Female, 19, UK
I had never given a lot of thought to having sex. I expected I would have it one day, I expected I would be married. I would be there, someone else would be there, it would just happen. I hadn’t given a lot of thought about what it really meant to me. I suppose I was only 19 then but I wish I had.
I met him on my first day of university; we were in the same tutorial group. To this day, I don’t know exactly what happened in that split second when I first looked at him. Something did happen, though. It might have been because he was so pretty. I always tell people I fell in love with him before he opened his mouth. It was kind of true too because he was not a great person. I could see this straight away and for several months, it kept my ardor at bay. He said asinine things almost all the time, his Facebook profile was unbearable and yet, and yet. I don’t know why I continued to be drawn to him. I think I had convinced myself that there must be more. Sometimes I wonder if my pride wouldn’t allow me to admit that I may just have been attracted to someone who wasn’t what I was looking for.
One night, a little past midnight, I got a message from him on Facebook. We got talking about Pakistani music; his knowledge of it surprised me as he was not Pakistani. At the time, this seemed to justify my belief that there had to be more to him. He asked me to come over then and there. I went. After agreeing to it, I immediately panicked. I went in my pajamas and deliberately left off all makeup, left my hair tied up and put on my dad’s old raincoat, which was far too big for me. Somehow I thought this would make it clear that turning up at a guys’ flats in the middle of the night was not something I typically did. In fairness, it worked. Months later he told me that when I had turned up he had been convinced I couldn’t possibly be into him if I’d come looking like that. Little victories.
Nothing did happen that night. We talked till seven in the morning and I fell in love. After that I was with him every day. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I wanted to be. At some point, it seemed like months but it was actually weeks, we kissed and fell into a relationship. I learned that my detached, pragmatic view of relationships and sexuality was actually quite far from the reality, which was that I was naturally a very ardent person. He was an ardent person too, but he was not particularly ardent about me. He was jealous, controlling, manipulative, and just generally incredibly emotionally abusive. The relationship is all a blur to me now, I don’t understand or remember large parts of it but I think maybe I thought if I loved him enough, he would love me back in the same way. Six out of seven days, he would torture me. On the seventh day, he was charming and funny and sweet and I would fall in love with him enough to keep me going another six days.
I knew from the very first that in the grand scheme of things, I did not want to have sex with him. Our palpable chemistry made this a difficult resolve. I had never considered that not having sex might actually be quite hard. Our relationship progressed to the point where he asserted that, really, I had come too far not to have sex. I tried to remonstrate but I was no longer the assured person I had been upon entering the relationship and I gave in. It happened during the summer. We were back from university, he lived an hour away from me. I drove to his house — I wish now I had had the strength and good sense to perceive that there wasn’t an awful lot he could have done if I hadn’t.
He took my hand and showed me around his house, it was much larger than mine but also eerier. The sex was confused. The foreplay was good, as always, but when it actually came to the sex, he struggled. He couldn’t figure out how to put it in and seemed to be angry, if I recall, that I didn’t know more. Eventually he figured it out but it hurt so much, he had to enter by stages, slowly easing his way into me. When he was in, it hurt so much I barely let him move. Still, we had done it. When he got off me, I sobbed almost hysterically and he held me apologetically, lovingly even, which was nice of him.
We didn’t have a lot of sex in that relationship, I managed to get out of it most of the time. I know we did it more than two times after that, but I only remember two, they were very good. No less painful, but ultimately good. The other times probably weren’t.
Something inside me switched off after the first time. After what seemed like an eternity, but which was actually just a year, I left. It ended far more nastily than it strictly needed to. I genuinely don’t believe people’s first times necessarily have to be either bad or traumatizing. Out of all of my friends, half had wonderful experiences. I don’t regret much but I would give anything to be in their half.
Image via Flickr.