The cake is set. The candles are lit. A surge of accomplishment races through my body, something like the euphoria that follows after landing a plane, writing a novel, or pulling a mousetrap off of one's thumb. Bring out the marching bands! Throw the ticker tape! It's my 10th anniversary of sex.
Or is it?
When 1986 reared its swollen, pimply head, I was just a high school sophomore praying somebody would want to do me before I died. The terrible thought permeated my entire existence: what if I was hit by a bus tomorrow and never got to experience sex? That warmth, that softness, that beautiful moment when the condom snags your pubic hair as you try to roll it off. Ah, the humanity.
Our first date was to my sister Laurie's dance recital. Our REAL first date was going to be the day after (to see "Poltergeist II"), but teen-love burned so badly that Sue agreed to come along on this Friday night family outing. We sat far, far away from my parents, up in the balcony, where she proceeded to chew my ear and lick my neck as pre-pubescent little girls pranced in sparkly costumes to "Let's Hear It For The Boy". At intermission, we ditched the show for the cozy privacy of a park bench directly in front of the theater. It was there I asked if I could kiss every inch of her exposed legs. (She was wearing shorts).
Later, we shared our first kiss and she said, "you need a lot more practice." I should have known her sensitivity would progress into later statements like "this will all mean a lot more to you than it does to me" and--after breaking up with me for my friend--"Max has a much better body than you do."
But our relationship continued, lasting almost a year. It was a year of many milestones. A year in which I refused to visit my aunt so that I could play hooky and touch real breasts for the first time. A year in which I was giving head and suddenly heard my mother's car pull up in the driveway below. A year in which Sue gave me mononucleosis, strep throat, and chicken pox. Of course, I once gave her a hairful of semen prior to boarding a flight to Dallas, so I guess we're even.
During this year, we only attempted vaginal intercourse twice. Both times at her place, with her younger brother--a diminutive serial killer in training--smashing his fist on the bedroom door and screaming, "SUSAN, SUSAN, LET ME IN!" Although penetration did occur both times, it was unmercifully brief. And traumatic. My 16 year old weenie was so scared it didn't make much of an appearance. Afterwards we just stuck to a steady diet of oral and manual sex (easier to disengage). Still, I considered these aborted attempts to be "my first time". After we broke up, I heard that Sue claimed she was still a virgin until she "lost it" with Max. I disputed this fact aloud one night, and my friend Phil gently countered with, "well, there's that piece of skin you're supposed to break..."
Hey, her hymen was already gone by the time I got around to it (Horseback riding, I think). So that was no help. Left alone, I wondered whether to count those two times or not. I usually have. But there's no way to "check"; I lost touch with Sue a long time ago. And the "next time" didn't come until a full year later, when an old friend came back from college to seduce me in her father's study while MTV flickered about 16" away from us on the floor. They say the third time's a charm. It was.
Despite any residual bitterness--or weirdness--I have to admit that there was a lot of good in my relationship with Sue. She was supportive, fun, smart, and had a great sense of humor. She set the precedent for many healthier, more mature relationships to follow. And she can't complain either. My Dad taught her how to drive.
So is it my 10th anniversary of sex, or just my 10th anniversary of sexual activity? Call me deluded, but I'd say I'm right to celebrate the mark. Who really determines the rules for sexual intercourse, anyway? An umpire? The Pope? I may not have bowled a strike, but I didn't exactly roll a gutterball either. Any disputers out there will simply have to take it up with my memory bank.
EDDIE SCHMIDT recovered from adolescence to have a healthy, if sometimes sporadic, adult sex life. He is not technically a pervert, but does admit to a late night encounter with a Veryfine juice machine.
The Journal of Substance, Wit,and Dangerous Masturbatory Habits