Male • 16 years old • England
We had been going out for over nine months when it happened, and we were head-over-heels in love in a way that only teenagers can be. When you're too young to drive in rural England, 'going out' actually means a lot of 'staying in', there being a serious lack of things to do beyond hang out at the local playground. So by this time we had already spent countless hours kissing and learning about each other's bodies.
I was a few months older than her, and she wanted to wait until after her birthday to go all the way, so it was loosely implied that it would happen sometime in the summertime. We didn't want to schedule it exactly, though, nor did we rush. We both wanted it to be romantic and spontaneous and perfect. It eventually happened quite naturally about a month after her sixteenth birthday.
Illustration by Thomas Pitilli
It was a perfect August Sunday, sunny, warm and hazy. We had been at a picnic with my family all day, and had each drunk a couple of glasses of wine. This being England, where drinking customs aren't so draconian, a little wine and beer was normal for us at most family meals, so we were by no means drunk or even tipsy by the time we left together in the early evening. It may, however, have contributed to the general glow and sense of freedom as we flirted and laughed the whole way home, still not consciously intending to make love on this day.
We got back to my house, with my parents still at the barbecue, and went to my room where we began kissing and undressing each other as we'd done many times before. I put the CD soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet (the orchestral version, not the compilation) on my stereo, it being from our favorite film, and this provided the background music to our exploration. The sun was sitting low in the sky and my whole room was bathed in orange light. I always loved the light in that bedroom, and I can still vividly remember every detail of the room on that specific day even now.
I don't think either of us realised that 'today was the day' until I was on the verge of entering her and, with nothing more than a look, we agreed that everything was right. Wanting to keep it perfect and regret-free, I fumbled for a condom, which had been under my mattress for a few months just waiting to be called into play. I lay down and she straddled me, positioning and then slowly lowering her body down onto me. Those first moments felt incredible to me — a heat and intensity unlike anything I imagined, and we barely moved at first as we kissed and each quietly tried to take in all these new sensations. As we started moving together, I asked her a few times if she was okay, having been told that it can hurt for a girl the first time, but she told me no, and after the fact she said she didn't feel any pain beyond the unfamiliar feeling of something bigger than a couple of fingers inside her.
Romeo & Juliet had played nearly twice through on autorepeat by the time we found ourselves sprawled out naked over my covers. The actual lovemaking part had lasted about half an hour and, apart from some slight clumsiness causing me to fall out on a few occasions when we tried a new rhythm, the whole experience was perfect in all the ways we had tried so hard not to plan. Looking at the window we could tell that the sun was about to set, so we dressed and went out into the warm evening, heading to the park across the street where we sat on a blanket in the middle of a field, alone together. It was the most romantic ending we could think of for our evening. We watched the sun go down, blissfully holding on to each other, and with our inhibitions now lowered and curiosity piqued, we made love again, right there, before heading home to embark upon a new chapter in our lives and our suddenly grown-up relationship.