By Joan Chang
Virgins. They are people who will eventually be struggling to maneuver through flailing limbs and hoping it all comes through in the end. Inevitably, it is an awkward transition from virgin to sexual being.
Jeanette Cabral a third-year radio and television arts student, recalls her first time.
“It happened in the summer. It was someone I was comfortable with. I was anxious about getting it over with, but like other girls, I’d heard my whole life that it was a special moment and it would hurt, too.”
Cabral admits she wasn’t as prepared as she thought.
“I thought I was very educated about sex and sexuality but when it came down to doing it there were lots of things I just wasn’t prepared for,” she says. “Like you’d never seen a penis before and you didn’t know what the actual dimension of it were.”
Amy Pero, a second-year journalism student, wishes she had lost her virginity to her current boyfriend. She asys she was prepared the first time she had sex and feels it wasn’t a “big thing.
“For me, 16 was OK but if I had a daughter I would think 16 was too young. It’s kind of bittersweet because I’m kinda glad I got it over with, but I felt like he pressured me,” Pero said.
Luckily, there are lots of resources available to first-timers wanting to do it right.
“First of all, [virgins] need to find someone they trust and feel comfortable with because the questions [about sex] get very personal. When the comfort level is there we ask them if they’ve thought about protection for themselves and that we definitely recommended condoms, no matter what other protection they’re on,” says Shirley Watson, a sexual health nurse at The Gate clinic at the Flemingdon Health Centre in North York.
Watson notes a difference between university students and other youth.
“By university level, there’s certainly a lot more maturity in the fact that they definitely want all the testing done and they certainly want to be covered for birth control as well, but a lot of them don’t have a lot of correct information on how their body works.”
Watson’s clinic offers basic information on the reproductive systems as a refresher for those who skipped high school health class.
Regardless of sexual orientation, she says protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections comes before pleasure. There are a variety of sources on and off campus, like The Gate, that offer free condoms and other sexual protection devices, as well as the birth control pill, at a low cost. Ryerson has a number of sexual health services on campus, such as the Health Centre located at KHW 181, where counselors are available to talk about sexual well-being.
Once all the safeties are in place, don’t forget to have fun. There are lots of products in all shapes and sizes available at sex stores across the GTA to make your first time fun. Keep in mind it isn’t going to be perfect.
Cabral thinks her first time would have been better if someone had kept her expectations realistic.
“It’s not the greatest sexual experience in the world, it gets better. When you become more comfortable with a person that kind of eases you into it. Your sex life will become a lot more enjoyable.”
For the female virgins, this still leaves one question unanswered: Does it hurt? Cabral has some advice for the ladies.
“If a female friend came to talk to me I’d tell her to relax. If you think going into it that it’s going to hurt, it’ll hurt more because you’re tensed up. Don’t lose your virginity because everyone else has lost their virginity.”