Six months after coming out as gay I still hadn’t had my first kiss.
I didn’t date before coming out. Things never worked out, and my continuous lack of relationships contributed to my anxiety and depression. Coming out was strange, because I went from the master of unrequited love, to a somewhat hot commodity.
But I was afraid. Years of not having any romantic physical contact with anyone resulted in a severe atrophy of my basic instincts. I went to a few gay parties and gave young attractive men flinches instead of dances.
But I wanted love more than anything. I wanted to know how I felt to have someone care about me, or hold my hand. Without anything resembling social skills, I turned to dating apps. As the summer leaves browned I went on my second ever date.
It was with some guy I’d found on Tinder, lawyer-drama guy. He took me out to a restaurant owned by a gay bar and watched me struggle to order off a menu that didn’t have chicken fingers or pizza. He told me about how he went down six pant sizes in six months, and I was concerned, but mostly I just chewed on my bowl of rice and beans.
After dining we pursued the shops, trying on ridiculous outfits and making sexual jokes about enjoying “big” things. It was only after we got kicked out of a tea shop for using their private bathroom that he drove me home. He stopped the car outside the Residence Hall where I lived and we both paused. My heart suspended in motion, was he going to kiss me??
He didn’t, and it was fine. I thanked him for paying for dinner and went inside. I had survived an actual…date. I had barely changed out of my skinny jeans and into my sweats when he texted me:
“Hey, sorry that goodbye was a little awkward. I didn’t know whether or not to kiss you goodnight.”
My heart soared. He liked me?! He actually liked me?! Holy shit, what just happened?!! I texted him back and told him that next time he should. His response took a while after that.
“I have an inappropriate question for you,” He texted.
Through a wall of “hahahas” and laughing emojis I invited him to ask. My gut wrenched.
“How experienced are you?”
I want to pretend to not know what he meant, especially seeing as there aren’t any italics in text messages to make it clear. But I knew.
I told him that I had never gone “all the way” with a guy.
“What about oral?” He asked.
No well, I guess I hadn’t done that either.
He didn’t stop though. He pulled it all out, unwinding the truth, and while I had never been actually naked with another human being before, I was made to feel more unclothed than I may ever feel again.
“Sooooo,” he continued to text, “You haven’t even kissed anyone?”
I finally summoned a little self respect: “Is that a problem?!” I asked.
Then I lost it: “…because I would really like to see you again.”
But I would never hear from him again.
I cried. I felt worthless, useless, and pathetic. Even though I wasn’t comfortable with hookups at the time, there were many lonely nights where I began to see them as the only option for an eventual meaningful relationship. I had to have sex with someone in order to be passable to society, which is kind of a screwed up idea.
We give people titles based on how often they have sex, and no matter what title you have, someone hates you for it. I was a “virgin”; the virginiest virgin at that. I was a pariah among a group of people because I hadn’t touched someone else’s sexy parts. Others are called “sluts”, as if there is a limit to how much consensual, safe, sex someone should have.
It is 2015 and people aren’t virgins. They aren’t whores. They aren’t sluts, and they aren’t losers. People are humans, with amazing and glorious qualities that have little to nothing to do with how many times they’ve slid their hot dog into a taco (or whatever other applicable sexual metaphor you prefer).
The only descriptor that should ever been applied to someone’s sex is “healthy”. Is their sex life happy for them?? Cuz, that’s the only question that is relevant.