Girls Losing Virginity
I was 15 when I had sex for the first time.
He was my best friend and first serious boyfriend. What started out as cuddles in my bedroom ended with both of us taking our pants off.
Looking back, my then-boyfriend and I didn’t know what we were doing in bed. The biggest lesson we learnt was “the vagina is a lot lower than where you’d expect it to be”.
There was no earth-shattering revelation or change. I didn’t even cum. In fact, losing my virginity was so uneventful, trying to recall details of the memory draws a blank.
How using sex as an emotional crutch messed up my life
Sex became something I did not for my own pleasure, but as a tool for guys to like me.
The attention I received was a welcome ego boost and made for an addictive drug. It was too easy to fall into the pattern of using my body for validation and have others tell me I was hot, desirable, and good enough.
Gradually, it became easy to share my body, even with people I didn’t like. I’d sleep with guys who caught my fancy, never mind if they were in a relationship.
I would show my friends their Instagrams, receive hi-fives, and feel good about my conquests. But when I lay awake late at night, the niggling feeling that I had messed up would creep on my conscience.
Deep down, I knew the behaviour was destructive. But I was so dependent on using physical intimacy as an emotional crutch that I couldn’t stop.
I was labelled a ‘ho’. Gossip and shame would follow and I found my reputation limited my choice of partners. One ex-boyfriend I dated for two years confessed to me he had had serious reservations dating me. He heard I was an “easy slut”.
Eventually, we broke up because I cheated on him. The relationship wasn’t going well and to fulfil my emotional lack, I fell back to casual sex. What he said snapped me out of my reverie, “Grow up. Stop trying to f**k your problems away. It’ll only make them worse.”
It took losing someone I loved to realise what an emotionally unstable person I had become. I had become someone I couldn’t recognise myself and wanted to fix myself.
Illustrations via Pinterest
How I corrected my toxic behaviours
First, I recognised I had an excessively negative internal dialogue. That made me want to seek others for validation.
So when I made mistakes, I stopped calling myself an “idiot”, and said “nevermind lah”. I stopped comparing myself to others and learnt to appreciate my strengths. I started practising gratefulness.
This way, every setback or moment of self-doubt became an opportunity to build my self-esteem. With healthy self-esteem, I stopped considering dodgy characters as potential bed partners.
When you sleep with them, you carry their negativity. I told myself my body was a gift I had to respect. Sleeping with a hot douchebag wasn’t worth it.
Most importantly, whenever I slept with someone, I made sure I did it because I wanted to, not because I wanted him to find me attractive.
Illustrations via Pinterest
Making peace with double standards
Finally, I had to reconcile my want for casual sex with society’s double standards.
“Slut” describes a woman who has a lot of sex. The connotation is sex is wrong. But is it really that wrong to have sex? Does having sex make you a bad person? Do you link your self-worth to sexual purity?
I concluded having casual sex didn’t affect who I was as a person. What people said shouldn’t bother me because they were making snap judgments. What mattered more was creating an image of myself I could live with.
Having Sex For First Time
Becoming sexually active at a young age started me on a path where I developed a warped perspective towards sex, and devastated my self-esteem.
However, learning to navigate the emotional cesspool I created taught me how to value and respect myself. It was what I experienced which made me who I was today.
But if I could offer a word of advice to my 15-year-old self, I would say, wait. When you have sex for the first time, you’ll give up your innocence for a moment of physical pleasure and put yourself up for judgement which you might not be able to handle at a tender age.
Cover image: Image by Agathe Sorlet