He was twenty-four, I was eighteen, a month away from my nineteenth birthday. He was experienced and I was a greenhorn, a complete noob. He was a skater, magnificent in every sense of the classification—skinny jeans, beat-up flannels and worn-out shoes. I was a girl—a virgin—utterly obsessed and on the hunt for sex.
We had met in a college algebra class my first semester of junior college. Quickly, he became Hot Math Guy (HMG), and even quicker than that was my infatuation with him: the way his dirty hair hovered above his head just so; the waving cadence of his beach-infused voice; the holes in the elbows of his flannels where they had made sweet contact with gritty street surfaces. He was a dreamboat of a skater boy and I was just a naive girl about to crossover into womanhood.
To make a long, drawn-out story short, we began hanging out the summer going into my second year of community college. After months of this mating dance, he had finally asked me to “chill” with him.
It was June 1st. The air was damp and the marine layer thick, but we were beaming with new romance. As we walked side by side up the hill to the liquor store, he grabbed my hand. I jumped a little as my heart skipped a beat or two. He had startled me; I had not expected him to hold my hand. Naively, I had thought we were only going to be friends and that I was the only one with the forbidden feelings for him. WRONG! He held my hand all the way up the hill, through the liquor store and back down, only letting go to open the front door to his house.
By the time we got back to his apartment, Guapo, his roommate, had come home and passed out on the couch with the TV blasting while the other roommate and his girlfriend had knocked out in their room. We put the sugar- and salt-loaded munchies from the liquor store away and sat on the other end of the couch. A few minutes passed by in silence as we blankly stared at the skate video playing on the TV. Then HMG got up: “I’m going to watch a movie in my room.”
“Oh, okay, I’ll just crash here if that’s okay?”
He nodded his head and walked the ten feet to his room then did an abrupt about-face, “You don’t have to watch this. You can watch a movie with me.”
Oh. I was so naive; I had no idea what HMG was suggesting. I didn’t know he wanted to “watch” a movie with me and it certainly did not cross my mind that “watching” a movie really meant not watching a movie.
He gently grabbed my hand as he led me to his room. “Sorry, my room is kind of a mess. What do you want to watch?”
We sat on his bed with our backs to the wall and flipped through his Netflix before settling on some Hey Arnold cartoons. (Raise your hand if you used to watch Hey Arnold… now raise your hand if you lost your virginity to Hey Arnold.) It started off innocently enough; there wasn’t any touching or petting, just a whole lot of awkward tension. We watched an episode and started another one when I responded to something Helga said. “Haha, what?” HMG asked me.
I turned to him to repeat myself, “I said—” Only he met my words with a kiss. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Hot Math Guy kissed me! I broke away to look him in the eyes, giggling, and then he grabbed me tighter and kissed me again. Kissing slowly turned in to us making out, which transcended me into the heavenly haze of my own fantasies. What happens now? Will we live here or move somewhere else? What will our wedding be like? Are we going to be like the trendiest couple ever? I wonder how many kids he wants? Will our kids skate too?
HMG was older and experienced, and I was young and, frankly, dumb. All of my older girlfriends at work had warned me of how attached they had gotten to their “first,” and I had waved them off like the twats that they were, continuing my long-awaited makeout session with little consideration for their words. What seemed like forever went by when HMG finally took his hand behind my head and laid me down. It was like a well-choreographed dance, and he knew all of the steps, while I hadn’t a clue which was my left and which way was my right. Making out turned into petting, which turned to the slow stripping-down of clothes. He knew exactly what he was doing, and I was gleefully allowing him to lead the way.
There I was, back to the bed and saggy breasts to the sky. Nothing but a thin thong and striped briefs kept us apart. “Hold on,” HMG said before he walked to his closet and pulled out a little box. Returning to the bed with a condom in one hand, he hooked his finger to the side of my underwear as he gracefully pulled them down, then yanked his own down without the same care. He laid back beside me as he rolled the condom on. Yes. I’m going to do this.
With his back to the bed, he turned toward me and started kissing and touching me again. This was the way that I wanted to lose my blasphemous virginity. He rolled over on top of me, framing my face with his hands, not once breaking the kiss. I could feel him; he was ready, and I was more than ready. He broke the kiss and locked eyes with me. Right before he put it in, I put my hand to his chest.
“Wait… I’m a virgin.”
D'oh! He paused for a second and searched my eyes, while his eyes darted back and forth in a mix fear and confusion.
Probably not the sexiest thing to say to someone who was about to deflower me, but HMG didn’t seem to care (I mean, he did, but he didn’t). Our sinning carried on unhitched, with some of us being more active participants than others. It didn’t seem to bother him, and it wasn’t like it was the last time we “did it.”
I will say that the girls at work were right, and I did get excruciatingly attached to HMG. Your first is and will always be the one that sticks with you—but let’s be honest: they all stick with you.
Hot Math Guy was sweet and patient with me, but there is only so much naivety a man can take. Our sex-filled relationship lasted about a month after we threw down, and I can assure you I wanted to spend every waking moment with him. I tried my hardest to not always inquire his whereabouts and doings, and I think I did kind of okay playing aloof, but when the time came that HMG began to distance himself from me, I could feel the crazy spewing out of my brain. C’est la vie. You live and you learn, and boy, did I learn a lot. Sex is a power monger, and she makes a betch feel thirsty!
Things ended with Hot Math Guy, and I was devastated but didn’t blame him for it at all. I knew that he needed a woman, not some girl who was trying to be a woman. I accepted our fate and moved on (kind of: I stalked his social media a lot). I started to work more, since it was summer; I decided to try out for our school soccer team, both to distract myself and as a means of ditching the last bit of depression that I had been fighting through since tearing my ACL in high school. Soon, I was completely healed up—and ready for a new chapter in my life.
This essay is an excerpt from Dax Marie’s forthcoming book, Conch Shell Confessionals, which comes out on Valentine’s Day. Yes, this is a book about love: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping and falling into it. And, yes, this is a book about sex: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping and falling onto… ahem… “it”. But more than anything, it’s a book about self-discovery, navigating the learning curve of adulting, and learning the kind of tough lessons that only come when you have to pick yourself off the floor, block a guy’s phone number (for the second time), and clean some curious stains off your dress. As a young woman, Dax Marie dove headfirst into love and sex, and, for better or worse, her experiences taught her that sometimes you just need to try the world on for size to really understand what it is you want and who you are.