Can anyone ever enjoy their first time? This was the question posed by Vanessa Feltz when I appeared on her TV show, *live* last Thursday May 19th. It was my first ever television appearance to promote my book, ‘The First Time: True Tales of Virginity Lost & Found (including my own)’ and I managed to get through it without fluffing any lines or offending anyone. Unlike a member of the audience who, when asked what her own experience was like compared it to ‘a saveloy sausage trying to fit through a polo mint’. As we all resisted the urge to heave, time stood still for a moment…except for the frantically gesticulating arms of the studio manager. Classic.
But it’s an interesting question and it brings to mind the time one of my interviewees told me what a wonderful time she had had when she lost her virginity. She was a young woman in her late twenties and she almost bought our interview to a halt when she said 'losing my virginity was one of the best sexual moments of my life’. I was gob-smacked. In almost 50 interviews, no one had ever said anything close. Today’s story, co-incidentally is similar. It’s also unusual because it contains a comedy moment. I’ve often looked for this story, the kind that involves a bit of slapstick. As with most comedy moments, they probably weren’t that funny at the time but in retrospect….well, lets see…
Congratulations and the publication of your book! I have come to enjoy your blog and the stories contained therein to a degree I did not expect. Finding 'The Virginity Project' came as part of a therapeutic process in trying to understand what formed my sexual identity and mores beyond family and religion. My therapist says I have a very feminine and emotionally connected mind. This, as you may imagine is a strange light for a burly, bearded, balding construction worker and general outdoorsman to see himself in. As a Brit might say, I am of ‘the hairy chested sort’. My therapist gives me homework. I write about my various life experiences, he reads them and gives feedback. What follows, at least in part is a story that had him laughing aloud during one of our early sessions. Few of these stories involve a somewhat hilarious physical injury, but mine does.
Travis, Pennsylvania, USA, Born Mid-August 1981, lost virginity first week of August 1997, age not quite 16
When I was thirteen years old I was in an awkward phase. I had removed myself from a group of ‘friends’ and classmates whose physical and emotional abuse I would no longer take. I had found a love of writing, mountain biking and girl watching. Being of the nerdy, socially clumsy and bookish variety I was rather nervous about the prospect of even talking to girls other than a few in the neighborhood whom I had grown up with literally since infancy. I was by all accounts an outcast.
My daily routine after school involved biking a few miles to a nearby lake where, sheltered by the shade of a big old dogwood I would write down stories and poems in a large leather bound binder which I carried in a backpack. It was on one of these outings that I met Charlotte, who approached me while I was writing one afternoon. Believe it or not I was so flustered and shocked a girl was talking to me that I didn't initially notice how pretty she was. She was academically brilliant, just moved to the area, lived away from town and attended a private school. She had no preconceived notions about me. She was only six months older than me, but a grade ahead. We had similar interests and became fast friends. I don't remember meeting someone who I became so close to, so quickly. Suddenly I was no longer riding to the lake daily to get away from a painful childhood, but going because I wanted to spend time with Charlotte. We were in many ways each other’s salvation. I made a friend who wanted to know me for me and I was her shelter from a boring life away from her schoolmates and an adoptive home that was falling apart due to marital strains.
I had feelings for this girl as soon as I met her, but kept them under wraps for want of not ruining what had become the most important and formative friendship in my life. However my romantic intentions became rather overpowering and shortly after my fifteenth birthday I took the risk of confessing them. I can remember how utterly terrified I was at the time I told her. After I finally got my stuttering, nervous confession out, she kissed me and we were a couple from that point onward. The next six months were a joy and probably the most carefree and innocent days of my entire life.
Her aunt and uncle were having marital trouble and neither wanted to stay around the house, giving us quite a bit of time and privacy, during which we cultivated our relationship further. Not much changed between us other than we had become physical, making out frequently, caressing each other, although fully clothed. One day in late March, around her birthday, we were browsing a book shop together when she made me leave the store, coming out with a bag containing a large book, claiming she bought herself a birthday present but wouldn't let me see it.
About a week later we were cuddling on the couch in her living room, watching NYPD Blue on the television when she pulled out the book. It was a pictorial lovemaking manual of various techniques and positions whose entire title escapes me, but it was based on ‘The Perfumed Garden’. I was shocked that a generally proper girl bought such a book, but I knew little of women then. We started looking through the book, blushing at the pictures of various couples engaging each other in various positions, naughty thoughts running through our heads. We had never discussed how we would lose our virginity up to this point although I'm certain we both knew we would be each other’s first. We talked about this and although I regularly dreamed of having sex with her, I said I wasn't sure I was ready. She made me take the book home with me, where I read it in its entirety.
July had come to a close when she asked for the book back. She had gotten a birth control formula from the clinic she worked at and had been on the pill since shortly after buying the book! I still wasn't sure I was ready for sex but Charlotte had without a doubt become very eager, asking about it or alluding to the subject almost daily. Thinking back on it, I can't believe I didn't act sooner, but I had severe performance anxiety, I was worried about hurting her and all those first time jitters. How often is it that a perfectly average looking guy like me has his own personal living fantasy asking to have sex with him daily? It has certainly never happened to me since. Both her aunt and uncle would be out of state on the coming weekend on business and she declared her intentions to give me an early birthday present, asking if I could spend the entire weekend with her. I knew this would be it so I lied to my parents and told them I was going with a friend's family on a trip to New York City which they thought was a fantastic idea - museums, culture and such.
That Friday after work I met Charlotte at the house. We ate together, drank a bit of wine, watched TV, made out profusely and eventually ended up undressed on the couch. At first I was so nervous I couldn't keep an erection for more than a couple minutes. We lay together, cuddling in the nude for a while before trying again. Charlotte insisted I be on top. Now...this couch was a beige leather clad monstrosity that had a large glass topped coffee table positioned in front of it. I tried to penetrate her a couple times but she was very nervous now that the moment had come and not relaxed enough to allow more than about ¾ of my penis's head inside her despite being very moist. On what I think was our third try I got in a little deeper and was gently pushing against her hymen (I could feel even more resistance) when I could see her wincing in pain. I tried shifting my knee only to have it slip off the couch and as I attempted to catch myself before falling my left hand slipped off the edge of this somehow overly-complicated-to-make- love-on piece of furniture.
When my hand slipped, I fell sideways, banging the ole' family jewels on the edge uncovered by cushions and slashed my scalp open on the corner of the glass coffee table. At first I lay on the ground, one hand clutching my balls, the other clutching the top of my head. Charlotte peered over the edge of the couch, caught in uncontrollable laughter, which caused me to start laughing. It took me a minute or two to realize my head was bleeding quite a bit. Off to the local medical clinic we went, her driving much faster than the speed limit, me holding a kitchen towel to my head, both of us breaking out in fits of giggles. Overall the cut wasn't very bad, but nothing bleeds like a good clean head wound. It only required two stitches and we were back at her house within two hours. We cleaned up the blood on the floor and packed everything away, still occasionally laughing at my clumsy misfortune in lovemaking.
That night we slept together for the first time, partially clothed. We went to sleep after talking away the rest of the night, her head on my shoulder. Despite my sore scalp I was light headed and elated. When we woke in the morning we ate breakfast in our underwear and made jokes about the previous night. I decided I could use a good soak and she ran me a bath. I was in the tub no more than a few minutes, enjoying a steamy soak when Charlotte walked in, slowly undressed and climbed in the bath with me after scrubbing my back. We kissed a lot and washed each other slowly, exploring each other’s bodies fully in the hot water. We didn't get out until the water was getting too cold to enjoy. I will remember that as one of the sexiest, most sensual and enjoyable activities involved with lovemaking and have always requested this with later lovers.
We toweled each other off and moved to her bedroom where we continued our love play. ‘We need to be more comfortable’ was the theme and it was working well. Charlotte wanted her birth control pills to be our only contraceptive for our first time. We caressed and explored each other for what must have been another hour until it just seemed right. She wanted to be on top this time so she could have control over penetration. Here is where we found that slow and steady was the way to go and it was much easier this time but I could see that as we slowly got more and more of me inside her it was causing considerable pain. One last push and she gave a yelp that startled me, tears slowly filling her eyes. I remember being surprised at the fact that she wasn't simply warm inside, but hot. I pulled her to me and just held her there, kissing her shoulder and neck. I could feel her breathing, her every movement, every little shift in weight from inside her. It was the most magical series of sensations.
Despite the initial pain, she bled very little. We cleaned ourselves up, cuddled and when we tried again it was much, much easier. We tried several movements, her rocking back and forth, or me thrusting gently as I held her to me but neither of us came. We tried a few more positions, but always with generous foreplay beforehand. I still couldn't come until we ended up back in missionary, her legs wrapped around by back, moving with me. I will never forget my first climax inside her, her hips rising to meet me. After wards we lay in each others arms, her stroking my chest and belly, me running a hand around her right hip and the small of her back, whispering I love yous, talking, laughing. I can't imagine a better way to have lost my virginity. For once the reality was better than all the dreams and ways I had fantasized about the experience.
So many other people I knew said it was over so quick that it wasn't really enjoyable but our experience was anything but. Perhaps because my first experiences with sex were slow and very gentle but also very pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling, I have always preferred it that way. Perhaps this is why I don't lust after random women and try to get them into bed. In fact I probably wouldn't know how. I have always thought of sex not as something simply mechanical and lustful to reach an orgasm, but also something very emotionally fulfilling. Maybe it is because I have always sought out people in general but lovers in particular that made me feel wanted, welcome and accepted. In fact I would say I cannot have sex unless I feel I am wanted as a man.
The rest of the day was spent walking around the lake, talking under the old dogwood where we spent so much of our time together and simply enjoying being young and in love. We had another long lovemaking session the next day, trying a few different things and getting ideas on what we liked. We talked about how every little sensation felt and were completely open with each other. It was an amazing weekend during which I learned more about love and intimacy than I have in the almost 14 years since. I remember coming home and my mother asking me ‘so how was your weekend’ and declaring honestly that I had the best weekend of my entire life up to that point. I must have been beaming for ages afterward although I didn't feel demonstratively different.’