I was twenty when my boyfriend and I finally decided to sleep with each other. He was finishing his final year of college and would be leaving the city soon to look for jobs, and we both felt that before we undertook the pain of long distance commitment, we should at the very least make the most of our physical proximity. That is, have sex.
We were both virgins and not all that confident about how exactly to go about it. So we did our research, looked stuff up on the Internet, even spoke to a couple of our sexually active friends. Armed with these little nuggets of information and a pack of condoms, we got into bed.
We’d seen each other naked before, of course - we’d been dating for a full two years by now. So there wasn’t a lot of embarrassment as we stripped our clothes off. What we both felt was a great degree of nervousness as well as excitement. Little did we know that the excitement would fizzle out in minutes.
We made out, and it was great. And finally he was ready, condom on, my legs spread eagerly - we’d waited a long time for this. But the moment he started to enter me, I howled in pain. Not only was it a lot more uncomfortable than what I’d been led to expect, but also as soon as the condom came into contact with my vagina, all the lubrication of arousal stopped and I dried up completely. We took a break and decided to try again in a bit.
People had told us that the best way to go about it was to just get the first time over with - so that we could move on to the second and third and nth time, which would be far better. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid, they’d said - the pain would stop the moment it was over. And so we went for it. I told him to not stop until he was fully inside. He winced at the thought of doing it through my tears, and reluctantly agreed.
Well, it was NOT like ripping off a Band-Aid. It wasn’t momentary pain, something that happened only for an instant - it was utter agony. He pulled out after a couple of minutes, when I just couldn’t stop crying, and neither did the discomfort end. It was horrible for me since I was so dry and the condom felt so alien and it was just so painful. And it was horrible for him because I was so dry and tight that he lost his arousal completely.
We sat huddled together after that, both of us sad and upset at the unpleasant turn of affairs. I was bleeding a bit, which I knew was normal; I was also very sore and aching, but I didn’t know whether that was normal or not. The next day, I still hurt like crazy, so he told me that he was taking me to a gynaecologist. We looked up a clinic on the Internet and made an appointment.
The session with the doctor was yet another nightmare. Instead of just offering me treatment, the gynaecologist actually lectured me about my morals and values after asking my boyfriend to leave the room. My ears burnt and my eyes filled with tears, but I was in so much pain that I kept my mouth shut. Eventually, she prescribed a vaginal hygiene wash to help avert infection and an analgesic pill to help with the pain. As soon as I had the prescription in my hand, I practically fled the clinic, asking my boyfriend through my tears to pay the bill.
It was a good three days later that I felt perfectly fine. And those three days made for the worst time our relationship had ever gone through. I knew that I’d recover, but my boyfriend was upset because he kept thinking that he’d done something really wrong and it was all his fault. Plus it didn’t help that the act we’d thought would cement our love turned out to be such a disaster.
We got over it eventually. I confided in my married cousin, who took me with her to a licensed sex counsellor. We pretended that I was about to get married and was therefore seeking information to make my “suhaag raat” a pleasant one. It was there that I learnt about lubricants and that sometimes women had bad reactions to the latex that condoms are made out of.
We got into bed again a month later, armed with a little bit more knowledge and a bottle of lubricant that we planned to use generously. And guess what? It wasn’t horrible at all. It was nice and warm and what we’d hoped our first time would be… And it made us fall a little bit more in love with each other. :-)