Love & Sex

My First Time

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Male • 18 years old • Pittsburgh

I went away to college on a mission to lose my viginity. At eighteen, I felt like a loser for never having been with a girl. High school had been a big disappointment. I was a good student, a member of the National Honor Society and the marching band, yet the girls remained distant. Hollywood had lied to me. There were no wild beer-fueled parties in which the hot cheerleader would notice the quiet nerd from Algebra 2 and find the real love of her teenage life. In the high-school movie of my life, I was doomed to play the boy "friend," who has to hear about how big a jerk the hot girl's boyfriend was, while here's this perfectly good nerd waiting patiently right in front of her.

Illustration by Thomas Pitilli

College, from the beginning, wasn't promising to be much better. I went away in early August to a small state school north of Pittsburgh. I arrived earlier than the incoming freshman class because I was a member of the marching band, and the two weeks before the start of the semester was our band camp. I was determined to start over, to re-invent myself as a confident, worldly freshman. Maybe I could fool some girl into thinking I was good boyfriend material, or at least worth sleeping with once.

The girl I found was named Donna. She was from New Jersey, and she had the most amazing Jersey accent. I was immediately infatuated. We spent long hours on the band-practice field, making small talk — where I discovered the "what's your major" opening line — and ate together in the dining hall. The campus was still pretty much empty, and in the evenings there was nothing much to do but hang out in your room and talk. So we did.

One evening after practice, Donna and I went to her dorm room to hang out. We lay on the bed and listened to the radio, talking about our homes and the people we missed. We were two lonely freshmen on a warm summer evening with nothing to do. So we started to make out. I hoped like hell I was doing it right. This was my first kiss, my first groping, my first everything. I was sure she'd figure out I was an inexperienced virgin, and therefore a terrible lover. Maybe, I thought, if I got in front of that discovery, she'd have pity on me.

It was worth a try. After I managed to get her t-shirt off — my heart was pounding at the sight of her wonderfully full, fair-skinned breasts cupped in her bra — I mumbled someting about this being my first time. I couldn't bring myself to say the word "virgin." She stopped kissing my neck and pulled back to look at me at the faint glow from her clock radio. I figured I had ruined everything. I would be asked to dress quickly and go. Then she fixed her eyes on mine and said, "Then I guess I get to mold you as a lover."

Holy shit! She was going for it! As if I were some great opportunity for her, a blank canvas, an uncarved chunk of marble. I wouldn't be turned away as the failure I thought myself to be. This was actually going to happen! From there, things moved pretty quickly. Donna and I were intent on seeing this mission through to the end. She quickly undressed me, straddled my torso, and removed the remainder of her clothes. Then she lay next to me, I moved on top of her, and she guided me into her. I can still see her face in the dim light and remember Bon Jovi playing softly in the background. It was absolutely amazing, even though it only lasted a few minutes. She was kind and gentle and made me feel like I was the greatest lover in the world. She oohed and ahhed even though it was a poor performance. Then we lay next to each other in the semi-darkness as her small desk fan cooled the sweat on our perspiring bodies. It was finally over. I was no longer a virgin, a loser, some high-school dork who never had a girlfriend. My mind raced as I tried to figure out how the hell I'd managed to pull this off.

Sadly, we weren't together very long. She apparently went after my roommate a few weeks later, and I was relieved to have a reason to break off our relationship — I was in way over my head. I felt like a dick doing it, but I ended it one afternoon in my dorm room. She left in tears and I felt terrible. Later, I'd see her around campus, and she looked pretty happy. I wish I could tell her how much her kindness meant to me that night, and how she deserved better.