Desiree Burch: Wed gone out to see the movie Secretary, so we were both hot for it.
In the end, I lost my virginity twice. The first time was easy; it was with a friend of a friend. We were at a party and she took the initiative. I was surprised by how into it she was, because Id never thought of myself as the one who would be pursued. We had a good time and I got off but I still thought I needed to do it with a boy for it to count, which is messed up. Internally, something had shifted and I was more of a sexually actualised being, who took more joy and pleasure in my body. But I still had this notion that I needed to do it with a man to make it official.
The first guy I slept with was a very nice comic book nerd who I met on OK Cupid a year later. Wed gone out to see the movie
Secretary, so we were both hot for it. He knew Id never been with a man before, but hed been with women already, so at least one of us knew roughly what we were doing. It wasnt the best sex ever, the first time never is, but I still skipped my whole walk of shame home.
I felt like I had crossed over a threshold into the grownup world. We didnt see each other again, but I felt released from the burden of my virginity.
Im glad I waited until my 20s, because I was emotionally all over the place in my teens. Maybe if Id lost my virginity at university then Id have saved myself a lot of time feeling anxious about it. Then again, I went to university with a lot of weirdos, so maybe it was better for it to happen in real life with normal people.
Desiree Burch presents Flinch with Lloyd Griffith and Seann Walsh, available now on Netflix . Matthew Todd
Author and former editor of Attitude magazine
I was 17 and my first boyfriend, Sam, was six years older than me. It was 1991; the age of consent for gay men was 21. We were both in the closet and living at home, so even kissing in his car, terrified every time a police car went by, was planned like a military operation. Its not like two young gay guys could sit necking at a bus stop then (or now).
Matthew Todd: For my straight friends, the thought of sex was sanctioned and tacitly celebrated. Photograph: Linda Nylind/Guardian
For my straight friends, the thought of sex was sanctioned and tacitly celebrated. Sex education warned them they could create a new life and me that I could end mine. So when Sam and I did sleep together it was an intense moment.
We knew wed have an opportunity when his parents went away. He told his sister I was a friend who was staying the night, in his room, on the floor. It was like trying to have sex next to an unexploded bomb. If his sister had come in then wed have both been in serious trouble. I could recount to you tales of fireworks and shaking headboards but it wasnt like that. There was just a relief of being able to be physically close with someone I cared about. I remember him grinning a lot the next day.
We dated for nine months and didnt sleep together many times because we couldnt, which contributed to the split. When we did, though, it was always more about the closeness. He was (and is) a decent man. I am grateful that first time was gentle, loving and something I dont regret.
Matthew Todd is the author of Straight Jacket (Black Swan) and Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement, published now by Carlton Books