/ideas/activities). I know I'm pretty smart, average looks (tall though), shy with flashes of wit that sometimes come off as snide.
After a little bit of self-analysis I realized that the whole "girls are icky" thing didn't really wear off until I was about 18, too late for the environment that I grew up in. People have told me (after the fact) that I've been hit on, when I thought all I was having was a friendly conversation. I've never had a girlfriend, or been in love, although combined with the icky-complex I guess I haven't really tried very hard.
My first kiss was with an old friend that I had seen after a looong time and it was wonderful, gentle, and satisfying. Finally, my question: Is it worth waiting for an experience like the above for my "first time"? Or is it more comfortable to clear the road first and then make future sorties,as it were, over familiar terrain? Do you regret losing it the way you did?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite


Experience = better experience for the person who you'll fall in love with and want to please.

The only counter example I can think of is if both you and your eventual love are completely naive about sex. Non-experience may mean that both parties won't be able to evaluate how the other can satisfy them.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:29 PM on August 11, 2005

Personally, I thought it was more of a mental roadblock than anything else. Losing it was bound to be somewhat of an awkward situation (and I've never heard an honest story that didn't sound awkward), so my goal was to get it over with and move on. It's been much easier to enter in and manuever within relationships after having been rid of the mind-torture that was virginity.
posted by mullacc at 11:31 PM on August 11, 2005

"Is it worth waiting for an experience like the above for my "first time"?

It depends. If you find yourself in a good relationship, there's no reason to forgo sex just because it has to be perfect with the perfect person and if it's not perfect oh god sex will be ruined forever. The first time probably isn't perfect for anyone, although it certainly could be "wonderful, gentle, and satisfying."

I wouldn't recommend a drunken bar hook-up as your first time, but you certainly don't need to be with someone for years before you do the deed. Good luck and godspeed.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:31 PM on August 11, 2005

As previously stated, the first time(s) will be awkward. In my opinion, it is better to get the initial experience under your belt. Every partner is a new experience anyway.
posted by hashashin at 11:45 PM on August 11, 2005

Don't fall into some drunken hook-up your first time, but don't let your inexperience/fear of less than perfection hinder you from taking a chance on what could be a great thing. I waited till I was 18 (which was a long time in my circle of friends) and then ended up having drunken sex with a take-no-prisoners dominant female my first semester at college in NYC. While I had a good time, I wish it had been different. I wish it had been someone I chose and really cared for instead of being someone else's good time. So my advice to you is that if you find someone you care for, connect with, and can be honest with then go for it. Also, don't try to pretend like its not your first time. Any decent girl will be flattered and probably very happy that you haven't slept with the entire cheerleading squad already.

Being somewhat of a shy guy myself, I can tell you that waiting for that special moment to happen by itself is a bad idea. Take some chances and make a move if you meet someone you like, because waiting around for that special someone, you will most likely end up alone or with agressive girls you don't really like. Letting a great thing pass you by because you are afraid it won't be perfect is a good way to end up with lots of regrets. Sex gets better the more you practice, just like anything else. Don't expect your first time to be a transcendant, life-changing experience, but give it your best shot.
posted by sophist at 11:47 PM on August 11, 2005

Or is it more comfortable to clear the road first and then make future sorties,as it were, over familiar terrain?

Yes, completely. As mullacc said, virginity is just a mental roadblock, it doesn't really mean anything. Don't expect your first time to be perfect or with the perfect person, or anything but awkward, but do it with someone you think you'll have fun with. Good luck!
posted by lia at 12:19 AM on August 12, 2005

Yes. I waited. And it was/is great.
posted by Radio7 at 12:39 AM on August 12, 2005

I consider myself lucky, but my first time was anything but awkward. Of course, I'm a woman and my partner had plenty of experience. We hadn't known each other long, but it was still beautiful and we're still together 18 months later.

I really think that it's more likely to be awkward with someone you DON'T know, especially if you're nervous. But as was said before, don't NOT do it just because you want it to be perfect. If you want to, and whoever you happen to be with wants to, go for it!
posted by DecemberRaine at 12:43 AM on August 12, 2005

Echoing what others have said:

Do wait for someone special.*
Don't wait for the perfect someone special.

*Whether this is a girlfriend, or perhaps a friend-girl with whom there's some attraction (as with your first kiss) is immaterial. Point is, it should be someone you're going more than just getting off with, though it doesn't have to be love.

Yes, it'll be awkward. Yes, it'll be clumsy. Hint: buya box of condoms (having them around is a good idea anyway), and practice putting them on. They can be annoying as all hell, especially if you're nervous to begin with. I wouldn't advise getting Olympic-level smooth (tearing the packet open one-handed, throwing the thing in the air, and having it magically unroll down your love pole purple headed warrior cock), but a certain amount of facility is a good idea.

But the thing is, most people remember their first times forever, or close to. So I'd say it's always better to have your first time (and, frankly, all subsequent times) with someone you can laugh with to shrug off any awkwardness.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:28 AM on August 12, 2005

You have to try something at least once, why not now?
posted by benkolb at 1:55 AM on August 12, 2005

I say get it over with, but try and make sure it's with someone you feel comfortable with and are attracted to. Most first times are awkward, but they're much better if your nerves are calmed a little by it being with someone you know and trust. That way, you won't be as embarassed if things aren't Hollywood-perfect, you won't have to worry about any details being leaked, and you will feel more confident about maybe talking about the experience afterwards.

I slept with another girl for the first time when I was 17. We were friends, and it was OK but not something I revere. I slept with a guy for the first time a few months ago (I'm 24 now) and in a funny sort of way that was a much bigger step. Fortunately, I picked someone who had a lot of experience, was my friend and so cared about me, and was gentle. It was awesome.

So, of course, if the choice is between someone you love and someone you don't, go for the former. However, there is great merit in 'getting it out of the way' - it gives you more confidence, next time will be even better, and it's all good practice.

I think if you were a woman, I would advise you to be more cautious (women risk more with sex - their respectability, a painful experience, perhaps more emotion) but since you're a guy, go for it.
posted by pollystark at 2:51 AM on August 12, 2005

I'll be the dissenting voice here and say wait until you're comfortable.

There is no rush for sex - there's plenty of time for that. It's not about "getting experience under your belt" or "getting over it". Sex isn't a throwaway thing and it shouldn't be.

There's a lot of things that go into sex and sometimes it can be overwhelming. If you can't handle it, wait.

Firstly, clear yourself of your high expectations. Your first time can be pretty much anything - great, awkward, bad, whatever. Getting hung up on it being perfect will only make the experience worse.

Secondly, check that you and your partner are mature and stable enough to handle the possible consequences (this includes STDs and pregnancy, even worst case scenarios).

Once you clear yourself of unrealistic expectations, and have the maturity to accept and deal with what may happen, and once your partner and you are comfortable with the idea, the experience would be a lot better.

But in the meantime - no rush. You don't have to do it just because everyone else does. Go with what's comfortable and safe for you. Waiting is absolutely fine.
posted by divabat at 5:05 AM on August 12, 2005

I dont think anyone said to not wait until he's comfortable -- I think people are mostly saying that being hung up about virginity is overrated. Which, it is.

Certainly, wait for someone with whom it will be special, but as dirtynumbangelboy says, not the perfect someone special. It's a little hard to ask people to be perfect, anyway. :) Good luck.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:15 AM on August 12, 2005

I didn't lost my virginity until I was 21. it was ok. it's way better to do it with someone you love that loves you back. but a sure-fire way to remain a virgin forever is to sit around and obsess about not being one.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:40 AM on August 12, 2005

I dont think anyone said to not wait until he's comfortable -- I think people are mostly saying that being hung up about virginity is overrated. Which, it is.

Ah, right. Thanks for the clarification. And yes, I agree - there's no need to worry about it so much. Relax. :)
posted by divabat at 6:26 AM on August 12, 2005

No, it's not. The entire notion that your "first time" is some magical, life-altering event is a throwback. You don't "lose" anything when you have sex; but you do gain a powerful appreciation of what it means to be intimate with another human being. There's no need to wait for it or even wait for someone "special." And sorry to spoil the surprise, but your first time will probably be quite awkward or even painful. (Stick with it though, it gets better.) Sex is something adults do. It's right up there with going to work each day, paying bills, and doing your own laundry. But, just as there's no reason to put it off, there's no real reason to rush into it. You will do it when you're ready to do it and the only one who can decide that is you. Be honest with yourself and if you can't do that, throw caution to the wind and just do it.
posted by nixerman at 6:51 AM on August 12, 2005

Do you regret losing it the way you did?

Me? No, but then I'm not the regretful type. However if you are the type who might regret having a quickie in a parking lot with someone you weren't totally in love with, then you should think twice and remember that it's your body and you can have a say in how it happens, however it happens.

Unless your virginity is something that causes you anxiety, there's no reason to not wait. The same could be said for your lack of non-virginity, no reason not to get it over with. Dirtynumbangelboy pretty much sums it up, learning to be good with condoms is a good idea. Not gearing yourself up for your one magic moment is probably also a good idea. Getting to know women as something other than icky is probably a good way to move forward, and thinking about having sex with them will naturally come out of that.

Seems to me you're still exploring intimacy with women in general, so there doesn't seem to be a pressing reason to jump straight to "let's get this sex thing over with" There's a certain cachet to being a virgin that some women find positively hot. My only other piece of advice is that it's generally much easier to get laid at college than practically anyplace else, so if you're leaning towards the "get this over with" direction, I'd keep that in mind.
posted by jessamyn at 7:20 AM on August 12, 2005

Virginity is highly overrated.

But, if you really are just now getting your first real kissing out of the way, don't be in such a rush to stick your dick in the the first hole you find. You've still got a lot to learn. The female body is filled with wonderful things to wrap your lips around and run your tongue over. If you skip all that stuff on the way to straight-up in-and-out, you're just going to set yourself up for bad sex in the future.

I lost my virginity at 17, with my then-girlfriend. It wasn't mind-blowing; honestly, I don't really remember much about it. It was just a logical physical progression for us in our relationship. That, to me, is more important than your age.
posted by mkultra at 7:51 AM on August 12, 2005

Having a bunch of "experience" is highly overrated. Far more important is the ability and willingness to ask questions and listen. Don't bother losing your virginity just to gain "experience", because having sex only gives you experience having sex with that one person. It's like saying that since I've been to Washington D.C. I know what it's like to be in London or Moscow. They're all capitol cities, and I've been to a capitol city so I know what it's like.

By all means, if you want to go to Washington D.C. before you go to London, go to D.C. Just realize that London will be a completely new place and what worked for you in D.C. isn't necessarily going to work for you in London.
posted by the_W at 8:34 AM on August 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

I wish that my now ex-girlfriend had had sex with other people before i met her, as i probably wouldn't be single right now...

journey of fucking discovery...YMMV
posted by schyler523 at 8:36 AM on August 12, 2005

What dirtynumbangelboy said.

(dnab, in typing that out, I realized I've always thought your nick was dirty numb bagelboy... ; ) )
posted by widdershins at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2005

For a different take, I took to heart the ol' "Don't hurry love" advice. My first girlfriend is now my wife, and after close to twenty years, it looks like we're still good to go another fifty years.

So me, I have absolutely no regrets about waiting.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 AM on August 12, 2005

It was a significant problem in my first marriage that we were both virgins before each other.

Notice I said 'first marriage'? You get the picture. That and getting married too young. Both mistakes.
posted by Invoke at 1:26 PM on August 12, 2005

Good rule of thumb: make sure that the person you have sex with the first time is someone with whom, if absolutely everything goes wrong and it's horrible, you'll be able to laugh about it later.

Wait as long as you feel like it; the only other person whose opinion matters is the person you're sleeping with.
posted by 88robots at 7:05 PM on August 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

the_W is wrong in an interesting way. The travel analogy is perfectly valid, but the conclusion is not.

If you have never left your hometown (let's assume you are American, as the_W and I are), and you travel to Washington DC, and later on, you go to London, then you are going to have a MUCH easier time dealing with the culture shock of London than you are if you had gone directly from your hometown to London as your very first trip. (Actually, in an interesting coincidence, I have traveled all over the world, and the first time I left Kansas was for a trip to Washington, DC when I was about nine.)

Similarly, having sex with your first partner is not the same thing as having sex with your second partner, but both activities are having sex, and the first experience absolutely has an effect on the way you view the second experience, even if your partners, their desires, and their techniques are as far apart as you could imagine. There is a huge difference between discovering what it's like to have sex the first time, and coming to understand what it's like to have sex in general.

Why is it good to know what it's like to have sex in general? And why is it good to experience the difference in body type, desire, behavior, etc.? Well, besides it being an interesting learning process, you will eventually find someone (or multiple someones) whom you can have amazing sex with, because a) you like each other, b) you both know what you want and find out right away that you can and will give it to each other, and c) your lack of naivety allows you to judge clearly whether a) and b) are actually true, and not just illusions spawned by loneliness and desperate hope.
posted by bingo at 7:08 PM on August 12, 2005

Nothing against Invoke (or anyone else), but I got married at a very young age (I could drink legally, she couldn't), we were both virgins, and married life has been (and is) sweet, rich, deep, and full. I'm glad we both waited.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:11 PM on August 12, 2005

20-25 is really the only time you'll have for Bacchanalian orgiastic sex of the highest caliber. Sex is life, it is time for you to let yourself go.

When you're 30, looking at 21 year olds walking by in their summer clothes, the wave of regret from not fucking like a normal human when you were younger will be an enormous weight to bear.

Again, youth is really a beautiful time of life - please don't waste it. And people who "waited" until their lifelong partner have nothing to compare it to - of course it is great for them because sex is great.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:05 PM on August 13, 2005

nixerman writes "Sex is something adults do. It's right up there with going to work each day, paying bills, and doing your own laundry. But, just as there's no reason to put it off, there's no real reason to rush into it. You will do it when you're ready to do it and the only one who can decide that is you. Be honest with yourself and if you can't do that, throw caution to the wind and just do it."

I think this is good advice. Sex is, indeed, something that adults do, and treating it as a holy moment in life does everyone involved a disservice. Which is not to say that it isn't special, it is, intimacy is special in all its forms; but while intimacy with one person is not the same as intimacy with another, it does give you a sense of the terrain so that you might better be able to shape the kind of intimacy you want.
posted by OmieWise at 6:36 AM on August 15, 2005

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