By Cuckoo Momma
“Well, this could be awkward,” I said to myself, as I received an invitation to write about my first significant sexual relationship. Awkward because my first ever sexual partner was sleeping peacefully next to me, worn out from a rigorous and beautiful lovemaking session, snuggled up against my shoulder as I was reading the email.
As much as I love this man, and I’m glad he was my first, he was not my first significant sexual relationship. He was my first kiss, my first make-out partner, the first boy to put his hand in my pants and, after a year of dating when we were 17 years old, my first lover. It was a fumbling around in the dark mess that lasted about two minutes. I felt secure in his devotion and love, but quite confused that all the hoopla was about what just happened.
He told me he cherished me, we only engaged in actual intercourse a few times, and then we broke up to go to college in separate time zones. So I guess I’m writing about my first sexual relationship after all, along with the most significant.
My first significant sexual relationship was six years later. For some reason, after my devoted boyfriend from high school, I didn’t have sex again until I was 23 years old. I didn’t feel valued and adored by a boy in college and that’s what I wanted. I think I knew the difference in having someone that wanted to make love, and someone that just wanted to have sex with me. I had boyfriends, but I never fell hard and I never let loose. I wasn’t adverse to it, it just didn’t happen.
When I was 23, I was living in Downtown Chicago and working for a company in the Merchandise Mart. My girlfriends were all sleeping around every night with men they met in bars. I had some casual experiences but didn’t like the feeling of not being valued. Then I met Dan.
Dan was 24 and worked at the Board of Trade. We attended the same business class. He was cute, he laughed at my jokes, he said all the right things, and we went to dinner after class a few times. Shortly thereafter we were sleeping together. It was awful. Seriously, the sex was awful. But I liked him so much and really, I didn’t have enough sexual experience to know the difference. I just remember thinking, “Can this really be it?”
What a colossal let down.
But Dan and I had fun. We laughed and hung out, he took me on dates, and after all of those dates, on every single occasion, the sex was awful. I would lie there frustrated and wondering what I had done wrong. In the morning he would happily cook breakfast and I would leave wearing last night’s clothes thinking that he appeared to think it was great, and so it must be. I remember deciding it must be my problem. Maybe I wasn’t orgasmic. I had never had an orgasm, even alone. I was going to be one of those women. Frigid.
I thought about Dan constantly. I wanted him to fall in love with me. Our class ended and although we still saw each other, it wasn’t as frequently and surely not an exclusive arrangement. I went out with other men too, but all I thought about was Dan. The ritual went like this: Every week or so, he would call me at about 3 in the afternoon and ask if I was free for dinner. Of course I was, because I waited for those calls. So I would meet him, we would have a great dinner, the conversation flowed, and then we would go back to his apartment and – you guessed it – have awful sex.
It was a booty call, yet not quite, because he would also call me to go to ball games with his family and friends.
This continued for at least a year. There I was, waiting for his call, jumping for my toothbrush and lipstick, and racing to meet him for dinner and bad sex. I even bought a book called, “How to Make Love to a Man” and read it cover to cover. But despite my new tricks, it didn’t make him call me any more often. I was hurt.
I wasn’t quite worthy and he felt elusive. He was almost mine. Almost within reach.
I bored my friends talking about Dan and crying into my wine glass. Eventually, my best friend at work who was older and wiser – you know, probably 27 – pointed out to me what I had missed. She said, “Girl, you are his date. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but he isn’t in love with you, although I think he likes you a lot. He may be great in bed and all, and that may be worth it to you, but I don’t think he thinks about you all the time.”
She assumed that he must have some fabulous sexual hold on me to make me so crazy about him. I said, “No. Unfortunately, it isn’t even that. I think I have a problem. Sex is no big deal to me at all.” She cackled and said that I had spent two years mooning over a lousy lay.
What an idiot I was. I had shut down nice guys and held myself apart for someone that would never be emotionally invested in me. I gave him every opportunity to fall in love, I tried to be dazzling and seductive and a good lover, and it wasn’t enough. As the light bulb went on, I felt even worse about myself.
Now, after 25 years, therapy, and a divorce under my belt, I can see that my relationship with Dan was the first – the first in my long history of falling for emotionally unavailable men. My sex life with these guys, including my ex-husband, was never satisfying for me, and I always had difficulty reaching orgasm. For me to be able to let go, I have to feel adored. I have to have the emotional connection with my partner.
Which brings me back to my first lover. Yes, that first.
A few years ago, we reconnected. Miraculously, he hadn’t changed a bit over the 30 years we were apart. He is the same loving, adoring and devoted man that he was as a boy. He still says that he cherishes me. I open myself to him and purr like a cat. I had my first, real, earth shattering orgasm with a partner when I was 47 years old. I’ve had about a billion since then.
I told him that I was writing this piece and felt awkward about it. He laughed at how gently I approached the subject. Although my first, for much of my life he wasn’t my first significant sexual relationship. But now, though I’m nearly 50 years old, he is – in every way.
© Cuckoo Momma
Cuckoo Momma blogs anonymously at This Cuckoo’s Nest where she expounds on the delights of birds nest parenting, dating after divorce, and more. A woman of wit and wisdom, in real life, she is a psychotherapist.
Part 2 in a series on first sexual experiences.
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