Do you remember what was going through your head the first time you had sex? If you do, chances are pretty high that the general gist of those thoughts were markedly different depending on whether or not you have a penis. Naturally, there is a difference between our experiences with sex based on our gender, but do those experiences shape our thoughts and feelings? Or do out thoughts and feelings shape those perceptions?
The answer may be both.
In a recent study conducted by Eva S. Lefkowitz of Penn State University, the question of how first sexual intercourse affected the self-perception of the participants’ bodies. In short, do young adults feel better or worse about themselves after having sex for the first time?
Being a guy, my first thought was, “Well yeah, duh!” Finding a woman willing to have your sweaty, naked body all over hers makes you think you can’t be all that bad after all. There’s a hop in your step, smile on your face and life is grand.
And that was exactly Lefkowitz’s reasoning as well. She believed men would feel better about their looks after having sex for the first time. However, she also predicted that the reverse would be true for women. According to Lefkowitz, some women are so focused on their own body and how they look during their first sexual intercourse experience, they don’t actually get to enjoy it as much. And putting all of that attention on themselves along with the so-so experience actually causes their self-esteem to go down.
She was right.
Lefkowitz and researchers interviewed 100 college freshmen who hadn’t yet had their cherries popped over the course of two years, during which time they finally got in the sack. Through a self-reporting survey on a number of variables and attributes related to self-image, she discovered that men felt better about their bodies after first intercourse while women felt worse. And it wasn’t even close. Men’s appreciation of their own chiseled selves rose three times as much as the women’s sank.
Now, her theory as to why men go up and women go down is still just a theory, but I’d be interested in some research that can get to the bottom of the reasoning. But in any case, it’s just another reason why it’s great to be a guy.