The First Time

I had known from a very, very young age that I was equally, if not more so, attracted to girls as to boys. There were many adolescent fumblings—at 12 a girl named Kathy with long dark hair and a penchant for riding naked on my thigh when her mother wasn’t home. Teenage crushes that never went any further. Jealousy over the first butch/femme couple that I’d ever witnessed…the beautiful blonde that sat on the lap of the captain of the volleyball team at parties where most of us were stoned and no one cared. It was the very early 80s. We were always high. Always sleeping with a different somebody in search of elusive attention. Thinking that the next one would provide the love and devotion so craved. Disappointed yet again and again and again.

I went off to an all-women’s art college far away from my family. There were scandalized whisperings in the dining hall of girls who slept with other girls. I feigned disgust for my friends and then snuck off to masturbate in our dormitory bathroom, fantasizing about being one of those girls. All of my life I thought about the first time. What it would be like. When would it happen. How would I know.

I arrived at school early in the fall of my sophomore year. I had been named as a resident assistant and was assigned to work the desk to welcome incoming freshman and transfer students. I had my routine down pat until she walked through the doors unaccompanied by a parent. My breath caught. My heart stopped for a fraction of a second. There she was. Tough as nails in a black muscle tee, the requisite blonde mullet, baggy jeans with a chain hanging from the back pocket, and wide leather wristbands. She was tiny. Small boned, wiry, shorter than me—but when she signed her name her biceps rippled with sinewy muscle.

I cleared my throat and managed to start my greeting. She looked up and met my eyes. “Hey there,” she drawled. Her thick southern accent was as familiar as grits and sausage gravy over biscuits. “You’re from North Carolina,” I said. “Now how did you know that? Is that on your little piece of paper there?” “No…I’m from Greensboro.” She returned a lopsided grin, “Well, damn girl, we’re practically neighbors! We should get together and shoot the shit. Why don’t you come on by my room later and we’ll talk.”

I knew. This was the one. I knew I’d be having sex with this girl before the end of the week.

We talked a lot that week. About home. About our art. About our pasts. About her girlfriend she’d left behind. I had a boyfriend. My high school sweetheart. He knew, though, that someday I would act upon my attraction and that was okay with him.

On Saturday night, one week to the day after she arrived, she told me a story about a girl she’d been with who had never been with another women before. She told the story of how she had asked the girl if she could kiss her. The girl replied, “God, yes.” We kept talking. It got late. My roommate was gone for the weekend. She asked me if I had ever thought about being with a woman. I looked her right in the eye and said, “God, yes.” She smiled, leaned in, and kissed me. My heart took flight and my head exploded. Everything I had ever fantasized was right there. It was really happening and it felt absolutely perfect. The last piece of the puzzle I’d been missing all my life.

I was frantic to do everything I had ever dreamed of. She was stone, but she let me have my way. After exploring my body in ways I never could have imagined, I rolled over on top of her and took over. I needed to try everything. I wanted to know what she felt like, what she tasted like. I spent what seemed like hours between her unshaven legs. At one point she managed to say, “Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” I mumbled something into her cunt. Only in my head.

After that night we spent a lot of time together. I have pictures of her on a park bench, sunlight in her hair, a glare bouncing off her mirrored aviators. One leg crossed over the other…not like a woman…one calloused hand resting upon her black Doc Martens. A few weeks later I went to her room late at night, wanting. wanting. I heard a noise on the other side of the door, a rustling, a murmur of voices. The door opened and I was greeted by my best friend, clad in nothing but “my girl’s” plaid, flannel shirt. I was crimson and silent. I turned away and ran down the hall. Back to my room, frozen and betrayed.

I moved on to other women after that. I became known as the school heartbreaker. “Don’t go out with her, she’ll do you and ditch you.” And I did. That girl, the first of many, became my fuckbuddy throughout college. Whenever we were both hard up and no one else was around we turned to each other. A midnight fuck after watching The Wizard of Oz. Frenzied sex in her tiny apartment in the worst neighborhood imaginable. Groping in the teacher’s lounge at 2 a.m.

I saw her years later. She had softened a lot. Years of rehab had broken her early morning routine of rolling over, sleep in her eyes, to grab an unfiltered Marlboro and a can of Bud out of the small fridge next to her bed. I never understood how she did that without getting up to pee first. She had become a psychotherapist and ran her own state-funded rehab center. That bad boi was gone. Replaced by someone older, wiser, more responsible.

I had a different ending to this blog. One in which I never expected to see or hear from her again. Yet, somehow, I found myself looking for her after I wrote this. She stayed on my mind and with a little Internet ingenuity, I wound up with her on the phone today. It seems I have been on her mind a lot lately too. After all these many years. In all of my life I have never been so reticent to commit myself to a relationship and yet have so many open possibilities. I do look forward to rekindling our friendship, if nothing else. But, as is my mantra these days, you just never know.



  1. Wow. What an intense, bittersweet story. Do any of us forget a first like that? I still remember mine… maybe I’ll have to write about it someday.

  2. […] The First Time « Scintillectual – view page – cached This blog is solely intended for consenting adults. If you need parental permission to stay out late, can't legally buy beer, or you can't get into an R-rated movie, then you'd best scoot on over to… (Read more)This blog is solely intended for consenting adults. If you need parental permission to stay out late, can't legally buy beer, or you can't get into an R-rated movie, then you'd best scoot on over to the kid's section of the library. You've been warned. Now scram! * Gimme more… (Read less) — From the page […]

  3. Lovely Di, truly touches the heart. I think it’s amazing when we see and embrace how life has moved and keeps moving forward…

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