Female, 20, Australia
I always took years longer than my peers to complete milestones, but when I finally got around to them, I did them well. When my friends were getting boobs and hips in year seven, I was padding my training bras and glowering resentfully at my boyish frame in the mirror. But one day, after years of praying and hoping, I woke up at age 18 to find a womanly amount of junk in my trunk, and a modest pair of C-cups to match.
And that commences the story of my sexual awakening (doesn’t that sound like the title of a tantric sex novel? I imagine it would have characters named Sage and Willow, who would “make love” (ugh) slowly and in a meadow). At age 20, I felt I had waited long enough for sex, like I had my boobs. While all my friends were giving blow jobs behind the school sheds in year eleven, I cringed anytime sex was mentioned and spent too much time wondering if hymens were real or just an urban myth (very real, it turns out). By age 20 and three-quarters, I decided it was time to get it over with and join my reams of sexually active friends, lest I die an old maid.
I really wasn’t sure why I picked him of all guys. He wasn’t unattractive, by any means, but he didn’t share my extroversion and was more than a little socially awkward. I guess having an IQ in the 160s does that to a person. Makes them overanalytical and cautious, traits which I guess we shared, even though my IQ didn’t slot quite as well into the Mensa category.
But despite all that, I saw something in him that made me think he had more to show. Like a stained-glass window in a cathedral, whose colors aren’t apparent until illuminated by the sun. Although he tried to hide behind sarcasm and reason, and consciously pushed people away, I could tell that he was kind and gentle and craved approval just like I did. So we formed a solid friendship.
We talked about it extensively beforehand, being the sensible kids that we were, and took every precaution. Before he came over, I got rip-roaring drunk on cheap Ukrainian vodka and expired lime cordial, to soothe my nerves. I sat on the patio in the dark, chain-smoking and watching the smoke curl up and away.
When he arrived, I couldn’t stop giggling as I walked into the kitchen to pour him a drink. “So, um,” I greeted him, “How was your day?”
He giggled too, “that’s how this is going to start? Pretty G-rated”. He pressed me up against my parents’ fridge and I heard all the magnets fall off as our lips met in a flurry of activity. When I came back to sobriety, several hours had passed, I had kicked him out after (one of the perks of us just being friends and not in a relationship, no cuddling needed, thank god) and I was in bed, having another cigarette as INXS’s Kick bumped mellowly around the room. (Why I wanted Michael Hutchence’s voice to sooth the ceremonious ripping of my hymen, I’ll never know).
I’m not going to say that it was perfect, because it wasn’t. And I didn’t want it to be. I felt awkward, and vulnerable. And it hurt. And there were a few hitches on his part. But it was also hilariously funny and we laughed the entire time. And most of the time, it felt good. Really good.
I guess I should thank him for popping my cherry, even though it feels so blatantly unfeministic to do so (why do they even call it a fucking cherry, anyway? Who thought it would be appropriate to compare vaginas to stonefruit?). It’s not that I thought my worth was based on my chastity, but it was like an ugly shirt that my mum had bought me. I felt guilty even thinking about getting rid of it, but afterwards, I was so glad that I had.
Image via 3dpete
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