by Annabeth Leong
Virginity loss has featured in my sexual fantasies for most of my life.
It goes way back to one of the first books I read that included explicit scenes, Jean M. Auel’s Valley of the Horses. That book includes descriptions of a ritual around a woman’s first time that really turned me on—partially because it involved her being initiated by a stranger. That page of my edition was heavily dog-eared, and I remember setting my alarm clock to wake up in the middle of the night so I could read it in private and, er, respond to it in the ways that came naturally.
Even well into adulthood, fantasizing about a hypothetical first time would get me off. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of roleplaying—protestations of innocence or wonder, sometimes with a creepy, consensual non-consent tone, but sometimes playing it just flat out silly, giggling at the ridiculous things I’m saying, while also coming hard. It’s fucking hilarious to pretend I don’t know where my own cunt is, and it turns me on to a surprising degree.
It’s odd because my actual experience of losing my virginity was not that wonderful or thrilling. I was rather young—twelve—dating an older guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer. I remember seeing a friend right after the first time it happened, and she was excited, and I was more bemused than anything else. I didn’t feel particularly changed or transformed.
So I don’t know why virginity loss has been such a consistent turn-on. Maybe I’m looking for a do-over, but maybe I’m hunting a fiction that’s never existed. I know most of the fetishes around virginity are nonsense. I don’t have a freshness seal, and I never did. (If you want your mind blown, read Emily Nagoski’s Come As You Are and discover that the hymen does not work at all like most people think it does.) It was not a magical initiation. I didn’t reach simultaneous orgasms. And so on. And yet…
Lately, a funny thing has happened. I’m in my thirties now, and I’m noticing that many of my fantasies are shifting. I can’t buy myself in the ingenue role anymore. I’ve been fucking for more than thirty years. I’m not sure why that didn’t start bothering me a decade ago, when it had been more than twenty years, but what can I say? The point is that I can’t plausibly fantasize about my own virginity.
Instead, I’ve started fantasizing about the other side of the initiation. The shift feels strange, but perhaps natural. I’m still into something about the mystery of the first time, but now I’m the one who’s navigating it for an innocent partner.
I’m not so into the freshness seal idea. What’s getting me now is the idea of showing someone something and watching them see it fresh. It’s the same way I like to take people somewhere they’ve never been before or tell them about something new. Initiation is sexy, whether that’s magical or mundane.
I never liked the idea of “losing it.” It always seemed weird to me to think of virginity as something that’s “given up.” Because really, it’s about taking in, soaking up the new.
And maybe this is a bit afield from what I started out to say, but when one’s fetish is novelty, it can be found many times over. First time being caned. First time caning. First time giving oral sex. First time getting it after a while. Or, to paraphrase a comedian I saw once, first time on the hood of this car. I’m still into all of it, no matter which side of the initiation I’m on.