sex, love, and relationships for those of us who don't quite follow the rules

The First

When it comes to sex, I showed up really late to the party. All you 20-year-old, 24-year-old virgins out there feeling like you’re the only one, take heart: I was 28 when I first had sex, and that’s “sex under anybody’s definition,” not just “cock in cunt” sex. I grew up in a religiously conservative community, and I did such a good job of repressing my sex drive that it took a good three years after leaving that community for me to get out and get myself laid.

I wouldn’t recommend waiting until your late 20s to anybody, but there are certain advantages. I come to the sexual arena remarkably free of baggage or bad mental habits. I got to process my school-age insecurities independently of sexual entanglements. Because I also avoided the whole sexually-active culture as much as possible (no erotica, no sex books, no locker-room conversations), I stayed free from some of the ugly, misogynistic and misandristic ideas that breed in that culture, until I was old enough to recognize them for what they are.

There are disadvantages too. The kind of repression that lets you be celibate for fifteen years can’t be shaken off overnight. And I can’t help but feel that being a clumsy, inexperienced 28-year-old is a lot less cute than being a clumsy, inexperienced 18-year-old. And celibacy comes with its own bad mental habits: the most annoying one, for me, being the notion that sex is a game other people play. It’s been a few months since I first had sex (we’ll talk later about how passionately I hate words like “virginity” and “deflower”), and I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that I’m in the game now. I’m still hanging back, trying frantically to comprehend the rules, figure out how to do it right, not just in bed but in the whole ritual of flirtation and courting and aftermath. My default response to any new situation or experience is to hover in the shadows and watch until I can fake familiarity — but in this case, as with most physical activities, the only way to learn is by doing. So I’m coming to terms with that.

No amount of “the only way to learn is by doing” wisdom will stop me from prolific verbal analysis of my thoughts, my experiences, things, I read, etcetera, etcetera. And why should it? So this blog is here to give me a place to analyze and explore, in public, so I can stop pestering my long-suffering best friend with late-night text messages about the new realization I had. Some thoughts need to be shared, and responded to. I hope you’ll respond, and I know my long-suffering best friend does too. Thanks for dropping by.

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