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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » If I Knew Now What I Knew Then... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: If I Knew Now What I Knew Then...
Gumdrop Girl
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I'm posting this as a corrolary to "At What age Do Most Girls Lost Their Virginity." And I'm posting it 'cause I've been thinking a lot today.

For those of you who are sexually experienced (virginity is irrelevant, actually), in retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

It was about a year ago today that I gave up my virginity. I was 19, and it was with my boyfriend, who I am still with today.

I figured I was a big girl and able to make decisions for myself, which I was. I cared about him deeply, and I knew he cared about me, too.

But I am a year older, and that much wiser now. If I could turn back time, I would have been more up front about asking him about his sexual history.

As I found out, a day late and a dollar short, though my boyfriend already had a sexual relationship with his previous girlfriend, he somehow never figured out how to put on a condom. I was wrong to assume he knew. And thus, I found out that he had several months worth of unprotected sex with a girl who, by his own accounts, had "been around the block." So because of that, I wish I would have asked him to get tested first.

As much as I hate admitting this, I had sex with him partly because I thought he would get bored of me 'cause I was a "prudent little virgin" who wouldn't put out. I should have thought that thru a little more. But I hope other will learn from my mistake. Fortunately for me, he wasn't using me,and he really did/does care about me.

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ErinK
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If I had it to do over again...

I would've learned more about my own body and what I wanted before the first time.

I would've bought condoms right away and learned to use them without embarrassment instead of waiting until after the first bout of unprotected sex and the resultant guilt and waiting-for-my-period.

I would've learned the following phrases and been able to use them: "No." "Ow, stop for right now." "I like it when you do x...."

I would've been less embarrassed and less ashamed and more joyful about something that became a wonderful part of my life and my relationships.

And in general...

I know now that sex isn't love and love isn't sex, and that assuming a relationship exists because you've spent some time in bed with someone is a Bad Idea.

Just because I could have a sexual relationship with soemone doesn't mean that I should. I went through a six month period where I was so excited about being sexual and having people want me that I was willing to act with my heart and my loins instead of with my head first. Fortunately I didn't suffer any lasting consequences.

Sometimes, when I start to feel down, it's really tempting to try and throw myself back into getting noticed and starting up a new relationship, just so I have that nice energy rush and feel good. But I know that it's not worth having relationships just for that -- it's not only cruel to myself in the long run, it's essentially using another person for my short-term happiness.

so. that's what I've learned. Will it be on the exam?

erin


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KittenGoddess
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Oh, can I be next?

Ok, so yeah, I've still got the whole virginity thing happening, and yes, maybe I've only been 'sexually out of the closet' (so to speak...ie. wanting to get rid of the guilt and feel sexual) at all for a very short period of time...but I wanna contribute cause I've already learned something, lol.

Here's my epiphany...when you think you've got it all figured out, and everybody is ok with what's happening...ask again. Huge revelation for me, seriously. Things really are different in the morning (or the next week, as the case may be). That's the only thing I would have changed. We would have talked more about what was and wasn't ok beforehand...or at least stopped and talked about it as soon as somebody thought there was a problem.

~KittenGoddess

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"What is the odds so long as the fire of soul is kindled..."
~Charles Dickens

[This message has been edited by KittenGoddess (edited 04-16-2001).]


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entropie
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There are a lot of things I would have done differently had I 'known' what I know now. For starters I wouldn't have tried to grow up so quickly! 13 is way too young IMHO to lose your virginity, no matter how mature you may think you are at the time. Losing my virginity at that age was a huge mistake, which set me up for a lot of rough times.

I wouldn't have been so careless with protection.. and I wouldn't have been with so many boys and men in the first few years. I think I should have realised earlier on that you can't trust anyone with your health except yourself, and that no matter what they say, you have to look out for yourself. I can't remember how many times I fell for the "I didn't come, so you can get pregnant" line!

I'm regretting giving myself to an older man when I was 14, and believing him when he said he'd been "fixed". This resulted in a lot of pain, and the trauma of a miscarriage which I shouldn't have had to go through.

I think now, when I look back on what I've done, I can't be ashamed. I regret a lot of what I did, and what was done to me, but it the end it all adds up to who I am today.

Though I wish that I had saved myself for someone who loved me, and that I hadn't been through so much heartache, I have come out the end a happy person. I can reflect on what I did and pass on my experiences to others to hopefully help them make the right decisions.

Love and light
entropie

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lilnerd
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to learn to not do something just to do it!!

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You should make amends with you if only for better health. But if you really want to live, why not try and Make Yourself?


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Lin
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Fab topic Gummy Girl.

One thing I should have done was to find something close to our Readiness Checklist and read every single world of it.

I should have known more about protection, STDs/STIs and I should have made damn sure I protected myself.

I should have thought about why exactly I was having sex. And if that was a valid reason for me. When I think about it now, it wasn't. Having sex for the sake of having it is not a valid reason.


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Heather
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Wow, good question.

I'd have reminded myself there really was no great big hurry to gain experience and partners.

I'd have slowed down the seriousness of a lot of relationships, and taken my time moving into them more slowly, rather than moving in together quickly, or becoming exclusive so quickly.

I'd have worried a lot less about myself in terms of how others perceived or valued me.

I also would have patyted myself on the back a lot more than I did. I had no real iidea growing up how much more responsible I was about my sexuality and sexual health than most people. Had I known that, I'd have given myself a lot more credit for it.

And in all honesty, I had a couple partners I did not become fully sexually or emotionally intimate with, and I wish I had, simply because I didn't realize then that neither people nor relationships are as permanent as we think they are in the moment.

I'd have worried a whole lot less about the future and enjoyed the moment a whole lot more. What seemed very certain in my teens was really ridiculous at timesm and NONE of the relationships I thought were "forever" deals were. I'd have gotten a lot more out of them had I simply put more energy into them in the day-to-day and said to hell with tomorrow.

In truth, I had a very active sexual and romantic life from a fairly early age, and for the most part, I've no regrets. And the mistakes I did make, I really needed to make in order *to* know what I know now. So, in hindsight I may think there are a few things I'd do differently, but for the most part, I'm glad I did them just as I did.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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BruinDan
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I would have not bothered to get involved in long-term relationships at such a young age. I met my first girlfriend at 14, and dated her between 15 and 18. Because my mom died in the middle of that period, we clung to each other as mutual support...and I never dated anyone else throughout high school.

Then in college, I met another girl whom I fell for...and we were devoted to one another from the day we met until the day she went to Germany.

Now I stand here on this little blue planet and realize that there's this huge vastness of experience that I don't yet have, and knowledge I haven't yet gained. And admittedly, it's a scary thought. How much do I really know about women after two 3-year long relationships with only 2 people? How much do I really know about sex with the extremely limited experience I have had? Obviously, the answer is "very little." But the good news is that I now have the rest of my life to start figuring things out. I just wish now that I had got the jump on it when I had the chance.

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all star me
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Woo my first post! haha.

My "first time" was actually a very good expierience, it had been thought out and discussed thouroughly, and we both knew we loved each other, and were ready. However, I would have liked to have been on the birth control pill before I engaged in pro-creative sex for the first time. It would have saved me weeks of worrying, even though I did use a condom. I also wish I had told my mom when i was thinking about having sex, as opposed to telling her after. I think that would have caused her to have a lot more respect for my decision, and trust that it was the right one for me.

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"The most violent element in society is ignorance" - Emma Goldman


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Lady Moonlight
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Wow, great topic.

I think, looking back, I would like to have taken the whole thing less seriously. I believed, back then (have since changed my mind, by the way), that I should have one sexual partner my whole life, so my partner and I waited until we'd publically announced our engagement before we had actual intercourse. (We had done everything but, up to that point, I might add.) I had it in my head that sex = committment; it was, in other words A Big Deal.

Some time later we got married, on schedule. Three and a half years later, we got divorced (not in the original plans, obviously).

In thinking about it afterward, I've often felt that I should have had that relationship with my ex back in high school, instead of in college. That way, we could have had sex and that glorious roller coaster of first love, but then with no desire to get married so young we could have gone off to college and gotten over it, and moved on to people who were better matches for each of us. Oh well. Live and learn.

I also would have loved to have had a site like this for the sake of information. I was more knowledgable than most of my peers, but I actually had a student health _doctor_ tell me, when I told her my boyfriend and I were planning on having sex for the first time, that since we were both virgins and I was on the pill we didn't need to use condoms. Ack!

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And I've got no illusions about you.
Guess what? I never did.
When I said, when I said, "I'll take it."
I meant, I meant As Is.
--Ani DiFranco, "As Is"


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alaska
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Excellent topic, Gummy.

I would have wanted to experience intercourse in a safer more secure relationship. I don’t regret the way things happened, but I don’t think it was the cleverest thing I’ve ever done, either. Frank and me, we totally non-communicated, and that sucked big time, in retrospect. I would have wanted our Readiness Checklist back then. I would have really needed it.

I would have wanted to feel good enough about my body and myself to not rush to others for a self-esteem boost and to ease my pains and fears.

I wouldn’t have stumbled head over heels into dangerous situations.

I would have wanted to enjoy everything guilt-free and for the right reasons.

I would have wanted to be able to not let me be pressured into things I didn’t want and at the same time I would have wanted (and still want) to not let my pushy me come out sometimes and instead communicate better. This is still the biggest thing for me, communicating well about wants and needs and desires.


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BeachBabe26
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I don't think that I would have done anything differently, which I am really happy to say.

I was in a loving relationship, and even though I thought I would wait until marriage, I didn't. We talked about it months before it happened. About expectations, where, protection, feeling about it, would it change anything. Anything you could think of we talked about.

The actual "event" was beautiful. It was actually my personal favorite time we've had. The only semi-awkward thing was that I cried. Mid-action. That was a bit awkward, but it was becuse I was over-filled with emotions. He got nervous and stop for me to calm down. I just loved him dearly, and am extremely happy with my choice.


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mingo
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Oh, I don't know. I was 25, in a committed relationship, used protection, had been tested for stds. If I'd known then what I know now, I might have done it 5 years sooner with someone else, but I don't regret the way it turned out.

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We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out

[This message has been edited by mingo (edited 07-29-2002).]


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Daydreamer24
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Not to kill all of the fun here, but shouldn't it be "If I knew then what I know now..."? Just my grammatically correct side speaking,

[This message has been edited by Daydreamer24 (edited 08-07-2002).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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Daydreamer, I'm glad you noticed. Actually, I was quite intentional with the wording. it's a lyric from a song by Fountains of Wayne called "Amity Gardens"

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"In God we trust. All others must pay cash..." faw-choon kookie say.


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momomo
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although my first experience with intercourse was quite recent and it wasn't even.. "really" sex (pain made it hard and he didn't go all the way in..blah blah blah).. I do have a few regrets.

I wish I hadn't rushed... that I had not offered it to him so quickly.

I wish I had thought about sex before. really thought about it, like i have been ever since.

I wish i had masturbated more!(maybe it wouldn't have hurt so much!)

I wish I had taken more time to get to know him...even though we are very much in love it is still a new relationship.

im sure ill think of more i regret but I do not regret giving up my virginity to my current boyfriend and I dont think I will. =)


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fairie
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hmmm... If I had it to do again?

I'd have liked have been on the pill before the first time
I also wish that we would have waited until we knew each other much better, and we were more comfortable with each other sexually. (we did things kind of backwards, sex first then everything else)
I regret most things about my first time;weather(sounds strange but I always wanted it to be raining my first time), my age is what i regret most. The only thing I do not regret is who I gave my virginity to, its in my mind a very precious gift. I loved him very much, and still do even more.

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jessakuh
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i wish i knew everything i know now, when i first lost my virginity, i didnt know anything really about sex besides what it was, my boyfriend at the time was very experienced so i let him do whatever, now im very educated about the subject, i wish i was back then
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magpie
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I wish I would have gone on Depo before we started having intercourse.

I wish we would have waited a day or two longer... We were ready, but we got a little ahead of ourselves and ended up rushing through it the first time.

But other than that, I wouldn't change much else.


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Rene
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I'm 20 and still a virgin. Meaning I haven't had penal to vaginal peneration. I'm w/ a wonderful man now, and I know our relationship would move into that direction sooner than later. It feels right and I'm glad I waited.
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guitarchick2003
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachBabe26:
I don't think that I would have done anything differently, which I am really happy to say.

I was in a loving relationship, and even though I thought I would wait until marriage, I didn't. We talked about it months before it happened. About expectations, where, protection, feeling about it, would it change anything. Anything you could think of we talked about.

The actual "event" was beautiful. It was actually my personal favorite time we've had. The only semi-awkward thing was that I cried. Mid-action. That was a bit awkward, but it was becuse I was over-filled with emotions. He got nervous and stop for me to calm down. I just loved him dearly, and am extremely happy with my choice.


How weird! This was EXACTLY my situation! I cried and everything... I figured I was the only one. Haha... thanks for making me feel normal.

[This message has been edited by guitarchick2003 (edited 08-20-2002).]


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cupcake
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Wow... I don't have ANY regrets when it comes to it.....

I had sex with him because I wanted to. I didn't feel at all pressured into it, and it was done with mutual love.

Besides which, it was awesome. i figured it would hurt, it didn't, really. And when it was all over, I rolled over, looked at my boyfriend at said "Let's do it again!"

We were safe about it, and ready.

I LIKE mine.


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mnsouthpawjr
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What would have I done differently when I lost my virginity?

I should have waited until I was ready. I believed the myths that everyone was doing it. I figured if I didn't have sex, I was a nobody. Instead, I have an encounter that actually made things worse.

Years after the fact - I realized that IF I had been ready - it would have me more intimate with later partners.


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Cari889
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I wish i wouldnt have done anything because the first time i had sex it was with my friends bf she practically forced me into it i didnt want to but i did and it was very painful and he only got about half way n we had to stop there was no emotion it just sucked i wish i wouldnt have done that!
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etherealgirl
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If I could change one thing, I wouldn't have made such a big deal about the whole thing! I did let go of my tv sitcom dinner and hotel and candles vision, but I still wanted everything to be perfect and planned out. All in all, it was excellent, my boyfriend was completely understanding of my perfectionism and made me a lovely lunch before hand, and even dealt with me crying (afterwards,not during ). I know sex is a big deal, but I think I made it too much of one; I was left with a sense of "Is that it? Yeah it was great, but why didn't I do it sooner?"
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oohlala34
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I really wished I'd known sooner...yep, 8 or 9 years old and I lost it.I thought that I liked it at first, but back then, I didn't know you could get STDs from "just fingering".I'm pretty sure I got a small infection or something, but I can't remember.I was on the guilt trip every second of my life for the next year.Finally, I'd gotton up the courage to tell my mom.If I'd just waited, I wouldn't have had to go through so much pain...I can remember my mom crying because I was crying...Oh well...
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Heather
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Just FYI: it is a pretty safe bet that adult-type sexual activity at the age of 8 or 9 is likely in the context of an abusive situation, for several reasons.

It is very unlikely a boy of that same age would be physically ABLE to enage in intercourse because of physiological development that has not yet occurred, and thus, an 8 year old girl having intercourse is likely not having intercourse with a child her own age. That given, it is highly likely what oohlala is describing was, in fact, an abusive scenario.

I am flatly surprised after your mother was not done crying she did not ask furtther questions and perhaps, contact local authorities.

Please bear in mind that if you were, or suspect you were, sexually abused at an early age, you can still seek counseling and file reports on such.

While there are rare exceptions to the rule, intercourse with children of that age is highly unlikely to be consensual or occur between children of that age group in any culture.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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soldier76:96
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I waited til 25. In thinking back, I learned to choose my partners as FRIENDS first; lovers second.
I am glad protection was used.
Practice Safer Sex for YOUR health

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Laurae
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Well, I feel ready now. But because of "modern social standards" and neither myself or my boyfriend being very open with our parents, it will have to wait and I'm willing to do that to be safe.
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VT Caver2005
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quote:
Originally posted by Lady Moonlight:
Some time later we got married, on schedule. Three and a half years later, we got divorced (not in the original plans, obviously).

In thinking about it afterward, I've often felt that I should have had that relationship with my ex back in high school, instead of in college. That way, we could have had sex and that glorious roller coaster of first love, but then with no desire to get married so young we could have gone off to college and gotten over it, and moved on to people who were better matches for each of us. Oh well. Live and learn.



Lady Moonlight-

You mention that your relationship was a year or two of "roller coaster of love". As I sit here about to enter the exact same situation that you entered, I am wondering what you could have done to better see the divorce coming.

I am considering proposing to my current girlfriend, and everything inside me tells me that she is the one for me, but you are not the first person that I have heard mention something about what happens after the "butterfly in your stomach" love wears off.

Also a side note, I have, just like yourself, waited this long to have sex and I would really prefer not having multiple partners. Call me a conservative purist, but it is nice to never worry about diseases.

One last influencing factor... my girlfriend and I plan on having a very long engagement (~2 years). Hopefully with lots of great sex.

Thanks!
Chris


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celery
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Wow great topic...
Well the thing I most regret about my first (and only) time, is that I did it for the wrong reasons. I loved the guy alot, but, we wern't even going out. He was my ex-boyfriend, and we had just started hanging out again, we were really getting hot and heavy, when he finally asked me if I wanted to have sex, right away I said yes, because I really did want to.

But, I guess I wasn't emotionally ready for the consequences, I thought that my hopes and dreams of us *finally* getting back together would come true, and I felt so happy about the whole thing after it happened, but the next day he totally blew me off, and told me he just wanted to be friends.

I was deeply hurt, (and still kind of am) by what he did. I guess what I wish I knew was that I wasn't emotionally ready for a bad outcome of the situation, and next time I decide to have sex, it is going to be with someone that I love and that I know loves me back, and that I'm in a comfortable stable relationship with them.


Posts: 1000 | From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Jill
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quote:
Originally posted by VT Caver2005:
Call me a conservative purist, but it is nice to never worry about diseases.

Don't worry -- we're pretty friendly here, there shall be no name calling.

It's important to realize that diseases are often contracted via sex; however, that is not the only means to transmit many STD/STIS. Read what Alaska has to say in this thread: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum27/HTML/002664.html

(Edited because punctuation is my friend.)

[This message has been edited by ookuotoe (edited 04-03-2003).]


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summergoddess
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Well i pretty much self-educated myself with sex and the consequences that came with few moments of passion. I remember during the years of being 14 to 16 that even though i wanted to physically have sex, i knew i wasn't ready emotionally. I waited till 17 to deflower my virginity to Mark, my ex-boyfriend. As u can see, i saw my virginity on an emotional level. Yes, we broke up three days after the sex had happened, but i still did not regret it, and i still don't to this day. I was ready, and the decision was for me, not for Mark or for anyone else. Personally, i was pretty wise and mature at that age and i wouldn't change a thing. Experiences since then have taught me a few extra things along the way

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~Jules


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missyj
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Proud to say, I have not many regrets.

I was knowledgable (STDs etc), and waited til I was on the pill and knew to use a condom.
I had been with my partner for 8 months, and known him for many many years.
I had discussed the topic with him, and thought about it alone as well; both of us were virgins.
I knew that loved eachother, and that I was doing it on my own will, not out of pressure, but because I wanted to and it felt right.
When we did, he was so gentle through the pain, it was wonderful anyways.


The only slight regret was that, I guess it would have been nice to have given it away on my wedding night, but I knew that I wouldn't make it anyways, long before I even started going out with my boyfriend. But, still, it would have been cool to say: "No one has ever touched me!! Be gentle my love!" To your husband on that night, but I guess you could still do a little role-play, eh?
lol.


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Love is natural, and everything that goes with it.

[This message has been edited by missyj (edited 04-03-2003).]


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MarvellousPurple
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if i could change something, I wouldn't have made it such a huge deal socially. i had sex for the first time with my current boyfriend (who, interestingly, is a freshman at virginia tech, chris :-) the summer after high school. in my group of high school friends, there was a huge stigma against sex of any kind. i grew up in virginia. it's the bible belt. when most of my friends finally did find out, they made it into a huge deal that it never should have been. one of the lovely things about being in college is that the slut/virgin dichotomy doesn't exist nearly as much as it did in high school.
Posts: 475 | From: Back in Providence, RI | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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