Fascinating! As an older gay man who writes an intimacy advice column for LGBTQ youth, I love seeing some of the parallels with what you write.
For example: There ain’t no such thing as too much lube. So basic, but so often overlooked.
I often remind people that first-time sex between good friends who care about each other a lot is a great way to start figuring things out. Gut-churning love can get in the way of carefree exploration.
What drew me into your article, though, was the opening, because of how different it is from my own experiences. Even with plenty of women friends, I never quite knew that first-time sex is often so anxiety inspiring for women.
Guys are a bit different. Gay or straight, I think. We yearn to lose our “virginity.” The quest for sex for the adolescent male is so powerful and so seemingly hopeless sometime that the lack of it is what produces anxiety, sometimes really profound anxiety.
And then the moment comes, insecurities mount, and one hopes a woman (or man) as sensible as you is on the other end of the experience!