Love & Sex

My First Time

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Female • 16 years old • Iowa

I was an avid bike rider at the time. My mom and I were on RAGBRAI, which is a bike ride across the state of Iowa. You ride about sixty miles a day and camp at night with 20,000 other bicyclists — basically a huge party on wheels.

My mom had to leave the ride with a couple days left on the schedule. So she left me with some older teenage boys that she knew and trusted. I had my own tent and my own prerogative. The first night, I was good — I just had some beers. The next day I started to think: well, I'm going into my sophomore year in high school. When are things supposed to happen?


Illustration by Thomas Pitilli

I decided I'd better get it over with. I'd been riding with a boy my age. He didn't go to my school, and he was cute. So that night we got a couple beers and went for a walk. We walked away from the big campsite and towards a high school. No one was around, so we lay down in the empty football field, with the stands all around us. He said he had a condom. (You know the one that leaves the indelible mark in your wallet because you've had it for so long?) I was nervous but sure. So, he stumbled about putting it on and thrust into me, maybe… twice? Done.

We walked back and I went to my tent. One of the older boys asked where I'd been. I said nowhere. The next morning, other than a blood stain in my undies, nothing was special. I never saw the other boy again.