Love & Sex

My First Time: Female, 16, Opium Den

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Female • 16 • Opium Den

After a "serious" relationship ended badly, I decided I was done with trying to have a relationship in high school. As part of my new independent lifestyle, I started smoking weed, which led to me smoking weed with my best friend. We'd known each other since elementary school. He was in a band, was an artist of sorts, had great taste in music, was troubled in ways that I could understand and relate to, and was a total badass. Meanwhile, I was a nerdy, bespectacled vegetarian who wore cardigans and blazers. ("Librarian chic," I called it.)

I'd always had a crush on him, but I would never let him know that. There was no way that he was romantically interested in me, I figured, and I couldn't bring myself to risk our friendship.

But one day when his parents were out of town and a large amount of marijuana had been smoked, he held my hand. Soon, we were awkwardly cuddling and laughing. He glanced over his shoulder to confirm that his friend had fallen asleep on the floor, then said, "Are you okay?" I nodded, and he kissed me. Our making out continued until I had to leave. (Curfew — the bane of our teenage existence.)

We would have lengthy text conversations when we weren't together. We would drink coffee and talk about our experiences with panic attacks. Hours were spent in bed feeling each others' heartbeats. Our rooms came to be known as "opium dens." They were our favorite places in the world. 

He knew I was a virgin, and he never initiated sex. I didn't know who'd taken his virginity, but I knew she had to be a badass like him. She was probably in a band, and had a lip ring. I couldn't help but compare myself to this girl I had never seen. Even though sex hadn't come up yet, he was fantastic with his hands. One day, he drew a diagram of my vagina, and we discussed where the best places to touch were. By the end of that day, the diagram was covered with "x"s and checks, and I was fully satisfied. We ended up naked in his bed, and he told me that he didn't have any condoms. The next day, I went to the pharmacy and bought some. My parents were out of town for the weekend, and we were in our opium den. Tegan and Sara was playing in the other room. I waited for the perfect moment to say, "So, uh, I bought some condoms for us to use." ("Smooth" was my middle name.)

As he pushed inside of me, I realized how poorly the human body was designed. The pressure inside me was immense. We huffed and puffed for what felt like an eternity, before we heard what sounded like the front door opening. We freaked out, tore the condom off, and threw our clothes on. I crumpled the condom in an old debate card on my desk. (I think it was a debate over who was responsible for the Cold War.) No one was home, and neither of us finished, but that didn't matter — I was no longer a virgin. I was sweaty and my palms tingled.

We would have sex many times over the next few months. Our first time came up in conversation once, and he said something along the lines of, "Well, I'm glad we took each other's virginities." I was shocked. Could it be that I was the badass girl that took his virginity? "Sydney, what did you think?" he asked. "Who did you think I was fucking before? I was pretty unexperienced before you came along." I mumbled something about having no idea, and hid my smile against his chest.