The act of losing one's virginity, that is, of a first sexual experience, is commonly considered within Western culture to be an important life event and a rite of passage. It is highlighted by many mainstream Western movies (particularly films aimed at a teenaged audience). The loss of virginity can be viewed as a milestone to be proud of or as a failure to be ashamed of (particularly if a lack of self control was involved), depending on cultural perceptions. Historically, these perceptions were heavily influenced by perceived gender roles, such that for a male the association was more often with pride and for a female the association was more often with shame. (See Double standard.) However, in recent years in Western culture, the influence of gender roles has weakened so that it is now much more common for females to experience pride, although fathers are still often portrayed as being disapproving of and highly concerned about the loss of virginity for their daughters.
The partner during the loss of virginity is sometimes colloquially said to "take" the virginity of the virgin partner. In some places, this colloquialism is only used when the partner is not a virgin, but in other places, the virginity of the partner does not matter. The archaic term "deflower" is sometimes used in modern times to also describe the act of the virgin's partner, and the clinical term "defloration" is another way to describe the event.
One slang term used for virginity is "cherry" (often, this is the term to refer to the hymen, but can refer to virginity in males or females) and for defloration a virgin is to "pop their cherry," in effect, a reference to destruction of the hymen during first intercourse.