Losing our virginity…it happens to almost all of us, no matter who we are or where we come from. How did it happen for you? Ever wondered what other people think and feel about this never-to-be-repeated experience?
I am on a mission to find out. Follow my journey as I collect stories from as wide a selection of people as possible. From men and women, old and young, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim and Catholic, from the funny and the sad, to the happy and occasionally, the unbelievable. I am in search of the one story that we rarely share. Come and join my adventure.
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As ever, losing virginity can mean many different things to many different people. Never was this more true than in the case of Brad, the owner of a story that caused consternation amongst my friends, family, various random passers by in the street and selected members of the local clergy.
Brad is a long standing correspondent of mine and when he dropped the following bombshell one day, I was only too happy to listen. Brad wanted to tell me about the time that he lost his anal virginity. Yes readers, his anal virginity - to his wife. Now whether this is in fact a legitimate loss of virginity is a matter that we could debate all day. But in the end, tying down virginity loss to one universal, agreeable definition is nigh on impossible and the point is that this was a significant moment of ‘loss’ for Brad so who can argue with that?
Let me give you some background detail. You can read the story here but in short, Brad is a househusband. He has raised two small children at home whilst his highflying executive wife has gone out and pursued a career. Brad plays the dutiful husband at all his wife’s work ‘do’s’ whilst his other half discusses business with the other highflying partners in the company, many of whom are also women. Brad is not the only househusband within his wife’s law firm either. In fact, Brad is currently mentoring a new member of the house husband community, Frank, who also raises a small child at home whilst his wife goes out to make the bacon.
None of which is the point I want to make because what got me right from the start of this whole episode was the realization that here is a man……who knows a lot about what it feels to be a woman. Not that I would quite put Brad into the bracket of Mel Gibson in ‘What Women Want’ i.e. being able to read our minds but its not that far off because when Brad talks about the experience of being penetrated, the words could just as easily have come out of the mouth of a woman.
Brad originally wrote to me following a gender related article that I had posted on this blog. We mailed back and forth for a while and eventually one day, he decided to tell me about the time that his wife had first made love to his bottom with a dildo. Well now, as you can guess, I was all ears. This is not a story you get to hear every day.
The Internet is littered with dull, predictable images of men penetrating women’s behinds with their penises. So much so that in a piece of research that the Guardian commissioned several years ago, a twelve year old boy admitted that having watched a substantial amount of pornography since the age of eight years old (supplied to him by his father), he had his first experience of anal sex at the age of twelve. Yes readers, twelve years old. This is what young people are learning about sex these days. That it is all about blonde women, forming large 0 shapes with their mouths whilst being penetrated by very oily looking men who are not usually that taken with the concept of foreplay.
But where on the Internet are men talking about having anal sex with their womenfolk…with themselves on the receiving end? Because my guess is that if it’s happening in small town Texas where Brad lives, then its probably happening in a whole bunch of places. Not that I care one way or the other because once again, the point of interest in this story, at least for me, lies much less in the nuts and bolts, or even the in’s and out’s, which, don’t get me wrong, are fascinating – but I am much more taken with the idea that here is a man who knows what its like to ‘give it up’, to receive instead of to give, to lie back and think of England or whatever other sex related metaphor you prefer to pick. Here are Brad’s latest thoughts on his wife’s sexual proclivities:
‘My guess is that it's not nearly as far a step for a woman to be done anally because it's probably not her first experience being penetrated. Does that make sense? Anyway, I think I understand better now why girls sometimes are not enthused about sex and why men are usually the aggressors. I have never initiated a pegging, because we do enough of it as it is, thank you very much. So Lynette initiates and frankly I'm sometimes not interested. Just not very horny at all. But I never deny her. LOL. One thing that occurs to me as I write this is how BORING the whole thing can be. It's like the same thing every time, or at best a variation that is similar to all the other times. And even when the foreplay is different, the screwing part doesn't vary a whole lot. Right, girlfriend? You're probably nodding in agreement.’
This had me in stitches. Having penetrative sex can be one of the most intensely erotic and intimate experiences that two people can share together. Conversely, it can also be dull in the extreme and rather pedestrian at times. Partly because that’s life and that’s sex. Sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it is not and that’s just the way it is. But also because the penetrative part of sex, at least for a woman, can often be the least interesting part of the evening’s activities. You have to relinquish control, not just of your pleasure but also of yourself and in the end, perhaps that’s what this story is all about.
Brad feels this loss of control all the more keenly because as a man, he has relinquished all the ground that the male of the species would traditionally occupy. His wife is the initiator, or the ‘aggressor’ as he terms her. She earns the money. Invariably she also decides how they spend it. When she wants to have anal sex with him, she’ll pat his behind in the morning before she leaves for work and give him a wink. Brad knows exactly what this means.
So it is a story about gender role play and the positions, literally and figuratively that we feel we should – or should not - be playing in today’s society but it is also a story, bizarrely, about just how unimaginative we can be as sexual people.
Of course, sex should consist of whatever two consenting adults want it to consist of but I am constantly drawn back to the story of Hannah, a woman I interviewed for my book. Hannah lost her ‘technical’ virginity at the age of eighteen. But by this time she had already been in a relationship with her boyfriend for over two years and in her own words, had been having so many orgasms with him that going ‘all the way’ always seemed a bit pointless.
Jumping to the penetrative part of the sexual experience can cut out a lot of pleasure because it can limit our imagination. There are so many different ways to pleasure each other that don’t actually involve penetrative sex. I often think that young people, well, all people really, would do well to get to know their partners bodies really well – and all the amazing things that they are capable of doing – before jumping ahead to the penetrative part of sexual intercourse. We shouldn’t have such a prescriptive idea of what ‘sex’ should involve. Sex should be about pleasure and how you go about finding that can be a very interesting exploration, one that does not necessarily have to involve the placing of one thing inside another.
I digress. Perhaps I am also attracted to this story because over time, and during the course of many emails with Brad, I see how very much he loves his wife. Perhaps his willingness to ‘give it up’, to lie back and think of England on the occasions when he really doesn’t feel like having a dildo up his bottom are a testament of how much he wants his wife to be happy. If he were a woman, the feminists among us would be up in arms at such a concept. Why must a woman, or anyone for that matter, sublimate themselves for anybody else? But perhaps that is love. The willingness to let go of what we want from time to time and to give someone else what they want. I don’t know, I’m no expert.
FYI, Brad signed off his latest email to me, ‘Bow-legged of Texas'
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