I didn't actually enjoy sex until my third partner.
He was my college boyfriend. We had one of those sexual experiences that makes you wonder what the hell you had been doing wrong your whole life. I remember lying naked on his bed in his dorm room with my arm draped over my forehead and giggling to myself. So THIS is what all those movies are talking about, huh?
This particular experience was enjoyable for a multitude of reasons. For one, my feelings for him were crazy strong. But more importantly, I felt like my needs were actually being taken care of and I wasn't just serving as a human Fleshlight. I felt like my pleasure mattered.
Up until that point, that had not been the case. And I know I wasn't alone in this regard.
It baffles my male friends when I tell them that a lot of girls don't just immediately fall in love with sex the first time we have it. I get why guys are confused about this -- I mean, the day a guy sticks his penis into a vagina for the first time is pretty much the best day of his life.
And if his partner lets him go long enough, he'll probably orgasm, too. There's not much complexity to it, really. Sex for guys is amazing.
On the contrary, however, it takes girls a little bit longer to actually enjoy sex. And by "a little bit," I mean it can take multiple tries, multiple partners, or even multiple YEARS.
We live in a culture in which female pleasure isn't always valued. Sex "ends" when a man finishes, and women are the objects, not the subjects, of pleasure. It's woven into the fabric of our society that women aren't supposed enjoy sex -- women are supposed to exist as a means through which MEN can enjoy sex. It's a sad reality, and one I try to fight all the time by writing extensively about it on the Internet.
Given my personal experience with sex and this current cultural landscape, I decided to ask some Millennial women how long it took THEM to actually enjoy sex. I wanted to know what made that first enjoyable experience different from their other experiences.
Their responses confirmed to me what I'd already suspected: that our culture has a lot of work to do.
"I was a freshman in college. He was probably my 5th or 6th sexual partner."
-- Gigi, 25
"First time I truly enjoyed sex was with the third guy I slept with and the first guy I loved. I was 17."
-- Grace*, 25
"I was 18 and he was [partner] number 4."
-- Coley, 23
"The first time I actually enjoyed sex was with my current boyfriend when I was 21. He's the sixth partner I've been with."
-- Christina*, 25
"[I was] 19. [It was partner] #2, [and we were] friends with benefits."
-- Betsy*, 23
"I've been having sex since I was 18, but I didn't REALLY enjoy it until I was 22. He was my fourth partner, and he was the first guy I ever fell in love with. At the time, he was my boyfriend."
-- Sheena, 25
"I first enjoyed sex when I was dating my first boyfriend in high school. He was my first partner, and it was probably over a year and a half into the relationship."
-- Kendall*, 23
*Name has been changed.