That much-awaited first time - it’s different for everyone, of course. For some it’s amazing, for some it’s indifferent, for some it’s actually painful. But for me? It was, I have to confess, downright hilarious.
Growing up, I’d always imagined my first time being this super special occasion with someone I was madly in love with. Luckily for me, it was - I did love him (and I’d like to believe he too loved me as much as he claimed to). What I hadn’t factored in - either as a dreamy teenager or an adult in her first serious relationship - was that one virgin sleeping with another one isn’t the most seamless event. Here’s how it actually went down…
It was by no means a “sudden” event - we’d been prepping for it for a while. He’d got the condoms, I’d read up a lot about the dos and don’ts of sex. We’d even watched some porn together to gain some insight into the logistics - illustrations and photos are just not enough to figure out all the nitty-gritties! We’d been making out every chance we could get, and had even got to the point of undressing in front of each other, and we weren’t worried about feeling shy or embarrassed. So that Saturday afternoon, when his parents were heading out of town for the weekend, seemed just the perfect occasion to go for it.
My mum knew I had a boyfriend, and she didn't mind my hanging out with him all day long. Just to be on the safe side, though, I told her we were watching back to back movies at the mall all day, so I would be incommunicado. I did NOT want a phone call from her playing kabab mein haddi. I showed up at his place at 11 a.m., nervous, excited, a whole mixed bag of emotions. His cook answered the door - oh nooo, why was she still here?! She was supposed to be off for the weekend too.
It turned out that Gita didi was only waiting for us to eat lunch. We decided to eat an early one - to hurry her out as early as possible, to be honest - and ate with silent concentration. I wanted to talk, but everything that popped into my head was about the upcoming “main event”, and I didn’t want to scandalize Gita didi. After lunch, we had to wait an annoyingly long hour while she cleaned up in the kitchen. We pretended to watch TV in the meantime, not even registering what was happening on the screen; we just sat together, fingers intertwined, shivering slightly from nervous anticipation. Finally, what felt like ages later, she left after giving him detailed instructions about how much food was in the fridge and what he could eat over the weekend.
As soon as the door shut behind her. We kissed, we laughed, we made out with an intensity we hadn’t felt before. Then we moved from the couch to the bed and undressed each other eagerly. “Let’s do this!” he said. “Yes!” I agreed. And that’s when things started to go down the route of the completely ridiculous.
The condom, while putting it on, slipped off and fell down between the bedstead and the bed. We had to shine a flashlight under the bed and locate it. Then, finally, when we did get started properly, it hurt, and I went “Ow ow ow!” Which freaked him out completely and he lost his arousal. So we had to start all over again. From scratch. And then the same thing again!
By the time we were trying it the third or fourth time, I would shriek just in anticipation of the pain - like a newbie driver honking at an empty road with no cars or passersby or traffic signals in sight - his face would go pale at the thought of hurting me and he would lose it. And I’d be completely dry and unaroused by the time he was back in the mood again. Bear in mind that this was ten years ago, before you could buy lube and stuff (or even lubricated condoms) in India - at least in my hometown. We considered using Vaseline or olive oil in lieu of actual lubricant, but we’d both read enough to know that petroleum or oil-based substances turned condoms porous, so we couldn’t go down that route. And we sat there in bed like complete idiots, so theoretically aware but so practically ignorant.
Finally, we relocated to the bathroom to use water as aid. I’d have much rather stayed in the bedroom, but given the way things were going, the last thing we wanted was for him to have to explain to his parents why the mattress was soaked with water. In the shower, of course, we couldn't figure out a comfortable position. Standing up and trying to have sex is difficult enough, given that you have taps and shower knobs poking at you at every opportunity; but if you’re doing it for the very first time ever, it’s pretty much a nightmare. Especially when both parties are rather freaked out already. (You get better at bathroom sex with time, but it takes practice - let no one tell you differently.)
He had a bright idea then. We relocated to his parents' loo and tried to use the bathtub. In theory, this should have been fine. In reality, while trying to settle myself on top of him, I managed to knock off the bar of soap from its holder and then stepped on it and fell down on top of him. And managed to hit him in his sensitive bits with my elbow in the process.
We filled the tub with warm water and sat in it for a good half hour. I cried; he stoically cupped his private parts, careful not to let me anywhere close to them. I was emotionally traumatized. He was physically injured. I couldn’t help but wonder if my mom was secretly psychic and had figured out what we were planning to do and cursed the occasion.
We went back to bed eventually. I clamped my jaw shut and covered my face with a bedsheet so he wouldn't see my “OMG, this hurts” expression. And we just. did. it. Obviously it hurt (surprise, surprise!), and I started sweating and couldn’t stay silent. He heard me whimpering and lost it again. We stopped, he got out of bed and made me tea.
Considering all that screaming and pain I’ve been describing, you’d be surprised to know that I didn't bleed. And it had hurt so much that I hadn’t actually felt anything other than pain. My lady bits felt sore and raw, but I remembered no one sharp moment of agony worse than any other which would tell me for sure my hymen had been, err, breached. I’d been an athlete in school, so I might even have broken it years ago while jumping around. And because he’d been freaked out so badly and had stopped and restarted so many times - and because it was his first time too and he had no real experience of how it was supposed to feel - he couldn’t confidently claim either that he’d managed to penetrate far enough for it to qualify as intercourse.
So the upshot of it was that, after all this drama, we couldn't even decide whether we'd actually managed to properly have sex or not! As we drank tea, we decided that we were the lamest couple in the world - we couldn’t even tell if we’d jointly lost our virginities or not.
Hours had passed and it was evening. We decided to eat something, and then he’d drop me home. Dinner was as quiet an affair as lunch had been. We picked at our food in a desultory manner - we didn’t really know what to say to each other. It wasn’t even as though we could call our friends to talk about it. They would a) laugh at us; or b) probably not even believe us. Besides, this was...personal. Even our combined failure was a private failure.
Back home, in bed, I tossed and turned restlessly. My parents had asked me about the movies I’d ostensibly watched through the day - I’d muttered about them being dreadful and ran away. I got up in the middle of the night to use the loo and discovered that I was bleeding. I immediately dialled his number.
“Listen,” I whispered, my voice echoing in the bathroom, terrified that my parents would hear me, and told him.
“So, we actually did it, huh?” he said.
“Cool! It sucked, but pretty damn cool.”
I burst into laughter.
I could hear him laugh too. He said, “Hopefully next time will be better.”