By Anonymous D
That was me, minus the awkwardness. My new spouse had been my first boyfriend and was now my first lover.
I met my boyfriend at 16 when he was 19. He was exciting, sweet, and experienced in relationships. I was naive in some ways and mature for my age in others. He was my first serious boyfriend and second kiss. He taught me many things with his tender and patient manner. When we first started making out and exploring each other, I had a hard time not going all the way.
I came from a culture in which waiting until after marriage for sex was common. As a young woman, I was taught that if I did anything with a boy or man before marriage, I would lose my virtue with a “price [that] is far above rubies.” In essence, my eternal salvation (as my church taught it) was at stake. But when I started messing around with my boyfriend, not only did it feel good, it felt right.
At the same time, I felt conflicted and guilty. I had been taught that if I ever crossed The Line, a line that was never fully defined in the discussions on chastity in my teenage years, I would feel dark and dirty. But I was madly in love with my boyfriend. I knew (and know) he was a unique person — the one I wanted to give myself to, fully.
After an intense and intimate 4-year relationship, though without intercourse, my boyfriend proposed and a few short weeks later, we were married.
I remember my mother sat me down the week before my wedding. She warned me that the wedding night would probably not be as I expected; she warned of awkwardness and potential pain. Thankfully, her warnings were unnecessary. Though it was painful at first, my husband was gentle. Throughout our honeymoon, sex was pleasurable, intense, and fun. The whole experience completely surpassed my expectations. Overall, it was freeing. I discovered that my partner and I speak the same sexual language and that I really like sex.
As I look back, I don’t regret waiting until after marriage to have sex with my husband. It worked for us and our sex life continues to be immensely fulfilling. The doubt that occasionally surfaces concerns the expectations I bring into the marriage. Since I had no sexual experience other than my spouse (he did), I have nothing to which I can compare what we currently have. I feel that he and I must consistently perform exceptionally well to avoid boredom in the bedroom.
My husband and I agreed to a sexually monogamous relationship, an agreement I am fully committed to. But I will admit to feeling like I missed out on something by not having sexual experiences with other people. It’s as if I must compete with all these imaginary partners to ensure that my sexual life is both fulfilling and exciting, and so I don’t feel tempted to go outside the marriage.
And, again, because I don’t have sexual experience, I have no idea if this is normal or not normal.
As I think about how I teach my children about sex – or will teach them as they get older – I know that I will urge them to do things differently than how I did. I want them to feel comfortable exploring their sexuality, without guilt, in ways they feel are right for them.
© Anonymous D
This is part 11 in a series on first sexual experiences.
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