'Virgin Diaries' Reminds Us the First Time Is Never the Best Time

virgin diaries coupleIf you've seen the clip going around from TLC's new show, The Virgin Diaries, you know just how, err, uncomfortable and naive some of the show's subjects are about things most of us take for granted as adults ... like kissing and, of course, sex. Seeing people in their early 30s having to endure the embarrassment of various "first times" so late in life might make for intriguing (if not mean-spirited) entertainment, because it's such a foreign concept to most of us. But, at the same time, I see something in this show that's actually very relatable. And that's how excited and idealistic these virgins are about their first time. Now, come on, who can't relate to that?

At some point or another, we were all virgins, thinking that the first time we had sex would be like something out of a teen prime-time soap (a la Dawson's Creek) or a rom-com.


But whether we were 15 or 25, most of us learned at some point that the first time never ends up being the same as it is in the movies.

It wasn't until I was 23 that I finally "swiped my V-card" -- something I even wrote an (award-winning, ha!) essay about in college. I had written about how waiting, for me, had absolutely nothing to do with religion or moral values and everything to do with the fact that I thought I'd be an emotional wreck if I did it with someone I didn't love. I also decided I deserved to do it with someone who loved me. I wasn't waiting for marriage -- just the right guy, someone who wasn't only a "one-night stand who left me flat on my back and forgotten the next day," as I wrote.

My expectations were certainly steeped in the pop culture diet I grew up on (I confessed, "Sometimes I think I'm waiting because Brenda and Dylan did it once they were officially in love on 90210"). Thankfully, I ended up being happy with how my first time went down, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. However, in retrospect, I realize I would have been just fine if I had done it under different circumstances. Definitely not as a one-night stand, but maybe with someone who wasn't necessarily my soul mate.

I admit, I bought into the idea that the first time was a REALLY BIG DEAL. Don't get me wrong -- I still believe it's important. (And if it goes really wrong, it can be devastating.) But for most people, it's never exactly life-changing. It's not the end of the world or the beginning of it. It just is, and from there, you can only learn more about what you need, enjoy, and deserve. If The Virgin Diaries can teach jaded non-virgins anything, it's that we all once gave the first time a bit more credit than it deserves.

Do you think there's too much weight placed on having an ideal "first time"? What was yours like?


Image via discovery.tlc.com

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