The first time I had sex, it was with someone I had just met that week.

There were no candles flickering, no sultry music playing in the background, and he didn’t tell me he loved me before or after we did it. In fact, he left after, and I didn’t actually even want him to stay and cuddle, either.

While this is actually pretty hysterical and may not come as much as a surprise to those who know me, to those who don’t, I may very well come off as atypical — at least in terms of how society usually portrays females wanting to lose their virginity.

It took me until college to experience sex. It was not something that I was saving for any particular reason, but I also did not find any one I had wanted to bump uglies with in my hometown. As Cher Horowitz of the cult classic “Clueless” once said, “I’m not prude, I’m just highly selective.”

So while I didn’t pledge abstinence and wasn’t waiting for my wedding night to seal the deal, I was never one to just jump into the sack, either (not that I’m condemning any of these approaches, but more on that later).

As I grew older and more mature, I also became more comfortable in my body and learned that it was OK to be, well, me. I am of the mindset that the most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Because it is the most important, it will undoubtedly be the most complex and multi-faceted as well.

Among these different personal facets is, of course, sexuality.

We are all sexual beings, whether inherently or otherwise. I won’t pretend to have the answer, but I do know that sexual expression is an invaluable part of every life.

We now live in a time — or at least, a region — where some sorts of sexual diversity are acceptable. Despite this, some people go their entire lives, for instance, never coming out of the closet, or admitting that they want to try bondage or that they may not be into giving blow jobs or even having sex at all.

They say that your first time is supposed to be memorable and special. For some, it might have been, and for others, it might have been something they were just ready to get over with. Whether your experience fits into either of these categories, or you have yet to have sex, I hope we can all agree that your first time — and every time afterward — should be exactly how you want it to be.

If you want to get down and dirty with your girlfriend in a tent in the middle of a field, go for it. If you want a wedding band securely in place first so that you can fall asleep in the arms of your husband after it’s over, by all means. But don’t let the messages we are fed every day by society and each other influence how you think your sexual experiences should be — as long as they’re consensual and safe.

At the end of the day, if you’re not sexing the way you truly want to be, the only person you will really be letting down is yourself. And in that case, you will definitely be screwed.

Email Maggie McVey at news@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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