In my family, sex was something that just wasn’t discussed. I was always too young to think or know about the treasures that hid in the land of this passionate taboo. This was not to say that we didn’t talk, we could openly discuss our concerns and beliefs, we could talk about drugs and alcohol but when it came to sex, it was best unsaid. I suspect that part of the reason was that my mother fell pregnant with my older brother at the age of 17 and didn’t want us making the same mistakes. Perhaps she didn’t trust that we could make responsible informed decisions, assuming we had at least been informed, about anything. For whatever reason, I know it was to protect us in some twisted way but instead it left me with a certain nervousness and fear of sex and an even bigger fear of talking about it.
I first realised this fear when I walked into Sex Ed in primary school and on the overhead screen was a detailed and labelled diagram of both the male and female anatomy. I felt myself turn a glowing red and began sweating as if I had just done 10 laps around the athletics track. There, right in front of us, right there for everyone to see, glowing on the screen was a naked male, with a PENIS.
I felt sick and violated within the first few second of the class, but for some reason I couldn’t help but stare right up at it. This was indeed noticed by the whole class and I was teased for months about how the boys should be careful when changing for P.E because I may be around the corner staring at their young and unimpressive members. Sex Ed was hell! HELL! And totally not what I had expected, although the only idea of sex I had was from that time my brother and I snuck into the living room to peek over the couch behind my parents heads, in order to catch a glimpse of Fatal Attraction, which was “strictly not for kids”. I thought we would see blood and guts but instead I saw it for the first time, SEX, and it didn’t look that bad, in fact I was quite intrigued by all the naked flesh and heavy breathing. It looked passionate and romantic not as horrifying and utterly gross as our Guidance Councillor had explained in detail, in retrospect maybe that was her point.
After my explicit encounter with the overhead penis I tried to keep my distance from boys. Of course the interest was still there but I was afraid that soon enough they would want to have sex, and that would mean a second encounter. I was of course also burdened by my mother who had put the fear of God into me about falling pregnant, after I came home and told her about our interesting lesson at school that day. Once again our family returned to the no sex and no sex-talk policy until my interest in sex was revived after I left home for university around the age of 18. I vowed that I would wait for love so that I could enjoy the celebration of giving my body to someone I cared deeply about.
That time came earlier than expected, I had never planned on waiting for marriage, but I did want to be in love and at the time I thought that I had found that special love, one which was worthy of the golden ceremony. He was very kind and sweet and we had been dating for nearly a year. He was my first serious boyfriend and what made him even more delightful was that he was also a virgin. We had discussed sex, and came close to going that far a few times, but we were both just too nervous. I wanted my first time to be perfect like a scene from a movie, worthy of an Oscar for its intense passion. Sadly what we want and what we get can sometimes be miles apart. Our first mistake was that we were both too drunk to even stand, secondly, he must have seriously underestimated his size because the condoms he bought were too small and after about 30 minutes of struggling he finally got it on. At this point I was half passed out and his poor penis looked like it was choking to death. We went at it anyway, for about 5 or 10 minutes until I couldn’t handle the uncomfortable poking around he was doing down there, plus all that effort and flapping around made us both feel quite ill. And that was that. He still rolled over and asked “Did you cum babe?”
Like many women, my first experience was nothing to write home about, in fact I don’t think it could ever have been. I had such high expectations of the act that I don’t think any man would have been able to match up to it. So what if my first time wasn’t perfect, because neither was my second or third, it was still uncomfortable, and we were both still shaky from the first disaster!
In fact it never really got any better for me, I mean the pain went away and it wasn’t always as awkward as the first few times, but it just wasn’t doing it for me, I was still awaiting this magical thing called an orgasm. And of course as soon as SEX got involved, fore-play went out the window. I began making excuses not to sleep with him because I couldn’t even stomach the idea anymore. It was like I instantly fell out of love with him the moment we hit home base.
Inevitably, we broke up shortly after that and I found myself struggling to maintain relationships with men. This confused me for some time; I was beginning to feel really out of place in my own skin. It didn’t take long for until I had to come to grips with the fact that I was finding myself becoming more and more attracted to women. I mean, in high school I had a little crush on a friend, but I always thought that was just a weird effect of puberty, plus I had boyfriends up until this point. Suddenly I was dealing with a complete life change, the realisation that I could seriously be gay came out of nowhere. I hadn’t woken up that morning wondering to myself if I was gay or not, It didn’t even cross my mind, until I opened my mind up to it.
It was a beautiful day and I had made plans to meet some friends at a local bar. We sat on the balcony to enjoy the marvellous sun, where I noticed two girls to the left of us. They were leaning over the railing bathing in the warm rays, giggling about something, and I found myself checking out their bums in their tight little shorts, when they turned to face me and caught me staring. Suddenly I felt like I was back in that Sex Ed class, I couldn’t help staring, they were both so gorgeous, glowing in the sun, like the glowing penis on the screen. It was like someone suddenly switched the lights on.
My eyes kept drifting towards them and meeting the eyes of the blonde girl on the right, this happened 3 or 4 times before I really started burning up. I have never felt so restless and anxious as I did that moment, I felt glued to my seat, making eyes at a pretty girl who was making eyes back at me. I imagined myself being part of a horror film where the victim looks down at their stomach and sees movement and then the next thing a creature breaks out. Well I was looking down at my stomach waiting for the lesbian to crawl out. I wanted to scream, “what’s happening to me?!”, but I didn’t because she was walking towards us. Apparently Miss Gorgeous knew people at our table, and we were introduced but I didn’t get her name, I didn’t care, we just sat silently flirting with our eyes for the rest of the afternoon.
A few months later we bumped into each other and made plans to meet for a drink. The night we met for that drink we ended up kissing, and a week later we were dating. It was really sudden, I went from straight to gay in a matter of a week, but it felt more right than anything else in my life at the time. Obviously I saw it coming but I didn’t want to worry about the emotional and mental issues that were banging on the wall of my consciousness, I just wanted to be free and be loved for a little while. It started out exciting and revitalising for me, I felt young and reckless, and ready to conquer the world but it wasn’t long before I started having anxiety about having sex again. As a new lesbo I was technically a virgin and that meant that it would be another dreaded first time for me, and lets be honest I was feeling a little rusty. So I worked myself up once again, letting my expectations roll away with me, burning up and sweating like a racehorse! We didn’t really plan anything or even talk about it, it just happened one night, and it felt right.
I at first thought to myself, as it was about to happen, that I should have maybe put some more thought into it, or done some research or something. I mean, how do two girls have sex? Technically, biologically, mechanically or however you look at it, two girls cant have sex. I felt out of my league, like I was a 14year old boy with an older woman, fumbling around her body as if this was the first pair of breasts I had seen.
I began freaking out inside, thinking, “I have my own breasts why are hers so scary”, not that they looked scary, they were great breasts, I just didn’t know what to do with them. The only way I knew how to feel breasts, was feeling for lumps, and that’s not a very sexy or loving procedure.
The stress was obviously showing on my face because she just burst out laughing, and then I couldn’t help laughing at myself either. In that moment all the pressure was relieved and I discovered how wonderful it was to laugh with my new partner while exploring the wonders of our bodies intertwined. For the first time in my sexual history I had a blast, not only because this was the first time I didn’t have to fake an orgasm, but because I felt damn good naked, I didn’t worry about the flab on my ass or the cellulite and stretch marks on my thighs, I felt beautiful and confident, because I knew that she had her own cellulite and stretch marks to worry about, and she understood. It was my very first time with a woman and I had a blast it was the first time I actually enjoyed sex, it was better than I could have imagined.
Today I can still look at a man and find him attractive but it’s not sexual. I’m not concerned with their prodding and poking “members”; they’re too prominent and seek far too much attention. Maybe it was the Sex Ed trauma or the lack of sex talk in my household that has dissolved my interest in men. Perhaps it was just never meant to be, because even when I thought I was interested, I only ever enjoyed the foreplay part of sex with men anyway, and two women having sex is basically a whole lot of fore-play, add a toy here and there and presto, you’ve got lesbian sex. I joke about these things but its not just about pleasurable sex with women, it’s about what was missing for me when I was having sex with men.
I prefer a woman’s compassion, tenderness and understanding and the courage to be completely naked with another person inside and out and still feel beautiful in their eyes, but for the most part I just prefer the gentle touch of a woman.