Yes, I’m talking about that first time; I’m talking about losing your virginity.
As I’ve told you, I was one of the last people I knew to do it. How was mine, you ask? My experience was exactly what I’d wanted it to be. Unfortunately, not many people I know can say that. I find that kind of upsetting because it’s a pretty monumental thing. I remember when I was a freshman in high school many of my friends had already lost theirs, which means they were 14 years old or less when it happened. The stories they told me weren’t very good. They weren’t anything I’d have wanted to experience, anyway. Guys who issued ultimatums, places not fit to grow mold, and choices made in momentary lapses of reason. Basically… regrettable choices.
Hearing their stories made me think a lot about what I wanted in terms of the circumstances surrounding such a huge event. I mean, as an early teen you think about it all the time. Your hormones are in over-drive, and although you’re somewhat scared and don’t really know what to expect, when guy you like kisses you, your body pretty much pushes all logical thought processes out of your head. Still, the stories I’d heard from my girl friends were filled with embarrassing moments, hurt feelings, physical pain, and the one thing that lingered with me… the words “I just wish it hadn’t been him.”
So, I had a mental short-list of things I didn’t want. Looking back, they seem rather strange, considering that I’m a real serious romantic.
1.) I didn’t want to do it with someone I was in love with. I know; complete opposite of what you’d expect, right? But that seemed to me to be a recipe for disaster. To give myself to someone I was madly in love with, and have him dump me afterwards and crush me into dust? No thanks. I wanted someone I genuinely liked, was attracted to, and above all, someone I knew well enough to TRUST completely with such a delicate situation. But not a boyfriend. Not someone I was stupid over.
2.) I wanted to have the experience in a home. No cars, boats, movie theatres, blankets in the woods, dirty hotel rooms, or other places where I’d feel afraid to undress, and where there was no “real bathroom.” I wanted someplace comfortable and clean.
3.) I wanted a friend there with me. Someone who’d already done it, and someone who I could count on in case it REALLY hurt, or in case I became frightened, or in case anything happened that I either hadn’t counted on, didn’t expect, or made me upset in any way. Someone who’d have my back.
4.) If it was at all possible to avoid it, I never wanted to see the guy again afterwards. I wanted the great memory, and I wanted to keep it perfect. I didn’t want to ever have to discuss it, be asked questions about it, or have the guy “joke” with me about it. (*Of course, now, if I ever bumped into him, that would be completely ok… but the immediate weeks/months following? Hell no.)
5.) Of course… he had to be 100% ok with using a condom and he had to respect that it was my first experience. At least, that is, to my face.
So, long after all of my closest friends had been on the pill for years and had been having sex on a regular basis and long after I was literally climbing the walls with desire to finally have sex, an opportunity that met all of my criteria actually presented itself. A guy who had gone to our high school that I’d had a few classes with and was insanely attracted to… was friends with one of my closest friends’ boyfriend. I’d had a crush on him freshman year and he had held my hand in math class a few times. Of course, being smitten at the time I was barely able to speak in his presence. But, as time had passed and the initial crush dissipated I had relaxed and been able to really be myself whether he was in the room or not. Evidently, my real personality was a huge turn-off to him. He liked quiet, demure girls, and I was … uh… not. He had told one of my girlfriends that he thought I was pretty hot, but that I was “too loud” and that if I “calmed down” he’d consider asking me out. Screw that. I gotta be me. So, we never dated.
At this point, however, he was no longer in school. He had an apartment, and my friend’s boyfriend was going to see him for some legitimate reason… borrowed money or something. Anyway, my friend had her boyfriend make it clear to him that I’d be coming along and … pretty much… that I wanted to just have sex with him.
There it was. As if God himself had served it to me on a silver platter.
As an 18 or 19 year old guy, come on, are you really going to say no to that? A hard-bodied brunette with big brown eyes and measurements of 36-24-36? I think not. We arrived at his apartment and went in. I barely remember what led up to the bedroom. I remember being offered a beer, and taking it. I remember being mildly nervous, but glad that he knew my intentions. It took the pressure off. Clearly, we both knew why I was there. There was no fear of rejection. There was no wondering if he liked the way I looked. There was no question as to how he’d react about the condoms. There was no inexperienced teenaged red tape to get in the way of my plans.
His roommate came home, and since we were in the living room, he suggested we move to the bedroom to allow his roommate to use the TV. Smooth, right? We went into his bedroom, and my friend and her boyfriend did, as well. We hit the bed, lights went out, and it was an old fashioned make-out party. Them on the floor, us on the bed, and me with the sudden realization that I had zero inhibitions, and that it had nothing to do with the beer. My friend was right there beside me, which sounds creepy, but in reality I found it really comforting not to be alone, and to know that all I had to do was say her name and all bets would be off, if that was my choice.
But it wasn’t. He was a great kisser. I’d always liked his lips and he had a great smile and a sexy voice. Kissing him was certainly not a disappointment and I melted into him like butter. I peeled his shirt off, ran my hands over his chest and back, wound my fingers into his hair and got completely lost in the experience of being so close to this guy I’d had a crush on and had always found so attractive. The rest of the world disappeared; even the couple two feet away seemed non-existent. Things were moving slowly… we explored one another and discarded clothes one piece at a time, with each passing item bringing more and more bare skin into contact. More than once I heard my friends on the floor guffaw at me. As it turns out: I’m a screamer.
I began to find myself becoming impatient. I think I may have freaked him out a little, but I wanted him and an inner dominatrix began to rise to my surface. She tore off my bra and wrapped it around the back of his neck, pulling him to me and insisting he kiss my bare breasts. His initial shock wore off almost instantly and he smiled, obliged my demands and rearranged himself so that the dominatrix could remove his jeans. Moments later he was battling a stubborn condom package. Once wrapped, he settled himself over me, asked if I was all right, if I was sure, if I was ready… and when he felt certain that this was my choice and that I was honestly ready and not making a bad choice for myself, and that he wasn’t “doing anything wrong,” he relaxed, kissed me, and slowly entered… taking my virginity and changing me forever. We went through his whole box of condoms that night. Not once did he hurt me, and I remember it as a comfortable, happy, and extremely satisfying experience.
That was December 6th, 1986. Whenever I tell people on the anniversary, that it’s the day I lost my virginity, they’re always surprised that I know the exact date. But it was something I took very seriously. I have always looked back on that experience and been happy that I had a truly enjoyable first time, and one that took place on my terms, when I was ready, and with someone that I’ve never, ever regretted sharing it with.
After that night, I was perfectly ok with sharing myself with men that I loved without the fear of being “crushed into dust.” I think that for me, personally, the idea that my first time was basically given to myself as a gift, rather than to someone who could lord it over me, gave me a sense of being the master of my own destiny. I had sex that night for ME, because I wanted to, and because I was ready to. Not for any other reason. The great mystery was solved, my questions were answered, and I now knew “what it was all about.” It made me feel ready to enter into a relationship with someone I loved knowing that there was nothing to fear. That was, and still is, priceless to me.
So why write about it like this? Well, for many reasons. One of which being that I see many women around me who don’t have a very healthy view of their sexuality, and I think that it’s something that really needs to be talked about in general. Conversations about sex always seem to be the hardest to have with the people who matter most. Our kids, our partners, our doctors. I, for one, believe that needs to change. So, I write… and I hope that when you read these things… whether you think I’m strange or not… that you find it easier to talk about these things with the people who matter most. Incidentally, the one who matters most is you. So, if you’re not comfortable to speak to others, start by exploring the subject with yourself. You’ll get there.