Sex. What a thing. It used to be a raw, natural thing. No one got embarrassed when talking about it; they didn’t even bother hiding it. Whether cherished or mistreated, sex was always just a thing of life. Now a days? Everything’s different. Are you a whore? A prude? An adolescent, or a middle-aged virgin? Doesn’t make a difference. Somebody somewhere has something to say about it. Was your first time romantic? Were there candles and music, was he your first love? Or was it random, a one night thing? Were you taken advantage of? Were you in a bed, or a closet? Was it unexpected or planned, was it enjoyable… or painful? Do you even remember it happening?
Life’s a mess of plans that go astray any chance they get. We don’t generally plan to experience our first time in a way that doesn’t reflect some kind of fairytale stereotype. Man or woman, I think it’s acceptable to assume we all hope that the first time be special in some way. But perhaps I’m simply projecting my own opinion onto others’. Again though, life is a web of hopes and dreams, plans and schedules, that don’t always work out the way we intend them to. My first time did not go the way I always intended it to. Not even close.
To preface, I was casually seeing someone at the time—friends with benefits kind of thing. Or, so I thought. Later I’d realize that he was head over heels for me and I was blind to it, or in denial. Regardless, I was not on the same page as him.
So, I’m in a romantic foreign country. I’ve been fooling around with a guy, but we haven’t had sex yet – my doing. I was nervous, or scared it would mean more than I wanted it to. Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe I was embarrassed, maybe I just wasn’t that into him. Whatever, point is, we weren’t doing it. Anyway, I’m out with all my friends. It’s open bar. Music is loud and drinks are flowing. A very attractive German boy was smiling at me, and I was enjoying the risky attention. After a very public make-out session, he ends up taking me back to his house in a cab. That part I was told later, I don’t actually remember it.
In the morning I wake up naked on the floor, in an apartment I don’t recognize. In response to my immediate panic, my breath picks up and my heart beats so fast I thought I was going to pass out. Calm down, I told myself. Get your shit together. I put the clothes I could reach back on, and stood up. I recognized the boy in the bed sleeping. What a cutie. But why was I on the floor? Why was I naked? Oh no, did we have sex that night? How could I not even remember…My cheeks burned a fiery, shameful crimson.
Hung over and scared, and cold, I did the only thing I could think of. I crawled into bed. A while later he woke up and turned to face me. Panic, again. But he said good morning and smiled kindly, I instantly felt calmer. For whatever reason I felt safe with him. I probably shouldn’t have, but I relaxed. Both a bit hazy about the previous night, we covered our bases, names, etc. Then held me and we went back to sleep. I’ve no idea why I was so relaxed. I was probably in shock. In retrospect I think I probably should have left as soon as I woke up, gotten a cab, and cried all the way home. But, what for?
When we woke the second time things changed a bit. His hand moved to caress me and then he leaned in close to me and we kissed. Things rapidly progressed from there. Sooner than I expected he asked if I wanted to have sex. No! Of course not! Okay, suit yourself he said. And we continued messing about. I couldn’t have sex with him, could I? I mean, I woke up panicked, ready to scream and cry and get the fuck out of there. Had we already done it? I didn’t even know. I assumed not, I probably denied him the night before which is how I ended up alone on the floor. That sounds like me. But I mean, I didn’t even know him. Or like him. How and why would I sleep with him? It was ridiculous wasn’t it?
He asked again. He was charming, confident, and very persuasive. He whispered to me in French and I lost control. Fuck it, I thought. He seemed to know what he was doing. He was sexy as hell. And I really just wanted to get it over with. Maybe if I do it now, I won’t be so scared when the right moment comes and it actually matters…That’s what I told myself at the time. Today I look back and think I must have been fucking crazy. Why on earth would I say yes? But I did. Scared shitless, I just gave in. I’ll be the first to admit giving in to the pressure. I was weak, and frankly, a bit of an idiot. It was pretty awkward at first. I hadn’t a fucking clue as to what I was doing. Fortunately, he took control and I just followed his lead. It wasn’t exactly amazing — the first time.
Yep, that’s right. I ended up doing it twice. Do it once, shame on him. Do it twice, shame on me for sure. We even showered together. I guess I wanted to spin the horrifying experience into one I could deal with, or at least one that I was in control of. He seemed to be a gentleman, and it was very educational. In the end, he drove me home and we never really saw each other much after.
As soon as I walked into my room I cried. I was sore and ashamed of myself. What the fuck just happened? How?! How did I let all that happen? What would people say…what would Luan say? At the time I convinced myself that Luan and I were not actually together and I had the right to fuck anyone I wanted to, which wasn’t completely off since we weren’t officially a thing. But I knew what I did was wrong. I hurt Luan. And I lied about the whole thing when he asked that day.
Luan and I ended up dating seriously later on, and the truth eventually came out. I’ll never completely forgive myself for what I did, even if he could. And, whether it was wrong or just, inappropriate or fine, it was not my original plan. It was not an emotional, significant experience with my first love. And that knowledge will always devastate me. On the other hand, it was fun and spontaneous. He was attractive and sweet. I enjoyed it, even. Not everyone can say that. And, everything worked out in the end, however bumpy the road may have been. So was I a slut or a free spirit? Was I too young? A confused, frustrated virgin? Does it matter?
It happened. It was not what I had planned for myself. But, most times it’s not…is it? I’m a person, I make decisions. They’re not always from the pages of a fairytale. But I learn from my experiences, and I hope the words on the following pages tell a happy story. That’s the best I can do. The hardest lessons we learn come from our experiences. They’re also the most impactful. It’s important to recognize an experience, good or bad, for the insight it provides. It is from our experiences that we discover who we are, who we want to be, and how to move forward in the world, with or without a plan.