What They Don't Tell You: My (Underwhelming) First Time Having Sex

By Karabo Mafologela

Growing up, influenced by mainstream media and the church, I believed that virginity was important. It was like a medal those of us who had chosen to not have sex, especially in a time where it feels like EVERYBODY is having sex. In movies, there is always a big fuss about a girls first time; it needs to be perfect, it needs to be done with the “right guy” (the church says preferably someone you’re married to) AND it must be a member of the opposite sex.

And so being a virgin for as long as I could be was something to be proud of. It was a testament that I would not open my legs “like the Red Sea for a man posing as God.” Because eventually when you do it with someone you love and are married to, it will be magical and it will feel like a holy communion. God will be pleased – which is important because He created it and He created it to be done within the confines of marriage. But the thing that often deterred me from having sex were two things: 1) the excruciating pain that apparently accompanies the deflowering process and 2) blood; why is there blood? Do I have to clean the blood? Do I take his sheets home with me and wash them? So many questions.

Anyway, I didn’t have sex until I got to varsity. It happened in the most unexpected way and it was less than magical. I always thought that my first would be someone I deeply cared about and loved. If we weren’t married, that wasn’t an issue, but at least I would feel something for him. It was a Saturday morning, the sun rays sashay onto my face and gently wake me up. Next to me is my current cuddle buddy (amongst other things). The night before he’d briefly penetrated me before I asked him to stop. When I asked him to stop, it just hit me that I had sex and, boy, was I not impressed. 1) I didn’t love him or deeply care for him and 2) THIS WAS NOT HOW I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE MY FIRST TIME! I soon thereafter started rambling about how “this isn’t how it’s supposed to happen, this isn’t how I planned it” with (I think) an agitated, confused look on my face. I slept over though.

So the next morning I woke up wondering what it’s really like to do it. Last night was brief, but I didn’t bleed and it wasn’t painful; in fact it was pleasurable more than anything. The thoughts were whirling in my head, and then I gathered enough courage to politely ask him if we could have sex. There was no foreplay, not even a kiss, nothing. I just wanted to get this over and done with. He retrieved the condoms from his cupboard, put one on and then slowly slid into me. I remember staring at the ceiling, and he calmly asked me if this was what I really wanted to do because I looked so detached. I quickly reassured him that it’s what I wanted to do. It didn’t last long. I didn’t enjoy it much. It was mediocre, to say the least. After a minute or so, I asked him to stop. He obliged. He didn’t ask any questions. I got dressed and he walked me home.

Now, I had busted two myths! After that I remembered the notion that women get emotionally attached after sex. I was a bit anxious that that would happen to me. When he was walking me home, I wondered when I’d start feeling this emotional attachment. Did it happen immediately after the sex? Would it happen a week from now? When? I needed answers and there was no one there to give them to me.

Fortunately I soon discovered, that it’s just a sexist myth that ties into the idea that women are emotional creatures therefore they are unable to have sex without becoming emotionally attached. I say LOL to whoever came up with that concept. However, I must admit it was liberating to finally have sex, and I am glad I got to do it when I did it – when I was in varsity, reading on feminism, defining myself for myself and unlearning so many things. When I went home, I didn’t feel like I gave away anything valuable of myself. More than anything it was a “fuck you” to my socialization that I can only explore my body under particular contexts. Thankfully, that day has opened the door to more pleasant, orgasmic endeavors.

Photo: Shutterstock

Karabo Mafologela is a Gender Studies and Sociology student in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a feminist, a Toni Morrison enthusiast and a baby writer.

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