When we talk about the gender bias around sexuality, we often focus on the labels. For women, this means being called anything from a slut to a whore or a skank to a sperm dumpster. However, a sexually active man rarely gets a label. For men, sex is expected. This discrepancy causes an awful lot of confusion and really a violent culture around the topic of sex, both physically and emotionally, especially in regard to the first time.
There are so many rules dictating how and when one’s first time is supposed to happen. Though we all know “perfection” is impossible, we act as if, in this one instance, it is not only possible, but expected. As a result, many people are made to feel ashamed of their decisions; either they are a prude (or a loser) for passing up the “perfect” opportunity for sex or a sinner for giving into their lusts. However, this culture of judgment is ridiculous. Sex does not change who a person is, and it is only as special as you want it to be. Further, it’s important to realize virginity isn’t a real thing. It’s not something you actually lose, and it doesn’t have a strict definition (otherwise all people engaging in same-sex relations would still be virgins). Rather, virginity is nothing more than a social construct designed to signify a sexual coming of age.
That said, it is up to each individual to determine the criteria for that coming of age. Laci Green, creator of Sex+, refers to this event as the individual’s “sexual debut.” It is a time when you are ready to broaden your sexual horizons and can happen whenever and however you want (assuming a consenting partner). It should not be something you feel pressured into doing to prove you are a good partner or pressured into not doing to prove you are a good person. In reality, your decisions around sex cannot prove either of these things, and only you know when you are ready.
For tips and tricks on navigating the first time, check out the video below. I also recommend checking out the Sex+ channel in general for a fun and educational exploration of sexuality (regardless of orientation).