Sex & Relationships

The First Time I Had Sex After Major Surgery

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

A collage of legs with flowers on them

(Art: Leo Tapel)

“When I lost my virginity, I was 16 and my hips were just starting to give me trouble. Bad hips run in my family. I saw a surgeon and was told I was going to need both of them replaced—sooner rather than later. I wanted to wait for the surgery until after I finished university, but I kind of pushed myself to the limit with the pain. By my fourth year, I was using two canes. It’s weird, at the age of 21, to be like, ‘Ah, my hips are acting up again! Can’t quite make it to the dance hall!’ It definitely affected my social life. It’s embarrassing to feel you physically can’t keep up with everyone else.

After my surgery, my surgeon didn’t say too much about sex, probably because he knew I was single, and also because he was my mom’s surgeon—and my grandmother’s surgeon. I remember the first time I tried to masturbate after the surgery: my muscles were still so sore and achy, I was restricted to my back and I had to make sure that my knees were at a certain angle. But it was the best thing I could’ve done before having sex, to figure out exactly what I was okay with, what was going to work and what wasn’t.

I went back on Tinder once my physio ended six months after the surgery, and I met this guy I was pretty into. We went for a walk on the beach for our first date, which was a big deal for me—to go for a walk. Because I felt so secure with him, there wasn’t a lot of preamble. Also, it had been seven months since I was last with someone—I was very excited to have sex again. Not that I could do a ton. I was like, I’m basically going to lay here, this is as far as I can move myself, sorry that I can’t be more accommodating, this is what I have to offer. He was super gentle. I mean, it turned out he was a moron, but he was very gentle.

Having the surgery made me look out for myself more than ever. I have more flexibility now, and physically I’m able to do and try a lot more things, but I’m not going to hurt myself for the sake of giving someone else pleasure. I’m not going to put my body at risk to make sure someone else is getting off. I really appreciate my body and what it does for me right now. Plus, I have these scars, which I think are sexy. That’s my badass opening line now: ‘Want to see my scars?'” —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 with Myself
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