So many great things about this story. I love the language. I love the fact that despite it being written in plain English, fifty per cent of the cultural references go straight over my head. I had to do some Googling to get the measure of this beautifully American story. But what jumps out at me today - perhaps it might be something different on another day - was this….‘we were completely emotionally open with one another’.
This made me think about the way in which my nephews used to attack a fresh piece of paper with a coloring pen when they were small. They had no expectations as to what they might achieve as the marker hit the page. Their minds were as wide open as the small flat white expanse in front of them. Absolutely anything could happen and it often did.
Adult life appears to be about un-learning this skill. Of course, this is a natural part of evolution. Imagine what might befall us of a day if we didn’t learn to rein ourselves in…..Lord of the Flies at best. But in terms of emotional entanglement, of being, as today’s author says, ‘completely emotionally open with one another’, today’s story takes me right back to being young enough to love without barriers, before the notion of how badly your heart can be bruised is even a conscious thought.
It must be the hardest thing in the world to be a parent and watch your children navigate adult waters, knowing that things may not go as they planned. And how hard to then explain that this actually is ‘the way of the world’. That this awful alien feeling of bleak, cold rejection is not abnormal. That it is par for the course. That it may even happen again. Possibly even multiple times. (If you’re lucky enough one might argue…). I still remember the first time this happened to me. I can still re-call my ex-boyfriend’s voice (we’d broken up exactly one week beforehand) as he arrived at my house one summer’s afternoon to break it to me that he’d ‘accidentally’ slept with someone else at a party on Saturday night. Upset doesn’t cover it. Hysteria is closer to the mark. On reflection, I actually don’t think I’ve lost my emotional rag that visibly since. My response was raw shock. How could he do THIS to ME? How can one human being get away with making another human being feel THIS feeling? Shouldn’t this be illegal? Can’t you fix this? Can’t my parents fix it? Or someone?? And make like it didn’t happen? It can’t be fixed, it couldn’t be fixed, and unfortunately, it shouldn’t be fixed. Its part of life and believing it not to be is perhaps the truest definition of innocence.
Anyway, I’m making out like today’s story ends badly. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. But it does make me yearn for a time when we are able to love without boundaries. To re-create a little – or a lot – of that in our every day lives. It reminds me of skiing for the first time when I was well out of my teenage years and learning, all over again, that, to lean ‘away from the mountain’, something that goes against the grain of every new adult skier - because what you really want to do is cling to the mountain for dear life - is the one thing that will make you a more effective skier. Leaning in turns your knees the wrong way and makes you ski like a spaz. Taking a chance, leaning out and pushing your legs and knees in the right direction will steer a more effective course through the snow and perhaps even through life. If you have the balls to try it. Or as Betty White allegedly once said, ‘why do people say ‘grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna really get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!’ Luckily I have one of those already.
'Hey there, my name is Jo. I'm 16, born in the grand ol' year of 1994, currently residing in the USA. I've been reading through your website for a few hours now and I came to the conclusion, my virginity loss was fantastic, especially for being 16. Well, without further adieu...
This was a process. Years, maybe. Two boys. For me, the quiet little blonde girl who liked punk rock and hanging with the older crowd, I think everyone assumed I'd ‘done it a million times’ by the time I actually did. I didn't care.
I'm an only child so my childhood best-friend and I, when we turned 10 or so, went straight to our computers that we’d both just received and figured out what the birds and bees truly were. Thank you Fanfiction. Suddenly, my little brain was spinning with ideas of lust and romance, something more than ‘just kissing.’ Keep in mind, I still thought kissing with tongues was disgusting. Oh, little me. You have so much to learn.
Fast-forward about two years and enter Dominic. We met 4 days after my 12th birthday and let me just say, he was GORGEOUS. I automatically assumed he was years older than me, with long reddish-brownish hair and big green eyes and scuffed up Chuck Taylors. I knew when I saw him across the room that he'd change me. Dominic and I clicked from the moment we first began talking.
Things took off pretty fast. Both of us were precocious 12 year olds (he was almost 13) who had too many questions and not enough answers. We loved our music loud and fast and angry and we especially loved discovering each other. Dominic was my first almost everything. He was my first kiss (grocery store, deli section), my first ‘make out’/kiss with tongues (on his living room couch during ‘The Longest Mile’, that film with Adam Sandler), and eventually, the first penis I ever saw. When he dropped trou, I seriously had no idea what to expect. At this point, the only penis I ever saw was in the 3 second glimpse of Pete Wentz’s (see: bassist of Fall Out Boy) schlong thanks to a friend on AIM Direct Connect, so to have a live, real, ERECT (!!?!?!!!?!) penis right there in front of my 12 year old face, well, I was at a complete and total loss. ‘...do you want me to...touch...it?’ I had a way with words, even then. Let me tell you.
Yet, even though Dominic and I were together three and a half years exactly, we never had sex. He always wanted to, constantly trying to coerce me into it but for me, I just...knew. I'm not a ‘True Love Waits' !!11!!!!shifty!!1!’ person, nor strictly religious. Something just told me that he wasn't the one I should lose my virginity to. Call it intuition, I don't know, but my gut decision wound up being right. As it turns out, he got it elsewhere in the meantime, cheating on me (and having the nerve to text her while sleeping in MY bed, but that's another story) and losing it to whatsherface-with-the-monroe piercing, effectively breaking my 15-year-old heart.
Things with Dom and I had been rocky for a while though, since the start of my sophomore year. Ironically, that's about the time I was assigned to my sophomore year homeroom with ‘delicious-boy-who-likes-striped-thermals-and-fantasy-novels’ across the room. I never really figured out who he was strictly through homeroom, but man...he was adorable. I was too scared to walk up to him and comment on the books he was reading, even though we liked a lot of the same ones. (A 16 year old boy who reads Dante's Inferno and The Odyssey for fun!? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?)
Luckily for me, we shared a study hall together after the Dominic ordeal ended. I came on entirely too strong but, as he told me later, he found it ‘endearing...since girls aren't really attracted and never have been. Plus, you're the most adorable thing I ever saw. So, the creepy was negated.’ I was kind of creepy. I Google Earth'd his address and found out how long it would take to walk to his house. I liked him. A lot.
In March, he asked me to semiformal*, which wound up being our first date. I think it was understood at this point that we would, eventually, wind up together. Upstairs, changing into my poofy black and purple dress in his parent’s bathroom, I said a silent prayer that this wouldn't be the last time I'd ever see his house. That this wouldn't be a one-time thing; that this was a beginning. Prayers were answered that night. Sitting upstairs on his bed, he had his purple dress shirt rolled up to his elbows, exposing some scars. ‘You're the only person I'd ever let see these,’ he said. Oh shit, I think I kinda sorta just fell in love with him.
Things progressed quickly after that point. We both didn't ‘need’ sex, but we were quiet and completely emotionally open with one another. We functioned as best friends since the moment we met; somehow it just seemed natural to move quick.We were together 12 days when we had our first ‘experience.’ I came over to his house to enjoy the springtime weather, third time over *EVER*, mind you, and it started out as normal as one could ever expect.
We ate dinner. We made small talk with his mom and dad. We wanted to go in the hot tub downstairs, so we'd headed up and got changed. Standing in his room, he ran his soft hands up from my thighs, taking my blue floral sundress off in one swift motion, leaving me standing there in my (only) pair of thong underwear and pink frilly polka dotted bra. Long story short, we were trembling and nervous and rolling around on the floor, touching new places and letting our skin melt into one another's. We tried to have sex, just to see what it'd feel like, but our nerves got the better of us and we couldn't quite ‘get it in.’
Laying on his comforter and pillows that he carefully laid down for us, we felt like we just hit the jackpot. Two virgin kids who fumbled and tried, who were learning to discover themselves through someone else. The whole experience reminded me of the e.e.cummings poem ‘I like my body with your body’:
'i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh ... And eyes big love-crumbs,
and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new '
Time progressed and I found myself falling deeper in love with him than I could've ever imagined. We would write each other poems and talk about where we wanted to wind up in life. Our passions, our hopes, our dreams.
My 16th birthday was coming up on June 10th. He was helping me plan a sweet 16 shindig for our friends, so for the weeks leading up to it, he was over my house quite a bit. He made invitations with me, favors, the whole bit. The day we actually lost our virginities was exactly one week before I turned 16, June 3rd. My mother worked late that night, not getting home until about 6 o'clock at night, leaving Troy and I three hours to ourselves. We were given the task of ‘finishing the party favors’ by my mother in exchange for the time alone. We both knew that this precious time would be used for finally giving me the best birthday gift of all.
I won't sugar coat it for you, it did hurt. We had issues trying to get it to ‘go in’ before, a few failed attempts under our belt, but this time we figured out that slow and steady wins the race. Seeing his soft, bare body hovering over mine all wrapped up in my soft white down duvet and hot pink flannel sheets sent shivers down my spine. Suddenly it wasn't just about the sex, it wasn't about the act, it wasn't about any of that. He looked at me and kissed me soft on the lips, and like that, it was in.
Some girls complain about the first time they get penetrated, but to be honest, once he got going, it felt really natural. I jokingly called him ‘Goldilocks penis’ because he was just right. Not too big, not too small. He didn't come that first time, because after about 15 minutes or so I got too sore, so we resorted to spooning - also known as the greatest invention known to mankind.
It took us about 6 months before sex actually became extremely physically pleasurable, because emotionally it was incredible but I would still be in pain. Proud to say in about the past three to four weeks we finally mastered the art!
If you haven't guessed yet, Troy and I are still together. We are still very much in love, planning on where we want to go with our lives and still writing each other poems. Losing my virginity to him will never be a mistake, because I gave it to a boy who gave me his everything in exchange. He's one of a kind. He's mine.’
*Semiformal is a school-sponsored dance that has a 'semi-formal' dress code, meaning girls in tea-length dresses and boys in nice pants and a dress shirt, usually with sneakers and no tie.