I was, however, a terrible flirt who crushed on boys relentlessly. My first boy crush was at age three - BJ from Merry Moppets Preschool. I had that problem of always being 'one of the guys' and crushing on boys who would never look at me in such a way. If one actually did, you couldn't imagine the stage fright and heart palpitations.
My first girl crush was when I was fourteen or fifteen. I never knew her name. I felt like Charlie Brown; she was just the little red-haired girl from gym. We didn't have the same class, but our classes were at the same time. I just watched her move the whole time, and I felt pretty bad about that because at that time, you know, I thought being gay was wrong. If sex was dirty and gross, then gay sex was icky squared.
I remember deciding that all needed to change. In retrospect, I imagine it was a healthy dose of adolescence, since I was fifteen years old and had only barely managed to force myself to hold a boy's hand. I liked boys. I loved boys, and that little red haired girl was pretty foxy too, so weren't all those feelings of love supposed to be a good thing? If it doesn't feel good, surely it's not worth all the angst.
My first kiss was unromantic. I didn't even particularly care for the boy. We were good friends and he liked me. I was new in school and he was friends with my group of friends and asked me to be his girlfriend with one of those cute little pass-it-on notes. I said yes, because let's face it, that was kind of sweet. Especially since I was a freshman and he was an older boy. I gave him a peck kiss or two on the way to the buses, but I ultimately broke up with him because I realized I just didn't like him enough to start kissing him more. It certainly helped shatter that fear and make way for my first real boyfriend.
I moved again (as I always did), but my heart belonged to the boy from down the road/best friend (as it always did) whom I had left behind. With him I found a true teenage stolen-moments-of-fumbling love. I still couldn't do it, you know, but making out and beginning that sexual awakening was a truly blissful thing that I didn't want to rush anyway. And it was with a boy I loved, and who loved me back!
My first time was pretty unromantic too, but it was with someone I was truly in love with. We lost our virginity to each other, which was a romantic notion, but since we were both nervous as hell, it didn't translate into the physical very well. All the same, I thought, Wowza! That was not bad at all. I imagine that could be pretty damn spectacular if we practice a bit. And practice we did. I wish my parents had been more open with me about those things, because I was not smart about it at all. Being virgins meant we knew we were clean, so spontaneous unprotected sex actually seemed romantic in my newfound state of idiocy. I'm pretty lucky, and glad I grew up fairly quickly after that. The boy ended up being quite a disappointment, but I wasn't sorry that I'd had a passionate romance with him. He was a fine choice at the time.
I never did get to sow my wild oats, but I have a husband who has whole-heartedly been with me as I come into my own adult sexuality. We have wonderfully uninhibited conversations and a willingness to experiment for each other. I'm glad to have someone I trust without a doubt, who is willing to explore almost any darn thing I want. We're both switches, which means we'll take turns as the dominant one in our play, and I really think I have the best of all worlds with him. Even though it makes him nervous, he's entertaining the possibility of having a play friend.
I'm still quite a Christian, but I've gotten over the hang-ups that often come with certain mainstream Christian dogma. I think love is a beautiful thing that can be happily shared, if shared safely and smartly. Sex is one of the few things that humans do instinctively, and it can be a primal, fierce bonding of flesh or it can be a spiritually powered joining of souls. It's to be celebrated, not castigated! Not regulated. Sex is a private thing between the people who want to share it with each other. Sharing it with more than one other is okay if that's what you like. Doing it by yourself is okay if that's what you like! (Seriously, give it a try. I guarantee you'll like.)
The only thing that is absolutely not okay is forcing sex – or your personal beliefs about sex – onto others. But even with people who have suffered sexual violence (and if you think you don't have friends like that, you're wrong), claiming back one's sexuality is a power and healing that is unrivaled. You can take a moment, but you can't take that underlying, primal, life-giving power.
You can also hide from that kind of power all your life, as I nearly did, but it's still there, pulsing through your veins with each breath and every beat of your heart. Believe me when I say that it's so very much more fun to own it.
This is my Week 11 entry for therealljidol. If you enjoyed, please give me some love this weekend when the polls open. Thanks!