Never seemed to be a
Mind-burdening problem for me
I think
At the age of sixteen
I was much more concerned
With my GCSEs

Coming from
A childhood
Where “Sex” was
Something I understood –
Thanks to my mother’s
About ‘jiggy jiggy’
And the thing that gets sticky
And the meaning of a “quickie” –
We came
To terms
With adult words
Perhaps a lot sooner than we should’ve

As us four, however
Slowly matured,
That carefree guilelessness
Rapidly ensnared
A gathering of elephants
That slowly amassed
In one tiny room.
What could we do?
One couldn’t
Pass the salt
Whilst openly discussing
Their hymen’s breakthrough

Sure, my friends would
Groan and sigh
Can’t it be the love of my life
Who pops my cherry.
I always winced at that turn of phrase.
Whereas others would relay
Their illustrious tales
Of random men
Or a distant mate
That they’d bonked in a bush
Or the loo
Or the sack
Or round the back of some unknown estate

I decided instead
To turn my head
From this
Of fictitious accounts.
I’d lived long enough
This phenomenal experience
Surely, I couldn’t be missing out.

Three weeks into
A novel chapter
I found myself in unknown territory
The first time
I’d felt love for another
Pushed my mother
To laden me
With a kilo of rubber
Tucked nicely into the lining
Of my sheepskin jumper.
Thoroughly hidden –
Or so I thought –
Unbeknownst to me,
A young whippersnapper
Brandished one of the wrappers
To the entirety of my cohort.


My face
As the laughter disbanded.
He wouldn’t think
I had some big night planned,
I waved my hand
To sudden suggestions of
Sexual inclination –

A condom?

For tonight?

Oh don’t make me gag.
Honestly, that’s always been in my bag.

Raised eyebrows
A mild dose of assurance,
As the night wound low
And taxis rode home.
Smirks and promises of
were made
As I came
To the spare room alone.
“Sleep well!” He sung,
As my door was slammed shut.
Was he joking?
Perhaps not,
As he reappeared so fast
My head almost fell off.

What now?
We hadn’t a clue.
Both stood
Fully clothed
And visibly suffocated
By that familiar elephant
Like two lemons at the zoo.

Come on Christi
Pull your weight!
Screamed the voice from inside.
Nervously trying
To act alluring,
My foot got caught
As I slid my body
Precisely to where
I hoped we’d recline.


This was definitely not
The romantic scene
I’d pictured as my first time.
Arms flailing like spaghetti
I started to panic
And grabbed onto the closest thing
To stop myself from falling.

Between my hands, what did I find?
Blindly turning the cover
The right way around
I managed to decipher
With all the strength I could muster:
Dr. Seuss’
“Oh the Places You’ll go!”
Painfully ironic?
Yes, I believe so.

At this point
I realised
He appeared quite perplexed.
“Oh, you know this one?” I panted,
Hoping he’d interject.



Internally I moaned
As I foresaw the childish fool
That really would be left alone.

“It’s my favourite bedtime story!”
“I can’t sleep without it!”

What the fuck was I saying?
Could I be more off-putting?
Just quickly start reading
Maybe he’ll come to his own.

He played along with my
Improvised skit
That was until
I genuinely started feeling the heat.
With such controlled subtlety
I began removing my top
With murmurs of
“Uh…this room’s kinda hot.”

He immediately replied.
In a flash
The window was open
And he’d pulled down the blind.


I guess this is it.

Here we go.

But the blindingly well-lit room
Was really killing my flow.

Did people really have sex in the light?
It didn’t seem a bit
And painfully bright?

Not wanting to seem rude,
I did the best yawn I could fake
To try and speed up this business
For both of our sakes.

Once he’d clocked my
Clearly artificial fatigue,
Almost telepathically
-Or so it seemed-
We both silently squeezed in
Mattress and cover.
The last thing I remember
Was a shiny red square
Being brandished from a drawer.
My eyes softly closed
As I anticipated the smother –


He yelped.
My eyes sprung open.
Did I miss a step?
Had the “foreplay” overrun?
I silently cursed myself for jumping the gun.
Was there an alternative route
he’d intended to pursue?
“Your socks,” he mused
They just won’t do.”

My socks?


Um, okay.

He’d clearly been planning this
In quite some depth.
So one thing led to another
– I won’t divulge the rest –
But I can honestly assure you
That at best
It took at least three tries
And reassuring replies of
“I’m alright, let’s try it again”
Before cheers and smiles were felt from within
In the most wondrous state of bliss
One could imagine –

That was,
Until the next morning.

Let’s rewind to a few hours before.

When we finally,
You know,
Got it right
I let myself sink into slumber
After checking the rubber
And kissing my lover goodnight.
Little did I know
Either he was more drunk than he appeared
Or he simply didn’t know where to dispose of the gear

So where did it go?

Ah! But of course.

Right out
The window.

Onto the doorstep
For all of London to see –
But for one single man particularly:

His father.


If only I’d told him to
Wrap it
In a scrap of tissue
Then perhaps he wouldn’t have tossed it so carelessly.

Ah well.
Life’s too short to
Regret teenage pitfalls
But let my experience be a lesson to you all –
Enjoy it. You’ll only lose your virginity once
And I assure you that
You’ll find yourself in cahoots
When reflecting on things
That didn’t necessarily go as planned
And learning for the times
That will follow suit.



First Time

The first time that I kissed
Was not the time that I first touched

The first time that I touched
Was not the time that I first fucked

The first time that I fucked
Was not the time that I first felt alive

The first time that I felt alive
Was the time I first made love to you.

And that is the only time,

Which has truly mattered.



Inked night
Slipping into the tired heated bed
Bodies separated by hollow sound and hollow space
Minds attempting to communicate, glaring at each other through our night vision

Is touch all we need.
It wasn’t thunder love or lightning tears
It wasn’t first walk or first breath
it wasn’t.
There was thrusting bed night thumping but it wasn’t special yet.
It was a mutual agreement of nervous ecstasy and temporary memory.

Done after a few humps.
Building up more of a relationship with the pillow than the body
Awake to find that body is still breathing next to you. FUCK.

Silence as the thoughts of last night leaves cavities and they find a place in the bed between our wet hungry tongues.
Then the lights go on and the gates of mumbling awkward voice thrust us away from each other
The sun shines through onto the bed, illuminating the curved bodies. Distant.


FIRST TIMES. NETTLE BUSH VIRGINITY. Not wanting to be named.

This was year 9 when I was 14. The first time I gave HEAD we shook hands to show we both confirmed what was about to happen. No kissing. It was in the middle of a stinging nettle bush. I had no idea what I was doing and it lasted 40 minutes. In a STINGING nettle bush. The single reason I got down to the level of his head was because I liked him so much. I wanted him to like me. But after this it seemed It’s his friends because they too wanted to have 40 minutes, with my mouth, in a stinging nettle bush


I had two thought processes that should have made me stop immediately. The first was “I probably should do this, I want to be a cool girlfriend” which is so frustrating for obvious reasons but even more so when I really didn’t like him that much.
The second was the clearest message just as it was about to happen and it was an incredibly loud
“No”. I was the one who initiated it, he didn’t even seem that keen either but I didn’t pay much
attention because I’d been taught that’s what boys wanted so I didn’t think to question which is
horrific, he just kind of shrugged “yeah, alright”.
It is so sad to think of these two children pushing themselves into something they didn’t want to do because they felt they should, we weren’t even pressuring each other it was all external or imagined pressure. It only lasted about 20 seconds, I lay there super tense and stared and the ceiling and waited until I got the courage to say it hurt.
When I did say it hurt he made an acknowledging grunt turned to me for a second and carried on
before being like “I’ve lost it anyway.”
So. Sad. It was just the worst. I felt like I had betrayed myself and also done a terrible job while doing so.
The next night I remember lying on the floor in my living room surrounded by my family and being
surprised life was carrying on like normal and that I was the same person. I genuinely thought that
it would fundamentally change me and how I was treated. I kept waiting to feel upset but I didn’t,
until I read a leaflet that said that virginity doesn’t matter but it is a nice thing to be able to do with
someone you really love.
I had a cry then because I thought I would miss out on a truly romantic experience, I would never be able to be like “I have been waiting for the right person and that person is you” and they would be like “Yes I have also done that yay!” and it would be ground breaking and amazing. I’m so glad I learnt that sex by itself is amazing as it is without the framework of virginity.
I would like very much for the word to just drop out of our lexicon – there really is no need for it.
Six years of having sex later I found myself at a place where I knew exactly what I wanted, liked
myself a millions time more and found a really amazing lover and brilliant person. Having sex with
them felt like I was having sex for the first time. I finally after six years of being drawn to sex but
never really enjoying it, I finally truly understood the point.
I made all the noises I felt like making and did all the things I felt like doing instead of doing things to appear sexy. My partner made me feel so comfortable and I fancied him so much. I wish so much I could show 14 year old me this moment and be like “hey look, nothing is ruined at all, you just misunderstood the point!”
It would have saved me a lot of time if I understood that.

I feel this exhibits the problems faced by the young moving often to fast to attempt to fit with social norms.