My First Time

My First Time: “I remember the underwear. The logistics are iffy.”

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I remember the underwear. The logistics are iffy.

He was 18 and in my bed on top of my fuzzy pink Seventeen Magazine brand duvet cover that I’d saved up to buy from JC Penny. I was 16 and sitting on top of him naked except for my best thong. It was pink and white striped with ruffles all around, and I thought it was the sort of thing that boys liked. It was flimsy and slid to the side so I felt the skin of my parts touch the skin of his parts.

“I’m scared,” I said, thinking of the lesson from health class the previous week about how you don’t have to have sex to get STDs, that you can get every STD instantly from regular skin-to-skin contact. He was older and more experienced, so I knew I actually might have something to worry about.

“Don’t be. We’re not going to have sex. If we were going to have sex you’d know,” he said. “Trust me.”

He didn’t understand that I was worried about STDs. I was 16 and too afraid to explain it. What would I even say? “Last week our gym teacher told us we could get STDs from doing this and that you can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them. Do you have an STD?” I didn’t bother. Instead I tried to reposition my flimsy pink thong to cover me up so nothing was touching. That thong was the frilly, magical barrier keeping me safe from herpes, chlamydia, and AIDS.

We were planning to have sex that day but he never ended up trying. He could probably tell I was too distraught, thinking about our gym teacher telling my class about STDs.

Some unknown amount of days later we were back in the same position. He was 18 and in my bed on top of my fuzzy pink Seventeen Magazine brand duvet cover that I’d saved up to buy from JC Penny. I tried not to think about our gym teacher this time.

“Lie down,” he said. He got up and walked to his white athletic shorts that were sitting on my desk. He took a condom out of his pocket. I wasn’t relieved because I already thought I had STDs from all our skin-to-skin contact. He put on the condom. I remember he didn’t take off the frilly thong, and I remember thinking that was weird. I thought about my thong a lot while we were having sex.

I didn’t bleed and it didn’t hurt. I don’t remember how I felt otherwise. I don’t remember how long it lasted. I don’t remember what he said or what I said, or even if we said anything at all. I don’t remember what positions we did it in. I remember that afterwards my thong was all twisted up and wet, and I was sad about that.

I remember he sat on my bed afterward for a few minutes making small talk. I don’t remember what he said but he probably asked if it hurt me and I probably said no, because it didn’t. He left shortly after and I didn’t feel any different. I texted him a smiley face, marked the date in my journal with a big star, and that was the end of my first time. I took of the thong and buried it under some t-shirts in my laundry basket. I didn’t get any STDs.

I’m 22 and still have the thong. I’ve moved it with me between apartments and between cities and between states and I sometimes still consider wearing it when I haven’t done laundry in awhile and I’m running low on panties, but I never do. It’s too flimsy and wouldn’t protect me from anything.

— Female, 16, Wisconsin