When we asked our readers to share their first sexual experiences with us, we weren't sure what to expect.
It's a topic that is so often romanticised and fantasised about in popular culture and is rarely talked about through a realistic lens.
So, we asked women to anonymously share their raw and real 'first time' stories.
What happened? And how did it influence their attitude towards sex?
Many women describe awkward, uncomfortable situations. Some share traumatic incidents. Few, from the women we surveyed, tell romantic stories.
Here's what they told us.
1. "It was awkward, there was lots of bleeding."
I lost my virginity in a tent on a rural property at a 21st birthday party. It was awkward, there was lots of bleeding.
I felt pressure to lose my virginity. It’s only been in the past few years, now that I’m 43, that I realise it may have had a bit of a negative impact on my thoughts. The guy is now my husband but I feel a bit resentful that he just wanted to lose his virginity too, as opposed to having a slow and loving experience with me.
2. "He was cheating on his girlfriend."
I was drunk with a guy from work when I had my first sexual experience. He was cheating on his girlfriend. I have very little recollection of it.
I’m not sure how it impacted my attitude towards sex. I wasn’t traumatised or upset after it. I have a healthy sex life with my husband now and don’t feel any different to any of my friends.
I feel indifferent towards the experience. I know I was ready to lose my virginity and was mature enough (I was 19 years old).
3. "He was really rough."
It was with a guy I had just met, when I was 15 years old. We were at his house after I had snuck out of home to meet up with him. He was 19.
I didn’t feel pressured, but I had told him I wasn’t a virgin - so I felt like I needed to. He was really rough. He made me give him head even though I really didn’t want to. He also kept going down on me even though I kept trying to move his head away. He said I was going to “love it”. I was with him for five years after this.
I’m lucky now I have an amazing partner who loves and respects me. But at the time I thought sex was something I had to do four times a week otherwise my partner wouldn’t love me.
I wish I had waited longer.
4. "My first time made me feel insecure."
My first time was confusing and made me feel insecure. After that, I knew I did not want to have another sexual interaction until I found a person I am 100 per cent comfortable around.
I did feel pressure to lose my virginity, however I also felt that once I had lost my virginity that I would be deemed ‘impure’ and ‘damaged’.