SEX: Where It All Began

“It hurts.”

“You bleed all over. It’s like a murder scene.”

“You’ll ALWAYS remember your first time, so you have to make sure it’s special.”

Lies girls are told about sex.

The truth is they are not all lies. They are not all truths. Different factors go into whether or not each one (and others) is true for different people (women). Physiological factors like if you’re tense or nervous, you may not be as … ahem, open to the experience and it may hurt more.

But this isn’t a sex-ed lesson. This is about one of the most important stories in my romantic (and sexual) history – my first time.

The reality is I don’t remember it.

I remember events surrounding the experience but the actual act of having sex for the first time has kind of blurred from my memory.

Allen and I had known one another since we were eleven. I will get into more of the details regarding how that friendship became more in a future post; right now we are talking about sex. We had been dating for three or four months when he invited me to be his date for his best friend’s birthday party. We went bowling and told my parents that there would be a movie after. Or maybe the movie, then bowling…Regardless, we added a few hours so that I could stay out longer.

We left the bowling alley and went back to his house.

We went back to his room.

We lie down on his bed and turned on his favorite movie.

And for the rest of my life, my “first time” will always have been soundtracked by Tom Cruise in a race car.

I mentioned before that I don’t remember much. I was, quite obviously, not disappointed in the experience because I came back for more. That was January. And I’m fairly certain that my first orgasm didn’t come until that following summer. But for what it was (a quick and – apparently – dirty trial run) and for all I had to compare it to (which was not nothing), I must have enjoyed it. Or at least didn’t hate it.

I look back on that now and hear voices from emotional females insisting that it should have been special, that I should remember it, even now, twenty years later. That it should have stuck with me, that it should have been the thing by which I define all future sexual encounters.

Frankly, I think all of that is sexist, chauvinistic bullshit.

Men are not expected to remember the minute details of their first sexual experience. They aren’t really even expected to care about it. For men, especially teenaged men, sex is supposed to be something akin to eating food. They can go without it for a few days but eventually, they will become weak and irritable and gorge themselves on the first piece of meat they can get their hands on (and yes, I meant that exactly how it came out).

There is this idea that, for females, sex should ALWAYS mean something. There should ALWAYS be an emotional, psychological, and spiritual connection between a woman and any and every sexual partner she takes. Even though my first time was within the confines of a committed relationship, none of this has ever made sense.

The fact is that I had had, even before losing my virginity (which I view as a concept more than an actual physical process), several physical encounters, both pleasing and less so, and I had, even before that night, figured out that I was meant to be a sexual being. I was never meant to rely so heavily on emotional connections.

I don’t deny that I prefer intimacy and that sex with connection is often more fulfilling than an emotionless, no-strings-attached tryst, but having experienced both, I also refuse to accept that either are without merit.

So, the short and curly gist of my first time story is that the biggest myth I was told was that I would always remember it. I don’t. I don’t remember how it felt. I don’t remember if it hurt or not. I only remember that he told me months later (because it came up in some strange conversation) that I had bled that first time. I don’t even remember, for sure, how long it lasted, only that we watched most of the movie and were able to turn it off before the credits were finished. A part of my memory suggests fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, while pop culture suggests five is a generous guess.

Whatever happened that night, it opened me up to become the sex-positive woman I am today. I can’t tell you if it was a life changing experience, only that it would be the first experience of many.