I invited him to my house for dinner, figuring it would take quite a few dates before we actually did anything. Of course I didn't mention the virgin problem or my possibly impenetrable vagina. We ended up talking on my couch in front of my fireplace. He asked if I'd like to hear him play some genuine Native American flute music. Then he started showing me his tattoos, all very tribal. He explained the significance of each, and, with his with blonde hair and blue eyes, I wondered what percent Native American he really was. Before long, we were making out. I didn't stop him when he took his pants off, and I didn't care when he took mine off. It didn't occur to me that he wanted to have sex.
Okay, maybe I'm an idiot, but I spent seven years with a man who could not have sex with me and clothes were the least of our problems. I felt no connection to Joshua, other than being drawn to his long hair and dubious ties to the Sioux Indians. I wondered if sex without love and without any emotional connection could actually happen. Besides, I reasoned, as he started pulling off my panties, it would probably take several attempts to get inside of me, and I highly doubted that he could penetrate the wall. I was certain he'd have to do something special, something that I hadn't learned or Mike didn't know to do. It didn't even dawn on me that he wasn't putting on a condom.
Within about two seconds he was inside of me. It was shockingly simple. Nothing could have prepared me for it. How could something that had evaded me for this long—something that had ruined my marriage to an otherwise great guy, something that I feared and longed for, something that had driven me to go on anti-depressants and take up hobbies like beading and dancing and learning Spanish—turn out to be so simple?
And then it was over. He came within a minute. By the time I got used to how it felt having a man inside of me, he was out and lying on his side. It didn't hurt like I'd expected, but it didn't last long enough to feel good. I wanted more. I wanted the positions I'd memorized; I wanted it to not be over. But all Joshua said was, "Wow, that was great. Wish I had a cigarette." I scanned his face for some look of recognition, something. But he didn't know he just had sex with a virgin.
The next day, I asked him to have breakfast with me, but he said he had to go. I felt rejected, but I also knew that having sex on a first date was not the greatest set-up for a relationship. I also knew that I had no real connection with Joshua. He called me a few days later, but the conversation was awkward. We never saw each other again. Still, I felt relieved, and I looked at the entire incident as a rough draft attempt at the real thing. At least I wasn't a freak of nature, and at least I knew it wasn't me all those years.
Six years have past since then, and I've had a lot of sex with a few different men. But I still haven't managed to put love and sex together in the same person. I wish I could tell you that it doesn't matter, that I'm not waiting any more, that great sex is just, well, great. But I'm still hoping for something that doesn't resemble a poorly written romance novel.
Sometimes I still feel a pang of regret about Mike because we had a real friendship, and I loved him. He was someone I could laugh with, cry with and fight with, a true best friend. I want, more than anything, to combine something like that with a physical connection. I keep being drawn one or the other, but neither one is satisfying if you don't have both. I have my close friends, and I often have a boyfriend who isn't a close friend but at least makes a great lover. This combination meets most of my needs, but somehow, it isn't the same when the friendship and sex don't come from the same person. I often feel like instead of following a recipe, I'm using whatever ingredients I can find to make something that closely resembles, but doesn't at all taste, like a real meal. So, I guess I'm still grocery shopping, looking for those gourmet ingredients. Because love without sex and sex without love are just no way to live.