"It's kind of a double-edged sword isn't it? If you say you haven't, you're a prude. If you say you have, you're a slut. It's a trap."
So spoke Ally Sheedy's character in "The Breakfast Club" on a topic that inspires continued fascination: virginity, the v-card every woman is supposed to hold onto at the time in her life when she is often obsessed with turning it in.
To get more answers to those questions, we asked our female readers to send us their virginity stories -- the good, the bad, the simply "meh." We received submissions from women in their teens through their 50s, within the United States and abroad. And even though everyone had a story about their "first time," each of those stories is very different. The diversity of experiences shared with us further underscores the fact that a person's first time can mean a lot of different things. We might be better off if we stopped putting so much emphasis on it.
LOOK: 11 Women Share Their "First Time" Stories
"He was married, 30 years older than me"
He was married, 30 years older than me, and guilty as hell. I kept pushing for it. I wanted it. Until I got it. As soon as I had a naked man writhing on top of me, all I could think was, "God, I hope I never have to do this again!"
--32 years old, Toronto
"It didn't hurt at all, but it wasn't good"
I was 15 and he was almost 19. We never talked about if we had "done it" before but I hadn't and I don't think he had either. I had given guys blowjobs and been fingered and made out with people so I thought "no big deal!" Right? Wrong. Making eye contact was embarrassing for me and making out was weird to do while we were "doing it." It didn't hurt at all but it wasn't good. I was not aroused at all anymore and I was seriously wondering if I was asexual or something ... Afterward, [we] talked about [it] for hours and then by that time I was finally turned on enough that we had enjoyable sex.
--18 years old, Utah
"I lost my virginity on a trampoline"
All my friends had lost "theirs" earlier than me, but I had told myself I was waiting [until] at least 16. Well 16 rolled around and we went to a gin and juice party. Unfortunately, I laid my eyes on the hottest guy at the party and then laid down with him on a trampoline. It wasn't magical or the special waterfall I imagined. But, saying I lost my virginity on a trampoline has made for some great conversations.
--31 years old, Virginia
"We are still in love"
The first time I had sex with a woman: It was a spring afternoon. We had just gone to the botanic gardens, holding hands the entire time. We made love under a duvet as the sun shone in my bedroom window. It was gentle. It was kind and warm and we are still in love.
--30 years old, St. Paul
"He just friend requested me on Facebook"
I was 15. Christmas night. On the basement floor. Partner? 17-year-old steady boyfriend of several months. It was his first time too. He just friend requested me on Facebook. Currently I'm 53, happily married for the second time for 26 years.
--53 years old, Illinois
"After we did it, we got out of the car and both went our separate ways"
I lost my virginity with a guy from my class I was in love with. I was 18 years old. I had a crush on him since first grade. He was out of reach until we started joking about it. Then I asked him what if things [went] there and so, the next day we met up. It was also his first time, so it wasn't uncomfortable or anything. It didn't hurt at all. The weirdest part was [after] we did it, we got out of the car and we both went our separate ways. I told him, "See ya on Monday at school!" And that was it. We never dated, but we kept meeting like that for the next three years. I didn't date anyone else. He was my first love and I don't regret one moment of it. The only sad thing is that we weren't even friends. I haven't seen him in ages, but my memories are so great and I love it.
--25 years old, Croatia
"Most unromantic night imaginable"
We were both 17. My mom gave me a ride to his house. His parents were out of town and my mom had no clue of course. Things moved along and all of a sudden there we were in his bedroom with music on. We got to the point of either we do or we don't, so we did. As we developed a rhythm, kind of, the doorbell rings, not once but frantically. My first thought was, "Oh my God, it's my mom!" We start freaking out looking for our clothes. He finds his first and runs down to see who it is. Turns out to be a group of his friends who showed up to invite us bowling. We got back to things, finished and the doorbell rings again. This time it's planned, different friends coming to give me a ride home. These friends turned out to have smoked pot before coming over and proceeded to eat Oreo cookies on white bread dunked in Coke in his kitchen while giggling hysterically. Then they somehow spotted a condom wrapper in the trash. Next of course were high fives and more laughing. Most UN-romantic night imaginable.
--Age and location not provided
"I asked what no man ever wants to hear: 'Is it in?'"
My first time is the sort of story that mothers have nightmares about their only daughter having. I was two months shy of my 16th birthday and instead of the sweet seduction of an R. Kelly song in the background, I had [the horror movie] "When A Stranger Calls." It was 2 a.m. and I had snuck over to my "secret-totally-unhealthy-bootycall-who-I-thought-was-a-good-guy-but-actually-a-man-whore" and felt judgement as the guards let me in. (I was a Diplomat's kid and we had security). I remember his body on top of mine asking me "Are you sure?" and my response was "Yes, I'm sure." After a heavy breath I felt something. Not pain but, uncertainty and I asked what no man ever wants to hear: "Is it in?" He replied with "Yeah, it's in, can't you feel it?"
A few minutes later, I had a sweaty guy on top of me, breathing heavily saying how amazing it felt. I turned my face and watched [actress] Camilla Bell scream. I didn't even realize 'til it was over that I never even got a kiss out of it. I walked back home, snuck in and showered before falling asleep until my alarm went off for school. I can't ever look at Camilla Bell without thinking of that time.
--22 years old, Los Angeles
"I was squeezing my eyes so tight that my contact lenses popped out"
Well, I was in high school and my mom and sister were away. We did it in the middle of my living room floor. I was squeezing my eyes so tight that both of my contact lenses popped out and we had to stop!
--Age not provided, Virginia
"The only thing he didn't know about me was that I was still a virgin"
I lost my virginity quite late, I was 24: way too old. I was dating a guy but the only thing he didn't know about me was that I was still a virgin. Every time we made out I made up a silly excuse not to have sex because I was afraid I'd bleed and reveal the embarrassing truth: that I was a virgin. I say "embarrassing" because I assumed being a virgin at that age was something wrong -- that I was unwanted, ugly, undesirable and therefore, unworthy as a woman, that all the times I had said no to sex because I didn't like the guy or didn't feel confortable with it had made me a prude and that I probably didn't deserve the sex.
I wanted to have sex with [my boyfriend] but at the same time I didn't, because I didn't want him to know my secret. So one day it just happened: we were having drinks, we went to bed and we did it. I didn't even bleed (maybe because I had already broken my hymen masturbating) but he didn't notice it was my first time. I was nervous, I wanted him to feel he was having sex with a "normal" girl (thanks, prejudice) so I didn't particularly enjoy it.
Now I can say I have a very healthy sex life. I'm not ashamed of having sex and I'm not ashamed of my body anymore. Of course, that doesn't mean I needed a man's approval to like myself, but engaging in a very active sex life has made me aware of just how much pleasure the female body is capable of experiencing. But if people want to wait, let them wait: it's ok to do it when you want to, when you feel you're ready and with a partner you want. Do not feel any pressure. Your value doesn't depend on being wanted by others.
--25 years old, Colombia
"I had the big 'O' on the first try"
My first time was when I was 16 with my boyfriend of eight months. He was my first love. It was December 30th. I know! New Year's Eve would have sounded much better! But we had been trying for a while. He finally "got in" that night.
There was a blue glow over us. I had a blue lightbulb in the ceiling light of my bedroom. He was a virgin, too. Our friends were downstairs in the living room drinking. Mine was the party house. I had the big "O" on the first try! Yay! I was on top. He had a little pain, I did not. I had always heard about [bleeding] but it didn't happen with me. It was wonderful. We stayed together until after he graduated, for 2.5 years total. I was so heartbroken when we split. Other than my husband, he is the only person I've had full on sex with.
We talked a few years ago after 22 years ... When we talked about our first time he said he remembered the moonlight on me. I had to remind him of the blue light. He remembered the rest.
--43 years old, Pennsylvania