Despite what you see on TV and in movies, having sex for the first time is rarely romantic, pleasant, or sexy. Sure, it can be—in theory. But more often than not, it’s an awkward experience.Let’s just say that if your first time didn’t live up to your expectations, you’re definitely not the only one.

“My first time was actually sweet. It was with my boyfriend on our one-year anniversary. I was so nervous during dinner that I didn’t eat anything because I knew we were finally going to do it. I knew he’d had sex with his ex-girlfriend, but it was cute that he waited for me [to be ready]. My anxiety got the best of me, and I freaked out and told him to stop after the first thrust. Plus, I was the first one of my friends to have sex, so no one could tell me what to expect. A week later, we did it for real, and I felt cool for finally doing it.” —Casey S.

“I was way too young and not ready at all. I wasn’t even sure if I truly liked the guy, but I did feel pressured. It happened very quickly and hurt. When I got home, I took a bubble bath and then cried myself to sleep. The next month was agony, even though we had been safe. I didn’t think the risk was worth the action, and it was a while before I did it again.” —Cate B.

“It was with my boyfriend at the time. I was 17. He tried to use two condoms because he didn’t know better, but thankfully I saw him and stopped it. I bled all over the bed and thought it was hopelessly romantic that he helped me do the laundry afterward.” —Cassandra T.

“My first time was with a guy named James. I didn’t even know his last name. I only did it so I could fit in. It was a bad choice on my end. Your virginity is sacred even if all of your friends are doing it. Wait for the right person. It will be worth it. When you give yourself to someone only because you think it’s cool, it will come back to you two-fold. Have fun, but don’t be stupid. You are worth more.” —Javasia W.

“It was with the love of my life at 17 in my mom’s front yard in a lawn chair! It was rushed, and he cried afterward because he wanted to wait to give me his virginity on our wedding night. But needless to say, after the first time, it never stopped. And we’re still going strong after 14 years of marriage.” —Jessica J.