I have viewed sex differently from before I actually had intercourse to when I finally lost my virginity. The function of sex has developed from high school to college to the present. My sexual activity started out as being a way to fulfill a need; it was mostly a physical and emotionally validating need. The defining act of losing my virginity changed my view of sex and how I viewed the functions of sex. My view of sex eventually became deeper with the more partners and experiences that I had.
Before I started being sexually active with a partner, I first discovered my sexuality when I was 12, at the start of puberty. My view of sex was very personal. I heavily researched on the internet what masturbation was, what orgasms were, etc. I looked at websites that were focused on educating adolescent pre-teens. I then turned to my step-father for learning information about sex. I felt very comfortable taking to him about that subject matter. These two resources allowed me to be educated about sex and feel open about talking about it. I learned that I could be open-minded with sex and feel comfortable learning about sexuality at my own pace.
I have always held the value that in order to have sex, I should be in a relationship. When I entered high school, I saw all my peers beginning into relationships that resulted in physical activity. In the beginning of high school, I learned of my friends starting to engage in sexual activity; by the end of high school most of my peers had had sex. In high school, I viewed relationships as a way of being able to have sex. But during these experimental years, I wasn’t emotionally ready to have intercourse, just foreplay.
My first sexual experience was with a boy, who the next day asked me to become his girlfriend. I was 15 and our relationship lasted for about 3 weeks. We never did anything else physical together since that first night because I was afraid of kissing. That could be contributed to my immaturity. The only reason I did anything that first night was because I was drunk and I was curious about sex. He offered to have sex that morning, but I knew I wasn’t ready because I barely knew him. This thought stayed me a year later when I met the next person that I could see myself being intimate with, but this experience also gave me the impression through out my sexual history that if I shared anything with a boy, a relationship would soon follow.
Between my 15th and 16th year, there were a few boys that I shared flirtations with. But nothing ever developed because I held fast to the belief that if a physical relationship were to progress, there would need to be a defined relationship established. There never was one. During my sophomore year, I saw relationships as way to say that each person was going to be sexually monogamous, see each other everyday and even talk on the phone a lot. This idea was formed from observing my peers’ relationships. The idea that sexuality could only be shared within a relationship was my own.
I developed the value of sharing myself with a partner (who agreed that we would be together for a certain length of time and be monogamous) by myself. I didn’t have any outside influences. No one told me explicitly that I had to be in a relationship in order to have sex. Sex was not taught in schools, my peers had many different partners, and the media certainly illustrated sex as a free-for-all. Relationships, I decided, were the way in which I was going to allow myself to have sex.
So, when the next boy came along, I again entered into a relationship with him because I wanted to be sexually satisfied. He was 22 and I was 16. We went a on few dates, and finally, I felt secure enough to have stay over night at his house. By this time, I had vigorously researched sex. After my first encounter with sex when I was 15, I asked my dad to go with me to the gynecologist to put me on the pill. But because I hadn’t been sexually active since then, I stopped. I knew to ask my partner to be tested for STD’s and to wear a condom before we had sex. But at this boy’s house, we only engaged in foreplay. It wasn’t till the next week that he called me his girlfriend. It was my belief that just because I spent one night with him and had started dating him, that that did not mean that we were automatically “official.” I thought that in order to start a relationship, there should be a conversation. But, I went along with it, because it was exciting and validating to have a boyfriend. It made me feel like a was a part of a special club that only the cooler kids could belong to.
Eventually the 22-year-old asked when we could have sex. Again I knew that I wasn’t ready, that I wasn’t emotionally mature to engage in intercourse, so I put it off. I told the 22-year-old that I could have sex with him one month after I started birth control, when it would start working. While I told him this, I knew it was just a way of putting off talking about sex. At the same time, I knew that I would only have sex if I used a condom and birth control because I was deathly afraid of pregnancy and STD’s. I knew that with both as protection, it would be near impossible to fail. I would tell myself I would always use a condom, because I could get rid of a baby, I couldn’t get rid of herpes.
While the topic of sex was put off, he then brought up blow jobs. I had never given a blow job before and was scared. I was scared because I still had never seen a naked penis up close, (they still grossed me out), and his was uncircumcised. Because I am Jewish, it never occurred to me before that I would encounter a uncircumcised penis. I always thought that I would have sex with a Jewish man. I researched uncircumcised penises extensively and learned that they were usually no different than circumcised penises and that 80% of the world wasn’t circumcised. This made me feel much more comfortable with them. However, I still knew I wasn’t ready to give a blow job. Eventually we broke a month later, and I had successfully avoided the confrontation.
Through out my senior year of high school, I had been involved in two more relationships. Both of which were to allow me to be more sexual. The boyfriend I had at the end of my senior year, was there to fulfill a purely physical function. My libido drove me to want to see him everyday , just so I could be sexually satisfied. After 4 months, I felt, somewhat, that we could go to the next level. I felt that I could trust him enough to stay with me after we had had sex and that there was enough trust and respect between us. But that was just an illusion. I had convinced myself that I needed sex because I still felt the pressure of being a virgin and my own physiology was driving me to finally just do it. As it turns out, just the next week he broke up with me and I was saved the loss of my virginity to someone who I could not trust.
When I engage in a sexual relationship with someone, the first thought that comes to mind after intercourse or hooking up is I want a commitment from him to be with me. I still have that believe when I allow someone to be inside me and know me intimately it is important for that relationship to extend past the first initial night. Sex is a deep connection which is significant beyond just friendship.
This is what play out when I had intercourse for the first time. I had been flirting with a guy in my community college class for a least 2 months. Eventually he asked me out a few days after I turned 18. We stayed together for 8 days straight before I got drunk and wanted to take it farther. The next day, when I was sober, we had sex. What was going through my mind was that I was ready. I had waited long enough, and I just want to do it. It didn’t really matter who it was with. I wasn’t about sharing myself with another person. It was a personal act. Eventually, what I now like to call my “vagina attachment hormones,” came into effect and I stayed with this man who took my virginity for the next 10 months. I entered into a verbally abusive relationship because having a boyfriend was emotionally validating. I engaged in sexual activity, but it was never satisfying because he was so selfish. This relationship first defined how my sexuality could be a tool for self-destructive behavior. I could not leave the unhealthy relationship because my own self worth was attached to it. Eventually, I left that destructive relationship and jumped in bed with the first guy I saw two months later. I was again drunk and could not remember having sex. At the time, I was okay with that because I knew he was drunk too, that he did not take advantage of me and that my libido drove me to having sex. My only real condolence was that I remember yelling, “get the condom!” before I blacked out.
I had always thought that I would be in a relationship when I would have sex. I never considered having a one-night-stand. But I was so drunk at the time, that my body just wanted sex because that was the natural next step. Once I had had intercourse, it was normal for me to have it with the next person. It was easier to hold off on sex in high school, because I had never had it. Now that I had, it was natural to do it.
With this next guy, we saw each other for 7 months. It was mostly a physical relationship with a friendship on the side. We had a mutual understanding that it would not be defined as a relationship. This friendship allowed me to explore my sexuality more fully. I was secure enough with my partner to openly communicate my curiosities and desires. I learned a lot about my own sexuality through this relationship. Even though I compromised with myself the value of sharing myself only with a boyfriend, still felt satisfied that I was having sex consistently with one person. I felt I could only have sex with him.
Our relationship ended when I moved to Davis. I immediately found a boy I was interested in a week later and had sex with him once he was tested and we had established being boyfriend-girlfriend. That relationship soon ended when he demonstrated that he was not ready to be in a relationship. I had sex with a boy over winter break before we officially broke up. This boy had a girlfriend. I felt validated in the fact that I had sex with someone so attractive. I eventually got drunk and had sex with him again a month later. I started getting emotionally attached him until it started getting complicated because I met his girlfriend and we shared mutual friends. Once it was made clear that he did not care about me, I stopped caring. This was helped by the fact that I had drunken sex with another very attractive man. Going into both sexual relationship, during and before, I knew that all I wanted from these men was sex, that I didn’t know these guys very well and therefore didn’t even know if I would like them. But my “vagina attachment hormones” led me to start getting emotionally attached and thinking that because I had sex with them that there should be something more between use emotionally. I still held on the the value that I needed to have emotional care and respect between me and my partner. However, these men showed that they had no interest in being anything more with me. Because I was rejected by the second one-night-stand and I was drunk, I found another attractive man to have sex with. It was easy to have sex with someone I just met since I was now in the habit. This guy was in Oregon, so it was easy to not get attached. All three one-night-stands I allowed my libido to dominate the logical part of my brain that gave me the rule that I could only have sex with a guy if we had a condom. The first didn’t have any and the last guy ran out of condoms. I put my sexual desire and emotional validation before my health.
Ever since then, I have gotten perspective on what sex it is and what it means to me. I now have decided to wait for a man to be in my life sexually and emotionally when he has shown that he cares about and respects me. I am waiting for guy that I like to ask me out on a date and show interest in me beyond physically, and not to compromise for a guy that just wants to get inside of me. I am finally, hopefully, staying true to me values and waiting for the guy I envision to be apart of my life. I now see sex, not only for physical satisfaction and validation, but also for deeper and meaningful relationships. I want a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and care. I see sex as a way to demonstrate those feelings.
As my view of sex has evolved, so has my behavior. Looking back I now see that I have only started sexual activity once I am drunk. This leads me to try to fulfill my requirement of being sexually active with a boyfriend, that will force me to maintain a relationship with a person that isn’t right for me. With my new perspective I will only engage in a sexual relationship when I know the person is right for me.