Between Me, God and a Hawaiian Wrestler
I used to tell myself that I would wait until marriage, and even then, a part of me chuckled. I was horny as all hell before I even knew what horny meant. All I knew was that it felt good down there when I pressed against my pillows, and if I did it for long enough, it felt even better. It was a few years before having to use a tampon for the first time and discovering that I did, in fact, have a vagina (it wasn't exactly a profound moment of femininity but more like a huh, who knew? moment, like finding a hidden pocket in a jacket you've owned for years), but I didn't need the details to know that sex must have been awesome.
Thanks to hours of unsupervised television-watching and hours of heavily supervised church-going, I eventually learned two things about sex: it was a shameful sin and it made babies. Since I was too young to differentiate between sex with a man and sex with a pillow, I felt pretty guilty humping my bedding after that. Yes, I thought masturbating would knock me up and send me to hell, and yes, I still did it. Once I came to terms with basic biology, I promised to hold off on sex until I got married. After all, my body belonged to God, and it was my job to keep it pure for my future husband. My virginity was absolutely a tangible thing that mattered. Losing it would lessen my value and betray a person I had not met yet. At the least, my pledge to purity would cancel out all of that sinful pillow time.
I lasted until my 18th birthday, which I think is pretty damn good. How was I supposed to resist a Hawaiian varsity wrestler if I couldn't even resist my own hand? We teased each other for weeks, fooling around in the bushes behind the firehouse, in the boat parked in his garage and whatever dark corners we could find. His hands were bolder than mine, groping everything they could before someone inevitably tracked us down. When it came to being stuck between abstinence and hell, there were strong cases for both, but the longer we were alone together, the cozier eternal flames seemed.
One day, the house was empty, and I took that as a thumbs up from God. I laid on my back with my ass hanging off the edge of my twin mattress and my legs spread, a position I now know as The Pap Smear. He stood over the bed and slowly pushed into me, one centimeter at a time. I remember wondering how far he could go before it counted. How deep was the sinful part of my vagina? After a few inches, I decided I had to have lost my virginity by now and that I wasn't about to be damned for getting prodded like my temperature was being taken. I lured him onto the bed and hopped on. I rocked my hips back and forth until it felt good enough to burn in hell for. It was exactly like humping my pillow, if I ignored the penis lodged inside of me,
There was no blood, no popping, no stinging. I didn't see the face of God, nor the gates of hell, so I considered that a win. Hours later, I could still feel him in there, not in a romantic way or a painful way but kind of like a phantom limb.
"It was a pretty tight squeeze, but it didn't hurt too bad."
"That's good, next time I'll try going in all the way."
The next morning, I was disappointed to find that I looked, felt and smelled exactly as I did as a virgin. I wasn't expecting much, but a little acknowledgement would have been nice. There was no updated information on my license, no stamp on my wrist, not even an "I fucked" sticker. Hell, give me a scarlet letter, just don't tell me that after all the hype, all I got was a sore pussy and a temporary limp. I tried my best to feel like a sinner, but I couldn't get what Jesus was so upset about. This was what he wanted me to wait for until my wedding night? This was what I was going to hell for? Murder, I get, but this?
I didn't know it at the time, but carnal floodgates had been opened. There was no time to be timid, I had used all my patience waiting. From making love by the ocean under a meteor shower to banging some dude in the parking lot of a gay bar in Vegas, sex became whatever I decided to make of it. As for my virginity, my purity, my innocence, I didn't lose shit. I may or may not have had any of those things to begin with, and if I did, you'd have to dig a lot deeper than my vagina to take it away from me. So between me, God and that Hawaiian wrestler, the first time I had sex was the moment I realized that my body was mine to enjoy without apologies.
Morning Light Upon Our Skin
You and I,
Within the socially constructed guidelines keeping us easily managed.
Bound to You
We dance along lines of fine white powder,
swaying back and forth
between beauty and chaos.
With you at my lips,
we stood over empires.
Pull me back like waves over sand,
and I'll breathe you in till I see stars.
Slip chains around my wrists,
and I'll cherish them like jewelry.
Sink into my clothes,
my skin, my bones,
and I'll fall in bliss upon my knees.
In morning light,
I'll see nothing but ruins
until I breathe you in once more
like fine white powder.
On an August Night
We worshiped salt and sand,
stars and smoke.
We ran down dirty streets
and stumbled into daydreams.
We found, for the night,
purpose for our once aimless hope.