Illustration by Adam Mignanelli
The first time you actually had sex you were maybe 17, you were maybe in a basement of someone's parents house, and it was definitely not the best sex of your life. Maybe you did it in complete silence. Or maybe you had some music playing in the background that when you look back, makes the whole memory weirder. Since it's Valentine's Day, we asked a bunch of Noisey staffers and other VICE employees to tell us what song was playing when they gave up the ol' v-card. What follows are some things that you're never going to be able to un-read:
John Mayer - Some Song Off Heavier Things
My first girlfriend loved John Mayer. I'm not gonna front, either. I did too. (And still do! You ever seen that dude play guitar?) Anyway, one of our first dates was a trip to a John Mayer concert in Omaha, Nebraska. This was a pretty great experience because 1) neither one of us were old enough to drive so we had to ride with my parents and 2) once again, Mayer slays live. After the concert, we traveled back to my small hometown in western Iowa and we dropped my girlfriend off at her house. Later that night, after my parents went to sleep because they were exhausted by all the shredding guitar we'd witnessed earlier in the evening, I snuck out of the house to go back to my girlfriend's. I stopped at a Kum 'n' Go (which, as real midwest kids know, is a gas station), crossed my fingers as I bought some condoms, and went to her house. I slipped inside (heh) the back door (heh again) and up into her room—which was in the attic—and we immediately started to make some sweet, sweet awkward teenage love. Of course, before things got too hot and heavy, we turned on Heavier Things, the iconic second studio record from Mr. Mayer. Then at some point we fucked. I don't remember what song was playing.
—Eric Sundermann, Editor-In-Chief, Noisey
Sufjan Stevens - "Sleeping Bear, Sault St. Marie"
It was during a free period in high school, and I got a $350 ticket for failing to yield to pedestrians while driving back to school. When it came time to go to court, I pleaded out to a lesser fine. Moral of the story: even if you get a traffic ticket, bring a lawyer to court with you if you can.
—Larry Fitzmaurice, Senior Culture Editor, VICE.com
First off, this question has always seemed flawed. The average song lasts around three minutes. Is that… is that normal? I get that it was your first time but… three minutes? Less than three minutes? Three minutes of music followed by nothing but the sound of your own mournful sobbing?
I know that I lost my virginity while a thrashy, trashy emo-type compilation CD played in the background. I remember hearing Dillinger Escape Plan's "Panasonic Youth." Having sex to mathcore is a lot like having sex in a gas station restroom: it's impractical, unwieldy, nobody decent would recommend it, and you feel dirty for a while afterwards. I also know that I met my girlfriend at the time at a Lostprophets show in the basement of the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street in London. It was the Kerrang! Day of Rock. "Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja" was playing when we kissed for the first time. None of this is good.
After that, I'm pretty sure I had sex to the Tony Hawk American Wasteland soundtrack more than once. I did purchase the CD, I wasn't just taking a break from doing rad kickflips or anything. Actually, Adam Lazzara singing The Descendents might be the sexiest thing I had sex to until I was well into my 20s. Unless we're counting the Garden State soundtrack. That's depressing. I'm going to go lie down now.
—Alex Robert Ross, Noisey
I Hate Sex - "I Fucking Hate Sports"
The thought of physical contact with another human both frightens and annoys me. I have avoided it thus far, and will continue to do so. Should a day come when procreation is mandated for repopulation purposes, I will instead voluntarily cease my own worldly existence.
—Dan Ozzi, Noisey
Gravediggaz - "1-800 Suicide"
There was no music, except maybe one of those sad trombone sounds, for my Special Night. But that doesn't mean I was isolated from the world around me. I remember two things distinctly, media-wise: One is that my paramour and I watched the Woody Allen tennis movie, Match Point, starring Scarlett Johansson. The other is that I spent like an hour that evening talking with her little brother about rap. He had just gotten into Gravediggaz, the RZA's and Prince Paul's horrorcore side project/supergroup. Their debut album is called 6 Feet Deep, and it features such songs as "Diary of a Madman," "Graveyard Chamber," and "Death Trap." There's also, perhaps most distinctively, a song called "1-800 Suicide," which describes ways you might kill yourself, such as like for example touching the third rail, autoerotic asphyxiation, taking LSD before crashing your car, or contriving to "confront an alligator, let it eat you raw." Just in case that doesn't quite spell the mood out clearly enough, in the final verse RZA, a.k.a. RZArector, brings six devils back to life just so they can commit suicide again, which they do, respectively, by: sticking a water hose in their mouth and making their head explode, chopping their own head off with an ax, locking themselves in the lion's cage at a zoo, smoking a joint laced with PCP and cyanide, and slitting their wrists in a bathtub (the RZA also suggests lighting their balls on fire and hanging themselves with a piece of barbed wire). All in all, it was a pretty decent metaphor for sex.
—Kyle Kramer, Noisey
Usher - "You Make Me Wanna" / Celine Dion - "My Heart Will Go On"
These days I call myself an optimistic romantic realist—I believe in the magic of love, but recognize that forever is about as likely as a My Little Pony coming to life, knocking on my door with a bacon sandwich, and taking me to work every day. But when I was a teenager, I was all about forever. I thought I would fall in love, be in a steady longterm relationship for aaaaages, and then lose my virginity. And it would be wonderful. What actually happened was I was set up with my pal's best friend—this half-Jordanian kid named Said, who played basketball and liked hip-hop—and all my vows went out the window. I did not make him wait. At all. That fateful day I traveled up to London from Oxford, for what turned out to be a disastrous interview for a place at King's College University. Then we had a pasta dinner date and went to see Titanic. Not that this schmaltz put us in the mood. In fact I remember we laughed when Rose pried Jack's frozen claws from the plank of wood, sending him to a watery grave. What did put us in the mood was the fact that his parents were out, so he pressed play on Usher—"You Make Me Wanna," probably—and we had sex. As first times go, it was actually pretty good. Sadly it wasn't enough to block out Celine Dion warbling about how her heart would go on, which was on loop in my head for the seven minute duration of our encounter. Unsurprisingly we did not last forever. In fact we only had sex that one time before Said went cold, and broke my heart, but in the end this taught me the power of blue balling—which unlike Celine or even Usher, is timeless.
—Kim Taylor Bennett, Noisey
Guns N' Roses - "November Rain"
Be it horny teen boy ingenuity, divine inspiration, or both (which I guess depends on your gendering of God), my Colombian Catholic high school girlfriend's eyes lit up. "You did not," she literally said. I shrugged, irresistibly. "I promised that I'd lose my virginity to Guns 'N' Roses."
So it was on and with a passion most accurately described as torrential—the kind of making love where every article of clothing you shed falls like another layer around your soul. We actually climaxed together during the finale guitar solo. (Lest you, reader, cast any doubts, I, in my proto-post-coital inhibition, asked. Slack-jawed and still catching her breath, she said yes.)
—Emerson Rosenthal, Editor, The Creators Project
I've made out with two different men to Pulp's Different Class and I got fingerbanged to Depeche Mode (the only time I've ever faked an orgasm). When I actually lost my virginity, no music was playing, but we went to Taco Bell afterwards, which is more important. I did have one memorable screw to Massive Attack's "Mezzanine," so try that out, if you want.
— Rachel P. - VICE
Belle and Sebastian - "Beautiful"
Senior year of high school I finally found house/DIY shows in my California suburb. And suddenly, being an isolated weirdo became a huge asset as I met equally awkward girls, and desperately tried to find a way to have sex with them.
It was all very twee—flyers, diners, mixtapes—so it only makes sense that I lost my virginity to Belle and Sebastian in a Volkswagen overlooking Los Gatos. (Even MORE twee is that it was off a handmade compilation of tracks from their Jeepster EPs—not found on CDs you could buy at Tower Records, RIP— that was marked up with Sharpie. Those tracks were pretty hard to find, so bonus points on fucking to deep cuts.)
After doing the deed, I admitted to my deflower-er that it was my first time. She gave me a blank look and said, "Oh man, had I known that, I would have taken my shoes off." Indie rock is great, kids.
—Tyler McCauley, VICELAND
Dem Franchize Boyz - "Lean Wit It Rock Wit It"
It was the spring I was graduating from high school. I was always told those things about, "Your first time should special so wait for a special girl," but this was also the American Pie era and I wasn't trying to go to college a virgin. I didn't go on a fornication mission or anything, but I did decide that if the opportunity was there I was gonna take it.
Fast forward to a house party a few weeks later where my friends and some of their friends i didn't know had all been doing things that teens legally aren't supposed to. I started talking to a girl who was was cute and seemed like she was halfway interested in doing *something* with me. I forget her name, I think it was Ashley, and this was the first and last time I ever saw, but it turned out she was more than halfway interested. We decided we should go somewhere quieter and made our way to a room in the basement. From there, the sex stuff happened. The main things I remember are 1) how nervous I was, and 2) the muffled, smooth sounds of Dem Franchize Boyz playing from upstairs. When we were done she said we should go back at different times so it would look less obvious that we had obviously just had sex. I didn't know how anyone would have thought we were doing otherwise, but she just let me have sex with her so I wasn't going to argue. When I walked upstairs a few minutes after her, she was nowhere to be found. Gone forever.
Anyway a little bit after they did a mashup of this song with Korn and it's kind of trash which ruined it a little bit for me. But the sex part was tight.d I hope she's doing well in life.
—Trey Smith, VICE.com
Jay Z - "99 Problems"
The first time I played music during sex was in college because I thought that was what you were supposed to do; have sloppy sex in a shitty dorm room. So I go to a party and convince this beautiful, wasted guy that we should go "chill." He was so drunk he took us to the dining hall first and I had to direct him back to the dorms. But my moral compass was not swayed, I was determined. Once in his room we began to smoke weed and undress. His body was, in brief, exceptional. To perfect the slutty-college-dorm-vibe I go to his iTunes but surprise, surprise, it's all DMB except one song, which at that time was my favorite song: Jay Z's "99 Problems." I started shouting the lyrics and pinned him on the bed. The sex lasted less than the length of the song because the weed and alcohol shockingly left him incapacitated. So to recap on how over empowered I was by Jay Z: I picked up a blackout-drunk young man, smoke with him, turning his blackout into a cross-faded nightmare, had debatably non-consensual sex with him while I shouted the lyrics to "99 Problems," and if that weren't enough, before I left I kissed him and said "That'll do pig, that'll do." - Emery M, VICELAND
Heart - "Barracuda"
I'm 17 years old and sitting with my not-quite-girlfriend on the couch in my parents' living room, the setting for most teen sexual encounters. We're watching the Charlie's Angel movie on basic cable. An elevator dings then opens as that well known (from Guitar Hero for a lot of us) riff from Heart's "Barracuda" breaks in. Lucy Liu walks out clad in a leather pencil skirt and the camera zooms in on her ass as a convincing, but surely artificial leather sound squishes through my TV speakers. I don't remember much else about that evening other than my uncle walking in and immediately walking out while we were getting handsy on the couch. The sex itself, like many of my life's intervening years, was unremarkable. I still can't believe the only threesome I will likely ever experience involved Lucy Liu in standard definition. My not-quite-girlfriend and I are still friends, in the sense that we'll occasionally watch each other's Snap Stories and reply "lol." - Robert A. McRae, VICELAND
My Bloody Valentine - "Isn't Anything"
I prepared for the moment for a long time—I knew that one day, someone would ask me the question, maybe my daughter, maybe a friend, "What were you listening to when you lost your virginity." The answer had to be obscure, meaningful, and very sexy. I was 16, so I gave it my best shot and played My Bloody Valentine's "Isn't Anything" on loop when the virginity-taker came over. During the 45 minute procedure and somewhere on the album's replay, I would like to remember that "Cupid Come" came on and swooned me to cloud 9. But in actual retrospect, I was laying still on a cold basement floor in the dead of winter, the left laptop speaker wasn't working, and the only bloody valentine that night was me.
—Danielle Neftin, VICE
The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"
I don't remember what I was listening to when I lost my virginity. I do know that the day I lost it was Valentine's Day 2004, because I am and was and forever will be corny like that. And while I don't remember if there was a song playing on that day, I do have a distinct memory of having sex on the floor of my high school boyfriend's bedroom—in that small window of time just after school let out but before he had to go to baseball practice and before his mom got home—while the Killers' "Mr. Brightside" played in the background. How very 2004.
—Leslie Horn, Managing Editor, Noisey