The second time I lost my virginity was under the stars on a beautiful Florida beach. It was spring break (such a stereotype, I know), the air was warm, the ocean was calm and the moon was bright. He was my first real boyfriend and I just knew that I wanted to make sweet love to him with my eyes closed. Although there were no scented candles, and Boyz II Men was not the soundtrack, the ocean serenaded and guided our bodies on one-minute journey to an awkward disappointment that I will never forget.
The first time I lost my virginity was even less romantic.
It all began in the fifth grade. It was my second week of sex education, and we were learning about menstruation. Being a child who could recite Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaretverbatim, I was thoroughly unimpressed by the teacher’s meager attempt at a lecture. She was droning on about a wall that lined the uterus, and how it exited the body when it was not needed to support a fertilized egg. What I was expecting was for her to tell me that a beautiful, bountiful crimson river would be flowing out of me on a Kotex raft and, at that moment, the world would know that I, Summer Land, was now an enchanted vessel fit for all things womanly.
It was during this class that my teacher mentioned (after much pestering from me) that we could practice using a tampon before our ‘gift’ officially arrived. Luckily, my mom, Donna, had recently bought me a pack of tampons ‘just in case’ I got my period. Mama Donna was used to my need to “experiment.” I’m not blaming her for my weird childhood, but let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her hobbies include playing solitaire on her computer for hours at a time, walking with friends and occasionally eating a Costco-sized container of spearmint flavored mints. (However, like most twenty-somethings in the seventies, she used to love cocaine, cigarettes and sex, but since she’s been sober for thirty years, vices now are mainly food, social networking and real-estate.)
So obviously it wouldn’t come as a surprise that after that fateful day in sex-ed class, I found myself perched on the toilet, simultaneously chugging a gallon of Yoo-Hoo and clutching my box of tampons. I could barely contain my excitement. I don’t know why I thought chugging liquids would help, but for some reason I thought I needed a full bladder to menstruate. (I guess I wasn’t really paying attention in class.) I began the insertion process, to no avail. After numerous failed attempts, hitting what felt like a wall when I tried to push them in, I worked my way through three-quarters of my box of tampons.
Eventually, I migrated to the living room and was lunging on the piano bench while my older brother, Brett, watched Ren & Stimpy and Donna did our homework.
With my dwindling box of tampons beside me and one leg up on the glossy mahogany bench (just as the illustration in the directions showed), I pushed the second-to-last tampon into my vagina hole. This resulted in one of the most horrific pains I had ever felt. With a quick pull, I ripped that little mouse-tail out of me, moving even quicker than the time I double-palmed our barbeque grill. That’s when I saw it. Blood. There was blood on the very tip of the tampon! It had happened!!!
Brett yelled out in horror, ‘You’re so disgusting, Summer!!!’ when he finally noticed what I was doing. But I didn’t care.
I screamed, ‘DONNA! I GOT IT! I GOT IT! I have my period! I’m gonna need more tampons and some Midol.’
Donna looked a bit skeptical as she eyed the piece of cotton dangling in front of her. I tried to solidify my case by telling her about the horrific pain I was in, and that I had terrible cramps. Donna put down my vocabulary worksheet and walked over to really examine the blood. This was when the walls of my new exciting womanly world came crashing down just as quickly as they had risen.
Donna pulled me into her lap and gently let me know that the cramps were not menstrual, nor did they have anything to do with my ‘gift’. Instead, they were a direct result of shoving a box-worth of tampons into my vagina all day and breaking my hymen.
I was crushed. I knew exactly what a hymen was (having read and carried around My Body, My Self for Girls like it was the Bible or Torah or Scientology Space Book for months), so her words hit like a truck. I had stolen my own moment. The moment that was supposed to be reluctantly given away after prom. It would no longer be on the night when I put on that beautiful, sparkly polyester gown and took a picture with my handsome date in front of a stack of blocks that read ‘2 0 0 5’. I wouldn’t be able to think back on that night of forced, awkward intimacy as that momentous ‘first time’. Instead, I popped my own cherry with a tiny cotton penis. And my brother witnessed it.
By Summer Land
*This post was originally published here: http://www.flamingopink.com.au/2013/08/the-second-time-i-lost-my-virginity/
*This is an edited extract from Summer’s book, Summerlandish: Do As I Say, Not As I Did by Summer Land, published by Hardie Grant. Get it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Summerlandish-Do-Say-Not-Did/dp/1742706444