Thursday, July 16, 2009

The First One

The first one was kind of rough. There was nothing wrong with her. We simply had no idea what we were doing or how to do it. We had found her online and had even met her once beforehand to get to know her better before setting up the big date and booking the hotel room. The girl was 19 and she lived on the other side of the city. My wife and I were fresh out of college, and each still living with our parents while we got our collective act sufficiently together to get our own place.

We were both 22 and still harboring the Straight Edge convictions that we held so adamantly throughout college. In retrospect, we were never very good at being Straight Edge. The only tenet of that ideology which we had practiced was completely abstaining from recreational drugs or drink. We both completed four years of college without a drink or a cigarette, though we made no pretense at celibacy and neither one of us was a vegetarian. I actually was briefly a vegetarian for about a year, but it was a rather half-hearted effort. We both were (and still are) outspoken atheists.

Being Straight Edge doesn’t necessarily involve being Christian, though the two do often seem to coincide. We had often discussed our mutual interest in swinging throughout college, but we were so awkward and straight-laced that I believe we involuntarily sabotaged our own interests in anything decadent during those years. Regardless, at 22, we had finally “got one” and lined up the big date with her. Because of our continued deathly fear of alcohol, we had no plans of lubricating the proceedings with any booze. Excitedly we set up the hotel and made up elaborate stories for our parents about why we’d be out so late returning home that particular Friday night.

Once all the arrangements were made, I awaited that date the way Christians await the second coming of Christ. It was only a few hours beforehand when I realized that I had developed some anxiety about the whole thing. To this day I do not have a rational explanation for my anxiety, but, undoubtedly, it was there. Most likely it had something to do with Catholic guilt and the feeling that I was deliberately about to do something shameful. You never beat Catholic guilt. If they have you by age five, they have you for life. We met her, had dinner, and went back to the hotel, all very mechanically. I don’t think I ate very much. The three of us lay across the bed like corpses. She had never done anything quite like this either and wasn’t about to take a leadership role.

Like anybody trying to get off in a hotel room, we dialed up a porno on the TV. At first, it didn’t really work, but eventually things got moving. Clothes were shed. Moves were made. And, to my horror, I realized that I was still absolutely flaccid. It took a great deal of work from all involved, but the situation was remedied, and eventually I succeeded in achieving an erection and performed moderately well. My wife (still girlfriend, at the time) really seemed to glow while watching me fuck this girl. I had been concerned that it might upset her to actually see it happening in front of her. She always enjoyed talking about how much she’d like to see it, but often in life, our notions of the way things will be and the way they are when we get there are profoundly different. I was glad that wasn’t the case in this instance. She watched with genuine excitement. Ironically, my wife had a much easier time. The event was her first experience being with another woman and she had no trouble with any aspect of it. The rest of the time we spent there passed without any more embarrassing incidents, and we checked out of the hotel at some point in the early morning.

Never had we spent so much time for one simple round of screwing. In retrospect, it’s hilarious to me. The learning experience was invaluable, though somewhat traumatizing. I had never before in my life had any difficulties like those, and it never would have dawned on me that my predisposition to anxiety and latent guilt from my Catholic upbringing could have such a tangible effect on me. I was shocked and horrified. The event would leave me with nagging doubt that would linger over our next few adventures, though thankfully it would not physically manifest as it had that time. Real personal growth is never easy. Many of life’s challenges feel horrifying at first and require some amount of unnatural and deliberate effort to surmount. Once they’re over, though, they seem trivial.

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