Love & Sex

My First Time: Female, 18, Ireland

Pin it

Female • 18 • Ireland

I met this tall, dark, and handsome guy in a club. I was attracted to him right away, because he didn't just try to grope me on the dance-floor — he walked up and told me I was good-looking. I laughed him off, but he insisted, and I called him a empty charmer, but we ended up dancing and grinning at each other.

I'd been in college for a few months, and I'd had little success with guys. Most just asked if they could go back to my place. I thought I wasn't ready for that. I kept turning them down, but found myself getting more and more curious about sex. And this guy was sweet. He complimented me and talked to me, seeming genuinely interested in me. He took my number, and after we went out a few times, I was really falling for him. Then the last day of term came, and I had this strange feeling that if I didn't close the deal, he'd have lost interest when I returned after Christmas. I invited him back to my place.

By the time he arrived, I'd changed my mind. I was drunk. I didn't want to go through with it anymore. I slipped on an over-sized tee and handed him one to sleep in, and he just looked confused. But after all my wondering about sex, I couldn't back out. I was standing close to him, trying to figure out what to do, or how to go about it, and then it was like a switch in my brain flipped and I just knew.

It was a bit rough, and strange, and painful. It wasn't fun. It wasn't special. I think he was too drunk to really get anywhere. Still, falling asleep beside him was magical. I felt that after years of feeling inadequate and unattractive I'd finally got rid of that lost-little-girl feeling I could never seem to shake.

In the morning we kissed and talked. He seemed distant as he got ready to leave, tottering around looking for his socks and letting me carry on the conversation. I put it down to tiredness, and trailed him around the flat in my Guinness tee, feeling weirdly brittle. Washing and dressing after he left, I felt tired and a little ill. The feeling of elation was gone, and I was scared.

I texted him to ask him if he'd checked the condom. I expected him to be weirded out, but he replied saying he had, not to worry, and wishing me a merry Christmas. Reassured, I convinced myself that we could survive the month apart and he wasn't just in it for sex. Still, my head was buzzing, and I cried a little on the bus home, then tried to avoid my parents as if they'd have some strange parental sixth sense and just know. (I don't think I felt quite right until I got to have the I-just-got-my-period victory dance.)

He didn't text me all through Christmas. He didn't text me when term restarted. Finally I bucked up the courage to initiate it, sending him a casual text. He replied civilly enough saying that he wasn't out that night, but to have fun.

Later that night, I saw him on the street. I stopped breathing. Our eyes met. His mouth dropped open and he turned on his heel and hurried off.

I was shocked. I didn't understand. I said "Fuck him anyway" to my friends, laughing, and went home to my flat. But as soon as I was in the door, I collapsed sobbing. I hadn't told anyone we'd had sex. I couldn't tell anyone how I now felt. I couldn't bring myself to sleep in my bed, so I ended up on the couch.

Had I done something wrong? Was I a freak? Was I terribly and incurably awful in the sack, destined to end up in a semi-detached city house with three dozen cats and a parrot for conversation? I felt so insecure for weeks, and soon developed a reputation for drunkenly spouting the mantra "I am a strong, independent lady who does not need a man to make me happy or even to open jam-jars — so there." Eventually, I came to believe it.