Male, 16, New York
I was sixteen, with dyed-blue hair, controlling parents, a life spiraling out of control, and an ache for a rebellious, punk-rock lifestyle.
My boyfriend at the time was a semi-sweet gamer, a socially-stunted theater nerd thrilled to have a hot punk girlfriend. I spent that summer learning to play Halo in his bedroom, making out between blowing each other to pixellated bits on-screen. I was forced into an outpatient therapy center every morning by my neurotic mother, who thought that my lack of attention toward my grades meant that I was going insane, and I'd escape every evening to this boy's house, inching closer every day to that ultimate rebellion: Doing It.
It didn't help that I was in the throes of gender confusion as well. My hair had been getting shorter and shorter, my chest more bound throughout the summer. My mother kept accusing me of being a lesbian, and my boyfriend regarded me with more than a little wariness. He would make joking comments about me wanting to become "one of the guys", which he'd quickly redact when I agreed with him. Eventually he just told me I looked hotter as a girl, which kept me in a bra instead of Ace bandages for a whole week.
The actual act was done for every bizarre reason, none of them right. To rebel against my parents, to keep my boyfriend interested in me, to figure out whether or not I was a dude, to impress my fellow nutcases in outpatient hell. But then again, I was sixteen and horny, and I thought I was in love.
I showed up at his house the afternoon of the deed in a bizarre amalgamation of men's and women's clothing. Boxers, a lacy black bra, tight studded jeans, my father's motorcycle jacket. We shot people online to the ever-present rallying call of "Eat shit, fag!" and I think I prefaced the act with the come-on: "I think I'm a guy; let's fuck."
And then we did.
The sex itself was forgettable. I can't really distinguish it from any of the other times we did it, other than the fact it hurt quite a bit more and he at least attempted a sappy, "I love you so much" in the middle. Afterwards, I immediately started getting dressed, only to be asked to cuddle. So I undressed again, climbing under the covers for a few minutes before getting too antsy and getting up again. (A typical man, I guess). There was some awkward pillow talk: his ever-charming, "This doesn't make me gay, does it?" and then we high-fived, re-dressed, and went back to blasting Covenant armies to bits.
The relationship eventually went sour—the siren call of "no homo" couldn't be broken, and this sullen gamer couldn't handle suddenly dating a man. After it ended, he kept emailing me about his new girlfriends in some last-ditch effort to prove his manliness—none of whom ended up existing off of the internet.