While people's first experiences with sex are rarely an exhibition of practiced and impeccable love-making, they are miles better than what most of us thought sex was before we started having it. Whether it was because of inadequate sex education or things you saw in movies, it was hard to predict exactly what went down under the covers until you were under them yourself (or, in my case, the shower of a freshman dorm. Do not recommend!).
Cosmopolitan.com talked to 14 people about what they thought happened during sex before they knew what sex really was, and... uh:
1. "I didn't think the penis moved. I thought he just put it in and let it stay there for a little while." —Tiffany*, 21
2."One time in fourth grade, I was at a sleepover and someone was scared they were pregnant because they had slept in a bed with a boy. And even though nothing happened, like they didn't even touch each other, we were all like, 'Well, maybe you are.' And I remember a big part of the concern was 'Did you have pants on?' because even if they didn't touch each other, if they were pants-less, maybe she could be pregnant." —Becca, 23
3. "Well, my mom told me about it at a really young age; I was that annoying little bitch who told all my friends where babies came from before their parents wanted them to know. But I think I thought it was more of a ~fun classy party~ and not the sweaty smoosh-fest it actually is." —Sara, 24
4. "I clearly remember a video they showed in elementary school about puberty and there was an analogy depicting breasts as pancakes and penises as breakfast sausage. So though I didn't really even think about what sex technically was, I had a feeling it would be delicious and leave you feeling bloated." —Catherine, 22
5. "After talking to my older brother: 'So it's like ... peeing on someone?' I learned that was wrong, then learned I was sort of right." —Dan, 27
6. "I thought it was just, like, really intense kissing. I heard the word 'sex' for the first time in second grade and it seemed very taboo at the time... For the most part, I just pretended it wasn't a thing because I had only ever heard people my age mention it in, like, hushed tones because they thought they were saying something bad." —Hanna, 23
7. "I wanted to wait until marriage or until I was 16. I thought I was going to bleed a lot more than the *none* that I bled. I thought it was going to hurt, which it didn't, and I thought I wouldn't have an orgasm, and I so totally did." —Maria, 23
8. "I thought adults were always doing it. Like every time they got into bed." —Danielle, 23
9. "Growing up knowing I was gay, I didn't even know sex was a thing until the first time I saw gay porn." —Kyle, 23
10. "I thought people just took their clothes off and lay together. That's how I had my Barbies do it too." —Nina, 26
11. "I thought it was just naked kissing without a blanket so yeah." —Nick, 20
12. "I just remember thinking it would literally change how I looked to people, like people would instantly know I had done it." —Kathy, 22
13. "Just smiling at one another and nuzzling and magic seemed to happen under the covers." —Kristen, 31
14. "A bunch of just, like ... kissing in bed, I guess? Like in the '90s James Bond films." —Jeremy, 25 and "now knows what sex is."
*Names have been changed.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.