I actually had quite an unconventional first time for a lot of reasons. After it happened, I never actually thought about it too much. It wasn’t the significant experience that I thought it would be, rather just quite a natural thing to happen to me. Here is a list of things that would have been helpful to know before I had my first sexual encounter. But I want to make it clear that these are not regrets that I have because I actually really don’t believe in ever having regrets.
It hurts. I expected it to hurt. I thought I was prepared for it to hurt. I was not! I don’t think I ever really could have prepared for the pain I’d feel both during and after the experience. It probably wouldn’t have helped me very much to have been aware of what was to come, in fact it probably would have scared me a lot. But it does get easier over time (thank god!)
It’s nothing like TV or porn. They make it look so easy don’t they? They never once fumble or slip or laugh (I may or may not have a habit of nervously giggling in the bedroom). It was somewhat surprising for me to discover that I wasn’t quite as graceful in the sheets as I am in the streets. But without getting too graphic, I think I’m a quick learner.
It’s not as black and white as it seems. I always pictured it to be a simple process. You sit together. You kiss. You both agree to have sex and you move to a bed so you can do so. You use protection. You do it. It’s over. Sounds simple yes? I didn’t really imagine my first time in any other way.
But in the moment I wasn’t the sensible person that I thought I’d be. In fact, I was so overcome by everything that was going on that it didn’t even occur to me that we should be using protection until it was over. I actually blame him for that one. He knew that I was inexperienced and he really dropped the ball. Luckily nothing bad ever came of it but I feel frightened when I imagine the possibilities.
You won’t feel how you expect afterwards. Even though I had read a lot about casual arrangements and I recognised that sex didn’t always have to mean something, I never imagined I was the type who would be able to have casual sex. I imagined that my first time would leave me feeling somewhat vulnerable and needy. But surprisingly I didn’t actually feel anything significant afterwards. In fact I was the one who avoided his calls. Not for any particular reason that I can put my finger on. I think I just genuinely wasn’t interested in seeing him again. Before it happened, I never would have guessed that would be how it would go.
No matter how much you prepare, it’s still a first. I’m a perfectionist. I like to know how to do things and it annoys me when I don’t. I thought I was prepared. I thought I knew enough about sex and how it works to make it seem like I’d done it before. But that was ridiculous. You can’t know how to do something you’ve never done before and there’s nothing wrong with being a rookie. Thankfully he was extremely patient with me which helped to relax a lot.
Consent really is important. As I’ve stated, he was a lot more experienced than I was and he knew that. I’m not implying anything, but he should have been certain that I was giving consent to what we were engaging in (which I definitely would have). I know there are many people who would deny the importance of consent but after experiencing the sensation of being overcome that I described, I could definitely see where lines could be blurred around consent. I’m lucky that I didn’t experience and emotional discomfort after the experience but for all he knew, the possibility of me feeling taken advantage of was there.
Sex is a natural part of life, hence my decision to write about it. The biggest thing that my first time thought me was that there is no shame in both engaging in and enjoying having sex. And as long as you’re both happy and safe about it, sex is a very enjoyable part of being alive.
Read how I dealt with getting stood up here.
Listen to this episode of Lipstick Stains about male rape: