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First time

Fear of pain in girls, apprehension in boys… The entry into sexuality is a passage as feared as expected.

Since the early 1970s, contrary to what one might think, the average age of first sexual intercourse has not changed much. It was almost 18 years for boys and 19 for girls. Today, the experiment takes place at about 17 and a half years of age for both sexes – the gap, the meaning of which has not changed, being only two months. But what about the way in which this very special moment is to be experienced?

“In life, few experiences are as mythical as the first sexual intercourse,”explain in a book published last year, Les Joies d’en bas, ( ActesSud), Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl, two young Norwegians who have now become doctors. Expectations of one’s own performance and that of one’s partner can be monstrous, and it’s hard to imagine in advance what we’re going to experience.” It is obviously these expectations that must be assessed as objectively as possible.


“It’s not about having your first report because friends or girlfriends have it. The message to convey is that it can be very pleasant, but that the report must be decided by both partners, and not imposed by one or the other, obviously taking all the necessary precautions to avoid pregnancy or health problems“.

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First time

A pleasant moment. This is not necessarily the idea that young girls have of their future first time, notes Dr Marie-Hélène Colson, of the French Federation of Sexology and Sexual Health. However, she adds, “the painful context remains very relative for the girl and may frequently not be at the rendezvous of a successful first time. When it is present, it can accompany the rupture of a resistant hymen, but more often also, the stretching of the vulvar orifice during this first penetration”.

In the end, comments the sexologist, the pains are more often to be “puton the account of the clumsiness and inexperience of the partner, or the fear of the girl, much more surely than on the account of the resistance of the hymen”. Especially since there is also apprehension on the boy’s side.

With him, says Dr. Colson, “a first time too emotionally invested will often be the occasion of a fiasco, and will result in too early ejaculation or a loss of erection, sometimes both. Quite often, he is a virgin himself, or intimidated by the virginity of his companion, and will tend to precipitate sexual action, without really taking the time to get to the rhythm of his partner”.


However, it is important to take the time, whatever the ratio, to allow in turn the excitement, lubrication and relaxation that facilitate penetration. Just as it is necessary to wait for the right moment, the one when the head (desire) and the body (excitement) are in phase.

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In view of a British study conducted on 3000 young people aged 17 to 24 and published at the beginning of 2019 in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health,this is fortunately the case 6 times out of 10 in girls and 7 to 8 times out of 10 in boys.

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