Illustration by Thomas Pitilli
Female • 17 years old • Germany
I decided I was ready for sex shortly after I found out my older boyfriend and first love was fornicating with half of his college. After our breakup, I escaped my feelings by going to visit my family in Germany.
At seventeen I was a late bloomer by the standards of the European party scene. Too inexperienced to handle my liquor, I drunkenly stumbled from bar to club with my cousins. By the time we got to a club called the Underground I had flirted with and/or kissed countless boys, partly from serious inebriation, partly from resentful bitterness, and partly from low self-esteem. But it was at the Underground that I met Timo.
He was absolutely beautiful. He spoke to me sometimes in German, sometimes in English, explaining that he was in town visiting his father from Spain, on vacation from his job as a fireman. When I flirtatiously feigned disbelief about his profession, he showed me his badge. Oh, was I in love. I felt like Goldilocks, trying boys all night until I found one that was just right.
I sat outside the club with him all night. I couldn't tell you what we talked about, but when my cousins emerged and were ready to head home, I knew I wanted the fireman to come with me. I leaned on him as we trailed behind my cousins, stopping constantly so I could push him into back alleys and kiss him for a minute.
Except for the two cousins I was partying with, my extended family was at their country home for the weekend, so I promptly locked Timo and myself in my absent youngest cousin's bedroom. We sat on the bed and looked at the posters of cowboys as he asked questions about me.
"Do you like Westerns? Are you hungry? Are you a virgin?"
I answered no to all the three — the last answer being a lie — and with that he started kissing me again. He took his shirt off, and his glorious body made me nauseous, an unfortunate and mood-killing result of nerves and alcohol. I thought about my ex and how easy it was for him to take his clothes off for all those girls, and a wave of "bravery" washed over me. Trying to be as sexy as all the girls in the movies, I pulled off my top, and pulled the fireman on top of me. We kissed and he rubbed. I went back and forth about whether this was what I really wanted.
But he was the perfect blend of aggressive and romantic, playfully teasing me when I was timid and breathing Spanish down my neck to slow me down when I was coming on really strong. By the time he finally entered me, we were on the floor and I had given up pushing his hips away from me as I pulled mine towards the carpet. I'm sure by that point he had figured out I really was a virgin.
I remember looking at his hair a lot during these first penetrating moments. It was dark brown and complimented his olive eyes perfectly. He was so damn beautiful it still amazes me to this day. And as he kept inching inside me I stopped being scared and started focusing on how great this was going to be.
Despite some pain and awkwardness, we did it (or rather he did me) on the floor, on the bed, against the closet, and on the computer desk, and it was amazing. He knew just what to do, and when we finally finished for the umpteenth time, I remember telling Timo to throw the used condoms out the window so my family wouldn't find them later.
The next morning, walking downstairs was agonizing. Four flights of pure torture — Catholic karma for desecrating my cousin's room and losing my virginity to someone whose last name I couldn't remember. As he walked out, the fireman kissed my forehead and said something about calling him before he left for Spain. (Sheer embarrassment stopped me from ever making that lunch date.)
My cousin came downstairs, looked at the scattered array of used condoms that littered the sidewalk, and laughed. The secret was out. I was a whore. But instead of judging me, he seemed perfectly unaffected by my behavior. Again I calmed down and stopped being scared.
My first time was not at all what it was supposed to be. It wasn't with someone I loved and wanted to marry. It wasn't in a romantic, candle-lit, rose-petal-adorned room. But none of that is me, which is what made it so great. Timo may not have been "the one," but I'm happy to know that my first time was with someone beautiful and heroic who I am lucky enough to think of as perfect to this day. How many people can say that about their first?