Love & Sex

My First Time

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Female • 17 years old • Econo Lodge

I spent the first two years of my high-school career at a very closed-mouthed — and closed-minded — school, where bodily functions, much less sex, were never even discussed. I was under the assumption that no one — except for perhaps those who congregated in the smokers' shack or those bussed in from urban schools — ever got it on. Prior to my junior year, I moved and I was introduced to a whole new school, and a whole new openness in sexuality.

Illustration by Thomas Pitilli


As a junior, I was virtually the only one of my friends who was still a virgin, and I set forth on a mission to erase this mark of uncoolness as quickly as possible. Because I wasn't that kind of girl, I had to wait until I found a boyfriend to do the job.

By early spring, I had the boyfriend all lined up, and while my parents were out gambling away their weekends, things progressed quickly in my bed, or, when necessary, in his mom's red Pontiac Le Mans. As prom neared, I became more and more anxious to move things to the next level, but there was no way that I was going to tell my boyfriend that. Are you kidding me? Vocalize my sexual desires to someone other than my best girlfriends, even if he was the partner I had in mind? No chance.

My friend S and I spent the afternoons hanging out with my boyfriend and his friend Scruffy. While my boyfriend and I would sit and flirt at the lunchroom tables, S and Scruffy would secretly slip off to discuss the loss of my virginity, and each would report the conversation back to their respective friend. It was ultimately decided that after the junior prom, I'd lose my virginity to my boyfriend in an elaborate plan hatched not by us, but by our friends.

The plan relied heavily on another pair of friends, a couple who had the means to rent a room at the local Econo Lodge. Our friends would leave the prom first, check into the hotel room to have sex, then vacate so my boyfriend and I could have sex in the same bed. My anxiety increased as prom night got closer and I tried to perfect every detail. From the fucshia sequined dress to the sloppily-shaven bikini line, I had everything down to a science, guided mostly by advice I'd mentally stored from Seventeen and YM magazine articles. The finishing touch on my prom-night outfit of seduction was my panties: cotton bikini-style, with Tasmanian Devil print, to match my date's vest.

My date and I had no choice but to stay until the bitter end of the dance, to allow our gracious friends the time to properly get it on in the shared prom bed. As we drove to the Econo Lodge, we were virtually silent, and the silence continued as we went into the hotel room. The one acknowledgement that we were about to have sex was a condom, tucked slyly into his jacket pocket.

After some haphazard foreplay in a shared bed that was practically still warm from the couple before, we committed the act. While it was happening, I remember staring at the TV that was airing some infomerical, and thinking, this is it? I felt nothing. No pain. No pleasure. Just… nothing. I'm sure my boyfriend, like most high-school guys, had no idea that I felt nothing, and undoubtedly assumed that the sheer awkwardness of his thrusts would be enough to push me over the edge. My friends all warned me that it would likely be over quickly, and I was surprised at how long it actually took.

When it was done, we quickly hopped up and got our clothes back on, and took off to the school's official post-prom party at a local bowling alley. Much like the first time I had anal sex with my now ex-husband nearly ten years later, I sneered at those around me, wondering if they had any idea what I'd just been doing. By Monday morning, pretty much everyone at school did know what I'd been doing, though their reaction was more of surprise than of disdain. You'd think that, since every boy in the school now knew that I put out, I would've had more dates in high school, but it didn't work that way. After a few more awkward sexual interactions, my boyfriend and I parted ways at the end of the school year.

I haven't seen him since, though I did hear that about a year after graduation, he fathered a pair of twins, and I wondered how that could be, as he was always adamant about condom usage. I decided he must've liked that girlfriend more than he liked me. Or maybe his mother was right that the girl had manipulated him into ditching the condoms.

I recently became single again after nearly eight years of marriage, and just a few weeks ago, I slept with my first date of my newly single life. It was anticlimactic, much like the loss of my virginity. In many ways, it had its own awkward similarities, especially when my date rolled off me and said, "Oh… you mean you can't get off from intercourse alone?" I guess some things never change, whether you're seventeen or thirty-seven.