Thursday, February 23, 2017

Initiation ( #FirstTime #Fetish #Fantasies )

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.


  1. Thinking about novelty/initiation as an erotica theme reminds me of a literary problem I encountered in the course of my career: the juncture when the novelty of novelty wears off. This was an issue for me with my kinky pieces about women who peed erotically. Beginning early in my career, I wrote a number of stories in which the protagonist (or, from the other side, the protagonist's lover) revealed her fetish to the party of the second part; or where the protagonist, say a college student or twentysomething, was stumbling on her turn-on for the first time herself. The stories were genuinely individual (I didn't just change the names or anything), but in one way or another they were structured around this kind of initiation. As long as I was writing them for different markets, I felt fine about it—in fact, it felt validating to send a watersports-initiation piece to market number 5 or 6 and hear, once again, "This is really different. We think our readers will be intrigued and turned on by this." It might be getting old for the writer, but it was new to this or that publication and its readership.

    But as I entered the phase of my career where I was publishing repeatedly with the same editors, I didn't want to keep working the initiation angle a lot. Not only was I wary of becoming a bore; I also felt that a fetish didn't deserve to be treated merely as a novelty all the time. I was a little tired of making my characters explain why this turned them on! But the problem was, with a fetish that was so off the beaten path for most readers, I wasn't always sure how I could just integrate it into a story that wasn't about the peeing fetish as the conversational focus of the characters, without it making readers do a double take. It wasn't that I was afraid I'd shock them; it was just that I was afraid it would take them by surprise if it was introduced without a certain amount of fanfare—like the story would be chugging along with its character development and chemistry and dialogue, and then things would heat up and, instead of our segueing into vanilla sex or into any of the common kinky things that other writers do, all of a sudden the readers would be like, HUH, THEY DID WHAT? Not repulsed, but just like it came out of nowhere and they missed the orientation.

    Ultimately, I had various "workaround" strategies that allowed me to write the fetish into stories without always drawing formal attention to it as a novelty/initiation thing... but it was definitely something of a challenge.

  2. Good post, Annabeth. I used to fantasize about losing my virginity (or being "deflowered"), usually in a historical context, even though my own first time was quite meh. I suspect part of the appeal was the old promise or assumption that a virgin's first partner would be delighted and grateful to be "granted her favours," and would therefore treat her well and want to give her pleasure. It was an appealing fantasy, especially since it was so far from reality.

  3. No surprise our turn-ons morph as the years go by. Mine change from day to day.

  4. There are ways in which the losing-virginity first time is uniquely exciting, but sometimes (judging by stories I've read as an editor) the very idea of it being a first time distracts from the physical pleasures (assuming there are any.)

  5. In my own stories, I struggle with the idea of novelty per se as arousing. This is particularly true in the context of a BDSM relationship. If pushing limits is a turn on (and it is, for me, and I think for many who are into kink), how do you stop? How do you navigate the thin line between extreme danger and extreme pleasure? And if you do get to some point where there's no choice but to stop, how do you escape from boredom?

  6. Lisabet, this could be a new topic! In a culture in which it's widely believed that no "underage" person can give meaningful consent(and the age of "adulthood" can be relatively old in certain jurisdictions), I sometimes wonder how that applies to first-time consent in a context of BDSM. If an inexperienced person agrees to the use of a bullwhip on his/her naked back, should that be considered assault, abuse or torture because the victim didn't really know what he/she was consenting to? But if uninformed consent isn't real consent, no one can really consent to anything the first time! It's a philosophical pretzel.


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