I remember the first time I ever had sex: in a friend’s house with my first boyfriend. He writhed on top of me, essentially using my vagina to masturbate, for all of four minutes before collapsing next to me, out of breath and exhausted. I lay there sore and a little traumatized.
I recall thinking, “Well, this isn’t for me.” I decided sex wasn't everything it was chalked up to be after all. Much of my sexual experiences throughout my teen years can be iterated with such similar anecdotes; sex was anything but how it was represented in movies.
But as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” With each passing journey into my sexuality, things got better. My first real orgasm happened when I was 19, due to a more weathered (though not by much) college male.
It wasn’t until rather recently that I experienced a real orgasm through intercourse. According to data collected by Planned Parenthood, 33 percent of women have trouble achieving orgasm, so it never concerned me enough to make me anxious.
But as I laid in my SO’s arms, basking in the effervescent glow of my first orgasm, nearly crying having believed it impossible for me, I realized something: My improved sexual experience was directly correlated to my age.
As I’ve gotten older, sex has gotten infinitely better. I’ve gone from a willing participant to an avid seeker.
According to Dr. Debby Herbenick, PHD, a researcher at the University of Indiana,
Orgasm becomes easier with age. As an example, while 61 percent of women ages 18 to 24 experienced orgasm the last time they had sex, 65 percent of women in their 30s did and about 70 percent of women in their 40s and 50s did.
Orgasms can also relive pain; having one releases the neurochemical, oxytocin. This goes to show as we age and our joints become more sensitive, having sex could actually help briefly relieve these symptoms.
There has long since been discussion of a woman’s “sexual peak.” It was first introduced by Dr. Kinsey of the Kinsey Institute in the 1950s. A woman’s peak was thought to be in her late 30s, substantially later than her male counterpart's, who reached his apex at the age of 18 or 19.
Since Kinsey’s findings, there have been multiple conflicting discourses surrounding the elusive sexual peak. It's now thought that there might not be a peak at all. It’s possible a woman could have this so-called peak at any time in her life.
The question now becomes: If there's no sexual peak, does sex actually get better with age? According to a survey from The Daily Mail, women reach their sexual maturity at the age of 31.
So, if women mature sexually as they mature physically, there's reason to really believe the “practice makes perfect” adage. The more experience a woman has, the better sex will be.
Even if Kinsey’s 1950s research on the sexual peak was "bullsh*t," as some professionals suggest, in my own individual experience, I've come to the conclusion we may not have a "peak" per se.
Instead, I posit sex gets better with age because it gets better the better we get to know ourselves.
With age, self-knowledge unfolds and offers us a greater understanding of our bodies and our sexuality.
We gain confidence.
As reported by The Stir, researchers polled 2,000 Americans and found confidence was key to increased sexual enjoyment. As we get older, we feel surer of ourselves; we believe in ourselves and gain pride in our looks and personhood.
Gone are the days of yester-year when we felt awkward and bony in the backseat of our boyfriend's Chevrolet. We’re women now and with an added sense of confidence, sex can only get better.
We’re not afraid to ask for what we want.
Now that we’ve aged, seen the world and had a multitude of experiences, we’re no longer afraid to ask for what makes us feel good. If something our SO is doing feels good, we’re sure to say it.
With this lack of fear, we’re much more inclined to receive things we desire in the bedroom.
Sex is slower.
As Today puts it, where our younger selves could become lubricated in only a few seconds, it takes longer for an older woman to attain the same level of lubrication. This inevitably slows the entire act of sex down.
As a result, slower, more purposeful sex can be more satisfying for both participants.
We’re more trusting.
In both ourselves and the people we bed. As a tyke, barely old enough to know what we’re doing in the bedroom let alone old enough to choose a proper partner, we find ourselves more apt to distrust the person we’re having sex with.
As a teenager, sex isn't just about the physical act; it has meaning to us since we’ve been socially conditioned to link sex with feelings of love. Now that we’re older, we can appreciate both the act as a physical demonstration of lust as well as our personal ability to choose a partner we can trust.
Both partners are more skilled.
As sex expert Joan Price, told HuffPo Live in an interview, having an experienced partner can add greatly to the sexual act as a whole. After years of trying different positions, locations and sex toys, we begin to truly comprehend and embrace what we like and what we don't during sex.
Like everything in life, it takes patience, practice and diligence to acquire the skills necessary to perfect something.