Dorothy Black recalls her first time and thinks virginity is, well, so overrated. Agree with her?
It might surprise you to find out that my first sexual liaison was, in fact, not a Bohemian affair of mushrooms, wine and French music. It was not with an older Don Juan who deflowered me on satin and velvet, surrounded by candles, incense and the whispering Pacific tide. I was neither a blushing nor rebellious 16 year old, looking for the meaning of life, the universe and everything in the arms of a lover.
Nope. Not me.
I was a late bloomer, as they say. I was 19 and he was a young 20-something, a long-haired, greasy Dungeons and Dragons devotee whom I met at the Spur. For some unfathomable reason I decided he’d be it and after one night shift, smelling like barbeque sauce and stale fries, I ‘got it over with’ on his dirty sheets in the cramped room-above-the-garage he rented in the ‘burbs.
There was no lube and he didn’t know I was a virgin. Awkward. Painful. Unfortunate. No laughing matter, as my Grandpa would say.
Good thing then that I have the fighting spirit in me. The next day, armed with KY (thanks friends), I pushed the (nearly petrified) boy onto his back, got on top of him, told him to be still and had my way with him. My first orgasm with an actual penis. After a few more practise runs we had the whole sex thing down pat – missionary, cowgirl, doggy style, sideways, upways, downways…
I left, triumphant. I, conqueror of the penis and master of my virginity, now defunct.
Would I have had it any other way? I guess so. Some preparation would’ve been nice – maybe some lube, some clean sheets, some humour and some honesty wouldn’t have gone amiss. And I guess neither would moonshine and roses, a little Moët and soft-focus lighting. But the fact is, I wanted to get to the juicy stuff, to the sex scenes in my mind, and the whole hymen-breaking thing was a bothersome technicality blocking the way. So to speak.
Later, a dear-hearted soul told me, with sympathy, I shouldn’t live in regret that I didn’t save myself for my husband. I told her I was hoping my promise ring would re-virginise me in the eyes of the Lord so I could get another shot at the pop, but this time with candles and bubbly. Everyone deserves a second chance right?
See, here’s the thing. Virginity is still considered a physical and character commodity – something a woman has that men want. In sex – being the first where no man has gone before is a thrill, an honour, a sacred symbol of manhood-making. (At least on paper … oral, anal and hand jobs aren’t ‘SEX sex’ ya know). In morality – being a virgin is good in the eyes of a god, your parents, the government, your future husband. Even other women.
The only person the subject of virginity doesn’t seem to focus on is the actual woman in question and what is good and comfortable for her.
Everyone’s opinion seems to count in what is actually a very personal, very intimate decision with yourself. I mean, wait, don’t wait. Do it with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, a one night stand. Do it on a bed, the floor, in a car, or a romantic weekend away. Do it drunken, sober … do it however the fuck you want to, but whatever you do, make it your choice. Not because you’ve been guilted/pressured/scared into it. Not because you think a promise ring and an intact hymen is the sum of your self-worth. Not because abstinence programmes lean more towards fear-mongering than supporting educated choices.
Lengthy virginity-keeping for virginity’s sake does not teach you intimacy. Sex does not ‘ruin everything’. If sex had to ruin something at the start of your relationship, it means you’re better off as friends. If he leaves you after you ‘sleep with him too soon’, surely it’s not a relationship you want anyway. And contrary to medieval popular belief the breaking of a woman’s hymen is not going to bring about the end of the world as we know it. The gays will do that.