Specifically, those who felt loved and respected by their partner found later encounters more emotionally satisfying.
The study, Gone But Not Forgotten, is one of the first to look at whether the circumstances in which someone loses their virginity have lasting consequences, the Daily Mail reported.
The US researchers asked 331 young men and women about how they lost their virginity, including whether they felt scared, pressured, guilty or regretful.
They were also asked about how connected they felt to their partner, including whether they felt respected and loved, and how they felt afterwards.
The volunteers, who answered the questions anonymously, were then asked to fill in an online diary detailing any sexual experiences they had over the next fortnight.
They were also asked how they would rate their sexual relationships overall.
In more than two-thirds of cases, the volunteers said they were in a relationship when they lost their virginity.
Analysis of their answers showed that those who were most emotionally satisfied the first time still found their sex lives the most fulfilling. The same was true of physical satisfaction.
A better first time also tended to lead to fewer feelings of disappointment.
The study is published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.