The first on-screen sex scene that depicted a character losing her virginity that I ever saw was in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High (total classic and a must see, if you haven't.) I was a baby when the movie came out in 1982, but when I did see it at the age of 11 or so, the scene in which Jennifer Jason Leigh's character awkwardly loses her virginity to some older guy on the dugout bench of some local ball field left a lasting impression on me: losing one's virginity doesn't look like fun.
Based on a new study, what Cameron Crowe scripted for that part of the movie wasn't very far off, because research has found that losing your virginity today is far better than it was 20 to 30 years ago. Amongst all the chaos of the modern world, at least the younger generation has that going for them.
Over a 23-year period, researchers at Illinois State University surveyed 5,000 men and women to see how virginity loss experiences had changed. What they found was that both genders had far more enjoyable first time experience each year that passed. While 30 years ago men dealt with extreme levels of performance anxiety and women struggled with feelings of guilt, now, 30 years later, those negative feelings have decreased. These days to lose your virginity, although a milestone, isn't as big of a deal as it used to be, and because of that, people are feeling less bad about it. I mean, really, what is there to feel bad about? You have to lose it at some point — well, if you want to embark on sexual relationships in your life, you have to get over that first hump.
In addition, the research also found that despite differences in pleasure for both men and women (men enjoying it more) back in the day, that has also evened out, as guilt on the part of the ladies appears to be dissipating more and more. All around, losing your virginity isn't looking as awkward or painful as it did years ago, and of course we reduced sexism to thank for that. So thanks, reduced sexism!
We may still have a ways to go in women being viewed as equals, especially when it comes choices about our body, but this study is a nice reminder that the world is evolving in that regard. Tragically, there will always be those who will judge the sexual practices of others, but I'm of the notion those people are either jealous or desperately in need of a hobby. Probably both, to be honest.
Photo credit: weheartit.com
If you're feeling good about your decision to lose your virginity, feel safe in the situation and have birth control on hand, then go for it. Don't let the judgments of others factor in to that experience at all. It’s your body, and according to science, you’re going to have a way better first time than your parents did. Lucky!
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