Monday, July 13, 2009

The dreaded FIRST TIME

When we hear stories about "my first time," what to they tend to focus on? I feel like they usually hone in on negative experiences - hearts were broken, someone felt used...We focus on the messiness, the awkward moments, pain, potential regrets - leaving out that sometimes, people have a great time - with no looking back.

Promoters of abstinence-only education use negative experiences to convince students that the only "right" way to have sex is within marriage, and only then if the goal is procreation. In reality, 95% of people have sex before marriage - and not all those experiences are regrettable!

This article over at Sex Etc. tries to turn all that around. It provides stories of a few people's first sexual experiences, and does so in a really positive way, in an effort to change the way we view the "first time." It's refreshing to hear about people who are happy with their sexual choices - happy enough to talk about them openly.

I, for one, had a great experience my first time. It wasn't unplanned or unexpected - i knew exactly what was going on. We were both ready, and had discussed (in serious detail) what would be happening. It was very clear that if either of us wanted to stop, it would be completely ok. Of course, it wasn't perfect - it had those awkward moments and confusion that doing something new is bound to have - but I can definitely look back and smile.

When I began reading this article, I was worried that they wouldn't include a homosexual or queer experience - a group that often gets left out when talking about "virginity." But at the end, they surprised me with a story about two teenage boys deciding to take their relationship a step further. I was really excited to see the even hand they gave to that relationship, in comparison to the others. There was no hint of anything different treatment, which I liked to see.

I did have a few minor qualms with the site, though. First of all, it was generally assumed that sex meant penetration. Admittedly, this might be some of my own close-mindedness, but it didn't seem to me that any of the couples were talking about oral sex. But maybe I'm wrong. Either way, the various definitions of "sex" weren't really explored (no lesbian couple? Should I read too far into this?), and neither were the complex definitions of "virginity." Maybe it was left open on purpose, and I created my own ending, though. Hm. My other thought was that it seemed that all these couples stayed together. I know it was meant to be a positive view of that "first time," but it all seemed extremely rosy. In my case, my partner who I lost my virginity with have since broken up - and we haven't spoken in months. Regardless, I haven't let that tarnish my memory of the first time we had sex. It's ok if you don't stay together afterwards, as long as you feel good about your decisions.

Either way, it's a good read, and gave me a lot to think about. Go check it out!

1 comment:

KaeLyn said...

I love the boldness of the Sex Etc. piece in talking frankly about sexual experience outside of marriage. I agree, though, that they are keeping it "rosy" and focusing on long-term monogomous relationships. It's entirely possible, though not very popular/PC to say, that the first time can be with a friend or someone you are not dating exclusively...and still be a positive, affirming experience.

That said, this is still an excellent article for promoting consensual, safer, positive sexual experiences between consenting young adults. Thanks for sharing it!