My first time was quite similar to every bad test I’ve taken at Cornell. It seemed to stretch on forever, I sweat a lot, and I got French fries from Louie’s when I finished (or in this case, didn’t).
It happened the Saturday of Labor Day weekend my freshman year. I already felt behind, because it seemed like everyone I knew had already lost it in high school. It may as well have been written in everyone’s Cornell freshman roommate search post, right before they talk about the gym and right after they say how much they love Netflix.
Like almost all Cornell students, there’s nothing I hate more than being behind the curve. The need to “succeed” put me in a certain mindset, one in which anyone willing and able would do.
I found him at a party. The house was hot; I don’t know if I can accurately describe it, but being there felt like I was paying for all the sins I’d committed in my first three weeks at Cornell. This was not my first encounter with Dan. We had made out at a party the weekend before, but I was too far gone to take it any further than that. Dan was built like a refrigerator. Although not particularly jacked, he was more muscular than not. He was relatively attractive but not really my type.
We did not chat long before we started making out pressed up against a sticky countertop. As I said, this place hot, and I wanted to get out as quickly as possible. Something worth mentioning about Dan was that he was a junior. He lived in a fraternity on North but even when we left Collegetown and headed in that direction, I knew the only place we could end up was my dorm-room twin bed. He tried to drag me to his house, but I knew I would get lost trying to make it back to my room as soon as we were done. Eventually he conceded.
My room was pleasantly dark, dark enough to hide most parts of my body that I wasn’t comfortable sharing yet. It was also almost as hot as the house we had been dying to leave. This led to more sweat for people who thought they’d been exorcised of all of it in collegetown.
I won’t go into the gorey details except to say two things: Dan did not know how to support his body weight and the amount of sweat was overwhelming. Beyond that, it was about as bad as a first time with a stranger can be expected. I kicked him out as quickly as possible but not before I was lured into giving him my number. I said I would walk him out but that was to mask the fact that I was going to leave and go to Louie’s anyways.
The fries were the best part of my evening. I spilled a little ketchup on my shirt and could never get the stain out. I still have it.
I’ve been with many people since. Dan wasn’t a bad guy, just not the one for me. I have had worse experiences with sex on this campus, just as I have had much better ones as well. Looking back, I sometimes do wish I had started with someone with whom I had more of a connection. Not even someone I was dating or was interested in dating but just generally a person I could have talked to a bit more. Someone with whom I would have wanted to do it again.
Dan texted me the following weekend and the weekend after. I lied and said “Sorry, I have a boyfriend. Please stop texting me.” In all honesty, I just wanted to keep my first my first. It didn’t need to be anything more than that. At the time, I believed I was prepared to be with anyone I liked and not make a fool of myself. There was still much for me to learn about sex and dating, but in my mind I had just become the class average for which we all strive.
If I could do anything different, I would do it in the winter with the windows open. But I would definitely still get the French fries.
The Uptight Tart is a student at Cornell University. Slutty Endeavors runs monthly.