Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 421–438

The experience of pain during women's first sexual intercourse: Cultural mythology about female sexual initiation

  • David L. Weis


A sample of coitally experienced college females was utilized to explore the adequacy of several related beliefs that constitute the cultural mythology of female sexual initiation in American society and to identify possible correlates of the subjective experience of pain during women's first intercourse. The results were that a sizeable minority of the women reported experiencing no pain during their first intercourse, that other subjective reactions (pleasure, guilt, anxiety) were experienced at least as commonly as pain, and that many women acquired considerable noncoital sexual experience prior to their first intercourse. The experience of pain during first intercourse was found to be related directly to young age, conservative sexual values, an expectation of no pain, and negative affect. The report closes with a consideration of future research needs and the presentation of a tentative model of first coital pain in which noncoital sexual experience and qualities attributed to the male partner are projected as indirect influences on first coital pain.

Key words

female sexuality sexual initiations first intercourse pain noncoital sexual experience 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Weis
    • 1
  1. 1.Home Economics Department, Cook CollegeRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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