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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Column: My first time

Remember high school? It was a time when we tried to fit in, be someone we weren’t and did stupid things. Some of us tried drugs. Some of us didn’t. Some of us learned our drinking limits before we could drive. Some of us didn’t. Some of us lost “it” and – you guessed it – some of us didn’t.

 For those of you who caved in to the pressures of being a high school student with raging hormones, you are not alone.

 I was exposed to the greatness of college at an early age. I’m an only child, but lucky for me, I had two older cousins who showed me the ropes. Thanks to them, I experienced a frat party, slept in a dorm room and learned how to play beer pong before I became an Aggie.

 One thing I learned on my own was something no one could teach me. It was the day I lost it.

 I was 16 and it was with my first boyfriend. He had the house to himself – a rare occurrence. It was the perfect opportunity.

 Nervous and excited, I drove the 25 minutes to his place. He opened the front door, and we both knew it was going to happen.

 Of course, we talked about it, as you should before taking part in such an act. We had been together for months and we had strong feelings for each other. But what does a 16-year-old know about love? Not a lot.

 I won’t tell you the gory details, but I will tell you it was nothing like the movies. It was messy, sweaty and probably one of the most painful moments in my life.

 I’m not going to lie. I’m glad it happened when it did. I learned a lot about myself, and the people around me.

 But really – don’t do it unless you’re ready. And only you will know when you’re ready.

 After talking about this with some friends, one had something important to share about your first time.

 “It’s about communication and knowing that it’s supposed to be intimate, but also awkward regarding how to get comfortable,” she said. “So you have to laugh a little, too.”

 She also made sure she trusted her partner, because it’s not something that’s easy or happens quickly.

 You definitely need to have a sense of humor in the bedroom. When the condom wrapper won’t open or if you can’t get her bra off, you better be ready to crack a joke or burst out in laughter. No one wants to feel embarrassed when they’re getting down and dirty.

 Another friend of mine got a bit creative with her first time and hosted a “deflowering” party to get advice from her friends. She told me it was helpful, but did not prepare her for the pain. She did it anyway, and on V-day, her V-card was taken.

 Or you could go the public route: Doing it on the floor of a living room next to your best friend. Yup, that’s what my friend did. And don’t worry – she still has her best friend. The guy, however, is another story.

 If you haven’t had your first time yet, your day will come. You’re young and have your whole life ahead of you. You probably chose to wait for a multitude of reasons. Whatever it is, stick to it. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing it.

 For those of you who haven’t lost it, I’d love to know how you’ve been able to stay true to your values while being in college. I can imagine it’s a hard place to be in if you haven’t done it. From the media to your next-door neighbor, sex is all around you. So how do you keep it in your pants?  

ERICA BETNUN is praying to the weather gods for a glorious, sunny Picnic Day! Well, aren’t you? Let her know at elbetnun@ucdavis.edu.


  1. Personally, I think that the pressure NOT to have sex is more annoying than the pressure to have sex. I once took a V-card from a 24 year-old daddy’s boy and he was by far the worst lover I ever had. I think it would have been much nicer if he was encouraged to play around and explore a little with oral and manual sex, but by the time we got into bed, he was way too squeamish to do anything but ask me to stick a condom on him and get on top. While I admire people saving vaginal sex for later, I think that they should explore the “no-no zone” in other ways so they don’t make fools of themselves when the time comes. Plus, masturbation helps a lot.


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