Thursday, 4 May 2017
Why I Feared losing my Virginity

Why I Feared losing my Virginity

Thursday, 4 May 2017
Artwork by Molly Chan
 I feared losing my virginity like a millennial 13-year-old fears social media embarrassment. A sort of fear where you know it’s going to have to happen at some point, so you brace yourself for the day and pray that it happens quickly, painlessly and shamelessly. Kind of like that one time you had to get the jab in year 8, and found yourself reciting a mental prayer not to be that one kid that fainted. This anticipatory dread was one that had been fed by society’s aversive approach to female sexuality.

The idea that a girl might possibly enjoy sex wasn’t a concept that was ever spoken about in the secondary school playground; it was always avoided within the awkward walls that hosted those dreadful sex ed lessons; and it was rarely, if ever, depicted in the sitcoms and films that our parents banned us from watching. In fact, it took a random episode of Sex and The City to tell me that a female might possibly gain some sort of satisfaction from having sex- but even then, I assumed I’d have to wait until I reached at least 30, was still single and had somehow adopted a ‘screw you world, I’ll fuck whoever I want’ Samantha Jones type attitude.

It’s undeniable that girls are subliminally taught to expect discomfort, bleeding and unbearable soreness during their 'first time'. They’re taught to simply ‘lay there’, let the guy do all the work, make a few silent moans (if brave enough) and wait until he is finished. Yes, a girl's first time can be uncomfortable and sometimes really quiet daunting, but I know that mine wasn't as distressing as the rumours told me it would be (remember the one about that girl that had her ‘cherry popped’ so hard that she bled right through his bedsheets?). For me, there was no bleeding, no terrible pain and, funnily enough, I was able to walk just fine after it. Okay, so I didn’t enjoy it in the slightest- in fact I laid there silently, mentally telling myself ‘This is okay. It’s happening, I’m a woman now. This is totally fine… Oh god, hopefully it will end soon’.

It wasn’t until now, at the tender age of 20, that I’ve began to question why society’s narrative on young sex is always one where the male experiences pleasure, and the female experiences pain, or a muted grey numbness. The idea that a girl should ever look forward to an orgasm during her first time, is one that is so unheard of that I myself am not sure it could ever happen. But talk to a mindless, pre-pubescent teenage boy about 'cumming' and you get descriptions that echo those of an American Pie script, with words that focus around the idea of it being this manly exhilaration that is the absolute goal and purpose of their ‘first time’. We’ve allowed society to teach our boys that the whole point of having sex, is not to have a pleasurable experience, but to simply ‘cum’. So where boys are almost instructed to orgasm every single time they have sex, including the first time, how wild could it be to equally propel that same concept into the female sexual experience. How crazy could it be to expose our young girls to the idea of looking forward to the pleasures of an orgasm. (Yep I said it. 'The pleasures of an orgasm'. Even I feel slightly vulgar saying it in my head, but I shouldn't, and It's stupid that I do). Let us tell our girls that if they didn’t orgasm then, well, it just wasn’t ‘proper’ sex.

I know expecting to orgasm during one’s first time is slightly unrealistic, for we’re all nervous and awkward and, well, just anxious and confused about the whole thing. But one thing that a girl should not feel before, during or after sex, is fear. A girl should not fear her first time. She should not be plagued by horror stories of pain, she should not be instructed to be subversive, she should not be told that discomfort and displeasure are things that she should simply put up with. In fact, a girl should feel free to define and identify when she has ‘lost her virginity’ however she likes- recently I’ve considered the idea of it being when I first orgasmed, and not when I first had intercourse (I won’t trouble you with this concept just yet, for I am saving it for another time).

When I consider my younger mentally, I realise that I treated virginity as if it was a task, or a mountain that I had to climb over before reaching the other side and finally enjoying the ride. Now perhaps I am naïve, but I’d like to believe that young girls should, like their opposite sex, also be taught to feel some sort of excitement, eagerness or even enthusiasm towards losing their virginity.

I have no doubt this piece mildly harks back to that over-saturated, but surprisingly still ever relevant, feminist narrative of a sexist society. But this is also a narrative that I comfortably stand by and attribute great importance to, for it is one that cannot be avoided when talking about female sexuality. And although I can only speak on the female experience in heterosexual intercourse, I must acknowledge that for both sexes, and various sexualities, sex is always a personal, but not always an emotional, interaction- and so one’s experience is always dependent on their own unique circumstances.

(Previously published on Thought Catalog and Sukeban)
Monday, 13 March 2017
The Steps between Them

The Steps between Them

Monday, 13 March 2017

The steps between them:

Under a mild Sunday haze, they stood face to face with just four steps between them. 
He took one step forward and unveiled his love for her.
He uttered,
 "I adore you. I have done since the day I first saw you.
 I see nothing but perfection in you"

She took two steps back,
 and replied,
"I do not wish to distort your perception, 
but I have not yet  uncovered my scars like I have not yet lain bare before you.
and you have not yet met my vice like you have not yet seen my faults-
For this reason, 
I cannot accept your love.
When my shine has worn off,
and my vibrance no longer glistens,
say that you love once more and perhaps I'll listen "

A crisp silence ensued.
'twas so deathly that even the small birds flew;
for they too were fearful for what was due.

Sweat gathered in his palms,
 his body moved one step forth,
 and without thought, he spoke;
"trust in my words when I say I love you now so I shall love you tomorrow.
please believe that your worst will not deter me from your best. 
I love you today like I'll love you tomorrow,
I'll be here forever not matter your sorrow"

The words flew from his mouth and shot into her blood stream,
boiling the anger that had brewed at the pit of her heart.
"Do not tell me forever", she spat,
"for this is the lie that has fooled many before me.
and so I refuse to fall for such foolishness.
It does not exist,
 such is a proven fact that not even scientists can contest.
It does not exist"

The spring breeze lingered and for a second,
the breath she took weakened her rage.
With a bewildered boy before her 
she continued,
"I do not feel your words. I do not feel the love you claim to hold for me.
say it again and let me sense that you mean it."

Robotically he recited,
"I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU."
With every pause his voice rose, 
for he too was frustrated by his neglected protest.
His heart ached as sharp tears formed behind his eye lids.

She took three steps back,
and with a matter of fact she told him;
 my mind does not drown in content,
my stomach does not hurl in happiness,
my lungs do not lose air in excitement,
my heart does not beat so furiously that almost cracks through the cage of my ribs.
I do not feel your love.
Perhaps I am numb."

Insulted and confused,
He had said all he could say,
He simply walked away.

She was cold and unmoved,
so no emotional reaction, or pleadings of sorry, ensued.