To everyone who’s been leaving their stories in the comments, thank you so much. They’re all so different — some are heartbreaking, some are funny, some are blase, and all are definitely worth the read.
I know a lot of you have been talking about how inaccurate the idea of virginity is, and how it not only sets up a weird idea of “purity” or that there’s something to be lost, but that it also doesn’t at all accurately describe peoples actual, often very fluid, first experiences with sex, especially if we move away from the hetero-normative way of defining it.
While this next story still deals with pretty traditional man/woman/penis/vagina sex, as I read it I couldn’t help but think of these discussions. It speaks to the idea that there is more than one way to lose your virginity, define sex, etc etc.
- Ok, so I’m still not exactly sure how I decided to lose my virginity. I was thirteen at the time, and didn’t have a serious boyfriend. My frenemy, Rachel, who had stolen away my biggest crush, kept bragging about how she’d had sex with a 35 year old. Looking back I have no idea if that was actually true, but at the time I was intensely jealous, thinking of it as another life accomplishment she’d beat me to. Of When you’re thirteen you feel like the most grownup person in the world, or at least we did. It didn’t even occur to us to think we were too young.
So when my camp friend’s neighbor declared his love for me, I went along with it. When he proposed we have sex after two weeks of dating, I shrugged and said sure. I lost my virginity on a mattress in his basement, while his mom was dealing with contractors upstairs and my friend waiting in the next room. We used a condom, it lasted maybe ten minutes. Afterwards I couldn’t say why, but I was so angry I almost cried.
I broke up with him soon after, but stayed sexually active. Skip ahead to when I was 20, sitting in my University’s women’s studies class, talking about orgasms.
Up until then I’d assumed that’s what I’d been feeling during sex, too embarrassed to even consider the possibility that during the seven years I’d been sexually active I had been missing out on the most important part. I’d had sex before I started masturbating, and as a result thought the only way women got pleasure was from penetration. But that class, and the “if you’d had one, you’d know” advice made me really start to wonder. Had I had an orgasm? Was I missing out?
I did my research, reading about the clitoris, masturbation, and everything else I could. When my flight home over winter break got delayed, I realized this was my chance. It was me and an empty hotel room for the next twelve hours, and I decided I wasn’t leaving until I too had experienced the earth-shaking in-your-toes feeling my classmates described.
Two hours and one cramped hand later, and I got it. And once I knew what I was looking for, it was almost easy to find it again – on my own and also with people I was sleeping with.
So officially, I lost my virginity in junior high. But in my heart I’d like to think it was in that hotel room, by myself, when I was 20.
PS – As I mentioned in my first post — Planned Parenthood of New York City has some great guides on how to talk to your kids about sex, and is currently running a campaign to make sure all kids in NYC are taught accurate, age-appropriate sex education.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- How can you have sex when you don’t even know what sex is? by Erica June 24, 2010
- On being totally ok with losing your V-card. by Erica June 22, 2010
- Your virginity is a delicate flower, and if you give it away it will wilt and die. by Erica June 23, 2010
- Queer Virginity by Erica June 24, 2010
- True Love Waits (‘Til 16.3 Years of Age) by Lauren May 31, 2007