Listen: for the most part, there isn’t anything hyper scientific about the rants and raves on verbal-free-for-all Reddit, but occasionally, it has its shining moments. Case in point, earlier this year a study published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that our first time sexual experiences can create a pattern of thought and behavior that shapes the rest of our sexual experiences. And just yesterday, one thoughtful Redditor, _invinovertas, performed his own Masters and Johnson-esque experiment. He asked the forum if their first real sexual experience had a big impact on their views on sex and relationships for the rest of their life.
For better of for worse, I think Reddit is on to something. Here’s how our first times—the blunderous, the tepid, the sexy—have altered us, as told by the lovely gents of the AskMen subreddit.
It Makes Our Partner’s Pleasure Important, Too
“The first woman I had sex with was extremely multi-orgasmic. She could get off 7-8 times per session. She was vocal, and very expressive with her face, while she was climaxing. That influenced my sexuality in that, now giving my partner pleasure is almost as good a feeling as the sexual act itself.“-thebayways
It Keeps Us Young
“She was older, free-spirited, mysterious, and maybe a pathological liar. A friendly breath of fresh air who never explained herself and rarely apologized. I guess I learned from her that it’s ok to be playful and childlike when it comes to love. And that maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”-SevenKilledNine
It Opens Our Minds
“Yeah, my first taught me how to be a little more open-minded about the kind of girl I wanted to be with. Before her I would have balked at the idea of being with a rebellious tattooed chick from a rough background. Now, I kinda miss that.”-throwaway3051.
It Can Start a Vicious Cycle
“My first girlfriend, my high school sweetheart, cheated on me. Repeatedly. I knew about it, I confronted her about it, she said she’d stop but she never did. I was too weak to leave the relationship, so I endured it. My next girlfriend cheated on me. So did the 3rd.
I think that may have contributed to the fact that I’ve cheated on almost all of my girlfriends since then. It’s not something I’m proud of.”-LittleGreenBall
It Makes Us Seek Out Passions
“Yeah, my first relationship was with a really, really boring girl. Like, no actual hobbies at all. Really dispassionate person. Now I see girls who are interesting and hobbies and interests as something of a novelty, and associate not having hobbies/interests with being dispassionate which is pretty silly I guess. I mean, I practically fell in love with a girl after having a conversation about books this one time, that’s how bad I was. Idk.”-PineapplePhalluses
It Grows Trust
“It has reaffirmed my belief in trusting my SOs, while also reducing my patience with having insecurities about female friends heaved at me.”-naked_avenger