I’m going through post-virginity anxiety.
My last piece about finally losing my virginity received a lot more attention than I thought it would. It made the rounds on Twitter, old high school acquaintances congratulated me via Facebook Messenger, and even my mom told me that she read the title of the piece before deciding to leave it at that (though my godmother apparently read it and found it explicit and OMG worthy). Most importantly, loads of girls and women came out to tell me about their own late-bloomer woes and how Accidental Virgin made them feel normal for a change.
But now, a couple of weeks after the deed, the kudos are slowing down and are quickly being replaced with something a little harder to respond to.
“Have you done it again?”
It’s asked in a way that I assume was intended to be casual, but the genuine interest bubbles in their delivery. The twinkle in their eye or artful quirk of the lips gives their curiosity away.
“Er, no,” is usually my response, offered a bit lamely, supplied with excuses and forced laughter. We’ve both been busy, we both get too tired by the end of the day, in the morning I’m too lazy…But while all of this is a little true, the truth is that I’m actually scared to have sex again.
While I came away from my first time feeling physically pretty, uh, not amazing, I didn’t really understand how emotionally draining it was. My anxiety was high, I had to prepare myself for physical discomfort, and I was stuck in a weird limbo of not enjoying myself but feeling thrilled by the fact that I was having sex. I know that sex gets better and less demanding, because everybody says so, but I also know that it doesn’t even start feeling good until you’ve done it a few times…because everybody says so.
I remain amazed and perplexed by my peers who are p in v veterans, especially the ones who quickly got over the sex related pain. They’re sort of like super heroes to me; but instead of inspiring me to do good deeds or fight crime, they make me go, “Gee, one day I hope to comfortably insert a penis into my vagina, just like you!”
I can’t even look at porn without being envious of the ease at which the actresses are able to sit on a dick. They make it look so easy.
Of course, I’m smack dab in the middle of my twenties, and most of my vagina wielding friends who have intercourse have been doing it for about ten years now, so maybe it’s unfair to feel inadequate compared to them. But their reassurances that they too went through discomfort at the beginning already sound antiquated, a fuzzy memory of acne ridden teen sex in a childhood bedroom while their parents were out. They’re talking about themselves from a lifetime ago, and maybe the sentimentality of it all blurs most of the gory details.
My boyfriend has a level of patience about this that I’m convinced must be pretty rare for a 27-year-old healthy American male–or maybe he’s just not an asshole—but I’m not here to special snowflake him. I’m sure he probably wouldn’t mind giving the whole sex thing another go so that it becomes a more regular part of our sex life. I would too! And yet, anytime it’s suggested, I wimp out because I don’t feel emotionally prepared. The seems fair enough on the surface, but after thinking about it, it’s part of a larger problem that my anxiety and ADHD addled brain is used to: Avoiding anything that seems daunting at all costs. I never expected to approach sex the same way I approach an assignment or a basic chore; with chronic procrastination and exhaustion at the mere thought of it. Do I really want to go though another bottle of lube in the hopes that this is the second to last time sex will feel like an eggplant (emoji) is stuffing itself into the head of a sewing needle? I’ve half-assed an attempt, but quickly shut that shit down because I didn’t feel like spending half an hour trying to make insertion feel less taxing.
Plot twist: I feel more guilty about not having sex now than I did before we even had sex! Hell, I might be more afraid of sex now than I did before! Great.
In a few weeks, I hope to look back at this post and snicker the same way I look back at my piece from nearly two years ago about being afraid of blowjobs. But for now, I feel as if I was more prepared for first-time sex than the arguably just as bad post-virginity sex. I didn’t expect to be a sex-pro overnight, but I can’t say I expected to be terrified of sex either. Life comes at you fast, I guess.