What's on my mind.

27 March 2007

Personal Question from the Weekend

This was inspired by something I read this weekend, but it needed its own entry so it didn’t make Odds and Ends. I’m writing this because my experience was very different than the one in a blog entry (by Honu-girl) I ran across about the following question (from Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman):

Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will reexperience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you’ve learned from having lived your life previously. Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?

First off, I had pretty much the opposite an experience of Honu-girl when losing my virginity. My boyfriend and I had been dating for several years and were planning on getting married and both ready and willing that night. Very early in our relationship, I had been the one more ready for “make out” activities than he. I think a lot of his hesitation was pure surprise that I, a beautiful, intelligent, and amazing girl (in his opinion, at the time), would want to do such things with him. Now I will not sit here and try to tell you that we were really virgins up until that night. We had done all kinds of fun things of the heavy petting/dry humping type, and did them as often as our long-distance relationship would allow. And yet, we didn’t really go through a sex-only stage; we always talked as much as anything else. Many of these activities would violate the spirit of abstinence pledge while not violating the letter of such a pledge.

Neither of us was ready, early in the relationship, for the emotional impact of sex and we knew it. We worked our way there together.

But the wait for penile penetration had as much to do with fear of pregnancy as anything else. A baby would start to cry in the back of my head if we got to close. One night it would have been so easy – physically that touch felt so right, emotionally too, but so wrong at the same time I just about jump out of my skin. It kind of scared me (and him) that we almost did something as stupid as unprotected sex.

See, we had both paid attention in our Biology classes when birth control was discussed. Condoms fail 15% of the time – not good enough for my life plans (or his). (They are more than 85% effective for preventing pregnancy because a woman doesn’t always get pregnant. Unprotected sex is like a 40% effective form of birth control according to the handout we got.) For me, I needed to be on the pill and was not about to talk to my doctor or mother at that point. Ironically enough, my mother assumed we needed birth control long before we actually did (and yet never asked me about it). She was so relieved when, after my first OB/GYN visit, I started the pill. Next time I visited him, we did it. I was twenty. It was exciting and I was a bit nervous but not about what we were doing, excited nervous. (Would his parents hear? Would it hurt much? ...)

Being able to talk about IT is, I think, the biggest indicator of readiness. Being OK with what you are doing to the point of being able to talk to one’s partner, one’s friends, one’s parents (maybe not in detail) about sex is important to me. If one can’t get beyond “I want to have sex with you” to more detailed discussions about what one likes and doesn’t like, birth control, etc. than I’m not sure that person is ready, either in general or in that relationship.

To make a long story short – There are a lot of other things I would do differently but I think I’d lose my viginity at about the same, assuming everything else was th same. Maybe for spite not actually give IT up - a little proactive revenge. Realistically, maybe, a little earlier by a year, year and a half, mostly because of all the other things I would have done differently.

No comments: