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V-Card Diaries: Kara "The first person I had sex with isn't walking around with my virginity in his pocket."

Today we're highlighting Kara in California, who thinks our culture tends to gloss over the fact that the first time might be more painful than pleasurable. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Tell us about yourself:

I'm 24, I live in California. I always supported women's sexual rights, but I didn't get really into feminist activism until I read Jessica Valenti's "Purity Myth." I think that was my real "click" moment. Since then I have been getting into groups, blogs and reading all kinds of books by great feminist authors.

How do you define virginity?

Going from a state of not having had sex to a state of having sex. I really don't believe very much in "virginity" as a real thing. I didn't give it away or lose it. The first person I had sex with isn't walking around with it in his pocket. He's not keeping it in his sock drawer, and I'm not going to find it in the couch cushions with the lose change and lint. I don't feel any part of me was taken, and I don't feel that I'm missing anything either. My (soon-to-be) husband doesn't see me as damaged or used. I'm just me. Only thing that's different is I've had sex when previously, I hadn't.

Tell us your story

The first time I had it...I didn't expect it to hurt as much as it did. Holy CRAP was it excruciatingly painful. My boyfriend at the time wasn't trying to hurt me, he wasn't forcing it, he was actually going really slowly and carefully. It just hurt like a mofo. I'd heard from only one person that it would be painful. No one but she had ever mentioned the possibility of pain. So when I experienced it, I was well...shocked to put it mildly. Wasn't ready for that.

I have no idea how long the experience lasted. The pain was a little too distracting to pay attention to the time. But eventually, when he got it all the way inside me, that was it. We didn't move. Just sat there with him inside and me trying not to make the pain any worse. We tried to thrust it maybe once, but it just wasn't happening. Hurt too much. In the end we just decided that it would be best for him to slowly pull back out. I don't remember if that hurt less or more than putting it in.

It took at least until the 5th time for it to stop hurting.

The first time was not magical. There was no passionate love-making or epic, orgasmic breathing and sweating. There was pain, however unintentional. I think that's something that our culture tends to gloss over. There is so much in media, video games, books, etc. that tells us that the first time is this amazing experience with fireworks and screaming orgasms and romantic declarations akin to harlequin novel character quips. And it all takes place on silk sheets with sexy underwear and clothes strewn on the floor in sexual passion.

Nah. For some of us, it just hurts a lot.