The first time I had sex, I was sixteen. Rushing between ominous finals I hopped on top of my overweight boyfriend with the intent of simply “getting it over with”. It wasn’t planned or covered in clichéd romance or distinctly memorable in the slightest. I didn’t feel a sudden burst of womanhood or a palpable coming-of-age change or a culminating sense of sexual self. I simply erased some fictitious deadline, awkwardly crossed an imaginary finish line, then aced my English final while his smell stained my skin.
The first time I thought I had good sex, I was eighteen. His eyes burned like Molotov cocktails and his hands craved hits of sun-kissed skin and unbridled desire dripped off every synchronized breath. Afraid of the eventual change and the separate schools and the threatening distance our loitering summer was delaying, we sunk into a denial only unhinged passion can provide. A Brand New soundtrack and naked youthfulness kept a turning tide at bay.
The first time I couldn’t remember having sex, I was twenty. I remember singeing my body with whiskey and burning my throat with excess and meeting a charming gentleman by the name of Jack Daniels. I remember forgetting how to say no and recall allusions of invincibility and could have sworn Jesus Christ was the bartender, turning shots of whiskey into water. I stored flashes of eroticism and echoes of ecstasy and woke up next to palpable regret packaged in an oversized hangover. I ended up needing a ride home and he ended up being the first mistake of many.
The first time I knew I had good sex, I was twenty three. He was the best friend I had been secretly loving and tactfully desiring and hopefully wanting. I was pathetically available, cleverly hiding behind a series of misused men and pointless dates and the blond bombshell he favored. While he bounced between us both in a seemingly endless and sadistic game of sexual ping pong, I was unable to choose or stand still or walk away. Yet on a PBR-stained kitchen floor, hiding from mutual friends and unable to hold bottom lines penned in permanent marker, nothing else existed. There wasn’t someone else or meaningless placeholders or a friendship worth cherishing. There weren’t consequences or tomorrow mornings or unwanted responsibility. There was just him and his hands and his mouth and his need and a sea of backbreaking vigor I yearned to drown in.
The first time I contemplated sex with a woman I was twenty-five. She would speak to me in Spanish while we drank whiskey in dark corners and intellectually fucked for hours. Her skin a smooth olive and her eyes an intoxicating brown, she’d stare at me with a lust so tangible I thought if I reached across the table to touch her I’d prick my finger and be forever enchanted. Her presence was freeing and her aura alluring and her smile as charming as any devilish playboy. I had been bitten by the allusive, undefinable animal called sexuality, left only to contemplate and fantasize and wonder.
The first time I had sex against my will, I lost my sexuality. My sexual tendencies were questioned and my sexual being was unwilling undressed so judgments could be stamped and assumptions could be branded. My choices were blamed and my desires deemed unwarranted and warnings were reiterated in tones of condensation and superiority. Perhaps if I didn’t have sex as sixteen or eighteen or twenty or twenty three I wouldn’t be in an emergency room. Perhaps if I didn’t have a lustful spirit and sexual hunger I wouldn’t have left him wanting what I didn’t give him permission to have.
The first time I wrote about the types of sex I’ve had, is now. I am a book whose cover is judged and I am a human being whose sexuality is never her own and I am every woman you’ve ever encountered. I am not here for your sexual pleasure or sexual understanding or to adhere to the standard you’ve deemed sexually appropriate.
My sexuality is not my own yet my sexuality is seemingly all I have. My sexuality is not yours to define or judge or discard yet it is here, for your judgment and definition and discarding pleasure.
My sexuality is me, yet I am so much more than my sexuality.