Not all of us lose our v!rginity at age 16 in the back of an old Camry.If you’re still a virgin later in life, it can feel like you’re the last person on earth who hasn’t had s3x, but you aren’t alone. Whether you’re waiting for your wedding or just haven’t found the right person, here’s what you should know about losing your virginity as an adult.
1. Losing your virg!nity isn’t just P in the V.
“Theres no universal consensus on what behaviors constitute having s3x,” relationship and sex expert Kristen Mark, Ph.D., tells BuzzFeed Life. Not to mention, the notion of “‘virginit’y’ is very heterocentric. It really excludes a large number of people who may consider themselves as having lost their virginit’y, but that definition is going to be very different for them.” So losing your v card might involve penetration, or it might involve anal s3x, or@l s3x, manual stimulation, dildos, whatever. There’s no rule that your first time has to meet a specific set of criteria.
Not every v@gina bleeds like a stab wound the first time you have s3x. “Some women don’t notice any bleeding at all, but it is true that some women bleed a lot,” s3x researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of Because It Feels Good, tells BuzzFeed Life. This comes from tearing the hymen, which is basically just tissue inside the v@gina. All women have different amounts of hymenal tissue, and in rare cases they aren’t born with any. There’s really no way to predict how much you’ll bleed, so…maybe keep a light on, suggests Herbenick.
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3. Along those lines, a “hymen check” is really no way to determine vi’rginity.
Again, different people have different amounts of hymenal tissue, and some are thinner, worn away, or filled with fewer blood vessels than others. Plus, that tissue can tear from a variety of things, like physical activity, masturbation, fingering, etc., says Herbenick. So to use this as a marker of whether or not you’ve had s*x just…doesn’t make sense.
4. It doesn’t have to hurt.
If your first time involves penetration, a little pain or pressure might be expected. That said, it should still be overall pleasurable — not painful. So if it hurts a lot, stop. This could be a signal that you need more foreplay or lubrication, says Mark.