My “Bad First Time”: How I Learned To Love My Sexuality

Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of my own sexual experiences. If reading about my sex life might be TMI for you, then you’ll want to skip this post.

How I lost my virginity–in the heteronormative, genital intercourse sense–was more of a process than a discrete event. I want to tell this story because this experience had a major impact on the person who I grew into.

So: Here I am, a girl of about 16.  I’ve improvised my own sex toys and read anything I can find that relates to sex, but that’s about the extent of it.

My first partnered sexual experiences happen with a person we’ll call B, my first high school boyfriend.   He has a reputation as the smartest guy in our class, the way that I’m supposedly the smartest girl.  B leaves me a note tucked inside a Dragonlance book he’s loaned me, confessing that he has a crush on me.  I don’t feel that attracted to him…but as an unpopular nerd, I’m desperate for a boyfriend.  Besides, our classmates have been saying the two of us geeks are meant to be together. So I agree to go out with him.

Keep in mind that at this time, I am still very Christian. I have been raised as a conservative Lutheran, and I go to Sunday School and church service with my family every week.  I believe with all my heart that I should not have sex until marriage.

B is the first guy that I’ve ever made out with.  We’re never allowed to be in a bedroom together with the door completely closed, but, since our parents trust us, we can work around it.  We end up fooling around in his rec room downstairs, and I am constantly worried that someone is going to walk in on us.  I feel tinges of fear and shame, but everything feels so good.

The more things I try, and the more things that feel good, the more my definition of what counts as sex starts to change.  So at first, I’m pretty sure that we’re not supposed to touch each other’s genitals at all.  But hand jobs feel pretty good…and things go further from there.  After a while I  decide that as long as his penis does not enter my vagina, I am still a virgin.  And finally, it’s, “It doesn’t count as sex as long as he doesn’t ejaculate inside me.”

And then one night B calls me and tells me that when we were playing around the night before, he had come inside me.

I’m stunned.

I can’t possibly stretch my definition any farther: I am definitely not a virgin anymore.

The next two weeks are the most miserable two weeks of my entire life. I am crushed with guilt and paralyzed with fear. Here I am, valedictorian of my class, a good girl. I can’t imagine being pregnant. We haven’t been using birth control because a) my Lutheran church doesn’t approve of giving unmarried people access to birth control, and b) at least in my mind, we weren’t actually having sex.

B tries to console me by saying that statistically speaking, there’s probably only a 1% chance I am pregnant.  It doesn’t help.  I am now impure. My virginity is gone; I have disobeyed my family and God.  I will have to keep listening to my Sunday School teachers and pastors praising abstinence, feeling secretly ashamed at what I’ve done.  At the end of those two weeks, my period finally arrives, and I am almost sick with relief.

Later that year, I leave Christianity behind me.  I vow that when I’m in college and out of my parents’ reach, I will get on birth control, find someone who I can trust, and have sex that I can enjoy.  I want to have sex without fear, guilt, or shame.

Fortunately, I can say that I did eventually have many more positive experiences with my sexuality.  Contrasting those good experiences with my early ones has lead me to hate the way my culture fetishizes virginity (particularly with respect to heterosexual genital penetrative intercourse).  I absolutely cannot stand how much value is placed on that particular experience: who is a virgin, who’s slept with a virgin, when and how you’re supposed to lose your virginity, and more.  There’s so much hype placed on having a “perfect” first time…but it takes a while to learn what kind of sex you want and how to have it.  It’s unreasonable to expect sex without glitches–and in the end, sex can be awkward and funny and messy and fun all at once.

If you’re interested in having a particular sexual experience, your first time doing it will be exactly that: the first, just one in a set of potentially many experiences over a lifetime.  And if there’s a particular experience you’re not interested in trying for whatever reason–that’s fine, too.

That said, I won’t say that a first time has absolutely no value.  I would never want anyone else to have an experience like mine.  It matters to me that people be able to have the kinds of experiences they want, on their own terms (with informed consent from everyone involved).

I think that for a long time, I was hoping I would forget everything that happened with B and everything that I put myself through.  Part of me still regrets that I ever dated B, but now I acknowledge that the process of losing my virginity helped shape who I’ve become. I’m a person who cherishes my sexuality and my desire to explore it as integral parts of who I am.


My “Bad First Time”: How I Learned To Love My Sexuality — 14 Comments

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  3. I was raised and homeschooled in a very conservative religious household and was not even allowed to date, even when I went to college, and so I did not even kiss my first girl until I was 23. I am actually kind of glad, as I avoided a lot of the problems of teen sex, and when I finally did start to have sex I was more mature and things went pretty well. But I also feel I missed out on a lot of experiences and now I feel like I almost have to make up for missed opportunities and I have ended up doing lots of things I never would have thought to do growing up. Like going to sex clubs and having 3-ways and such. Good to hear I am not alone on the repressed sexuality front.

    • Thanks for writing — it means a lot to hear from someone else who’s had a similar experience. And I’m glad you’ve been able to try out more things and take control over your own sexuality!

  4. I was born and raised in Europe, more exactly in the former GDR, so a somewhat atheistic society, by a family in which one of two works in the medical sector. So anything about biological education was never a big deal, when I went on a trip my father gave me always some condoms on the way,’just in case’. Until I became older and visited other countries I never thought that people put on clothes in the sauna. Sure, it is very subjective, but when I read your text I was shocked. Yes, in theory I am absolute aware that there are people out there who have a less relaxed relation to their bodies and the stuff someone can do with its body. But when it becomes that exactly, I am horrified. It makes me to think more about the privilege of free access to sexual education.
    I found this side by a link to the… hammer. Cool project, it gave me some inspiration for the plug I am working on.

    • Thanks for taking the time to write and share your experience! Reading your comment reminds me to be thankful that at least not all parts of the world are like the place where I grew up.

      Good luck with your toymaking! I’ll be curious to see the result. :)

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  6. good of you to share this. I grew up in a similar situation – Mormon family – and lemme tell you, parents can really screw with their kids’ heads. Sometimes it takes a long time to get over it, but you took a very healthy approach once you realized sexuality isn’t shameful. Hope others out there can do the same ;)

    • Thank you! Yeah…that’s very true. At least I’m happy that there are some awesome people like Airial Clark who are trying to offer parents more sex-positive approaches.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It really means a lot to me to hear that there are other folks who have gone through this.

  7. The first time I ever had sex was with my boyfriend of three months, he did not know I was a virgin. I loved him so much and I was so excited to make love to him. It was a week before my 21st birthday, we were in my parents basement in one of the extra bedrooms. It hurt a little, but I was not thinking about the pain I was thinking about how much love I had for him. It lasted for about 20 mins, the as soon as he came, he got right up and told me to put my clothes on in a panic. He threw my clothes at me, I got dressed, he barely said two words to me and I asked him to at least stay for 10 minutes, he said that he had to go home. It was ten-thirty at night I was heart broken because we had just shared a very personal intimate expression of love and he was so quick to leave. I though I had done something wrong. I thought I did not please him sexually. He called me as he was driving home and I tried to talk to him about what happened. He wanted to talk about how his mom took an old memory card from his phone and how he was worried that she was going to think the girl in the pictures was his current girlfriend. It made me so upset that all he could think about was himself. He was so selfish our entire relationship, it lasted a year, he never wanted to please me sexually, I always wanted to make him feel good sexually because he expressed bad sexual experiences in previous relationships. I got pregnant and he told me that he did not want my child. He said he could not be a father to my baby. He asked me if I cheated on him which I did not. I lost my baby even though it was by him it was a part of me too. I will be more aware to be careful when choosing a man.

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