Okay, no holds barred: I have a lot of firsts to share today.
For example, the first time I experienced anything akin to being turned on was watching Pepé Le Pew in Looney Tunes. No, really. I loved the French skunk. I loved the way he chased that pretty cat around and smothered her in affection. I particularly loved the way he held her and talked romantically into her ear, and how she swatted him away. For me, it was the chase—and while I imitated his lines because I liked the accent, I actually imagined some French person chasing me with affection and adoration one day. (Note: I have yet to date anyone French.)
My first kiss happened when I was seven. It was a dare. I’d had a crush on Michael for a whole year. He had this hair that looked like a Ken doll’s—it was short, blond, and wavy, but it somehow stayed close to his head (seven-year-olds don’t wear hairspray, right?). He always played football at lunch, so one day I stormed out and lectured him because he dropped the football. Yes. A seven-year-old, scolding another seven-year-old for dropping a football. Then, as he stared at me dumbfounded, I planted one on him. (Okay…maybe a little too much Pepé Le Pew viewing for me.)
My first “real” sexual experience happened under the murky sky of a light rain. I met a boy three years older than me and he walked me under a tree, where he cradled me in his lap and woke parts of me I didn’t realize existed. That experience was transformative—and lovely, to say the least.
The first time I had sex was with a different boy who also happened to be three years older. We wrote each other poetry and fantasized about living in other centuries together. Our relationship didn’t last long, but we did end up having one nostalgic fling almost four years later—when we drank wine, made love, and embraced while reading poetry to one another, all night long.
These are all some of my favorite firsts, but as open about these as I am, they’re not the firsts I meant to talk about.
I read about sexual things at quite a young age—I’d devoured several V.C. Andrews and Christopher Pike novels by nine, for goodness sake—but in my early teens, I stumbled upon something on my mother’s bookcase: Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin.
Now, I confess, I already knew what sex was, but I’d never truly read it. And while the contents of those pages mesmerized and delighted me, and I worship the great Anaïs Nin to this day, it didn’t occur to me that reading those pages could be a source of sexual excitement. I read them analytically, enthralled to discover that one could weave sexual words and scenes so eloquently—and yet I didn’t completely understand that it might “turn me on.” Maybe it did and I just didn’t pick up on it. Who knows. But it did make me want to read more.
So somewhere around there, I signed up for a book club. I could order as many books as I wanted (as long as I could afford them), and I thought this was the coolest thing since peanut butter. Soon, I grew bold. Right under my parents’ noses, I ordered The Best American Erotica 1993 and concealed the book under my bed. Night after night, I read the stories within—and while Anaïs Nin had opened my eyes, these stories rocked me. They made me hot. They made me whisper things to my boyfriends about the naughty things I was reading, and how we should try this, and that, and did you know you could do that?
Now, this is a very old collection, but there are two stories that I’ve never, ever forgotten—even two decades later. One was “Rubenesque” by Magenta Michaels, and the other “Five Dimes” by Anita ‘Melissa’ Mashman. “Rubenesque” showed me body love, exhibitionism, and anonymous sex, while “Five Dimes” showed me lovers having fun and exploring. In fact, I may well have talked a boyfriend into playing “Five Dimes” with me. (You’ll have to read the story to understand what that means, but I assure you, it’s hot.)
So yes, technically, my first was Anaïs Nin. But the first I really remember, the first that got my pulse racing, my cheeks pink, and my body covered in goose bumps—that first happened with The Best American Erotica 1993.
I haven’t stopped reading erotica since.
Now, as for the other firsts—they’re delightful memories, too…which brings me to you.
Do you know what I’d love to hear? YOUR firsts. First kiss, first turn-on, first sex, first sexy read—you pick. Maybe if I’m really lucky, this space will serve as your very first confession! 😉
Can’t wait to hear…
P.S. The results of Alison Tyler’s Smut Marathon Round 2 are up—check them out here! (I survived! Hurray!)