Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The first three times

WARNING: This story contains sex. Not sexy sex, but sex. Family discretion is highly advised. (Translation: if you're my parents, aunt, or uncle, maybe skip this one)

Growing up Catholic and eventually Baptist, the loss of one's virginity is a very big deal. I lost my virginity twice. Well technically, three times.

The first time I lost my virginity was when I was 15, but it was a work of fiction. You see, when I was a teenager, like most chubby, geeky, creative types, I had zero game. I didn't know how to flirt, or to show and tell someone if I liked them. I was also evangelical baptist, and struggling with lesbionic thoughts; like impure thoughts about my poetry teacher, which sounds like how most 60's lesbian pulp novels start. I didn't know what I wanted. I did have crushes on boys my age, but after school they all came out if the closet, so that should have been a pretty big tell right there.

I was surrounded by friends who all had boyfriends. They made out in the back of the theatre, they would sneak out of their houses at night and steal away moments like I heard in popular songs by Dave Matthews and Better Than Ezra (I went to high school in the 90's, no judging). All I ever heard was, "I got another hickey!" or "We might do it next weekend!" I felt like some sort of sexless treasure box where they would bury their secrets, not a girl their age who was also coursing with hormones and wanted to be touched and wanted they same way they did. So I did what most sex starved nerds might do when they felt desperate enough to want to be seen as more than an asexual set of ears: I lied. I told the biggest lie I ever told in my life, and this is my confession. 

I told my friends that I was hanging out with my brother and his friend, who went to another high school, because they always go to another high school...or they live in Canada. I lied that we snuck away while my brother played Nintendo and that he talked me into having sex with him. I didn't want to sound too easy! I lied that it hurt at first, and that it was mostly uncomfortable and it went quickly. 

To be honest, at the time I knew nothing about sex. We didn't have the internet yet and I literally missed sex education. I'm 34 years old and I still don't know what's going on down there. A few years ago a kid I tutored explained to me how menstruation works, that's how out of touch I am with what goes on with reproductive organs. It turns out it's not because God is punishing me because of Eve's original sin.

Thankfully my friends didn't ask me too many questions about the specifics, and anything I did tell them was what I heard from other girls or what I learned from Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. I went from asexual to sexual oracle. I loved the attention. The story would get bigger and bigger every time I told it. I even threw in a pregnancy scare for dramatic effect. I confessed to the girls in my church youth group, and they told me that I can ask God's forgiveness and declare second virginity. As if praying to God to forgive me for having fake sex will make my hymen grow back. Well joke's on them, because I lost it when I was eleven riding a bike.

I craved any kind of attention that changed the way people saw me, or the way I saw myself: chubby, awkward, and undesirable. 

High school came and went, along with my peer's virginity. Their stories became more fascinating than mine, so I eventually became the confessional to them again, with whom they would share their many encounters and secrets. 

I stayed that way going into my early twenties. I was always the cheerleader or the wingman for my friends. I still didn't know how to flirt, and I had no sexual confidence, at least not in real life. You see, I had the prowess of a porn star on the internet. I loved chat rooms, because there was no risk of rejection.

I talked to dozens of different people on there. I talked to one man who wanted to be my sugar daddy and take me traveling with him as a kept woman. Another was a couple, looking for a woman to have a threesome with. Then there was Bill. At least I think that's what his name was, I never got to know. 

We talked for months, messaging back and forth; not just about sex, but about our interests and hobbies, what we did for a living. I looked forward to getting an instant message from him every day at work. I had no idea what he looked like, and he hadn't seen me either. I didn't have a digital camera and neither did he. That, however, didn't stop us from wanting to meet and have sex. 

I set it up: I reserved a hotel room at a Holiday Inn Express in my small home town of Castle Rock. He would drive all the way down from Boulder to meet me there. Before we both left work that day he asked me the question I had been dreading: What do you look like? I became alarmingly aware of my body and my very low self esteem. I told him, "I have to warn you, I'm big." He said, "I don't care, as long as you're sexy, which I think you are." 

That shocked me because the one thing I definitely never saw myself as, was sexy. When he said that though, I felt it, and I was ready to have real sex. I was going to, at 22 years old, lose my virginity to a stranger I met on the internet that I told literally nobody about. When I say that out loud to myself now, that was some pretty risky behavior. 

I got to the hotel first and got ready. I wore a silly silk nighty that I got from a sex shop in Denver, that was slit up to my thigh. I played a sexy R&B album by Joe. I bought beer and tequila, because...reasons? I presume to make us feel more amorous? That's what grown ups do when they have sex?

When he got there my first observation was that he reminded me a lot of my older brother. He wasn't actually my older brother, this isn't that kind of story.

He didn't say anything. He just put down his things, grabbed me roughly, and kissed me. It was my first kiss. For a brief shining moment it felt magical, like on the cover of the romance novels I guiltily read in high school: two lovers embracing, heaving bosoms, cascading hair, a strap dangling off my shoulder. The moment was brief and so was the sex. 

Despite the fact he stood an alarming 6'5", he had a remarkably tiny penis. When it came to foreplay and actual sex, it was entirely a night of firsts. He barely touched me, and when it was all over, I barely felt anything. He got up to shower and I opened a beer, not really knowing why, since I didn't want it. It felt like a grown up thing to do. 

He came out, fully dressed and checked his pager, which some people still used in 2002. He said he had a work emergency and had to go. I asked if he'd come back and he said maybe. He told me to drink some water, kissed my forehead, left $90 on the dresser to cover the hotel room and left. That was it. I never heard from him again. 

That night I sat in the hotel room and watched TV by myself, trying to make sense of what just happened. I didn't have feelings for him, I didn't care about him. I didn't even know his real name. So why was I crying? It's a question I still struggle to answer. I will say: sitting in a hotel room bed, condom wrappers on the floor, and $90 cash sitting on the dresser, it was hard not to feel like a prostitute. 

That was the second time I lost my virginity. 

The third time was with the woman I would eventually marry (and divorce, but that's another story night; let's remember her in a warm light for the moment). After that night in the hotel room I tried my hand at dating men, but after adding it all up, I didn't want men because I was fucking gay. My best friend called it my lady virginity, and I declared I wouldn't have sex with a woman until I was in love.

I met her online, of course. We went to dinner. Then we went to coffee and we talked until they closed, at midnight. My heart sunk when I thought I would have to say good night to her, but she asked me if I wanted to come over and watch a movie, and of course I said yes. We watched Mulholland Drive (duh). 

When she held my hand and my heart literally skipped a beat. 

The first time a woman held my hand. 

She looked at me and said I was beautiful. 

The first time anyone ever told me I was beautiful. 

Anyone other than my mom. 

We kissed. 

My first kiss. 

We had sex. 

I'd like to say we made love, but it's hard for me to say "make love" without wanting to puke, but we did have sex. On the first date. 

A week later, on the 4th of July, we said "I love you". 

My first I love you. 

That was the third time I lost my virginity, and that was the best time. 

1 comment:

Elizabeth Armancas said...

I adored hearing this story at Weird and Awesome, and adore it again here. You are honest and brave and so frikken rad. Thanks for being all of those things, and also, sharing. :D