Virgins On What They Think Sex Is Like

"I have quite realistic expectations, but there’s also that part of you that wants it to be a big deal: all your female ancestors stand in a line and congratulate you and shake your hand, you know?”

Recall the moment you lost your virginity. Did that memory just give you a calming bath of nostalgia, or make your entire body involuntarily tense up? Presumably: the latter. First times, famously, are often the worst sex you'll ever have, because you have no idea what you're actually supposed to do, and the reality will almost definitely fall short of the expectation.

But let's not ruin the build-up for people who haven't had sex, who possibly believe there's more to your first time than just an impossible amount of questions and the realisation that, actually, you still have a lot of work to do. Come to think of it: what do virgins think sex is like?


Only way to find out is to ask four people, over the age of 18, for whom sex is still a mystery.


VICE: What do you imagine an orgasm would feel like?
Jordan: From what other people have told me, it's great. Like doing it yourself but much more intense and intimate.

How long do you imagine sex to last for?
For the first time, probably not very long – but I've heard stories about drunk couples going at it for hours and never finishing.

Judging from that, how long would be your ideal length?
I'd say maybe an hour? I think any more and at least one person would get tired and stop making an effort.

Do you have a reason for not having had sex yet, or has it just never occurred?
It just hasn't occurred, really. I don't know – maybe there's something subconscious going on that's stopping me, but I'm not too sure.

Do you consider your virginity to be special to you?
No, I'm not really too fussed about it. I think it's silly that people think an action can change a person so much.

What do you reckon the build-up to sex is like?
I think it might be very intense, with each of the people trying to gauge each other's feelings. My guess is that unless you knew the person beforehand it's quite awkward? You wouldn't have anything to talk about, really.


What do you imagine an orgasm would feel like?
Clara: Like I'm Leonardo DiCaprio and I'm standing on the front of the Titanic with the wind in my hair, and it feels like I'm flying. I'd be the king of the world.


How long do you think sex usually lasts for?
Realistically, I'd say maybe ten minutes. I'm preparing myself for disappointment.

So, ideally, how long would you say is the perfect amount of time for sex?
I'd say, with foreplay, around 45 minutes. Good things take time!

Is there a reason you haven't had sex yet, or has it just not been the right time?
I've been ready since I was about 15, but wanted to wait until I was 16 because I felt I was too young to actually do it. The opportunity hasn't really arisen so far and I want to wait until I find someone who respects me. I also want to be comfortable enough within my own body first before I can share it with someone else.

Does virginity mean something special to you?
Personally, I don't really value my virginity that much, as I've wanted to get "rid of it" for some time now. Also, I feel like people sometimes view me as slightly more innocent because I haven't had sex yet, which I find slightly irritating.

What do you imagine the build-up and then aftermath of sex to be like?
I imagine it's like a game of Jenga, where it's cautious and carefully done at the beginning, but then as it escalates it becomes more frantic, and then finally the tipping point is reached and the two of you are left with a big mess to clean up. I find board games particularly exciting.


Cameron, on the right.

What do you imagine an orgasm would feel like?
Cameron: I assume it's like when you finally pee after holding it in for ages: you just get a sense of joy and relief, mixed with euphoria, and all your problems vanish in the feeling of orgasming.


How long do you think sex lasts for?
I think the minimum would be a few minutes. I mean, that's if you haven't had it in a while or it's your first time. But for people having regular sex, I think it could last for a few hours, because it's going to take longer to orgasm. Sex is probably like doing drugs, where the more often you do it, the longer it takes to achieve your high/orgasm.

Okay, so leading on from that what do you think would be your ideal length of time?
Well, it depends on the situation, like if you have all day free, ideally it would be in like hour-long sessions, but if she comes over at 5PM and your mum comes home at 7PM, you need to have sex for as long as possible, but also save time to clean up after before mum gets home.

What do you imagine the build-up to sex to be like?
Probably really awkward for your first time, like everything you do in the build-up is making the other person question what the sex is gonna be like, and you're aware of that, so then you're in your own head trying to guess what they're thinking… so I guess, ideally, people would want the build-up to be quick so they manage not to fuck everything up.

Are you nervous for that?
No, because at the end of the day your partner is probably feeling the same way. I can imagine it works both ways, in that she would also be nervous, and then that makes everything a bit less awkward.

What do you think the aftermath of sex is like?
I think it would just be the most laid back shit in the world. It would be like coming down off a high, where you're just thinking, 'Well that was fun… now that's over I'm going to chill for a bit and then put my clothes back on.' I think people also have that post-sex afterglow, so they're just super chilled and not really caring about anything.


Does hearing bad stories from friends about sex make you more nervous about having it?
No, not at all. Most of the bad sex stories are often just one time things, and mostly not that bad… except this one time my friend told me about her cousin doing anal, where the guy hit a nerve inside her and she started shitting uncontrollably. That story is the only one that scared me, and I don't think I'll ever do anal.

Ever. Anal sounds disgusting. I've heard some of the arguments for it, but at the end of the day there is no reason to have your genitals that close to the shit centre of another human.

Is there a reason behind you not having sex, or has it just not happened yet?
I haven't had sex because of timing, really – like, there have been chances, but it's just come at bad moments. Maybe I could try a bit harder with girls as well, as I'm pretty lazy so I never really pursue girls with effort, but then again I'm not sweating it. I'm still young and eventually it'll happen.


Describe what you imagine having sex for the first time to feel like.
I've been luckily quite well informed through sex-ed and things, and feel like I know the realities of it. Like, I've seen enough stupid teen films to realise that your first time is usually shit, and I have quite realistic expectations, but then there's also that part of you that wants it to be a big deal, like you're entering into womanhood. Almost as if you're lying on silk sheets and then someone comes and hands you a gold certificate – not one of those shitty ones made on Word with the ladybird border, but a proper nice one – and a trophy, and then all your female ancestors stand in a line and congratulate you and shake your hand, you know? But sadly, I know that's not the reality. Slightly off topic, but I can imagine it's like when you get confirmed and think that you'll feel the Holy Spirit rushing through you, but you don't and it's a massive let down that it's just some priest touching your head. That's what I think it'll be like.


Are you nervous about having sex for the first time?
I feel like I would be nervous, but I'm also the kind of person that wouldn't just do it with a random guy, like I would only do it if I'm feeling comfortable with them, or know them, and would be able to tell them exactly how I'm feeling, which is a reassuring thought. Like, I do have respect for people that would just get it over and done with with a stranger, but I don't think I could ever do that.

So you think that whoever you first have sex with, you'll tell them that it's your first time and be confident in that?
Yeah, definitely. Also, they would probably just be confused that I was so shit and didn't know what to do, so best to warn them.

How long do you think sex lasts for, and how long would your ideal time be?
I don't know – it probably depends on the person. I imagine you would probably do it for about 20 minutes? I like the idea of having a nice experience and not just a quick bang where you don't even look at each other, so like having it multiple times in one night sounds ideal to me.

Have you heard any horror stories from friends about sex, and if so does that put you off?
It wouldn't put me off, because I'm going to do it at some point whether I've heard horror stories or not. I mean, it might freak me out momentarily, but it's probably a one-off and I wouldn't worry about that.

What do you imagine the build-up to sex to be like?
I think, for me, there would be a lot of talking involved. Like, I wouldn't be able to just bang without knowing anything about them. Ideally I'd like to know their name, where they live, common interests… trivial stuff. I would want to know them as a person before we have sex, thus making it the least awkward it can be.

More on VICE:

Are Millennials Having Sex? An Investigation

How to Sext, According to Some Sexperts

People Tell Us About Their First Experience With Non-Monogamous Sex