Waiting To Sleep With Guys Has Taught Me So Much About Love

While a lot of people consider high school to be the best time to lose your virginity, I waited it out a lot longer than that. It’s not because I was afraid of having sex but because I thought the big moment should happen with someone I genuinely loved. Frankly, I’m glad I held out.

  1. It wasn’t as romantic as I would have hoped. Movies really try to make it look like the first time would be simply magical—he’d have rose petals on the bed and make sure to put candles everywhere. Not the case here. Instead, it happened in a dirty bedroom room in a small apartment in a major city that had a ton of loud street noise. But that’s the truth of most sexual encounters. They’re usually a bit spontaneous and not very well planned. In my mind, I kept thinking, “Is this it?”
  2. Sex isn’t sexy. At least, not the first time. It just sort of happens, and the mechanics of it can get a little awkward. The more you do it, the better it gets—and the better you know yourself as a person, along with your sexual preferences. But after it happened, I kind of wondered why so many people built it up so much.
  3. It’s way better with someone you’re comfortable with. I’m glad I didn’t cave and just lose it to a one-night stand. No matter how old you are, feeling secure with your first is very important. Since things can get messy or awkward pretty quickly, it’s better to have someone you can laugh along with rather than someone who you feel may be judging you.
  4. After holding out, having sex is finally somewhat of a relief. I didn’t wait for religious reasons—I just waited for what I felt was the right person and right moment. But after a while, you start wondering if that person and moment would ever sync up. It’s very easy to believe that you’ll turn into Steve Carell’s character from 40-Year-Old Virgin overnight. So when it actually happens, it’s one less personal milestone you have to worry about.
  5. Waiting so long does stunt you a bit. Think of it this way: someone who has been horseback riding since they were 17 will be much better at the skill than someone who starts when they’re 25. It’s true with everything, especially sex. All in all, I don’t regret waiting so long, but it still made things a little awkward in all of my relationships afterward. Especially since…
  6. Losing your virginity to someone doesn’t mean a long-term relationship will follow. I built it up so much in my head that when the “moment” came, I figured we’d be happily ever after. Nope. After the moment happened, we split, which made me even more self-conscious. We barely talked afterward since I just felt a little betrayed. Granted, we never really communicated much about our actual long-term goals prior to the occasion, so that’s partially on me. When you put so much weight on sex, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment.
  7. It didn’t instantly inspire me to learn more. My first experience wasn’t bad, but the aftermath made me a little self-conscious. To this day, sex doesn’t matter to me as much as a good personality and sense of humor. I stayed true to myself by continuously choosing to sleep with people who I had some sort of connection to, but it took me some time to have the confidence to start a physical relationship again.
  8. It did give me more of a reason to go on the pill. My first time was protected since I’m no dummy, but the spontaneity of it made me realize that every encounter usually isn’t planned the same way a trip to the grocery store is. When you’re ready for sex, you’re ready to prepare yourself against both STDs and a pregnancy you might not be ready for. Also, even though I went to the gynecologist prior to, it was more of a reason to continue my annual appointment. Sexual health is super important.
  9. Overall, there’s no perfect age to lose your virginity. I felt strange about not having sex earlier, especially since it’s such a hot topic in your very early twenties. But honestly, there are a lot of women who wait. Even though I often felt singled out, my situation wasn’t particularly unique. People should have control over when they choose to have sex. If they want to lose it after prom to their long-term boyfriend? That’s on them. If they want to stay a virgin forever? That’s fine too. It’s different for every person, and nobody should feel bad if their moment happens later than they expected.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.