From the painfully awkward day my parents and I had the “Sex Talk,” I knew exactly how I wanted to lose my virginity. It would be magnificent — a combination of all of the steamy sex scenes I had secretly watched on the 2 p.m. daytime soap operas. A warm, candle-lit room with a plush bed and silky white sheets, rose petals sprinkled around the room in a shape of a heart, and bubbly Dom Perignon awaiting my arrival. My future boyfriend would be gentle and making love would be beautiful.
Growing up with these elaborate expectations and years of my parents reinforcing their conservative point of view on my virginity, it was no surprise that I was on the verge of graduating from college and had never had sex. But, as much as I would like to place the blame solely on my prudish parents, this was my body, my choice. Truth be told, entering college, I knew I didn’t want to have sex. I wasn’t ready. I was scared — of the pain, of STDs, of a pregnancy, of my own emotions post-coitus. Opportunities to have sex popped up frequently, but I declined them because I knew I wasn’t ready.
As cliché as it sounds, this semester, I felt differently. Perhaps all of the Snapchat Cosmo articles got to me, or maybe the feminist literature I studied throughout my time at Cornell released me from the shackles of antiquated societal standards, but for the first time, when I thought of losing my virginity, I didn’t picture that lofty, Hollywood sex scene—in fact, I didn’t picture anything. And that excited me.
Being the competitive, driven, Cornellian I am, I read a vast number of articles on losing your virginity because I had to be above the mean at sex too. From the standard How-Tos to the 10 Myths, I felt like I knew all of the sexy sex tips I would need. Then, I began thinking about each step methodologically, and nothing made sense.
When exactly does the guy put the condom on? Will he need a napkin to wipe off the condom lube before we have sex? What if the condom gets stuck inside of me? Are there any weird sex noises other than the bed creaking that I should be aware of? What happens after sex — like, does he take the condom off and need another napkin? Will there be a giant puddle of blood and cum on my Egyptian cotton 1000-thread count sheets? Will I for sure get a UTI if I don’t pee immediately after sex? How soon after sex do guys get another erection and have sex again? Should we cuddle? Does he stay the night? Was I good? Was he?
These questions were all variable, dependent on with whom, when, where, and how I would lose my virginity, and even after asking my friends for the nitty-gritty, I truly just hoped he had experience and would know the ins and outs of condoms, lube and other non-sexy sex details.
And he did. There were no rose petals or French champagne waiting for me, but the room was warmly lit and I bought myself my own lavish virginity gifts beforehand: boutique Parisian perfume and designer condoms and lube. After an electric night out, we taxied to the apartment, and as he lay on the bed, our eyes connected, and the room sizzled. I undressed and slipped on top of him, my fingertips trembling as I unbuttoned and removed his clothes. Hands, lips, fingers, minutes later, his hot body was on top of mine. His biceps encircled me, and with a few swift movements, he was wrapped and ready to go. I held him away and murmured this was my first time. Taken by surprised, he confirmed that I wanted to have sex with him that night. Reaching for his lips with my own and wrapping my legs around him, I moaned yes.
Veuve Cliq-Hoe is a student at Cornell University. Sex on Thursdays appears alternate Thursdays.