This post was written in answer to today’s Daily Post prompt, to create a memoir that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
After high school, I decided it was time to lose my virginity. But there was a problem – I wanted my first time to be special, and not embarrassing, as I’d heard the case could be. Choosing the right man was a problem, and in the end, I still didn’t get it right.
During my freshman year of college, I met a college junior who was seven years my senior (he had been in the armed forces, and was in school under the G.I. Bill, which pays for American servicemen & women to get their college degrees). Everything is blurry about how we met, honestly. Forgetting must be a safety mechanism in my mind, but I think that I might have met him playing pool at The Boot, a little bar that’s basically on the Tulane campus. Girls and guys used to head there right after classes on Friday afternoon for 3-for-1 Happy Hour, and you could get in at 18 (though you weren’t supposed to drink).
Honestly, the entire beginning of our relationship – we dated for most of a school year – kind of eludes me. I also don’t remember there being anything “special” about that first time, except that he kind of chuckled after it was over and there was blood on the sheets. Just because he was older and experienced didn’t make him any more of a gentleman, I discovered then.
Keeping my status as a non-virgin a secret was an interesting side-effect of the situation. Like many things about my life – tattoos, drinking, and other experimentation – sex was not something that I could readily speak with my parents about. My life effectively became my own when I had big secrets that I couldn’t share with my parents, and this was probably the biggest of those secrets.
Never did I expect the relationship with my first “serious” boyfriend to go the way it did; we broke up after he accused me of cheating on him over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. Of course, that was untrue, and as I later learned, most likely his favorite technique to end relationships. Prior to the official end, I had gone on to find out more about what it really meant to be sexually active, including an introduction to health problems, suspicious behavior, and genuinely piggish behavior – I had always heard that once a man got what he wanted out of you, his tune would change, but this was my unfortunate introduction to that sad sometimes-truth.
Quite the opposite of what you might expect from this story, I went on to have fulfilling, loving relationships with people who actually cared for – and about – me. Respecting their privacy (and my own, to a point) is important here, so I won’t go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that my education was pretty thorough, and today I feel good about my experiences in youth. Thankfully, I wasn’t ever too crazy or irresponsible (although obviously your opinion might differ depending on your view of sexual activity) and I always insisted that every partner get tested at the health clinic with me at the beginning of a relationship.
Unfortunately, I made the wrong choice and selected the wrong man for the beginning of a journey that should have been bright and good from the start. Very luckily for me, that first foray didn’t make me feel bad about myself or set me on a course to look for more guys to treat me badly – instead, it made me wise to some of the tricks that might be pulled and opinions that might be held. When I met The Man, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot in coming so far – from the first guy who just wanted to collect a “prize,” all the way to a guy who’d do literally anything it took to make me happy and safe. “X marks the spot,” I thought.
Yet if I could go back, would my choice be different? Zeroes will be zeroes, but virgins still have to be deflowered sometime.