Female, 18, Colorado
For years I pretended that I hadn't lost my virginity to a Republican who I met on LiveJournal. I told friends that my first time was with Bryce, the sweet Utahan I dated for the first few months of college. But that was a lie. I was deflowered in a basement by a boy who consistently tried to talk me into supporting the War on Terror.
In the spring of 2004 I was seventeen, in boarding school, and full of self-importance. I bled blog posts onto LJ. He was going to college in my hometown in Colorado and started to comment. We talked every day for months. He sent me orchids on my birthday. I had a massive e-crush.
Soon after I graduated, we met up and started dating. He was twenty-two and handsome, with a sturdy frame and a job delivering doors and windows. I was so flattered that an older guy was interested in me that I didn't mind when he questioned my stance on gay marriage or ranted about "useless diets" like vegetarianism.
One night in July, he took me out to an Italian restaurant, and I managed to order port at dinner without being carded, even though I was barely eighteen and had a baby-face. He invited me to go back to his mother's house to watch a movie. The successful purchase of alcohol had bolstered my confidence, so I said yes even though we had only recently started fooling around. He paid for our meal and we left. On the way there he rested his hand on my leg and blew through three red lights. He said, "There's no one else around."
I laughed. "You're such a rebel."
When we got to the house, his mother had already gone to bed. He was staying on a fold-out couch in the basement, so we hopped in and watched the first ten minutes of a Stallone flick. Soon enough my shirt was off, my skirt was bunched around my waist, and his jeans were undone. He was much larger than the boys I had dated in high school. He was manly and solid. His belly was large and curved outward from the top of his public region. It didn't feel the way I thought fat should feel, and I wondered why boys weren't plagued by jiggles and mushy tummies.
The only condom we had was whiskey-flavored. (I'd bought it in an effort to seem more mature, as if professing a taste for latex-based scotch flavoring somehow made up for my young age.) He whispered, "Girls who like whiskey are hot," and I giggled.
The act itself was messy and inconclusive. There was lots of slipping and some pain, and I called it off after the first few attempts. Later, I rationalized to myself that this couldn't have been my first time because it was over so fast and hurt so badly. Now, I realize that those facts just prove its authenticity.
I nuzzled with him for a while and fell asleep until the sun struck my face the next morning. I got dressed, snuck out the window, and crouched by his Mustang while he went upstairs to prove to his mother that he'd spent the night alone. He came outside and we got in the car. Between the heat of the day and the leather of his car seats, I was bathed in the disgusting and exhilarating moisture of sweat and sex. We held hands while he drove. He stopped at all the lights.
In the weeks that followed he bought me bouquets of roses and a pair of gold and emerald earrings. He told me he loved me. I left for college in Oregon in August, and we agreed to try a long-distance relationship. I brought a framed picture of him and put it on the bedside table of my dorm room. But three days into Orientation Week I called him sobbing and broke it off.
"It's just too much responsibility," I said, and hung up before he had a chance to argue with me.
I went outside to get some air and sat on the bleachers. A few guys from my dorm came out and started playing soccer on the lawn. One walked up and offered me a Pabst. He was skinny, and wore a Care Bear t-shirt. I introduced myself. "Hey, I'm Lydia, from Colorado."
"Bryce," he replied, holding out his hand, "from Utah.