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Contemporary Virginity Loss "More Pleasurable" Than Before

Update Date: Jul 22, 2014 05:36 PM EDT

Losing your virginity today is more pleasurable than it was 20 or 30 years ago, according to a new study from Illinois State University.

The study, which involved more than 5,000 people in a Midwestern U.S. university of a 23-year period, found that men and women were felt more pleasure losing their virginity than their older counterparts.

The surveys were completed between 1990 and 2012, and involved participants whose first experience of sexual intercourse had occurred up to a decade before in 1980.

The study found that men and women felt different emotions during their first experience of sexual intercourse. Men were more likely to feel anxious about their performance, and women were more likely to feel guilt. However, men felt more pleasure than women during their first sexual encounter. In fact, level of enjoyment was the largest difference between the sexes when comparing anxiety, guilt and pleasure, according to the latest study.

However, the study found that during men felt less anxiety and women felt less guilty over the three decades. This in turn led to a more pleasurable loss of virginity for both sexes.

"The over-time analysis indicated that men's anxiety levels decreased (i.e., 1980-2012)," said lead researcher Susan Sprecher, according to the Daily Mail.

Sprecher believes that this is because virginity loss is not as important today as it was two to three decades ago.

"Recent cohorts of men are less likely than [those] from the 1980s and 1990s to have first sexual intercourse as a rite of passage," she explained.

The latest study also revealed that people today are more likely than their older counterparts to be in relationships before their first sexual intercourse.

Researchers said the findings suggest that intimacy is likely to have increased gradually, which could "explain why women's pleasure was found to increase over time and their guilt to decrease," according Esquire Magazine.

The findings are published in the published in the Journal of Sex Research.

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