Thoughts from my study of Horror, Media, and Narrrative

Archive for September, 2008

It’s My First Time…Be Gentle

How else to start a series about sexual health than to talk about my introduction to the act itself? With any luck, my parents will never read this and will forever assume that I am a wholesome youngster who has no idea what the word “sex” even means.

Back to my junior year of high school and my first real relationship…

I had been going out with a girl for about six months and eventually things developed to the point where I felt like I was ready to have sex for the first time. I predictably stressed out over the matter and wondered if this girl was the right one to lose my virginity to but I was also dismayed to discover that the video of “Where Did I Come From?” that I had seen in third grade had been completely wrong! There was going to be a whole lot more to this thing than two bodies just rubbing up against each other (although, to be honest, at that point it would have probably been enough for me).

I hadn’t seen much porn at that point in my life and certainly wasn’t shown by anybody else how to go about my business, so how was I supposed to know what to do? Sex wasn’t something that I talked about with my family, my friends had known each other since kindergarten and we certainly did not want to hear about each other’s sexual exploit, and I was also much too embarrassed to ask for help in this situation.

Luckily, at this point, two ideas kicked in:  the confidence that my parents had instilled in me to do what I felt was right and the ability to think for myself. As much as I might have periodically hated my parents while I was growing up, I do have to say that they did teach me how to stand up against things that I didn’t believe in. Sure, I caved into peer pressure on occasion, but I also learned that doing something that I wasn’t comfortable with was never a good idea. I discovered that if I just took a second and blocked out the outside voices telling me to do, I usually ended up making the right call. These principles guided me to make what I thought were smart choices about my relationship and about sex.

A few minutes and a failed attempt or two later, it was over.

Looking back, I am fully confident that my first time did not represent my best work. Not even close. As big a deal as I made it out to be, I honestly can’t even recall what happened, when it happened, or where it happened. Well, that’s not entirely true; I do know that there was cheesy music and candles. Give me a break; I was in high school! Anyway, does that mean that the experience wasn’t great and special? Hardly. Maybe it just means that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t as monumental as I thought it was going to be.

It has been years since I’ve lost my virginity and I’ve learned a lot of things along the way. Talking to friends, experiencing media, and even making a mistake or two has shown me that while I still don’t know everything there is to know about sex, I know a whole lot. As I’ve matured, the notion of sex has gotten increasingly complicated. Now, instead of just worrying about having an unplanned pregnancy, I have to also consider dating potential, infections, performance, and even what lurking bundle of crazy I’ll release by sleeping with someone.

Although navigating through the often-perilous terrain of sex and relationships has gotten more difficult, it’s also become a lot more fun. Armed with a bit of self-confidence, a pen, some perspective, and of course a condom or two, I will share my experiences, rants, thoughts, and stories. What I might to say might be funny, poignant, or heart breaking, but it will always be genuine.