Cherry Popping

Okay so, previously on this blog I’ve talked a lot about bad dates. And some good dates. And dating strategies. Mostly that’s what I write about.

Stuff is about to get more explicit, though, so get ready for some talk about sex and bodies.

Are you ready?

I was at a friend’s party last weekend, and the discussion took a turn towards periods. My friend mentioned that she hates wearing tampons, the she finds them uncomfortable. As she was saying this, I realized that I also used to feel this way, and I said so. “Oh yeah? What changed, then?” she asked. I thought about it for a minute and then realized the answer.

The answer is that I must have had one motherfucker of a hymen.

You don’t hear much talk of hymens, really. They aren’t that important anymore, not since the days when people cared whether women were virgins (ugh). That’s really the main association people have with hymens as far as I can tell. Which is kind of inaccurate, it turns out. Some women are just born without them, or they break at a very young age when playing on jungle gyms, etc.

And then there are women like me. I don’t actually know for sure what happened but in retrospect I think I can postulate a theory, a theory that involves me having a really persistent hymen.

Sex with the first few partners was not easy in that department, and I thought for a while it was somehow psychological, or something? The first time I had sex there was bleeding – kind of a lot, actually, and it freaked me the fuck out. After that I had plenty of sex but intercourse was not huge on the menu because it was just difficult and uncomfortable and it happened but just not that often.

But this got annoying, because it just started stressing me out that I didn’t understand what the deal was, and I was annoyed at myself because I really thought it was a psychological block I had. So anyway during a spate of a lot of dating in NYC I kind of geared myself up to just kind of go for it.

In the spring of 2011, I dated two guys – the first was John. (I honestly don’t really remember that much about John, and I’m using his name here because it’s so common and he will never ever read this blog and I have literally no idea what his last name even is, so.) John and I went on exactly two dates. I will maybe tell the story of our dates in another post because it involves pulling in a bunch of other background stuff that I don’t want to get into here. The point is that John had a small-ish penis and I was like, oh good this is perfect, I’m just going for this. We had sex and it was entirely lacklustre but nothing bad happened and there was no bleeding and I was so relieved and happy. I didn’t care that the sex was bad. I will always be grateful to John for helping me get my intercourse confidence back.

A few weeks later I met another guy – let’s call him A. A and I also went on exactly two dates, and at the end of the second date, we went back to his place. We started having sex, and it was going pretty well actually until we both noticed that there was blood just… everywhere. He asked me if I was okay, and I said yes, because I was. I wasn’t in pain, I hadn’t felt any pain, I had no idea what had happened. It was definitely not when I was supposed to get my period, so it wasn’t as though the movement had instigated that, so I was confused and kind of worried, because that amount of blood is not a good sign especially if you cannot think of a reason for it.

So anyway I had a shower and he had a shower and then the mood was kind of ruined. And part of my brain was trying to think of what the fuck had happened and as we were lying there, he started laughing and I was like, what? And he was like: ‘ohhhhhhh you know. Special moments.’ And he laughed again.

And suddenly, suddenly I realized that this man, this man who was something like, I don’t even know, something like the NINTH person I’d slept with, suddenly he was under the very distinct impression that I’d just lost my virginity to him. And I was like ‘uhhhhh’ but there was literally nothing I could think to say at that point to disabuse him of that belief, because I still had no idea what had happened. And it looked kind of a lot like I had just lost my virginity (or whatever, I mean, honestly virginity is not even a real thing but that’s the topic of another post or dissertation or something).

He wouldn’t see me again after that, probably because he thought I was going to imprint on him like a baby duckling? Like, p.s. that is not a thing, losing your virginity to someone is not a recipe for biological and emotional attachment, and penises are not magic wands that cast magic love spells on women. That’s not how this works.

I didn’t figure out what must have happened until later that summer, when suddenly tampons fit much easier and I started dating another guy and suddenly sex was just not a problem at all and there was zero bleeding. I heard subsequently that people have had to have procedures done to get their hymen broken, and that just sounds really awful and painful.

And so I wasn’t angry that he wouldn’t see me again, because I will always be grateful for this guy’s valuable contribution to my sex life, grateful for the fact that he literally was the one who finally popped my very definitely non-virgin cherry.