The First Time I Had Sex with Myself

Losing your virginity isn’t necessarily the biggest first in your life. Here, one woman shares her most significant sexual first

first time orgasm sex: A collage of a woman's hands touching fruit
(Art: Leo Tapel)

“I was 12. I was at a public pool, we were playing Marco Polo, and I had to count, because I was Marco. It was kind of an accident—I moved up against the pool jet, and then I didn’t want to move away. I had no clue about anything, but I knew enough to feel weird about what had happened.

I think for a lot of people, once they do come, they’re like, I never want to stop doing this. I was someone who was very shy and very afraid to have a different feeling than other people, so it’s not like I masturbated every six hours. It was more like whenever I went to the public pool. And then it was like: Oh, the shower head. And then: Vibrators. I always wanted to find something that was a reasonable facsimile of the pool jet, my first love.

I have total control when I’m alone with a vibrator, which felt particularly important in my teens and 20s, because I was so prone to going along with things. I didn’t feel empowered in my own body, and I think that had a lot to do with dating straight men: I was very much a passive participant in my sex life. I remember once asking a guy to use a vibrator on me, and he acted like I had three heads. It was a really destructive experience, looking back on it.

It wasn’t until recently that I understood that sex was a team sport. I’m with a partner now who listens. I am dating a woman, but I know this isn’t about being with a woman, because women can be bad at sex, too. I just got lucky. I’m glad women hit their sexual peak in their 40s, because my 20s were such a bust. I’m going to be on fire at 40.” —As told to Danielle Groen

More firsts:

The First Time I Had Sex After Getting Sober
The First Time I Had Sex in My Correct Gender
The First Time I Had Sex After Opening Up My Relationship
The First Time I Had Sex After Giving Birth
The First Time I Had Sex After Being Assaulted
The First Time I Had Sex After Major Surgery
The First Time I Had Sex After Coming Out
The First Time I Had Sex After an Abortion
The First Time I Had Sex After My Marriage Ended

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