It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly I lost my virginity. It’s especially hard to pinpoint what virginity even means in my case — the word doesn’t really have the same connotations for gay men. After all, our bedroom gymnastics are a bit different than those of straight couples: we don’t enter the gym through the same door, we have an entirely different working definition of the phrase “straddle split,” and there’s only one parallel bar we need to perform on to win the Olympic gold.
In other words, our “cherries” are from a different fruit tree than straight men —a much fruitier fruit tree, if you will.
Despite all this grey area about the term “virginity,” there’s one thing I’m sure about: my first quasi-sexual encounter was by no means average. After all, it happened at the age of fifteen in the bathroom of a roller-skating rink during my Chinese language school’s skating party.
Before you call me a BIG OL’ HO-BAG (which I get sometimes), let me paint a picture of myself at fifteen. Like most fifteen-year-old dudes, I was horny as hell. However, I couldn’t just take a girl out and lose it to her in the back of my car down the street from my parents’ house. (I tried the whole dating-girls thing, and I wasn’t really into it.) To put it classily, I needed me some man-meat.
Coincidentally, a kid from my old middle school started instant messaging me to confess that he was just starting to come out of the closet too (I had come out as “bi” at the end of eighth grade — that lasted only a year and a half). After some coy flirting, we both decided that we needed to experiment with this whole gay thing to see if we were cut out for the job. The problem, however, was that we had nowhere to hold our proposed experiment. It involved dangerous reactants that could have blown up in our faces if we weren’t careful: we were, after all, in Virginia Beach—a generally conservative and homophobic area. Both of our parents were Republicans. Both of my parents were Navy sailors. At the time, I could have sworn that Bree from “Desperate Housewives” was modeled after my mom (she’s changed a lot since then, by the way).
In any case, there was no way we could have done it at one of our houses. We both had homemaker moms who would have knocked on the bedroom door with a fresh plate of chocolate chip cookies halfway through. “SURPRISE, MOM! I’M A FRUITCAKE!”
Not an option.
So we decided we had to do it in a place where we could be away from our parents and away from suspicion. The logical solution? The skating party I had to attend that weekend. Midway through “Crazy in Love,” we snuck off to the bathroom (me five minutes before him, so as not to attract attention). A minute of awkward positioning ensued and BAM I was rolling back and forth across the stall like I was auditioning for “Xanadu.”
Yes, he was blowing me. Yes, I still had my skates on. Yes, we were in a bathroom during a skating party. But no, I didn’t feel like a slut. To me, this was inevitable. It was a necessary step to take before I could fully embrace my sexual orientation and identity. In fact, it was a necessary step for me to take in order to survive high school. I needed something uniquely my own—something to tuck away in my journals, in my bedcovers, in my heart. This was that thing.
I did feel a bit like a slut, though, when someone walked into the bathroom and I had to jump onto my buddy and straddle him so that the bathroom visitor wouldn’t see two pairs of skates under the stall door. Silently staring over his shoulder—with my arms around his neck, my legs wrapped around the toilet and my dong pressed up against his stomach— I had this strange gut sensation that I was experiencing the most awkward minute-and-a-half of my entire life.
But hey, at least I got a good story out of it.