Love & Sex

My First Time

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Female • 15 years old • Vancouver

When I was fifteen, I was sent away for a month to an "adolescent treatment center" which had programs for drug-addicted teens (which I was not) and for teens with mental illnesses (which I was). I was just there for five weeks of diagnostics, and I was pretty excited to be going for two reasons. Firstly, it was in a big city, whereas I had lived my whole life in a small town. Secondly, I was hoping a formal diagnosis of some form of mental illness would mean an end to the never-ending parade of psychiatrists and counsellors and psychologists and youth workers and social workers I'd been seeing my whole life. Also, I was fat. This will be important in a moment.

On one of my first days at the treatment center, I went swimming with some of the other kids. One boy swam over to me and we began to talk. I must've said something disparaging about my appearance, because it caused him to say, "I like bigger girls. More cushion for the pushin'." Being a small-town fat girl with mental problems didn't leave me with tremendously high self-esteem, and I'd never really considered that people might actually be attracted to me. From then on, he and I were attached at the hip. We declared ourselves "in love" in that passionate teenage way.

Illustration by Thomas Pitilli

We decided we were going to get married and have twelve kids (seriously). Many fumbling hand-jobs ensued. He kept asking me how long it had been since I'd had sex. I kept coyly non-answering.

Five weeks came and went, and soon it was the day before I was due to leave. Some of the other kids and I decided to stay out past curfew. We climbed up onto the roof of the main administration building. There were about ten of us and we all broke off into couples and found little alcoves where we could be alone. We both knew what was going to happen next, so we undressed very matter-of-factly. One of us had brought a condom. He put it on, I lay down, and he got on top. I remember lying very still and quiet and thinking that it really wasn't everything it was cracked up to be. I lay there for a few minutes, watching his head move and looking at the night sky behind him. He finished, took off the condom, and threw it over the side of the building.

We sat there quietly for a few minutes, until I blurted out, "I should probably tell you, I was a virgin."

He responded, "Oh. You know you're going to bleed, right?"

"Yeah," I said. We rejoined the group and eventually headed in and got yelled at for breaking curfew. I didn't bleed, but I was picking roof gravel out of my ass for weeks. I left the next day and haven't seen him since, but we still talk on MSN on occasion, seven years later. He's married now and they've got a few kids. Not twelve, though.