I was raised by conservative parents, so of course, I was going to save myself for marriage. I was quite sure of that, right up until the night in college that I found myself in a car with a man, making out. He was a few years older than me, and definitely more experienced, but there was something kind of goofy about the way he asked me if I wanted to “go steady” with him. The moment I said yes, I knew deep down that it would eventually lead to sex. How could it not? He wasn’t a Christian. He wasn’t going to wait until marriage. More importantly, my libido, which had lain quiescent through my adolescence, had suddenly woken up and said, “Yes, please. I’d like some of that.”
Of course, I had to find a way to make it okay with my conscience. I wouldn’t sleep with him until I knew I loved him, and that he loved me. That’s what I decided the night in my dorm room a few weeks later, when he crawled up under my shirt and played with my breasts for the first time. Less than a month after our first date, I told him I was ready. We couldn’t possibly have known each other well enough by then to be in love. But that’s what my mind needed to let my body get what it wanted, so I believed I was in love rather than lust.
That night, I tried to create a sexy outfit, from a wardrobe that belonged to a good Christian girl. I wore the one skirt I owned that wasn’t below the knees, and a top that could be unbuttoned. I daringly undid one button more than usual – not that my tiny A cups created any cleavage. My underwear was, in retrospect, hideous. I cringe just remembering it.
We both had roommates, so we ended up in a cheap motel. There wasn’t much talking, because we were both too nervous. Me, because it was my first time, and him… well, because it was my first time. He had never been with a virgin before. He started by eating me out, and must have been badly disappointed at my lack of response. My mind was racing. “What is he doing? Is that his tongue? Is he really licking me there? Why would he do that?”
“Believe it or not, it tastes good,” he told me, when he had finished. Things improved once we got back to kissing and touching, which felt better to me. I daringly put my hand down to touch his erection. I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I think I was afraid of hurting him, so I only touched it lightly.
We were in missionary style. He tried to be gentle, but it hadn’t occurred to him to bring lube, and I hadn’t known to. It hurt when he broke my hymen, and it continued to hurt with each thrust, but I didn’t mind. Despite the awkwardness, and the fact that the sex was terrible, my body was responding. It wanted what was happening, enough for me to ask for another round of terrible sex the next morning.
We got better at sex, but we were never well suited as partners. We got married when I graduated college, even though I had a sinking feeling that I was making a horrible mistake. But I couldn’t call it off. If I married him, then I had at least saved my virginity for the man I would marry, even if I hadn’t waited for my wedding night.
The same logic kept me married to him for almost ten years. I couldn’t divorce him, because divorce was sinful. I had vowed “Till death do us part”, and I simply could not break that promise.
Meanwhile, the sex, that had been so good for the first few years we were together, started to go downhill. He stopped initiating. Eventually, he started complaining when I initiated. He was always too tired. He said that I was too demanding, that I was trying to wear him out. If he caught me masturbating, he laughed at me. The shame, that I had almost overcome, started to return. He made me feel like there was something wrong with me for wanting sex. He never called me a slut, or any other names like that, but he didn’t have to. The disdainful expression and the mocking laughter was enough.
Still I stayed, because I couldn’t imagine leaving. I became more and more secretive about my masturbation, always afraid of being caught. I bought toys, but rarely used them, because he would hear them and know what I was doing. Most men, if they walked in on their wife playing with a vibrator, would be turned on and join her in bed. He never did. I don’t think he felt threatened by them. I think he was contemptuous of them. He had first been attracted to the innocent, inexperienced girl, and the more I tried to assert my sexuality, the less he was interested. Though my libido never slackened, my insecurities told me that I was unsexy, unattractive. Unwanted.
The internet saved me. I started to flirt with men online, and they flirted back. I started to feel like, just maybe, I might be sexy. I had cybersex – quietly, fully clothed, just reaching my hand inside my clothes to touch myself under the table, so that if he walked in, I could pull my hand free and hide the chat window before he noticed what I was doing.
It’s embarrassing to admit that it took the affirmation of men to rebuild my shattered self-esteem, but it’s the simple truth. Every time I made a man come with my words, typed onto a screen, I felt empowered. Every time a man told me I was hot, I grew stronger. I began to see that my high libido, so long a shameful secret, was a highly valued asset.
And when I was strong enough, I set myself free and ended the marriage that would never have existed except for shame.
I like to think, in another reality, there was a me who made out with the hot man in the car, and had awkward terrible sex with him in the motel room. She let him teach her about sex, and then had an amicable breakup a few months later when it became obvious that a long-term relationship wasn’t going to work. She moved on, dating and fucking men that she wanted to have sex with, whether they were marriage material or not. She wasn’t ashamed of her toys, and if any man was bothered by them, he was soon kicked to the curb.
Maybe the other me met someone and settled down, or maybe she didn’t. I’m sure she had her own set of problems that I’ve not experienced. But one thing she didn’t experience was shame. And for that, I’m envious.
Note: this was originally written a couple of years ago to show to SilverHubby (then my boyfriend).