Since, because I am a lover of discourse, the (wo)men of the city, rather than nature and the countryside, are my teachers. – Plato, Gorgias
With the current trend of books like 50 Shades of Grey hitting the top selling lists, you would think we would all just throw each other in cuffs, a blindfold, and have mind blowing sex the minute tensions arise. But like that book, life is filled with typos and awkward moments.
For me, that first sexual encounter always brings with it a level of anxiety. I am not talking run out of the room or curl into a corner anxiety. I am talking about having no idea beyond the few text interactions leading up, perhaps a Facebook stalk, and subsequent dates/drinks/light hearted conversations we have had, what the person in front of me actually likes, dislikes, gets turned on from, and if they care what turns me on.
I have always, since a very young age, raised with 5 sisters and hearing their horror stories of dates, made it a mission to be in control of my body, emotions, and sexual prowess. In short, I want to please the person in-front of me. I didn’t want to be so selfish that it brought someone to tears, so I put this first interaction before myself more often than not.
I will be the first person to say I have had difficulty performing the first time many times. Not because I am not extremely attracted to the person, but because I find many people when you first dive into this part of the relationship, get closed off and quiet.
Shit even typing about a first sexual encounter makes me question how it will come off to the general populous. Will I be judged for having sex on the 1st date or 10th? Will I be judged for not being able to perform? Will you just think I am broken or a player? Regardless I am going to tell you what it is like for me and then what it is like the second time.(even if that second time is a half hour later).
The first thing I do is gauge the lighting. I find that depending on the person the lighting is super important. Some want to see what they are unwrapping in front of them, and others want it to be a classical lights off, closed eye kissing, “first time”. I listen to their breathing while we kiss, watch the corners of their mouths as each kiss restarts over and over for that curl upward. I keep my eyes open majority of the time to see if they will make eye contact, I find the face of someone at that close proximity in what could be described as a broken down boundary to be beautiful. We can fall for someone at a distance or a 5 foot safety, but that close, the face becomes a new thing to look at, enjoy, and breath in. I love catching their eyes, having that moment where both I and they close them quickly almost embarrassed, but even more I love when the gaze gets locked. It helps to turn this very strange first exploration not only physical but emotional.
That is something that is so hard when you first begin any physical exchange with someone, is understanding that much deeper level of emotion. Sex is intense and it does change things, I don’t care who you are. And what guys will never admit, is they are MUCH more subject to this kind of emotional attachment from sex than women are. For some men it is a territorial thing and some it is intimacy, or a mix of both. For me it is about the connection and not being positive it is a mutual feeling yet. And I don’t expect it to be clear that first time.
Are the hands on your back holding tightly because you are nervous or because you want me closer. How do you gauge what your emotional level is at this point anyway. Easy answer? You don’t. I don’t care if you are someone with a 3 date rule, 10 date rule, marriage rule, sex is so damn personal, no set of guidelines and conversation leading up to it is going to make it smooth. Sure you may be able to be dominant or submissive right off the bat, but there is a connection we all strive for that is mutual. When we let our guard down and don’t play a “role” things become scary. And this is why sex is scary for me at first, I am emotional, I love romance. However I have been a Dominant Leo all my life. Since I could first get it up I always found some sort forms of BDSM extremely sexy. Nothing in the self depreciating world, but the whole tied down, blindfold, outfits, and things that just spice the act up. I may not be a certified dom and definitely too shy without the right trust to say the right things, but I am extremely observant and have learned quite a bit on my own. To have a partner in crime who is comfortable makes me comfortable, opening up the gate to a whole lot more.
But my big secret is that since I knew what a wet dream was, I was a submissive mindset. Let me define this better, I love to not have to control everything, I love for someone to be strong and be able to help guide me a bit or take control of the situation. I find it captivating when there is a balance of give and take. I will have my jaw break before I give up on figuring out what pleases you, so why should I expect less in return? Should I just accept the female/male power dynamic of “women can hold out sex to control their man?” What century are we in? To have put the same amount of thought and research into the male body as I have the female seems fair to me. I am 30 and still learn new things. So how can you as a woman who knows your body is different than others and will often admit it openly, say, “because it worked on the last guy”. I don’t want you to pull away because I can’t get off after X minutes like your ex and you feel depreciated or belittled. I am a new person, this is a new chemistry, and I am taking it all in. It is beautiful and overwhelming.
Why am I even talking about this when I am talking about “first encounters”? It all ties into the idea that you just don’t know that first time. You don’t know if you should pull the hair or caress it. You don’t know if you lock eyes if they will think you are getting too “involved” subconsciously and reel back from intimacy. So to even get to the more inner expressions of desire, I muddy my way through every bit of emotion I can get my hands on.
“It’s so prehistoric, all men care about is performance, but they have an appendage that doesn’t work if they are worried about performance.” – Love and Other Drugs
After all of this, you are usually fooling around for a certain amount of time before you actually engage in some sort of sexual intercourse. So now my mind is thinking about 10 gazillion things, your body language, your breath, your gaze, your emotes, the fucking lighting, all while trying to keep my little guy ready to go. Even talking about it makes me laugh out loud, there is no way to do this smoothly unless you have the ego of a neanderthal and are just there to get your fuck on. Add to that the worry that the person you are with will feel rejected if it takes you a moment after the foreplay to re-gain your “manliness”, and it is just a “rock hard” formula for disaster.
The sex itself is also an exploration. I have actually taught myself to be more vocal so the person I am with knows more of what feels good, but even then that first time, all I can think of is, “I don’t want to disappoint them” I want them to orgasm and feel good, but sometimes it comes at a small cost of exhausting my own ability without the right mindset on their end afterwards. I want to exhaust myself the first time, with a smile on my face, because I know the next time, I have so much more awareness and so much more emotional attachment.(yes I know, emotional attachment… scary)
The best experience I have ever had was when the person I was with, laughed during the awkward moments. They knew it was OK to be messy, it was OK to be scared, it was OK to have anxiety. It is amazingly fun to explore the other person, to ask awkward questions, to look to please the person you are hoping to see again and again. It is fun to touch the parts that have been covered up all night, it is fun to pull back for a moment and look, it is nice to start with the lights on to see what you have wanted to see for however long it has been before getting to this point.
So yes, I am not the perfect first time, but the second time, which could literally be after I go pee and relax for a half hour, I have heard your moans, I have touched your body, I am intrigued by your “sexual” look, I want to feel you again, and all of this lifts a huge amount of that first time pressure and allows you to just be more in the moment, but more connected at the same time. I got to see what you are like versus getting the synopsis in what these days is the obligatory “sexts” prior.
It can be equated to the simplest form of intimacy, the first kiss. After the first kiss, you know something about your partner, you know they are interested in you too. And so you pull about a foot away from them, open your eyes, and giggle a little, then you just start making out as if you have never kissed another person in your life because it feels good, physically of course, but emotionally, to feel as though you are validated. The person you are with is now partly closer to fulfilling the possible “meet the parents” question. OFF THE FIRST KISS? Yes, off the first kiss. I don’t care what anyone says, if you are actually looking for a relationship, open to dating, and want more than a one night stand, your mind will subconsciously run every scenario of the future it can, even if that subconscious moment is a nano second in between pursed lips.
So I am here, stumbling through my love life, and OK with it. Those imperfections, that struggle, that is what makes it worthwhile. Those moments when you get that tiny bit of validation, confirmation, two minds as one, and you literally smile from the inside out… I may have a moment where I am a stallion or a moment where I am a broken mare, but each moment is beautiful for what it is; sharing an intimacy with someone you hope will share it back, and each day that intimacy turns more into familiarity, that face when you are so close your noses touch becomes something you wish you could get a prescription glass to see it more clearly, and that person becomes someone who you look at and think, “It is OK to tell them about my 51st Shade of Grey”, so that familiarity doesn’t become stagnation or routine or a power play. Call it what you will: love making, fucking, first times, last times, they all are part of a process. I was once told through a message on my dating profile,
“"hmmm… This guy is a little too honest.“ … Then I thought, "I use to be that honest… When did that become a bad thing?” “
We set rules and guidelines based on social norms, the news, our friends experiences, disconnected(but well intentioned) advice from those around us, a revolving inspirational meme on tumblr, or a youtube video explaining “how to ____”, but we forget it is nothing more than someone else’s experience. I make sure to apply my own needs, wants, insecurities, and awkward laughter to the person in front of me, not the idea of what is happening, but what IS actually happening. I don’t know how to not be myself and that often scares me.
“That something is difficult is one more reason for us to do it" – Rainer Marie Rilke, Seven Letters to A Young Poet