In movies, the first sexual encounter is always portrayed as a romantic and magical experience. The couple on the screen is almost always in a perfect state of bliss, swimming in the ecstasy of orgasm. However, the first time you jump in between the sheet with someone can sometimes be painfully awkward IRL.
But the awkwardness isn't so bad after all, sex therapist Ian Kerner tells Women's Health in an interview, as this only "means you're learning how to do it with this particular person."
"When you're having sex with someone for the first time, it's a new experience. Any time you do something new, you have to learn how to do it," explains Kerner.
It might not be a comfortable situation for most, but the beauty of first times is that it varies depending on the individual telling the story.
Below, five real women share their stories of how they popped their cherry:
"I just remember feeling very uncomfortable. I was just 18 and knew nothing about my body or sex. I started bleeding. I panicked and decided to watch television to keep myself calm. He later told me that the condom broke. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to kill him. I just met him at a bar, and I'm just happy that I didn't get pregnant."—Colin,29
"Mine wasn't so bad, but it's kind of funny. I wasn't very knowledgeable about sex when I lost my virginity. I heard that it was supposed to be painful and I was supposed to bleed. Anyway, one night, my boyfriend and I ended up having sex. There was no pain or bleeding. We had sex a few more times before we broke up and I went off to college. Fast forward a few months, I meet a new guy. When I pull down his pants, I'm shocked by the size of his penis, and freak out a little bit. He's confused and reassures me that he's normal and pretty much average. So we had sex and this time I bled. He asked if I was a virgin. At that moment, I realized that my first boyfriend was abnormally small and probably was not big enough to break my hymen."—Jane,21
"I had never seen a penis in my entire life and had no idea how to handle one. During foreplay, he whipped it out and I was afraid that if I gripped it with my fist I would squeeze too hard and hurt him. Instead, I patted the top of it with two fingers like the way you would pet a puppy for a few minutes until he asked me if he could show me how he liked to be touched. We somehow managed to have totally normal sex after that."—Kat,28
"We had only been together for less than a month when my boyfriend asked me to have sex. I was only 14 years old back then. He was 16. I was hesitant because I came from a conservative family, but he promised me that whatever happened, he would never leave me. I believed him. We had sex in the comfort room of our school after class dismissal. When I got home, I saw lots of blood in my underwear. I had to wear pads for days and I was super sick. He never showed up or even texted me after that. When I saw him with a new girl, I felt really depressed. It has been nine years and I still can’t believe that I was fooled."—Paula, 23
"It was my birthday and my now ex-boyfriend was teasing me the whole time we were watching a film in the movie house. I finally agreed to have sex. He told me he could no longer wait, so we had a quickie in the comfort room. We were caught by a security guard. We didn't know what to do. We tried to bribe him, but he didn't want to accept. I was crying and he was really worried. Finally, the head security guard decided to let us go, but we had to provide our names and address. As soon as we stepped out of the security room, he told me it was the best thing that has ever happened to him. I broke up with him immediately."—Henrich, 26