Love & Sex

My First Time

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My First Time

Illustration by Thomas Pitilli

Male • 20 years old • Indiana

I met my girlfriend our freshman year at college, but we actually lived about five minutes away from each other back home, so when school let out we stayed together. Her mom spent her days at their home, so we would meet at my house while my parents were at work and make out upstairs on the queen-sized bed that had been my older sister’s.

We’d each spent high school awkwardly fumbling through relationships, so from our first date on we were appallingly open and honest about what we wanted from each other. We’d spent the following two years kissing, rubbing, fiddling, sucking, and otherwise working our way through the vast worlds of sex, without ever going "all the way." We’d made a point of purchasing condoms "just in case." I don’t know how accidental we expected it to be, but it made sense at the time. 

I really wanted to make sure I lasted longer than five minutes.

The summer after our sophomore year, I was embarrassingly unemployed and living at my parents’ house, while she worked at the Barnes & Noble in town. We were in my room on her day off, fooling around to Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Everything must have felt more charged than usual, because we both agreed I should put on a condom, "just in case." At one point — somewhere around "Gypsy Eyes" — I was on my back with her kissing me and scratching my chest. We looked each other in the eye. She backed onto me and slowly sat up.

I remember us both pausing to let the reality sink in, silently running an inventory of the situation. I was concerned that there would be pain, so when she (sounding surprised) said there wasn’t any, I focused my attention on my other pressing concern: oh God, this is actually happening. Oh wow. Oh boy. Ohhhhhhh boy. Oh wow.

I wish I could remember more details about the act itself, but mostly I remember keeping an eye on the clock. I really wanted to make sure I lasted long enough not to finish first — or at least longer than five minutes. I figured everything else (What positions did or didn’t work? How fast? Dear God, what is okay to grunt at her? Is "I love you" expected or in bad taste?) would work itself out, just so long as we (I) could keep it going. In the end I finished first, but she said that was all right. I helped her get off. It seemed like a fair compromise.

When we woke up, it was late afternoon. We were both stuck to the sheets, and the music had ended long ago. My parents were due home in about an hour and a half, so we held each other awhile under the sun streaming through the window, before peeling ourselves off eachother, dressing, and collapsing on the couch downstairs.

We’ve stayed together past graduation, despite her repeatedly leaving to study abroad. Right now, we’re both anxiously anticipating her return in two months — watching the calendar and still, sometimes, watching the clock.