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If you lost your virginity before the age of 16..............

(186 Posts)
THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 13:25:42

Can I just ask, was it something you did willingly? Was your partner older than you or the same age and do you regret it now?

I guess this is leading on from the other thread about when people lost their virginity.

My dd is 12, nearly 13 and according to that thread, some posters were having sex at 13. I know this happens today too but I just wondered at the circumstances really.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 14-May-13 13:33:00

At 13 I wasn't given the option of losing my virginity!

Only went to parties with other girls..

Played badminton as a hobby, but again, parents knew where I was, who I was with etc...

Got dropped off and picked up

Wasn't hanging around with older kids who could drive..

I'm guessing that's really what you're asking/worrying about. I'm guessing (my friend lost hers at 13) that most people who lose it that young have a lot more freedom at that age than I did (and maybe their parents didn't know where they were!!)

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 13:33:29

Legally, of course, we've decided as a society that children below age 16 can't engage in sex willingly. We've determined that they are unable to give consent and, whilst some think that a 14yo and a 15yo is OK, above-board and voluntary but a 15yo and a 21yo isn't OK, I think both scenarios actually are the result of pressure and coercion rather than free-will.

FlightyAphrodite Tue 14-May-13 13:36:31

I was totally willing, I wasn't forced or coerced (I think I probably did more of that than him...) and I don't regret it.
I was the first in my circle of friends by a long way.

FernandoIsFaster Tue 14-May-13 13:37:09

I had first had sex at 15 with a boy I was with for a year, he was a year older, and I have never regretted it. I felt totally ready, thought a lot about it, arranged precautions in advance and enjoyed the whole experience.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 13:38:24

I am not asking to justify any illusions I might have of my own. I am asking just to find out.

13 does seem awfully young to be having sex. My 12yo dd hasn't started her periods yet and still sleeps with her teddies, yet many of her friends are dating.

Cognito, everyone matures at different rates so whilst one 14yo might be more than capable of giving consent, another might not. Laws might not be fair individually but they work to protect the whole.

I am genuinely interested in hearing from people as to what their circumstances were. I don't want to judge or make out that this could never happen to my dd. It's just pure interest.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 13:39:12

Thanks Fernando and Flighty.

I was 15 and i wasn't ready but he took it anyway. He was 21

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Tue 14-May-13 13:40:14

I was 15 and my partner was 25.

My mother encouraged the relationship on her terms because, well, no polite way to put it but she gained from it. It was of direct advantage to her in many ways (money, access to cheap/free drugs etc)

I was willing. But in hindsight I was coerced into it and not at all ready for that kind of relationship

Consequently, I am probably going to be a nightmare parent for poor DD. She is 12 and we have talked about appropriate relationships for her age etc.

I think the most important thing I can teach her is that she isn't defined by her sexual status and being a virgin is a sign of her being mature and sensible as far as I'm concerned.

CuntChops Tue 14-May-13 13:40:20

I was 16, and still wasn't ready sad

tabulahrasa Tue 14-May-13 13:40:25

I was 15, he was 28, it was willingly and while I don't think it occurred to him that I wasn't 16 yet, he knew I was still at school.

Yep I regret it - it was rubbish for starters, lol and he was a twunt.

CuntChops Tue 14-May-13 13:42:42

I was willing though, don't get me wrong, I had just drank too much cider, and wanted to 'get it out of the way' since all my friends were sexually active.

Felt awful the next day, and couldn't look at the boy again. blush

ArabellaBeaumaris Tue 14-May-13 13:43:19

I was 14, he was 13, it was willingly. No, I don't regret it. Don't think it has made any difference to my life. I didn't have sex again till I was 17 & had another boyfriend.

I was 15, he was 19, and I was the one who made the decision. My only regret was that there was never any possibility of a long term relationship, but he still holds a very special place in my heart. He was an amazing person, kind, sweet and, physically, an absolute Adonis, and I remember the event and him with fondness. From conversations with friends, I gather such brilliant, enjoyable, sensual and orgasmic(!) first times are a rarity, so I think I made a good choice.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 13:47:07

Blimey, a lot of different scenarios! It really isn't a case of young girls being coerced all the time then is it?

It's so difficult when everyone matures at different rates. I remember the furore that surrounded John Peel when it came out that he had sex with an underage girl but then she went public and gave an interview in which she stated that she had been more than willing and never regretted it.

It's difficult to know where to stand.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 13:48:24

"Cognito, everyone matures at different rates so whilst one 14yo might be more than capable of giving consent, another might not. "

That's what every paedophile tells the judge.... sad but true.

SofaKing Tue 14-May-13 13:50:44

Dh was 13, was with a 15 yr old girl at a party.

He said she initiated things and he wasn't ready and had been drinking, he regretted it later and didn't do anything else for a year until he had a proper girlfriend.

I only have his word for it, but none of our DC are going to unsupervised parties at 13!

Flicktheswitch Tue 14-May-13 13:51:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I was 15.

At the time I suppose I was "willing" - as I gave consent - but it was after weeks of being emotionally blackmailed and having the boundaries I put in place physically tested.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 13:54:14

Cognito - please do not do that. I find that hurtful. This thread demonstrates that some underage girls did give their consent and at the mature ages they are now, they do not regret it. This is not a green light for every paedo to target young girls. Should we sweep the truth under the carpet for fear of encouraging paedos?

You could easily say that some women consent to sex and some don't. That is not what every rapist tells a judge and you know it. No means no and if you have to persuade someone who is younger than you to have sex with you, that is coercion and NOT the same as consent.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 14-May-13 13:56:20

cogito It's true though isn't it? There isn't some magical realisation on your 16th birthday that suddenly makes you ready/able to consent when you couldn't the day before!

I think maturity comes with education in a lot of ways so a 15 year old can be just as mature as a 16 year old in the same class/year group. They'll have started school at the same time, gone to secondary at the same time, be leaving school at the same time, sitting exams at the same time etc. It follows that they will be ready/able to consent at the same time even though one could be 364 days older than the other.

tabulahrasa Tue 14-May-13 13:58:07

Hmm - I wasn't coerced at all, but with another year or so under my belt I might have felt very differently about a 28 yr old wanting to have sex with a school girl and I'd definitely have been more equipped to tell that he was a twunt than I was at 15...so was it really informed consent? The further under 16 it is the harder it is for someone to have the judgement to really give consent. Which is surely why it's not a younger age.

I don't think he was a pedophile or a criminal, but in a way he did take advantage of my own bad judgement.

TheRealFellatio Tue 14-May-13 13:59:57

I lost my virginity at 14. It was completely consensual, we planned it in advance, bought condoms and it was lovely.

TheRealFellatio Tue 14-May-13 14:00:44

And he was 15 and in the year above me at school.

OhLori Tue 14-May-13 14:02:12

Why do you want to know, OP?

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 14-May-13 14:02:41

I'm genuinely curious about this..

Those of you who were say 13, 14, 15..

Would you feel happy for your 13, 14, 15 year old to be having sex?

And would you honestly think that they were capable of making a mature, planned decision at that age?

I thought I knew everything at 15. I know now I was a child.

Kormachameleon Tue 14-May-13 14:07:25

15 for me with a boyfriend of 3. Years. We stayed together until we were 18. It was perfect. Planned for weeks. Exciting and safe

Do not regret it at all

lisac99 Tue 14-May-13 14:07:28

I was 15, he was 17.

Whilst he turned out to be a cheating git, I did so very willingly and have absolutely no regrets as I was ready.

I spoke to my Mother about it, went to the Doctors and got the pill, and we used condoms as well. I spoke to my Mother the day afterwards and she asked how I felt, I said fine... she said 'As long as you're being careful' and I was and always have been.

We discussed it beforehand and he didn't pressure me at all - it was actually really 'nice' and didn't hurt at all (I'm assuming that was because I had tried to use Tampons a few years earlier (started periods at 9!)) and that bloody hurt like anything).

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 14:07:32

OhLori, I am just curious. As I say I have a dd who will soon be 13 and the replies on the other thread got me thinking about girls who willingly had sex underage.

Whilst many may well have been too immature to properly consent, especially with older men, I think we do have this naive view that any girl who has underage sex must have been coerced into it and that's not always the case.

I don't really appreciate it being implied that I am somehow giving paedos the excuse they are looking for by merely stating what is being said on other threads. It's the truth. Hard to face maybe, esp now most of us have girls at or reaching that age.

LegoAcupuncture Tue 14-May-13 14:08:40

I was 15, he was 16, was consensual. I have been married to him for 12 years now.

Tweasels Tue 14-May-13 14:09:44

I was 15 and put under tremendous pressure from my boyfriend at the time (same age)

The first time wasn't really the problem, it was more the boundary change. It was expected after that. I still have issues with sex now from being in that relationship.

Flicktheswitch Tue 14-May-13 14:09:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I was 15 and he was 19 - and I never regretted it for a moment.

I was very emotionally mature, started my periods at ten, and photographs of me at 13 show a real, albeit very young, woman. I had hips, breasts and was very very curious about sex. Despite coming from the most prudish of families, I was absolutely awash with hormones grin

As I recall, at 15, there was quite a mix of maturity among the girls.

He didn't coerce me at all - he was worried about the age difference and I was the one pushing for sex.

BastardDog Tue 14-May-13 14:11:15

I was 15, or very nearly 15, I can't exactly remember. I'd been together with the boy for about a year, he was a year older than me. It was the first time for both of us.

When I was 17 and he was 18 we got a flat together, where we lived until I was 21. We separated because as we'd grown up, we'd become different people and wanted different things from life. I still see him around and we're still on speaking terms more than 30 years later, and we were right to see our differences as our lives have taken very different paths.

I have never for one moment considered that I was coerced or wasn't ready for it.

Lucylloyd13 Tue 14-May-13 14:12:46

14,he was 16, I wanted it, we did it, and that was it. The relationship did not last.

I think the age of consent is about right. Girls should be protected, but sometimes we want it too. No harm done.

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 14-May-13 14:13:31

I was 14 and he was 19. I met him in the pub and was a more than willing participant. I was a tad forward though

Woodenpeg Tue 14-May-13 14:16:19

I replied to your question in the other thread OP...

37 and never regretted the decision... I was 14, very nearly 15. He was 17.

It was right for me and it felt like the most natural thing... I would say I was lucky to have this experience tbh.

My parenting to my girls (2) will all be about safety, love, trust and respect where this is concerned.

wankerchief Tue 14-May-13 14:16:31

I was 15 and he was 16. We had been dating for a year and stayed together for a year after.
Wasn't coerced

His mum still lives nextdoor to my parents so I see him at least once a week, he came to my wedding

FlightyAphrodite Tue 14-May-13 14:16:57

If my sons were the same level of maturity as I was, yes I would. It's not about "knowing everything", its about understanding the risks and respecting yourself. My boyfriend was patient and gentle, it wasn't mind blowing of course but it was special.

I'd rather accept that my children may choose to have sex earlier than the age of consent, than stick my fingers in my ears over the whole thing, issue a blanket ban and then alienate them by refusing to discuss it or going mad when I discover they have had sex. I'm teaching them to be kind, respectful, decent human beings. There may be some things I would prefer not to discuss with them, but I won't let my squeamishness get in the way of that.

CatelynStark Tue 14-May-13 14:17:06

I was 14. He was 15. I regret it enormously but I was desperate for love, having been emotionally neglected as a (younger) child.

I don't want my daughters to ever feel the same sense of being used, lost and lonely after sex that I did. Thankfully, my 18 year old is still a virgin as she's not found anyone worthy of her yet smile

That makes me happy smile

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 14-May-13 14:19:34

CatelynStark That's lovely that you've clearly instilled such high self esteem in her. Good for her! (and you!)

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 14:22:58

You know, this thread is actually making me question my own attitudes. I think a little of Flighty's common sense along with Catelyn's insight is the direction I'd like to go in with my own children.

MadBusLady Tue 14-May-13 14:23:05

I was 15, so was he. Totally ready, no regrets at all. If anything I think it got a few hangups out of the way early, I'd not have liked the pressured situation of arriving at university still a virgin, for instance.

13 does seem a bit young though. Yes, people vary but that much? Really?

Mosman Tue 14-May-13 14:23:14

I was nearly 17 and he was 18, I'm sure in some countries there are laws about age differences, something like more than 2 years older and the girl or boy being under 16 and it's counted as statutory rape as the balance of power is inappropriate.

JuliaScurr Tue 14-May-13 14:23:30

Mimsy yes, I think that is most teenage girls' experience of sex with boys, not just the first time. Has it improved in the past (HOW MANY??? how did that happen? FORTY??) years? I don't think so sad

FullOfChoc Tue 14-May-13 14:23:41

I had a very permissive mother and was drinking in pubs from about age 13 (I am tall and looked old enough).

I lost my virginity at 15 (only about a month before I was 16 though). It was to my then boyfriend, who was 5 years older and I was happy to do it.

Lolapink Tue 14-May-13 14:24:28

I was 14 remained with him until I was 21, we are still friends now. Never regretted it not once.

deemented Tue 14-May-13 14:24:51

My virginity was taken when i was five. The next time i had sex i was 14 and asked him to stop halfway through, but he wouldn't. I then stumbled from sexual encounter to sexual encounter til i found someone who wanted more that a quick BJ and a touch up.

I want so much more than that for my girls sad I never want them to feel so bad about their own bodies.

Manshape lost his virginity at 11 whilst still in Junoir school. He was very advanced at that age though, and he became a father for the first time at 12 - the girl was 16.

CatelynStark Tue 14-May-13 14:26:12

Thank you smile

turkeyboots Tue 14-May-13 14:30:23

We were both just 15. Been together a year, stayed together til 18. Still good friends. Never regretted it.

I don't think there can be a blanket "right age". We are all different.

DD may grow into one of those women who thinks sex is something extremely special that should be kept for "the right one". I'm not one of those women, that doesn't mean I can't understand women (or men) who do think that way. All I can hope for is that she does what is right for her and that her first time is a situation that she can feel good about afterwards, whether that be mid or late teens, or even later, long term relationship or one night stand.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 14:35:44

deemented, I'm so sorry you had such awful experiences. You and your dp by the sounds of it. Boys can be exploited too and not just by men but by girls and women. It's rare but it happens and happened to my dh too. Not when he was very young but when he was mentally unstable.

I also think that 13 is too young and I do worry about the focus on sex in this society. It's all over the media and if you watch any music video it's all about how women have to show off every inch of their bodies whilst dancing provocatively whilst male singers are usually the dominant ones in their videos, surrounding themselves with writhing young women whilst they flash cash at them.

I wonder what percentage of our sexual behaviour is natural and what is learnt from this kind of culture? If society was different and there wasn't the focus on sex as there is now, would we be so willing to have sex so early? Or would we feel empowered enough to be able to wait?

Lucylloyd13 Tue 14-May-13 14:37:25

Virginity, and sex , for teenage girls IS important, particularly that it is consensual.

Equally we all know that sex is only a part of relationships, and sometimes sex is sex, no more, no less, no big deal.

Whilst acknowedging the need for safety and responsibility, sometimes sex assumes a disproportionate significance in the minds of some.

Shesparkles Tue 14-May-13 14:39:20

I was 15, he was 16, it was mutually agreed and mutually not regretted. We were both virgins until that point.

PoppyAmex Tue 14-May-13 14:43:36

I worry about the thought process "my 12/13 old might be having sex anyway, so I might as well make sure she's safe whilst doing it".

I feel that even acknowledging the possibility of a 12/13 year old might have sex, is somehow sending a permissive message and normalising a behaviour that, in my opinion (and our judicial system) is wrong.

Wishwehadgoneabroad Tue 14-May-13 14:47:11

Lucy Sex is for adults though, not children confused

I honestly don't believe we should ever encourage/condone 13 yr old children having sex.

Aside from anything else, the risk of STD's doing damage is higher the earlier a girl starts her sex life. Smears are not offered until the age of 25. If a girl starts having sex at 13, that's 12 years before her health is monitored!!!!

( I do feel 25 is far too late though. It was 21 in my day, which given I was 19 meant I'd only possibly done 2 yrs of damage before I was looked at!)

This isn't just a sex issue. It's a health issue - surely?

LoveItLongTime Tue 14-May-13 14:48:11

14. Not consensual. I was drugged. sad

DH was 13. With his 15 year old babysitter. hmm

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 14:48:31

Being a virgin is now looked on as more taboo than being sexually active.

When I was 18 it was almost shameful to reveal that you were still a virgin and by the time I reached 20 most of my friends just presumed that I had had sex. I remember the shock of one male friend when I revealed that I hadn't.

It's almost a reversal of society isn't it?

It shouldn't be shameful to be a virgin and I wonder how many girls (and boys) have sex just to rid themselves off what is viewed as a curse. I mean seriously, how many of you would react with pity if one of your close friends revealed they were still a virgin in their mid-twenties?

I don't want my kids to be ashamed of being virgins but neither do I want them to be coerced into having sex too soon at whatever age. I get the impression though that their peers and society will have far more influence on them than I can ever have.

FortyFacedFuckers Tue 14-May-13 14:54:54

I was 13 and he was 16 and yes it was a decision we both made although I don't regret losing my virginity so young I do regret who it was with. A few months after losing my virginity I went on to meet a lovely guy who I had a 3 year relationship with, I wish I had waited a few extra months so that it could have been with him.

CockyFox Tue 14-May-13 14:55:12

I was 15 he was 23. I was willing, we were engaged but I don't think he ever really intended to marry me but I wouldn't have sex unless he promised to and even then it was months and purchases of household items before I believed him. I am ashamed I have been with more than one person. I don't feel he forced me at all though, I just have outdated morals.
I met DH when I was 15 (a friend of the ex). We got together months after I split with the ex,age 17 I wasn't getting bitten twice and although we did lots of other things we didn't have penetrative sex until we were married, which was after 10 months.

Timetoask Tue 14-May-13 14:56:10

13 is way too young, you were a child!
The age is 16 for a reason I think.

turkeyboots Tue 14-May-13 14:57:13

Two of my friends lost their virginity to random one night stands at uni as they were embarrassed by it. Took them a long time to actually enjoy it with a real partner later in life.

Peer pressure plays an enormous role I think. But parents supporting healthly relationships helps, god alone knows how you do that though. Can't figure out what it was mine did beyond modelling good behavior (mostly) and have a healthly sex life to my mortification

Playerpleeease Tue 14-May-13 14:57:29

We were both 15, been together about a year before hand. Never regretted it, glad I had the experience with someone who was and still is a genuinely nice guy.

LtEveDallas Tue 14-May-13 15:13:04

14, consensual, with my long term boyfriend who was a year older than me. There was no pressure from him, but some on him from an older friend/employer.

I stayed with him for another year or so. We were both inexperienced and learning together. I have no regrets.

However.

I do think that losing my virginity that early changed my attitude to sex, and not for the better.

Whereas it took me over a year to say yes the first time (or rather to choose to do so, as he wasn't pushing me to do it), from then on, after I'd split up with that boyfriend, it seemed a waste of time to say no to anyone else. I didn't see the point in going back to holding hands and kissing, when I'd gone 'all the way' before.

I didn't think I could say no, not when I'd said yes before. I can see my teenage logic, but I wish I could go back to myself then and point out that it didn't have to be that way - I think I would have saved myself a lot of heartbreak - especially when I didn't really enjoy it in any case.

FlightyAphrodite Tue 14-May-13 15:17:07

Poppy I see where you're coming from, and 12/13 IS too young. I don't agree however that ensuring they are safe is a permissive attitude. Mine are only 8 and 1 at the moment but I'm raising them to know they can talk about anything with me, without fear of being shut down. If they come to me at 13 with questions about sex I will not be giving my "permission" to do it, but in the ensuing talks I will discuss STIs, pregnancy etc, as well as social issues.
I won't be over the moon if it happens, as I have stated 13 is too young, for anybody. But if they do I will feel I have done something right in raising them. I was able to be fairly open with my mum about sex when I was a teen, as well as alcohol and drugs, and I think it is because of that that I now have a healthy attitude towards them.

wannaBe Tue 14-May-13 15:18:25

agreed rhubarb - being a virgin shouldn't be something that is considered abnormal - especially at thirteen! shock

I didn't lose my virginity until I was nearly 22, I grew up I a country where it was very much frowned upon to be having sex too young, but actually, while that idea could be considered as too conservative it was taught to us on the basis that sex should be had within the confines of a stable loving relationship. At thirteen kids think they have it all and know it all. They fall in love and can't believe it won't be for ever, and so they often give of themselves more willingly than if they knew the reality that it was unlikely to last at that age, not least because relationships are often still fluid then.

I certainly don't think that most girls are coersed at that age necessarily, but I imagine that there are plenty who, if they could turn back time, might still do things differently on the basis they would rather it had been with someone else/in different circumstances iyswim.

I think we've gone too far in terms of that sex is almost encouraged now and even teenage pregnancy has no stigma attached to it. There needs to be a middle ground weryoun children, and yes, at thirteen they are still children, are encouraged to respect themselves, and where it is still considered a bit of a taboo to get pregnant as a teen, not to the extent that teens feel they have to give up their babies, but equally not to the extent that being a mum at fourteen isn’t considered that big a deal. Middle ground needs to be found IMO.

OhGood Tue 14-May-13 15:23:47

13, and I was waaay too young, and it caused me problems with v bad guilt, self-esteem etc afterwards - not least because I was at a very religious, regressive, grim all-girls boarding school (fun fun fun). I thought that sex = love.

I was fifteen and he was seventeen. I was more than ready, it was very enjoyable and I've never regretted it.

MadBusLady Tue 14-May-13 15:25:17

I was taught about "stable, loving relationships" too but looking back I'm not sure it was the right approach. Not when you consider the Relationships board! Some people - adults who haven't been virgins for years - have very, very screwed up ideas about what a stable, loving relationship feels like, and as a result are as vulnerable to pressure from selfish twats as any 13 year old.

If you can set boundaries, recognize bad behaviour and be clear that your wishes deserve respect, then you can probably have an enjoyable, respectful first experience with a decent person, whether that's at 14 or 20. If you don't understand how to do that stuff, no amount of "waiting" alone is going to teach you it.

onefewernow Tue 14-May-13 15:36:37

Im in the same camp at Catelyn. I did at 14, but see now it was because I was emotionally neglected. Neither of my daughters did, one was nearly 18 (the elder one) and the other 16.

My elder daughter felt under pressure from peers, not boys, but resisted.

She used to say to me things like "just because i haven't it doesn't mean that I am etc etc" (insert any negative association). And her friends were mainly bright and competitive, and at a good school.

There is enormous pressure on both sexes to do the deed. I dont agree with Cogito that a 14 and 15 year old having sex is about pressure and coercion, necessarily, as the pressure is not always external or actual. It is a felt pressure as a result of us living in a highly sexualised society, and teenagers want to 'grow up', as they see it.

VeremyJyle Tue 14-May-13 15:37:31

I commented on the other thread that I now find it creepy as most of my 'early' conquests were older, incidentally yesterday I was saying it was a miracle I was never raped or become pregnant as at that age I was so careless, irresponsible and left myself in so many dodgy situations. I had been kicked out at 14 and every adult I was known to moved the blame and responsibility around. Was I manipulative? Yes. Did I think I was grown up and clever? Yes. Did I draw attention to myself? No. Did I slip under their radar? Yes. Should it have happened? No.
I will never let my DDs have the same level of freedom that I had, it didn't kill me but it could have. It is only as an adult I realise how much I was taken advantage of, I thought I was in control and promiscuity gave me the thrill of being adult, wanted and feeling like I was using someone else.
I think girls should value themselves far more, I had a best friend who I partly pitied as I thought her immature not losing her virginity but equally I envied as at least the boys wanted to talk to her, not just grope and then blank her afterwards

I'm not sure the "virgin" word is that helpful - I hope my DCs will just look on themselves as young people who haven't had sex yet, but probably will one day when the time is right, rather than as virgins.
Though I suppose at least Richard Branson has made it a slightly cooler word than it used to be.
I always thought the "losing your virginity" phrase/ concept was a little naff too.

higgle Tue 14-May-13 15:40:51

Just 15, long term boy friend, and we were very happy together. Very much the right thing at the right time.

smokinaces Tue 14-May-13 15:54:41

I was a fortnight off 15. He was 17. I don't regret it. I ended up marrying him when I was 23. (Though other partners between, we were teens at the end.of the day)

rosyposynotsodozy Tue 14-May-13 16:18:30

I was 13 and was positively encouraged by my mother (just one of the reasons i'm now in therapy!) At the time felt normal, now regret it deeply. As another poster said, it made it feel impossible to say no further on in time and to my next boyfriend, like I was a done deal as such. It also meant by only 14 iwas already far too experienced and feel positively sick when i think what I was doing at that age

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:20:27

rosy sad
flowers

sparklekitty Tue 14-May-13 16:24:04

I was just 14, he was 21. I didn't have a choice in the matter. It carried on for 18 months and I live with the consequences to my mental health daily.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 14-May-13 16:28:19

I was 11 he was in his 60's I had no choice.. was I ready.. no.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:31:20

I guess the few examples such as those experienced by sparklekitty and rosyposynotsodozy are reasons why the law is as it is, although it is clear that this did not protect either of you sad

It does make me worry a lot for my own kids and the pressure they will be subjected to, not just from their peers but from the media, magazines, fashion industry and anything which profits from the sexplotation of children. Both boys and girls.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:32:25

OMG Never sad

I am so sorry. I hope this thread hasn't brought back any horrible memories for you. I am truly sorry if it has.

lottieandmia Tue 14-May-13 16:36:16

A lot of my friends had sex at 13 or so. One I know did it because she was in a hurry to grow up. She said she regrets it.

Badvoc Tue 14-May-13 16:36:29

I was willing.
I was 18 but I wish I hadn't, at least not with him.
I had just had my heart broken (unrequited love) and I guess I just thought "you don't want me, but look! He does!" Sort of thing.
Sigh.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 14-May-13 16:37:24

threads like this will always bring up memories for anyone who has experiences rape/sexual assault. I used to remember to avoid them.. this time I forgot.

I was just 16 and he was 28. Bastard angry. I was not ready sad. The more I look back on that 'relationship' the more unpleasant things I remember and the more I feel almost, I hate to use the word, but, abused I suppose.

cafebistro Tue 14-May-13 16:44:00

I was 15 and he was 17. We were both virgins. I did it willingly and had a 2 year 'relationship' with him. I don't really regret it but I do wish I'd have waited until I was a bit older.

tb Tue 14-May-13 16:46:50

He was 25, I was 14, and I was coerced - it was an extension of being abused as a child. I spent the next 3 years being worried about getting pregnant. His 'maturity' didn't include contraception.

He's now a vicar!

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:48:19

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood only by sharing your experiences can you help others to understand. By speaking out, you might not be able to erase your own memories but you can make people think and hopefully you can change people's attitudes and behaviours and perhaps save another girl from going through the same ordeal.

Often a chain of events can be prevented by just a very small change. A sudden thought, a change of mind, a different course of action.

I wish I could turn the clock back for you and everyone else who has been abused. Instead I can only offer you flowers and wine.

And my thoughts sad

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:49:06

tb, have you ever thought of reporting him?

nannyof3 Tue 14-May-13 16:50:33

I was 9, he was in his 30's i guess...

Didn't want it... hmm

I'm sorry you came across this thread NKU, and for you and everyone here who's had bad experiences sad

Pendeen Tue 14-May-13 16:57:02

"Being a virgin is now looked on as more taboo than being sexually active"

Of course it isn't.

Where did you get that idea?

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:57:14

sad

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 16:59:38

Pendeen from my peers when I was 16/17/18 myself. School friends would take the piss out of me for my lack of boyfriend, calling me a lesbian. Family also thought I was a lesbian.

When I told a few select people I was a virgin they reacted with horror as if I had a disease.

Then there is the media pisstake of public virgins such as the Jonah brothers and so on. Like they are freaks themselves.

Pendeen Tue 14-May-13 17:01:16

I think we must live in very different worlds then THERhubarb

Hey Rhubarb, maybe for most people it's good to have somewhere to talk, and as you say it may help someone else or help change society's attitudes or the law. Easy for me to say though as thankfully I don't qualify for this thread. I was 23.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Tue 14-May-13 17:08:38

I lost my virginity at 13. He was 16. I don't regret it, I didn't think it was really that important. I have a DD and whilst my opinion has changed on the importance of it I don't regret it. It was a bit crap and things didn't work out with the lad but hey ho.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 17:10:12

Public perception of virginity here:

The Student Room

Also Google Lori Jones, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and you'll get plenty of articles on their virginity.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Tue 14-May-13 17:10:25

And also for the record, my mum didn't drive me around or supervise me, I wasn't into sports or anything so had no hobbies really. I used to spend my weekends like most uni age people I suppose. sex and drink and staying at mates. i do wish my mum had cared a bit more though.

THERhubarb Tue 14-May-13 17:11:57

Maybe Pendeen but that doesn't invalidate my experiences. From what I read and hear and notice now that I have my own teenage dd, being a virgin is something to be ashamed of and something that you need to get rid of asap.

Same as it was for me.

Nothing changes.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Tue 14-May-13 17:14:44

rhubarb, it was the same for me. if you get to year 11, or even year 10, and yourestill a virgin then you're a social outcast.

kotinka Tue 14-May-13 17:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

grimbletart Tue 14-May-13 17:23:38

I've always held the view that it is the truly mature (as opposed to got breasts, got hips, have periods) girls who realise that they have a lifetime for sex and that there is nothing mature about having sex at 13, 14, 15, 16 etc. Those are the years for learning and having fun not playing at being grown up.

But I don't expect anyone on MN to agree with me as I'm just an old gimmer.

KittensandKids Tue 14-May-13 17:26:32

I had a fumble at 14 he was 15, I regretted that as I was way too young, next time I was 16 and in my first 'relationship' he was 19, that was fun!

curryeater Tue 14-May-13 17:26:59

Big hugs to everyone on this thread who has suffered and is still suffering.

I want my girls to have good experiences but I don't know how to be open with them. I have to learn. I was brought up Naicely, but emotionally neglected and had no one to talk to about anything, especially relationships (let alone actual sex). I was treated badly by boyfriends for a long time because of it. The "values" that I was brought up with made me desperate and lonely, and seeking love and friendship made me far too malleable to people who used me. I want my girls to have good relationships of all kinds, friendships and romantic relationships, with good people, that they go into willingly with their eyes open, that nourish them and do not violate their self respect. I have no idea what to do to help this happen. for now I (and their father) am their world, and I can love them all they need. but at some point they will have to go into the world and get love from other people and it terrifies me because I don't know how to help them do this because all my family did was tell me that I couldn't have it and didn't deserve it.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 17:27:36

I was 14, in the 3rd year I think (so Y9 in new money). He was 16 and had just sat his O-Levels at another school. We'd been together for a few weeks but speed serial monogamy was the order of the day, which in a way was no bad thing. Anyway it was all very sweet and I have no regrets.

I was pressured into having sex a million years before (as it seemed!) when I'd barely turned 13 by a bunch of older kids who I thought were cool hmm , as was the 15yo boyfriend (younger bro of the immature twats older gang). When it came down to it neither of us wanted to, so we emerged from the room claiming to have done it. There was cider and dope involved and it was all very This is England.

I'm proud of myself for not giving in (even though we fibbed) but the situation - someone pretty much my son's age getting pissed and smoking cannabis with a bunch of virtual strangers - unsavoury ones at that - makes me shudder. It's one of the reasons I'm so hot on knowing where he is after school these days and I regularly spout off about children needing us around more when they're 13 than when they're 3.

jacktarot Tue 14-May-13 17:31:10

I was almost 15 and he was 20... It wasn't consensual in that I was off my head on psychedelics blush but he didn't really pressure me that much. I just had far too low an opinion of myself and too much hatred of y body to think I could say no.
Yes I regret it, although at the time I was relieved to have it over with. I didn't have an enjoyable sexual experience until around 21 - 5 years intoy relationship with DP. It took me a long time to relax and enjoy!

Great post curry
I think you're further along in helping your DD's have good relationships with others than you realise smile
Good luck !
- I'm going to need some too, my DC's are teens/pre-teen now smile

Mama1980 Tue 14-May-13 17:32:41

I was 15 just, he was 16 I felt no pressure and wasn't coerced, we took precautions and it was all very sweet really. I don't regret it at all. We were at a party no alcohol involved though. Our teenage 'love' didn't last but we are still friends, and giggle about our innocence now.

I'm sorry for everyone on this thread suffering. X

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 17:39:00

grimbletart I am inclined to agree with you, although as I said upthread I don't regret having sex when I did, even though he and I split up a few weeks later.

I went on after to get into a relationship with a man six years older (possibly more - I was in the 4th year I think and he was in the final year of his degree!) which lasted until I was 18. He was actually a decent chap but good grief I don't think it was healthy for a girl my age to be so caught up with someone older like that.

I was utterly fixated on being with people I perceived as cool. It wasn't just about seeking love (although there was a big element of that). Boys in bands, basically hmm

Meringue33 Tue 14-May-13 17:40:22

I was sixteen and ready for it, at 15 I really wouldn't have been. At 15 there were squalid fumbles - not coerced into it by the boy but definitely felt peer pressure to participate even tho I wasn't attracted at all.

Dittle Tue 14-May-13 17:41:23

I was 15 with my boyfriend who I'm still with now, who was also fifteen. It was totally consensual and wasn't that great lovely.

MadameJosephine Tue 14-May-13 18:05:15

I was 16 but he was 15 and I was definitely willing. I celebtated the end if my exams by showing up at his house in my shortest skirt and highest heels and brought beer, he didn't know what had hit him. My ds is now 16 and doing his exams and the thought of some teenage snapper doing the same to him horrifies me!

DebsMorgan Tue 14-May-13 18:08:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babyradio Tue 14-May-13 18:29:27

I was 16, he was 17 and we were together for 2 years. Looking back I can see I was pressured into it. I think he was under pressure to fit in with his friends and older siblings too.

It was no better or worse than the average first time I suppose. But looking back I can see he watched far too much porn and like another poster said once it was done it was expected, and a lot of the time it was like I didn't really need to be there. Like it could have been anyone, if that makes sense?

Even though I was above the magical age of consent, I do wish I'd had the sense to wait for someone who treated me properly.

SundaysGirl Tue 14-May-13 19:06:21

I was 16 he was 19. It was consensual.

What disturbs me more looking back is I got involved with someone who was 32 when I was coming up 17. I didn't see anything wrong with it at the time but as the years have gone on I have become more and more icked out by it. Now I am 32 the thought of having sex with someone in their teens makes me want to vomit. I think its really wrong and there is something extremely unhealthy about that sort of age gap.

Lowry Tue 14-May-13 19:44:49

I lost my virginity at 16. I was legal, finally!
Couldn't wait to copulate!
He was also 16 and a virgin. It was a total fiasco......i wish i'd never done it then.
I wish i'd had the maturity to just wait, instead of "sowing my wild oats" over the next 2 years!
I feel sad looking back over those 2 years before i met my DH (at 18).
I so wish he'd been my first.
Anyway, you can't change the past can you ?

chibi Tue 14-May-13 19:48:58

i was 13, he was 17 and nagged and nagged until i gave in to shut him up.

it could have been worse.

looking back,i am faintly horrified.

GilmoursPillow Tue 14-May-13 19:52:27

I was 15, he was 29. I don't recall not wanting to do it, but I do regret it.

MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 19:57:29

i did it willingly

but was definitely taken advantage of

i was - only just - 15, he was 21. i thought i was so grown up, going out with this "man". but i can see now that he did such dreadful damage to my self esteem that it will probably stay with me forever in some form sad

i dread dd being a teenager. as most of my friends had done it by 13 or 14. and this was in the 90's. god knows what its like now

I guess it is possible for things to change for the better Moody ?
- such as UK becoming more like the Netherlands,
much more modern views but also sounder ones.

Chubfuddler Tue 14-May-13 20:13:31

We were both 14, had been in a relationship for over a year and both very willing. Precautions used, shipped for together, all very responsible.

Having had quite a lot of sex to compare it to, it was pretty good.

Chubfuddler Tue 14-May-13 20:14:06

This was over 20 years ago btw.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Tue 14-May-13 20:19:13

I was 2 weeks off my 16th birthday. With a boyfriend who was a couple of years older and who had put no pressure on me. I didn't love him, but was close to being the last of my friends and thought he was as good a person to do it with as anyone else. We broke up a few months later, but I have no regrets. About 10 years later we hooked up again and are now married with 2 DC. Depending on how carefully I word it, I will be able to tell DD and DS that I lost my virginity to DH.

SleepyCatOnTheMat Tue 14-May-13 20:26:28

I lost my virginity before the age of 16. I did it willingly. I regret it. It wasn't an awful experience but it wasn't special either.

CoalDustWoman Tue 14-May-13 20:37:45

Can I clarify something that always seems to crop up on these threads?

I know it's called the age of consent, but it doesn't mean that under 16s can't give consent. It's under 13s that are deemed unable to give consent in law. Or, rather, consent is a non issue in terms of the of the offence committed.

quoteunquote Tue 14-May-13 20:45:31

someone posted this else where on MN well worth reading and bearing in mind when talking to your children about choices.

I wasn't luck enough to have a choice, I have a rapist uncle.

ByTheSea Tue 14-May-13 20:47:52

I was 14, I was 'in love' and he was 17. It was consensual and planned.

ByTheSea Tue 14-May-13 20:49:17

Oh and no regrets even though he turned out to be a twat. I was dying of curiosity anyway.

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 14-May-13 20:49:49

Just to say how angry I am for all those posters on here who were abused as children.

Jidget Tue 14-May-13 21:01:45

We've determined that they are unable to give consent and, whilst some think that a 14yo and a 15yo is OK, above-board and voluntary but a 15yo and a 21yo isn't OK, I think both scenarios actually are the result of pressure and coercion rather than free-will.

Yes Cogito, yes. I was 15, he was 16. I thought I was consenting, willing and "in love".

In truth and with hindsight, I can see that he pestered, persuaded, nagged and manipulated me into having sex with him.

He was a controlling abuser who set the pattern for my later relationships.

secretcowgirl Tue 14-May-13 21:08:08

I was 15 and it was with my first love who was 18. It was my decision and it was planned, safe and an expression of incredible love for both of us. He died two years later in an accident. I have no regrets that we seized the moment and allowed ourselves to be everything to each other. Nothing has ever matched it and I am 46 now.

knackeredmother Tue 14-May-13 21:13:13

I was 14, boyfriend of 1 year was 17. Totally consensual and I didn't have sex with other partners after that until I was 17. Only ever had 5 sexual partners. I was the first of my friends.

jayho Tue 14-May-13 21:18:23

secret I know..... We were both 15, been boyfriend/girlfriend since we were 13, planned, safe etc. He died in a car crash when I was 16. I'm 50 this year, (TMI) but I can still feel it....

I was 14 and my boyfriend was 15. It was consensual and we were together for 3 years (had been close friends for 2 years before getting together). We did most things for the first time together. I went on the pill and my mum found out and was heartbroken. I understood then and still understand why.

I would be worried if I had a daughter that age in that situation as not everyone is as lucky as me. My mum did tell me that she was 15 when she lost her virginity to my dad and 45 years later they're still together. I'd like to think that I'd remember that a 14 year old girl (or some 14 year old girls) is capable of making a mature and responsible decision. Obviously where there is pressure from someone else to have sex that's different but I have no experience of that.

secretcowgirl Tue 14-May-13 21:49:13

jayho don't want to hijack thread but have never come across anyone else who has been through that. It never leaves you does it? Am emotional tonight as coming to the end of yet another unsuccessful relationship... can't help but wonder. Love and understanding to you.

Whatalotofpiffle Tue 14-May-13 21:50:57

I lost my virginity at 13 and was curious much younger. I did it willingly but realised quite quickly that I had been too young

OnTheNingNangNong Tue 14-May-13 21:54:10

I was 13, I was completely willing, he was a lot older. I lied about my age. I do regret it now, but I learnt a great deal.

skyebluesapphire Tue 14-May-13 22:05:34

I was almost 15, he was just 21. We had been seeing each other for around 6 months, so I thought I was in love. Realised a couple of months later that I wasn't and ended it. Grew up in a rural area where youngsters of all ages hung out together as there was nothing else to do, so it wasn't unusual for the 14 year old girls and 20 year old lads to hang out together, plus they had cars and used to take us out to the beach and the cinema etc.

I wish that I had waited until I was a bit older though. Some of my friends had done it by 15 some hadn't. If you were found out at school to have "done it" then you were a "slag". If you were a virgin, the boys called you "frigid".

I want my DD5yo to grow up with more respect for herself and to not just do it because her friends are. Don't do it with the first boy you meet.

ImperialBlether Tue 14-May-13 22:24:06

I became best friends with a girl when I was about 13. She'd lost her virginity to her 15 year old boyfriend (at the time) when she was 11, in the summer before starting senior school. Her birthday is in February so she'd be not even 11 and a half.

I think she wanted to do it - in fact I'd say she definitely did and was the driver behind it. She always wanted to be older. However, in her late teens she became anorexic and that has stayed with her for decades. I'm not in touch with her now but I do wonder how much those events are linked.

Anna1976 Tue 14-May-13 23:06:51

Madbuslady "If you can set boundaries, recognize bad behaviour and be clear that your wishes deserve respect, then you can probably have an enjoyable, respectful first experience with a decent person, whether that's at 14 or 20. If you don't understand how to do that stuff, no amount of "waiting" alone is going to teach you it."

Yes - totally. Planned, protected, exciting, in a stable relationship that is not abusive - that's fine. As a way of obtaining social status or self-worth? Bad idea.

My sister was 13 sad, her first encounter was with someone not much older. She had been totally brainwashed to think that beauty and success with men was how she would be a success in life. She had a lot of short-term relationships (usually several at once) and one-night stands all through her teens, that she wasn't ready for, but clearly felt that she needed to do it for social status. Total number of partners would be somewhere near 100... total number of partners who cared about her as a person, probably 3?
She is now very much defined by what others think of her appearance, and very unhappy, because at 40+ when you're married, the only people getting attention for appearance are your children... or you if you're being ogled by other people's unattractively attentive husbands.

Anna1976 Tue 14-May-13 23:19:19

(sorry - that last bit about attention for those over 40 was probably too harsh and cynical - I shouldn't have generalized)

I was 16, very willing, but looking back, I was very, very young, obviously completely ignorant of how to run a relationship, obviously completely ignorant of boundaries, and was self-defining by my desirability to a self-indulgent, immature, emotionally incontinent 36 year old who should have known better. For a long time I fet grown-up about that relatinoship - now i look back and think it was utterly inappropriate.

I was almost 16, with my boyfriend of almost a year, who was 18. I completely loved him at the time.... The experience itself wasn't particularly enjoyable, but that was because neither of us had much idea of what we were doing! I wasn't co-erced at all. It did get better tho! We were together another year, and I then didn't have sex with anyone else until I was 19. So no real indicator of early virginity loss leading to promiscuity in my case.

curryeater Wed 15-May-13 09:48:58

I don't see why the law should change just because there are some positive experiences under 16.
If a couple of two 15 year olds, loving and mature, have consensual sex, the law is not going to get involved.
If they were thinking about having sex but don't because of the law - who cares? What harm done?
If a 36 year old man is stopped from taking advantage of a 15 year old girl because of the law, then good.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 15-May-13 09:54:40

14, he was 24, consensual but i regret it. I had my first sexual experience when i was 12, he was 32 blush again, willing but i really didn't know what i was doing.

DiscontinuedModelHusband Wed 15-May-13 09:54:58

May i add a male's perspective here (though i expect to be shouted down somewhat)?

The doubt and uncertainty around the readiness to have sex isn't solely the preserve of the female.

In my case, from 14-17 I had 2 successive long-term (for that age) girlfriends. it was generally me who made the decision to stop at fumbling!

This was partly because i never had a clear sense of what either girl wanted (despite asking), and because i wasn't sure i wanted my first time to be on the bathroom floor of a houseparty, or a friend's little sister's bed (with assorted Care Bears staring at me), for example!

I appreciate that there are some unscrupulous types (of both genders) that take advantage of that uncertainty, but would suspect that there are more men than you'd think that felt the same way i did.

For the record, both girls had sex almost immediately with their next boyfriends - not sure whether that says more about me or them!

I was 17 when i lost my virginity, 1 night stand on a holiday. I didn't enjoy it (not least because it was disastrous, but that's another story), and wish i'd waited.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 10:02:41

DiscontinuedModelHusband, if you read the whole thread you will note that there are a few posters who say they had sex with younger boys and that they even took the initiative.

Generally speaking I think it is easier for older men (or boys) to take advantage of younger girls because girls have this tendency to look up to older men. Goodness knows what this says about society.

Yes there are some boys who are taken advantage of too and I agree that boys are put under just as much pressure to have sex as girls are. I can't speak from experience obviously, but from what dh tells me, the pressure was equal on both boys and girls to lose their virginity.

Funny how there are quite a few Hollywood movies based around boys losing their virginity but not that many around girls losing theirs.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 15-May-13 10:02:42

I wont shout you down discontinuedmodel.I think that was a very sensible post - although i did get an image of the inbetweeners in my head as you described your experiences grin

I think its about common sense isn't it. Two young people = fine (on the whole) Older man (or woman for that matter) = not fine, not fine at all!

The problem is, where do you draw the line - two 15 year olds could be a healthy experience for both, but there is still the possibility for a more experienced 15yo lad to pressurise a 15yo girl into doing something she is not ready for, especially with all the porn etc that these kids have access too. For that reason, i don't think the law should change, i just think there needs to be a common sense approach about applying it.

My DD was sexually active at 15, her BF was 17, there was an issue that arose between them (not sexual) that meant i didn't want my DD to be involved with him. I COULD if i wanted to, have made a complaint about him because she was under age but that would have been out of spite and very wrong. As it happened, i waited for them to get bored with each other - she dumped him grin

LEMisdisappointed Wed 15-May-13 10:07:47

TheRhubarb - that is an interesting point you make there about the younger boys. I think there is truth in what you say about looking up to older men. Absolutely. However, i feel that girls seem to mature, physically if not emotionally, before boys and that a 13/14 year old boy is more likely to want to play top trumps than top humps. My DP is 8 years older than me, we met when i was 21. We have had the conversation about, "would you have gone out with me when you were 21 and i was 14?" he said absolutely not, why would a 21 year old man be interested in a 14 yo girl. Then the "but what if you were the same age as me!" he said he would have been out making go carts with his mates and still thought girls were smelly!

I was 13, he was 21 and beautiful. It was a ONS on holiday and he thought i was 18. I enjoyed it but whilst i was physically developed and mentally aware the 'ins and outs' of sex so to speak were confusing i.e seeing an erect penis go flaccid was bloidy weird!

I blame my mum for my having sex early - she had lots of random partners, porn, magazines with sex position of the week plus chat/take a break with stories about threesomes and rape and what have you so i knew about sex a lot earlier than necessary.

*none of mums partners tried it on, just mean that i saw men coming and going a lot.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 10:27:57

Yet LEM if you go through this thread there are a few examples of posters who, whilst still very young themselves, did have sex with younger boys. There was one poster who was 14 and he was 13. Another poster says her dh was 13 and the girl was 15 and he claimed that he wasn't ready but was coerced into it by the girl. Another was 16 whilst he was 15.

The majority of women posting on this thread were much younger than the boys they had sex with however, some of them MUCH younger and I feel that is more the norm, yet that doesn't mean we can't look at the minority who were older than the boys they had sex with. That's without going into the posters who said they initiated it with their boyfriends.

I guess it's just not always black and white. Not every girl is coerced, not every boy takes advantage.

What is scary though are the sheer amount of posts who do say that they were pressurised into it by older boys. That is scary and I don't think that situation has changed through the years at all.

I was 23. I just hadn't until then. I'm divorced now, and feel a little differently about sex. I'm not so precious anymore..if I want to, I will.

Sorry, it's 4:30am for me and I'm sleepy and missed the whole point of the tread being before 16. blush

I'm sure that's OK Rafaella. I was 23 too BTW smile - about right I reckon, though it all depends on the person.

I was 15, and one of the last in my circle of friends shockingly enough! I was coerced into it in hindsight, called frigid etc and basically gave in to the pressure and regretted in massively.

My mum was very depressed at the time and simply didn't take much notice of where I was or who I was with.

SirBoobAlot Wed 15-May-13 10:40:09

I had just turned 14, he was nearly 17. As I said on the previous thread, I don't regret it. We were together for nearly two years - though thinking about it, it may have been closer to 18 months? - and it was a good relationship. He used to meet me off the school bus every Friday with a single rose smile

After him, there was a guy in the year above me at school, who I fancied for YEARS. A few casual things... First truly had my heart broken at 16 by a guy it turned out was sleeping with my (older) friend as well - he was nearly ten years older than me. We're friends again now, actually, it's nice. Then a few guys around my own age... A few relationships, a few casual FWB...

I don't regret having sex so young. It felt right at the time, we were great friends as well as a couple. The 'quality' of the sex would now be debated, but that's first times for you - it got better grin

SirBoobAlot Wed 15-May-13 10:43:34

Oh, and if anything, I pressured him without meaning to - he thought I was already active, because I ''seemed to know what I was doing''! So he went along with it because he thought he should... Felt really bad when he admitted that to me about six months in, though he said he didn't regret it, and we were able to laugh about it later on smile

peanutMD Wed 15-May-13 10:45:47

I was 15 had been with my boyfriend for 6 months, all planned and consensual.

We're still together 12 years on smile

I was 14, he was 16. We weren't going out together and he told me we could if I had sex with him. We didnt end up going out and he treated me like shit. This pattern continued throughout my life and is still occurring at 37. I saw (see) sex as a bargaining tool and a symbol of my worth.

DiscontinuedModelHusband Wed 15-May-13 10:52:13

Rhubarb - i have read the whole thread, and do recognise that not every post was an older boy and a younger girl! The considerable majority are though, right?

LEM mentions that girls mature physically more quickly than boys, but emotional maturity happens MUCH more quickly in girls than boys (in fact, the awareness of emotional maturity probably happens even more quickly).

I'd suggest this then makes it much more likely that a girl is going to relate to an older boy/man better on an emotional level than someone her own age (even if she's not actually as emotionally aware as she thinks she is).

I'm not suggesting these girls are to blame for then being coerced - far from it - the male in these situations should always take the bulk of responsibility, due to the balance of power being in his favour.

As a parent, i think all you can do is make your children aware of these differences, physical and emotional, make them aware of which situations they need to be careful of, and make them aware of the consequences of any decisions they might make.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 11:14:19

DiscontinuedModelHusband, unfortunately the truth is more complicated. We may appear to mature quicker but actually we are not. A case in point in my own dd and her friends who are all aged 12 to 13. They wear fashionable clothes, padded bras, talk about boys, write essays on child slavery, can cook meals, are responsible for younger children, can be independent, confident and know about sex. But these girls also sleep with their teddies still, some still suck their thumbs at night, they still love to play on the swings and slides when no-one is watching, they still would spend their pocket money on sweets given half a chance, they watch Doctor Who through their fingers and still play childish games like shops, hospitals and schools.

Older boys may see these girls as emotionally and physically mature but that is just a myth.

It's the same from what I see of boys. They hang around shops, they wear their trousers halfway down their arses, they might take up smoking or drinking, they pretend they don't care about girls whilst doing their best to look cool but get them on their own, without their mates and they are still just little boys.

At the heart of all of our teenagers lie little boys and girls who are just that. No more. It is society and the media who would have our children grow up way before their time. The prevalance of porn, the acceptance of women as sex symbols in music videos, the obsession with the way women look and are shaped, the chat in girls mags and newspapers of sex and scandal, the encouragement to sleep around (Sex and the City, et al), the soaps which sail close to the wind and bring disturbing storylines into our living rooms ways before the watershed.

All of these things directly impact our kids, putting them under pressure to conform, to be the person that others want them to be.

I don't just blame older men, I blame society for turning a blind eye, for portraying women and girls as seducers. You said it yourself, we are more "emotionally and physically mature". That is the excuse many men use.

It is just that. An excuse.

curryeater Wed 15-May-13 11:20:36

God, THERhubarb, that post could just make me bawl.

Don't worry about discontinuedhusband though. I wrote him off when he opened his post with a PA whine about "being shouted down". Nothing he said about boys not all rampantly rushing into sex with unwilling partners went remotely against the grain of the rest of the thread. Yet he started from a position of whiney victimhood.

So I don't give a fuck about him, because a. he hasn't read what everyone else has said properly, in other words, as typical, devaluing women's speech; and b. "shouting down" is a phrase used to discredit women speaking at all, as usual, taking the position that women speaking at all is in some way "silencing" men, when the opposite is statistically true.

DiscontinuedModelHusband Wed 15-May-13 12:25:18

curryeater - the opening to that post was in preparation for a slightly different point than the one i actually made. it wasn't very carefully worded, and read in a more abrasive manner. i then changed it without changing the first sentence. I agree it wasn't the best way to open - apologies.

I have read the whole thread, carefully and am not trying to devalue anyone's opinion.

I actually fully agree with the OP that social conditioning is absolutely to blame for the early sexualisation of our children.

I wasn't trying to provide a counterpoint to the OP, merely confirm that doubt and anxiety are likely just as common in boys as girls at that age.

I'll admit i could have made that point less clumsily!

cory Wed 15-May-13 12:27:58

I didn't but several of my friends did and did not regret it. Then again, 15 was, and is, age of consent where we lived, so they were not doing anything illegal and were with boys their own age.

Totally agree with curryeater:

"I don't see why the law should change just because there are some positive experiences under 16.
If a couple of two 15 year olds, loving and mature, have consensual sex, the law is not going to get involved.
If they were thinking about having sex but don't because of the law - who cares? What harm done?
If a 36 year old man is stopped from taking advantage of a 15 year old girl because of the law, then good."

Startail Wed 15-May-13 13:16:41

What therubarb says about 12-13 girls is so so true, my 12y loves to play at being grown up, but is still a child. She still cares too much about what peer pressure and what her friends are doing to think of her as grown up.

The difference between her and her 15y sister is huge and her sister has matured a lot in the last six months.

I hope she doesn't choose to have sex for a long time, but I can see that DD1 is getting to the point I would believe it was her choice, not the boys and peer pressure.

I'm not sure I will believe that for DD2 before she's 21

camaleon Wed 15-May-13 13:57:31

so sad that consent/'virginity' (what an awful word) is only measured by penetration.

I guess you may be lesbian an never 'lose' your virginity then. I have not had penetrative sex with a man until I was 19. We had been together for a year. I was totally prepared for it. Before that I have had (since the age of 13/14) mutual masturbation/oral sex/lots of different experience. I am not sure whether I was 'ready' or not for those. I consented to them and with boys of similar age but they were not all enjoyable.

I was totally disappointed about the big fuss about 'my' virginity. I liked it. It was very tender, but just one thing more to add with the additional risk of pregancy (AIDS/STDS were not a topic at the time but many other practices I had engaged in would have been risky on that front).

I hope I will teach my kids the different risks associated to different practices and I hope I will never speak about their 'virginities'

camaleon Wed 15-May-13 14:04:01

I guess my point is that human beings are sexual beings from very early and all is fine as long as they respect their own bodies and the bodies of others. When there is a big gap in age/maturity or one of the parties feels coerced directly or indirectly the practice is wrong.

This applies to 'playing doctors' if you are 6 years old, to penetration and a wide variety of sexual practices.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 14:10:02

Good point camaleon. I personally find the ideal of BJs repulsive and really quite degrading. It's odd as you say, how you can perform sex acts and yet still be a virgin.

In the eyes of the law though, it's still a crime for underage children to perform sex acts thank god.

This is what frightens me more today though and that has more to do with the prevalance and availability of porn. Many studies have shown that young women feel under more pressure to 'perform' and do things they are not comfortable with either because of the demands of their boyfriends or because they've seen online porn and think that it's the norm.

Even if I teach my children to respect themselves and others, even if I keep a close eye on their internet usage, even if I am open with them about sex I can't control who they hang around with, who they choose to date and what external pressures they are put under.

The studies horrify me as attitudes towards sex seem to be changing and it's not for the better. Children who have not seen porn or been subject to inappropriate behaviour online may well be in the minority.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 14:13:02

I don't think children are naturally sexual beings. Quite the opposite actually. I think we view children with adult heads. There may be curiosity about their own and other's bodies from an early age but I don't think that is naturally related to sexually, just childish curiosity.

We have forced children into sexuality from an early age. Without any outside influences I think you would find that children would be happy, carefree innocents for a lot lot longer.

camaleon Wed 15-May-13 14:21:47

Therhubarb, it depends how we define sexuality. I have two children who, for instance, have never shown an interest in touching themselves. I have even thought of opening a thread about this after reading how normal is 'masturbation' in very young children and I think it was part of my own childhood.
I would say children are 'sexual' all along, as they obtain pleasure from their bodies which derives from very specific sensations. But I am more than happy to call it differently at different ages.
And no, you cannot protect your children. You can only pass on to them as much information and reference points to find more suitable information.

camaleon Wed 15-May-13 14:25:47

And what happens when a 12/13 years old has 'sex' with a 5/6 years old? I have been witness of this kind of situation too. Do we assumed that because the age of consent is 16, the 12/13 years old does not understand the situation of power/ the nature of the acts?
Would you consider the 12/13 years old in that scenario as a victim? I think this is very complicated indeed and can only be looked at case by case. At the same time the law needs to set a general limit and that is good. I would not like a law depending on unpredictable judicial decisisions

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 14:30:54

camaleon I remember a very horrible episode once on Mumsnet where my little boy was called a freak after I responded on one such thread how he showed no interest in touching himself. I was rounded on by a fair few posters and I must admit, it was one of the few times that I came away in tears, largely because it concerned my son and questioned my role as a parent. Such is the power of sisterhood at times sad

In my personal experience, children derive comfort from many sensations and I believe it is wrong to associate those sensations with sexuality. For example, a child might get comfort from sucking his or her own toes, or from massaging their own heads (as my son would do) or from rubbing themselves. For them it is a nice sensation that has no other meaning attached to it. For us, because their private parts are different to their mouths, their heads, their hands, etc we associate it in other ways. Children do not.

I believe a child who does touch themselves down there are no more sexual than a child who sucks their thumb.

And yes I agree with you that you cannot protect your children, you can only hope that the information you give them, the confidence, the respect, the guidance etc is enough because I get the feeling that they are under much more pressure than we all were - or soon will be.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 14:34:51

camaleon, in that situation both children are victims. A 12/13 does not have sex with a 5/6 year old without there being a greater problem. Same as murder. Look at the Jamie Bulger case. They were only 10? They were victims too of their parents, of a society which failed them.

Where to draw the line between victim and perpetrator? Is there one? An adult who has been abused can sometimes go on to abuse themselves but then another adult with a similar pattern of abuse may make the choice not to. Making choices is the key and where are you responsible for that? When do you actively start making choices?

I guess it differs from case to case; from child to child.

camaleon Wed 15-May-13 14:52:36

I don't agree with your assessment of what sexuality is for 'under 16' or whatever age we want to. But your points would be as valid as mine I think.

However, I wanted to highlight that perhaps the first thing to do is to remove the importance of 'virginity', mainly for girls. Stop the consideration of sex as something dominated by what happens with a penis. I am not sure the world is worse now than 30 years ago either in terms of pressure on women and sex. I much prefer my daughter to be in the generation she is in, without the pressure to 'keep or lose' something to a man that is just a very small part of her body (and physically does not get lost anyway).

As many posters have said I don’t know if it’s about age as much as context.

I lost mine to a boy the same age as me when I was 16. It was fine- not exactly amazing but nice and not scarring or upsetting.

I then swiftly embarked on a relationship with a 31 year old man when I was 17. It wasn’t my first sexual experience but my 2nd time and the relationship went on for almost five years. That was not okay and very scarring. The law couldn’t have protected me from that and I did consent. I however don’t think I had the ability to really consent to his wishes, because I was young and he was persuasive, abusive, a bit of a Svengali and had fourteen years on me. You can’t legislate for that unfortunately.

I would much rather that I had been involved in illegal sex with another 13 year old when I was that age than what eventually happened to me. The fact that it was legal hasn’t made it any easier to deal with.

DrHolmes Wed 15-May-13 15:01:51

I was 15 and willing, drunk at a party with a boy who was in my year at school who was also drunk. On the bathroom floor classy i know
I don't regret it though, as someone else said upthread, i just wanted to get it over with.

By 16 I was in a relationdhip and very sexually active with him even though my parents thought I wasn't.

I think I was still sleeping with my teddies at 15...

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 15:08:42

It's very sad that young girls just want to get it all over with. sad

camaleon, yes I agree with your point about virginity. It's an old fashioned notion which has no real relevance anymore (although in feminist studies I was told that the penis was like a knife which entered through the woman's open wound (her vagina) and stabbed her repeatedly. The hymen breaking symbolised the murder of her 'self'. Oh yes, that really helped me to combat my fear of sex!)

Crinkle77 Wed 15-May-13 15:12:33

I was 15 and I was a willing participant. My boyfriend was 16 and he was my first love. He did not pressure me and we were together a few months before we did it so I knew he was not using me. I have absolutely no regrets at all. But I had my head screwed on for a 15 year old and would have said no if I felt pressured.

Pendeen Wed 15-May-13 16:09:44

THERhubarb

"Maybe Pendeen but that doesn't invalidate my experiences."

Your experience maybe but you made a sweeping generalisation with which I fundamentally disagree.

rubycon Wed 15-May-13 17:00:22

I was 15 and 10 months and dozy - pregnant at 16 and a mum at 17 and 15 days. That was 43 years ago when you were made an outcast and your baby taken off you. Bleak times.

THERhubarb Wed 15-May-13 18:13:33

Pendeen not sure what point you are making?
I made an observation about attitudes towards virginity. You are free to disagree of course. I don't think any of us are making sweeping generalisations here, just thinking out loud and sharing experiences.

Pendeen Wed 15-May-13 20:16:15

"Being a virgin is now looked on as more taboo than being sexually active"

Fairly sweeping generalisation IMO

Wishwehadgoneabroad Wed 15-May-13 20:42:20

rubycon

sad

Anna1976 Wed 15-May-13 21:28:22

I think something good that could come out of this thread would be ideas on how to talk to kids about all this stuff - developing from Curryeater's post of Tue 14-May-13 17:26:59 "The "values" that I was brought up with made me desperate and lonely, and seeking love and friendship made me far too malleable to people who used me. I want my girls to have good relationships of all kinds, friendships and romantic relationships, with good people, that they go into willingly with their eyes open, that nourish them and do not violate their self respect."

My sister wasn't legal, I was, but we were both in relationships that were damaging and to some degree abusive, neither of us had any self-respect, we both felt we had to perform for others in order to "be" anything.

I look on in horror as my sister blatantly passes those values on to her daughter. But an ugly failure of an aunt that Mummy and Granny say is ugly and unattractive, isn't going to be able to influence a 5 year old who desperately wants to be a disney princess because pretty girls get attention from important men like princes.

How to break the cycle of objectification?

THERhubarb Thu 16-May-13 08:49:59

Pendeen why the fuck are you picking on my posts? So you disagree that being a virgin is now a taboo in society? I happen to think it is. Is it really that much of a big deal that you feel the need to come onto a thread where people are talking about past abuse and their experiences to continually make picky points just because you don't think being a virgin is a taboo?

Have you nothing better to do?

And for what it's worth, no dear, that was not a sweeping generalisation. I would have thought it fairly obvious from the context of my post and this thread that this was an observation. Something I went onto explain to you in detail using very personal experiences. You must have a huge problem with me to go to this much effort just to prove that you are right and I am wrong. It's hardly the thread for that is it?

Anna1976 I don't see that much has changed unfortunately. Women still have to be pretty and willing to show off as much flesh as possible in order to get attention. That's what the media tell us. Newspapers are full of what who was wearing, pictures taken of celebs in bikinis, etc. And look at the criticism Susan Boyle got over her appearance and yes, her virginity. Look at the disgusting countdown The Sun did when Charlotte Church was about to turn 16.

I feel sickened by some of the experiences posted on this thread and very sad at the legacy they have left behind. It's a testament to the strength of you all though that you are willing to talk about it so openly and honestly.

MadBusLady Thu 16-May-13 09:44:21

THERhubarb, judging from a comment "Pendeen" made on the one night stand and lost driving licence thread, s/he has a problem with all kinds of people holding different views to him/her on this subject, so I wouldn't worry about it.

THERhubarb Thu 16-May-13 09:57:28

Yes MadBusLady I've just done a quick search as I wondered if she had some beef with me and I can see now that her style is quite argumentative for no real reason other than proving a point.

I was beginning to get paranoid there.

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