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My First Time
Female, 16, Switzerland
When I decide I want to do something, I do it. Usually as soon as possible.
When I was in high school I decided I wanted to study abroad in Switzerland. So at the age of 15, having never left my parents or friends for more than two weeks at summer camp, I went to Switzerland for a year.
All of the exchange students going to Switzerland from the U.S. met up in New York for a night for some orientation activities. And that’s where I met Sam. He was a red head with glasses – but in a hot red head with glasses kinda way. We ended up sitting on the plane together the next day where we exchanged life stories (his much more eventful than mine), and slept on each other while trying to burn up the eight-hour flight.
When the plane landed, all the exchange students gathered up their baggage and went their separate ways without much of a goodbye. Thinking back on it, that was probably my last time seeing a lot of them. Not Sam though. He ended up being in my same regional group for another orientation a few weeks after arrival, where we bonded over being some of the only Americans in the group. It was amazing being in a situation with so many different nationalities in one place. I was in my zone, learning about Swiss culture and customs, and at the same time, taking in all these different exotic people and learning about their cultures. But there’s also nothing like the familiarity of home, which I found in Sam.
A few months later Sam and I arranged to meet up in Basel (a bigger town closer to where he lived) to hang out and enjoy a night out on the town. My host parents, however, had a problem with me taking the train home so late, “there are weird people in the train stations late at night...” So I took advantage of one useful thing we learned during orientation: in Switzerland it’s much more accepted to spend the night with a boyfriend or girlfriend as a teenager. Friends spend the night sometimes too, it doesn’t have to be sexual at all. But the chemistry between us was pretty intense, so it was. Some deep conversations about art lead to making out.
“You do know I’m a virgin, right?” I asked. He obviously wasn’t. He was two years older than me and had a girlfriend back home before he left.
“Yeah I kinda got that vibe...” The truth was, I was almost more than a virgin. I had kissed someone but I had never made out. I’d never had a dick in my hand, let alone in me. And he was respectful of that. He didn’t pressure me to go all the way or anything, but he did let it be known that he did want to fuck me, to which my response was, “Well, we did already ‘sleep together’ on the plane.”
So it happened. And honestly, I don’t remember it that well. It’s not that I was hammered or anything. It’s just that it’s blurred together with all the other times I’ve had forgettable sex. And that makes me realize how much my personal sexuality has evolved since then. I’ve discovered what I really like and that has made me realize that sex shouldn’t just be okay – it should be amazing.
It may not be entirely realistic to expect it to be amazing every time, but it’s at least something to strive for and consider before I sleep with someone.
The next morning Sam and I baked a cake and went for a walk in the forest behind his house. Before I left on the train to go home he said we should definitely hang out and had actually mentioned the possibility of a relationship or a FWB type thing. But nothing ever happened. In fact, he only talked to me a few times after that. I’d message him on Facebook, basically offering a hook up, but never got any responses. I didn’t take it personally though. He was just bad at communicating. My suspicion was confirmed eventually when hanging out with another exchange student who knew him; (on Facebook) “Ooh Sam’s online, I’ll message him! Not that he’ll reply – he’s too cool for that.”
The great thing about when you first start having sex is that whether it’s good or bad – you probably don’t even know the difference. You’re just stoked that you’re getting laid. I don’t think I was expecting it to be fantastic. I saw it more like something that would happen eventually, so why not get it over with? So I decided I wanted to do it, and I did it.
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