Sometimes the where of losing your virginity is as important as the who.
Not everyone loses their virginity on a twin bed in a Midwestern basement. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Here are 10 stories from Nerve readers who lost their V-card with a little more international flair.
Male • 16 years old • South of France
I was on a summer holiday with my parents and little sister, on the Petit Camargue delta — inhabited mostly by horses and flamingos. In a moment of hysteria my mother had booked us into what can only be described as a dole-queue resort, a vast community of mobile homes with a swimming pool, a stage for evening entertainment, and a nightclub open until four in the morning. My nights were based heavily around the nightclub, the doors of which would open around ten p.m. when all the sun-struck parents would waddle off to bed, while their young would begin swigging cheap Mexican lager and vodka-lemonades.
On the last night I was sitting at the bar minding my business when this skinny ginger number came up and sat next to me. She looked a lot younger than me. She ordered a snakebite — a pint glass of half lager, half cider with a shot of black-currant cordial. I ordered the same. Her name was Ceri and she was from Wales, a poor village somewhere or other. She was sixteen and she only got fifty-pence pocket money a week. We smoked and smoked and smoked.
Before I knew it we were on a wooden bench near the swimming pool, under the shade of a palm tree. I was stone drunk. All I remember is her saying, "Oh, just bloody kiss me, you twat," in this almost incomprehensible Welsh slur and grabbing me by the head. I slid my hand up her mini-skirt and pulled her knickers apart and awkwardly tried to do what I thought I had become quite good at. She put her small hand down my shorts and jerked at it. We must have been doing this for a good twenty drunken minutes until her impatience got the better of her again: "Come on then, are we going to shag or what?"
We made a break for a nearby field. It had been freshly plowed, so the surface was all dried dirt and stones. She pulled off her shirt and her bra to reveal her little breasts, then flicked away her boring white knickers. I ripped my shorts off and barely had time to think before she jumped on top of me. She grabbed it and tried to stuff it in, but she was so small, it could barely fit. After a while she succeeded, but I was so drunk and everything tasted stale from all the cigarettes and the rocks were sticking into my back I just couldn't keep the old boy going. I felt like I'd let the entire world down.
The next morning when I met up with Ceri she told me she'd lied about her age and some other things. She was actually fifteen, and had a boyfriend who stole her pocket money for fags. So that made me a pervert and a partner to adultery. She sent me letters and kept calling me up over the rest of the summer, but her spelling and grammar were so bloody awful I could barely understand her. But I still think about her now.
Next: Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic…
Female • 25 • Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic
We met one night at a car wash — which, in the D.R., is really a car wash by day and an open-air dancehall by night, with bachata music blaring from six-foot speakers and ice-cold Presidente crowding the plastic tabletops. He asked me to dance and we stayed on the floor all night, shamelessly grinding and making out.
He had beautiful sable hair; he was tall and lean with a huge white smile and smooth skin. His name was Argenis. I was a volunteer living with nuns, so sex was definitely off limits in my house, and discouraged in general. He would pick me up at the end of the block and we'd ride into the city on his motorbike and dance the night away. One afternoon, I snuck off to his house, roosters and street dogs fighting for space on the dusty road. His mother and his little brother and sister were hanging out on the couch. They were pretty amused by this tall gringa with her questionable Spanish that Argenis had brought home.
He brought me into his room and undressed me head to toe. He pulled his shorts off to reveal the largest and most handsome penis I have seen to this day. I blessed myself and laid back on the bed. It hurt the first couple of times; he had boundless energy and a mouth like an octopus. The song playing in the background was "Mi Primavera" by the salsero Michel, one of my favorite songs to this day.
He was sweet and lots of fun and I kept going back for more. We would romp around his room for hours and then play dominoes and drink Coca-Cola in the hot afternoon sun. I loved my little secret affair and loved my sore thighs on the back of his motorbike as he drove me back to the nuns' house. For the first time in my life, I felt like such a dirty, sexy woman.
Next: A soldier in Jerusalem finds love, however brief…
Male • 21 • Jerusalem
We met on the train. I was a combat soldier on my way back to base from a twenty-four-hour leave, and she was on her way to work. We talked for a short while. Again, I lacked the nerve to even ask for her number. Luckily, the next time I took the train, she was there again. We talked for longer this time.
We went out on a date that week — Belgian waffles and a walk downtown. I got so nervous I waved goodbye to her. The next time, we met at a botanical garden. It was cherry-blossom week. As I got ready to cross the street after another kissless date, she took charge and kissed me goodbye.
After that, we talked every day on the phone. A month after we met I told her on the phone that I loved her, and I think I really did, too. I still remember the sound of her voice melting on the end of the line. We were that couple you see on trains and buses around town, kissing and cuddling for the whole ride.
A few weeks after I got used to the kissing and petting, we went over to her parents' place. They were out of the country. We were playing around and she told me she usually didn't go all the way so soon in a relationship. She wanted me to know that she wasn't "a whore or something." I told her she wasn't one, but I didn't mention that she would be my first.
I was smiling the whole time and that made her laugh at me, but I didn't mind. She had a huge mirror in her room, so I could see her backside and myself under her. I told myself to remember that image, so I could remember how I felt that night. Afterwards we took a shower together (another first for me), went to bed, and ended up doing it again. I was really proud of myself that night.
She was my first kiss, first second and third base, and my first home-run, and she never even knew it. We broke up a month later. I knew then we weren't meant to last — we were too different — but it took her longer to realize that. Luckily, she wasn't my last, but thinking of her face laughing at my smiling still brings back good memories.
Next: "He liked breasts. I have nice breasts. It seemed like a good match."
Female • 24 years old • Tokyo, Japan
I was living alone in Tokyo when I met this guy on a dating website. He liked breasts. I have nice breasts. It seemed like a good match. He was older and more experienced than I was. But when I talked to him, I felt amazed by how alike we were. I might have loved him a little bit, for all his flaws. We kissed in a karaoke room at 5 a.m. I was tired and drunk, but I knew he wanted me. It excited me — I wanted him too. He touched me on a bridge in the city, pressed against the railing, his hands in my hair, and I knew this was it. I felt ridiculously, breathlessly turned-on. I could do this thing. It wasn't impossible.
We made out like teenagers on the couch in my apartment. I kissed him, and he put his hands down my pants. He put his mouth on my breasts. I had told him I was a virgin via email. It was almost impossible; I didn't think I could actually type the words. I felt incredibly awkward about it. My chosen partner was not a comforting person, either. But maybe I didn't want comfort. I wanted it to be over.
We watched TV and he held my hand and touched my hair. We started kissing, and I liked it a lot this time. I licked his collarbones and I took off my shirt. There was another first — shirtless in front of someone who wanted to have sex with me. Then he put his hands down my underwear. Another first. For a second, I was terrified. I wanted to stop him. Was I really going to do this? For that moment, I was here and alive. It felt like reality was ten times more intense than usual.
Then I realized it felt really good. He fingered me, and I wasn't sure what to do with my hands or the rest of my body. I was still a bit terrified. I ran my hands over his back and just held on. He kissed my breasts and then he went down on me. It felt almost impossibly good. I wasn't really sure if I came or not — it didn't feel like my usual orgasms did — but when he stopped touching me, I felt pretty satisfied. Then I touched him, my palm against bare skin. Before I knew it, I was giving a blowjob. After he came, we made out some more, and he fingered me a bit again. Then he wanted to fuck me.
We started out in the missionary position, him between my legs. At first it wasn't so bad. It felt strange, but a little familiar, not much different than a few fingers inside of me. But when he pushed further inside, it started to hurt, like he was pushing against something solid, like something was ripping inside of me. I put up with it for a while, presuming that it would end, but it didn't, and I eventually pushed him away when an extra-hard thrust really hurt.
Then we realized that it was supposed to be easier with the girl on top, so that's what we did. It still hurt at first, but I could control the amount of penetration, and maybe it had started getting better by that time anyway. I can still remember when it started feeling good. I couldn't tell at first if what I was feeling was pleasure or pain, but the sensation became a bright pleasure that ran up the back of my spine like bright sparks.
My first feeling after we finished was relief. When he left that morning, I already suspected I'd never see him again, and I didn't.
Next: Losing it in a Honolulu hotel where your mom works the front desk…
Male • 20 • Honolulu, HI
I lost my virginity at the age of twenty in a room in the hotel where my mom worked. My guess is that my girlfriend did it because she thought she owed it to me, even though she had no interest in it any longer.
I didn't choose to stay a virgin until twenty. Aside from a few kisses at parties, I hadn't had much experience at all. The media often says that men are at their sexual peak at eighteen; I sometimes joke that no one will ever know how good I could have been.
I'd been dating Liz for a few months. At first she'd been a waitress at the club I went to all the time; later, she worked at the record store. She was a little older and had come from California. She became my first girlfriend. She gave me my first hit of E, introduced me to tequila poppers and Long Island iced teas, and will forever appear in my mind when I hear Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic."
Our dates had mostly been conversation and making out in my car. She knew I was a virgin. We had talked about sleeping together, but she said that she didn't want my first time to be in the car or with her roommate in the other room.
A few days later she said that she needed to go home to San Fran for a little while. I suggested getting a room at the hotel so we could hang out together for the day before she left. My mom worked at the front desk and while I'm sure she suspected what was going on, I assured her that my girlfriend and I just wanted to have some time together since we didn't know exactly how long she'd be gone.
In the middle of the afternoon and in the space of a few minutes, I lost my virginity. My recollection of it now is that it wasn't very tender. What I remember most distinctly (and what overshadows the whole memory, I'm sure) is that when I was done, she didn't ask me how I felt. For all her previous concern about waiting to make my first time right, she barely said a word.
Next: Venezuela: "I'm not sure why I lied about my virginity."
Female • 17 • Venezuela
By the age of seventeen, I was sexually active: I had given handjobs (two) and blowjobs (four). But so far no one but me had been anywhere near my vagina.
Still, I fooled everyone I knew into believing otherwise. I'm not sure why I lied about my virginity; I just didn't have anything interesting to say one day when I was fifteen, so I told my best friend that I'd had sex with one of my cousin's friends. I just spread the rumor around, and people believed me.
My best male friend, E, was gorgeous and a bit of a dick. We had some sort of sexual tension, in that I'd had a crush on him since eighth grade and he was desperate for a fuck from anyone. I'd given him a blowjob about two months prior, but I wasn't exactly eager for someone who knew me so well to learn that I was a huge liar.
After the aforementioned blowjob, we kept talking about the possibility of making it a regular thing, with the only impediment being that we had nowhere to do it. But then came Christmas break, and everyone was out of town, including my cousin, who was in Colombia with her family. She left me her apartment's keys with the intention of me picking up her boyfriend's Christmas present, but it was the best chance I had of being alone with E.
We arrived at my cousin's apartment, and went straight to bed. We were lying down, talking and goofing around, when suddenly I noticed his hand trying to unbutton my bra, and then touching my nipples. His hand began to run over my torso until he reached my pants and unbuttoned them. Before I knew it I was giving him another blowjob, when he said with a delicious grin on his face, "I think it's time," and showed me the condom he was keeping in his pocket.
Since he thought I wasn't a virgin, he insisted on me being on top. I thought I could do it, but I couldn't. I told him it was because it had been so long since the last time, and we gave up and decided to switch to missionary. It hurt like hell, but then it didn't hurt anymore. On the other hand, it didn't feel good either, and I started to think about how I was being penetrated on my cousin's bed by someone who felt nothing (romantically) for me — and who in fact was in a two-year-plus relationship with a girl I thought was much better than me.
After he came, I took off his condom, and noticed some blood on the tip: my period had just come back. He laughed about it, pulled his pants back on, and said he would walk me home. When he left me at my front door and kissed me goodbye on the cheek as usual, I realized that I'd just had sex with a guy and we hadn't even kissed.
Next: "When an Austrian woman wants something, she's going to get it."
Male • 20 years old • Vienna, Austria
I didn't know anything about the female body, or sex, except that I wanted both very badly. Thanks to an Orthodox Jewish upbringing, I didn't even know about menstruation or female orgasms. I was a little bit afraid of having sex, to be honest.
Then came my semester abroad, and Katie. We were both staying at the Wombat Hostel in Wein — the kind of hostel that gives you a free drink coupon when you check in. I had been dutifully seeing the sights and getting to know my fellow travelers, and the hostel's "womBar" seemed like as good a place as any to watch the Rugby World Cup. The bar was giving out free shots to anyone who painted their faces, so St. George's Cross went on my cheeks. The night gets a bit blurry after that.
Several beers later, I saw her. I asked if I could buy her a drink — that's what guys do, right? She had a single sip before we started making out. I knew enough to know that I should get her upstairs, to her room.
And here's where the limitations of hostels, even the mighty Wombat, stepped in. Katie and her friends were in town for the weekend, and the eight-person room was filled with music, booze, and other people who didn't want to stop their partying just so we could get in on. My lone roommate was a forty-something German woman, in town for a Mozart conference. Needless to say, my pleas didn't get very far with her at two in the morning.
Yet Katie was determined. We decided to go back to the bar, and she started unzipping my pants in the elevator. I started ripping off her blouse, and we would have screwed right there, but in the middle of our groping, the small elevator started to move downward. We hastily buttoned and zipped ourselves as a young, now-scandalized woman stepped on.
You'd think that would kill the mood, but on that day I learned a valuable lesson: when an Austrian woman wants something, she's going to get it. She grabbed my hand and lead me out of the Wombat and into the warm Vienna night. I was convinced that I was going to wake up in a bathtub of ice missing a kidney, yet decided to see where the night would take me. Not far, as it turns out. Just down the block, Katie had spied an alleyway. Luckily, there was an abandoned car; no wheels, no windows, one cushion. We hopped in.
Things suddenly became very beautiful. Sensing my nerves, she climbed on top of me, after deploying a condom that she had picked up in her room. She knew exactly how to move, and I was in sudden ecstasy. In my utter shock, I couldn't think of anything to say except the facts — "I'm fucking you! I'm fucking you!" But it didn't bother Katie — "Yes, you're fucking me. You can tell your friends you fucked me." She smiled and went back to work.
Afterwards, I suddenly got very tired. (Who knew?) We dutifully went back to the Wombat, where we rather abruptly split ways. Ah, Vienna.
Next: "We met in an expat bar in Bangkok."
Female • 18 • Thailand
We met in an expat bar in Bangkok. I had just graduated from high school and gotten a job as a nanny for an international family. It was my first time living outside of Canada. The guy and a friend of his sat down with two tiny Asian girls at a table near the one I was sitting at with a group of girlfriends I'd only just met. We soon started talking. He confided that he didn't know the girls his friend had invited along, that they barely spoke English, and that he was bored. He told me he was from Canada too, and it felt like we had something in common. He bought me a drink. He was in his late twenties, had an impressive career, and had lived all over the world.
I resented the fact that he had chosen to end it with me. I'd never even really kissed a guy before him, and he was sexually experienced, knew where to touch me and how. I didn't feel ready to end things, but I agreed that it was just as well that we just stay friends. Soon we were friends. We were both new to the city, and we would try new restaurants and bars together. He smoked Du Maurier cigarettes and told stories about exotic places where he had lived or traveled. It took a long time for him to kiss me, and when he did I was confused about whether I wanted to be friends or something more. Regardless, a week later, I went out of town for a weekend for my job, and when I came back he was seeing someone else.
But that didn't happen. We hooked up for months while he was seeing the other girl. He would tell me he wanted to be with me, that things with his girlfriend weren't working but she was emotionally unstable and he couldn't leave her. He kept pushing me to go further sexually, but I couldn't bring myself to lose my virginity to a guy who was cheating on his girlfriend with me.
Eventually, his girlfriend went away to visit her family in Australia, and we spent the whole time together. We stayed in eating takeout and smoking pot, watching movies and fooling around. It felt like the "real" relationship I'd never had before. When his girlfriend got back, he broke up with her.
A few weeks later, we were fooling around in bed before he left for work in the morning. I was on my stomach and he was holding himself over me and kissing my neck, the head of his dick pressing on my cunt. I raised my hips towards him, and taking it as an invitation, he pushed forward and suddenly he was inside of me. I'd always thought we would talk about it beforehand — decide what to do. I'd thought I would feel more than I felt. It didn't hurt, but it didn't feel great either, and all I could think was, "Well, there goes that. I guess I'm not a virgin anymore." He was two hours late for work that morning and I found that oddly comforting.
I hadn't felt ready, but I decided that since I'd already lost it I might as well keep having sex with him. I came to his place when I finished work that night and we had sex again, with me on top. That second time, I couldn't believe how good it felt. Our relationship lasted for nearly a year. Amazingly, when I found out he was cheating on me, I was surprised.
Next: "The rabbi explained the act with a lot of hand gesturing."
Male • 19 years old • Brooklyn, NY
I was a month short of nineteen, and it was my wedding day. At three o'clock in the afternoon I had an appointment with the "groom instructor," a rabbi who specialized in teaching young grooms the ins and outs of sex.
I was born and raised into a Hasidic community where separation of the sexes was so extreme that men and women walked on different sides of the street. Sex education was not only non-existent, the mere acknowledgement of the act was enough to turn faces red. I was vaguely aware of romance as a secular (and very uncouth) form of interplay between the sexes. Lacking anything more substantial, I spent most of my teen years imagining that point of entry to be what others considered only a point of exit. Needless to say, I had mixed feelings about the whole idea.
At exactly three p.m. I knocked on the rabbi's door, and an emaciated-looking man with a very long beard led me into his study. He opened a large volume lying on the desk and read the first paragraph: "One who marries a virgin takes possession of her, and separates from her immediately." In other words, after the act, one must adhere to the applicable laws regarding a menstruating woman — the most important of which is, no physical contact whatsoever.
I freaked out. I needed the basics, not the religious laws on what comes afterwards. I needed to know what goes where, what to say to her, what or what not to wear. I wanted technical details of biology, perhaps some guidance on positions, and the like. But I was too stunned to say anything.
After a nerve-wracking hour, however, my concerns were sufficiently allayed when the rabbi explained the act with a lot of hand gesturing. It was still an entirely unexciting proposition, but I felt comfortable enough to go through with it.
Hours later, with the wedding party over, the guests gone, and the gifts inventoried, my new wife and I began preparing for the act. Dressed in the requisite clothing (nightgown for her, nightshirt for me), with a heavy sheet hung over the window curtains to ensure total darkness, we fumbled our way into bed. Still virtual strangers, we moved about each other shyly, awkwardly adjusting to the unfamiliar intimacy. I did exactly as I'd been told: I gave her a kiss on the lips, said "I love you" in Yiddish (incidentally, a language most unsuitable for amorous expression), and we both lifted our clothes as I moved on top of her.
Something was definitely wrong. A piece seemed missing. I was sufficiently erect, she claimed to have no anatomical peculiarities, but something didn't fit. Hard as I tried, I couldn't get my penis into any kind of body cavity.
It was almost four in the morning, but I didn't care. I called the rabbi. "Tell her to lubricate her area with some water," he advised and hung up. We tried that. Nothing doing. I called the rabbi again. "Tell her to take your 'organ' with her hands and direct it to the position."
After many more tries, my penis long flaccid by the unerotic disaster the whole business had become, we determined that I must have already penetrated, and we called it a night. Owing to the intricacies of Jewish law, we couldn't have sex for the next two weeks. After which we tried again, and pretty much the same thing happened. After another two week interval we tried it again.
Given our track record, the whole thing was turning into a drag. Expecting another frustrating round of fumbling in the dark with vague guesses as to whether it had "worked" or not, we braced ourselves and looked forward to getting it over with. But this time something was different. As soon as my erect penis put just a little pressure against her vaginal area something magical happened. Something gave way, and all I felt was the overwhelming violence of my throbbing penis, a sensation I'd never felt before.
It would be a long time before sex would come to resemble anything like the pleasurable experience intended by nature. It took months before I dared to caress her back, touch her breasts, put my hands on her butt, and suggest we get fully naked. But when those moments came — as we navigated this new carnal territory, finding our own rhythm in the act previously considered so animalistic and therefore, best avoided — they carried an erotic energy that would be unmatched by anything later on.
Female • 18 • Singapore
At eighteen, I found a waitressing job at an airy European bar-and-restaurant in a huge Chinese shophouse in Singapore's business district. It's in an area equivalent to New York's Wall Street, I imagine. The bar was where the worldly-wise and well-heeled corporate crowd gathered after six p.m. They came from all over besides Singapore — Australia, the U.K., the U.S., India, and the Middle East. The experienced bartender, a Singaporean Indian boy four years my senior, was outspoken, funny and brash, but had a soft smile for me. I responded naturally, almost reflexively, to him, grinning and chatting every time we shared a working shift.
He summoned the courage to ask me out for dinner to a fancy restaurant. After two dates, we started to kiss. We kissed for hours in gardens, beaches, and behind malls; anywhere that afforded us privacy. We both lived with our own parents (as is common in Singapore). Later, my parents would be horrified to find out that their decent Chinese daughter dated outside of her ethnicity, to a dark-skinned boy.
I'd been reading online teenage sex-advice forums since I was fourteen, and I always thought I would discuss in a mature way how and when I was to have sex for the first time. I didn't recognize that him daring me, three months after we met, on the phone, to cab over at midnight, was an invitation to do the dirty. I sneaked over, rosy-cheeked and giddy with the excitement of a first relationship.
His parents were asleep. Candles were lit, the navy sheets smelled fresh, and we were making out for the first time in complete privacy. I still didn't have sex in mind — I thought body-kissing and fingering was fun enough for the moment. He had different ideas about what to do with the naked female frolicking in his bed. In Judy Blume, on the online forums, and on television, guys asked before they went in; it just didn't occur to me that my boyfriend wouldn't ask me before sticking himself into me.
So he had me propped up against the wall, legs open and thighs up, and he was fingering me, with one, then two fingers, and then I thought he was pressing the front of his bent wrist against my vagina, but then I realized it wasn't his wrist, because one of his hands was holding my calf, and the other was pushing against my thigh. So I reached to touch my opening, but it was blocked by his cock. I thought, "Wait a minute. His cock is in me!?" I was confused, because it felt strangely like it was still outside, pressing to get in.
"Hey, stop! Stop! Talk to me," I pleaded to his in-his-own-ecstatic-moment face, my mind whirling with the conflict of reality versus "What Was Supposed to Be." "Aren't you supposed to ask me if I'm ready emotionally and physically?"
He started blankly at me. "Er, no. You seemed ready." He was so matter-of-fact that I burst into tears and laughter at the same time. I had just lost my virginity, to an utterly insensitive guy I was unfortunately starting to care for. Then we tried it again, after he asked me nicely to get on top of him. I didn't see why not, since we had already kind of done it, without a heart-to-heart session. And then it went all the way in. It burned like a scab was being scratched off inside me, but not too painfully. But by the third time he penetrated me, it did feel more like pleasure, and less like pain.
"You have weird, fairy-tale ideas about sex," he said when it was all over, as I stared at the stain on the navy-blue sheet, trying to determine the colour of the wet.
His trademark sensitivity was hardly comforting. I had to get over my mortification by myself.
We're looking for stories about the first time you had sex. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with 500-1000 words. (Don't worry, we won't print your name — but please do make sure to include your gender, where you were, and how old you were.) Submissions may be edited.