You were the one who taught me that bigger isn’t always better. And since you were the first, you also taught me that people actually would want to sleep with me. It sounds so silly but you never really know until someone is sticking their tongue down your throat in your childhood bedroom in the middle of the afternoon. That’s when you know, “Oh, okay. I’m a person with private parts and maybe sometimes someone will want to do things to it.” You also taught me that I will hook up with people out of sheer desperation and horniness, which is a sad yet necessary truth.
You were the one who taught me that it was fun to hook up when you were stoned. Nothing’s better than spending a beautiful summer day at Mom’s house smoking weed and rubbing each other’s teenage bodies. Your lips felt like 1000 thread count sheets dipped in strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on top. They were many days I spent that summer just holding your body while stoned. I remember them better than I remember you. You taught me the power of hazy forgetfulness. And that most straight dudes are gay.
You were the one who taught me that I could find someone who gets it just as much as I do. And that everyone should just date their best friend. You also taught me that getting your heart broken when you’re seventeen feels like having surgery without anesthesia. I could be insane, I could act irrational. All of that had been living inside of me and you just woke it up. Lastly, you taught me that it’s possible to feel everything for someone and then slowly almost nothing.
You were the one who taught me nothing.
You were the one who taught me that it was possible to despise someone even while they were kissing you. It was a new experience for me—wanting all of someone and nothing at the same time. Get off of me but wait, come a little closer. It’s a terrible feeling, one that I hope to never feel again. Hating someone during such an intimate act just kills you a bit inside.
You were the one who taught me that you could sleep with someone without being sexually attracted to them at all. The feeling of being wanted trumps actual desire. Weird.
You were the one who taught me that I could be a mean, evil person. I had the ability to be That Guy I’ve dated in the past—the guy who puts you down and somehow still leaves you wanting another insult. It’s sick. I don’t want to be that guy. I had to run screaming from you just so I could stop being someone I hated. All of my fault, by the way.
You were the one who taught me that I could respect someone after sleeping with them and still not want to date them. In a way, this was one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. It’s amazing to know that you can have sex with someone you care about and then float away without it being some big deal.
You were the one who taught me about unconditional love, that watching TV together could be just as exciting as amazing sex. You were the one who calmed me down, rubbed my back and put me to bed. You were stable. You let me be myself but also knew when to rein me in. You…actually don’t exist yet. Where are you?