By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
For some women, recalling their first sexual encounter is no big deal; it’s something they can talk about freely and easily. For others, however, it’s a memory that takes some rediscovering, and maybe even some reassessing.
Speaking with Tribune Woman, female readers shared their experiences and talked about what they would have done differently at the time had they been armed with the knowledge they possess today.
“What I wish I knew before I had sex was that it leaves you feeling emotionally attached to the person you did the deed with,” said April.
“You might ask why there would be something wrong with being emotionally attached to someone you had sex with for the first time. Well, when lose your virginity at age 16 and did not develop any sort of self-esteem or self-worth, it leaves you vulnerable to being taken advantage of.”
And that was exactly what happened in April’s case. She lost her virginity to her boyfriend, who was in the same age bracket as her. However, this encounter led to her being involved in a toxic relationship from which she still felt the consequences into her adulthood.
“I wish I had done things very differently. I really wish I had waited until I was not just physically mature, but mentally mature. I thought he was the love of my life once that happened. Unfortunately, he did not see me in the same light. He was seeing other people for years. That left me in an extremely broken state that took me well into my adulthood to heal from. Any opportunity I have to tell younger girls, I tell them to please wait,” she said.
Like April, Deandra also said she wish she had known that sex did not equal love.
“You watch movies and they kind of dictate your perception on things and how they should be. On the shows you see people losing their virginity and it's almost like an act of love, but in reality, it's really not like the movies at all. Had I known that I would not have been so heartbroken when I was ghosted by the guy who I lost my virginity to. I don’t know where he is today,” she said.
Crystal said she learned about sex from her friend and doing some research on the subject matter. But in the end, her first experience was way more painful than it was pleasurable. This experience still affects how she views sex today.
“My early experience, I think, with sex is the reason why I don’t fancy sex much today. I think I am scarred by the experience because it was painful and extremely uncomfortable. I guess had I known that I would have braced myself for pain and not pleasure. It really made me dislike what I believe is supposed to be a great expression of love between two people,” she said.
Meanwhile, Darcel was left somewhat emotionally traumatised by her first time.
As someone who grew up Christian and believed in abstaining from sex until marriage, Darcel said she did not know her “transgression” would leave her feeling guilt-ridden to the point where she needed professional help to overcome her anxieties.
“We are always told to not have intercourse, so no one who did have sex before marriage would ever open up about what the experience was like, so I had no way of knowing that in the moment it would feel nice but afterward I would feel extremely guilty. The guilt was sometimes haunting. So haunting that I had to talk with a counsellor about it all. I’m happy to say that all the sex I enjoy today is within the context of a loving marriage,” she said.