My first time was a religious experience. Not in the sense that it was that great, but in the fact that I considered it to be a necessary ceremony. It was the first summer after my first period, the time that I should have my Rite of First Pleasures. For more information, read Jean M. Auel's The Valley of Horses.

I'd only known the guy for three days. He was the ex-boyfriend of my best friend's cousin, generally regarded as a slut. (Both the cousin and the ex-boyfriend, actually). My best friend and I lived in a fairly small suburb, and so did he. So we were walking past his house on Friday and decided to say hi.

He had a pool in the backyard, and we swam and flirted. Not too heavily, as I had never even french-kissed anyone at this point in my life. He invited us to come back Monday morning. She was actually asleep on the floor the whole time - or at least she pretended to be asleep.

The sex itself wasn't much. Foreplay (during which I lay there like a log because i was too afraid to do anything) wasn't bad. The point of penetration hurt some; more notable was the fact that I kept bleeding a little for long enough afterward that I wondered if it was that time of the month.

The thing is, I'd seen a movie called Casual Sex starring Victoria Jackson in which she said she'd never had sex without crying in the bathroom afterwards. I told myself I never wanted to do that. But then I found myself in his bathroom, crying. I left while he was in the shower, my best friend still asleep on his floor.

It was a year and a half before I had sex with anyone else, and that was a friend at a party. I've heard that he told people I wasn't very good because I just laid there, but really I just didn't know what to do. Other than that it didn't change our relationship. Maybe it was just because it was so much later, but it hurt then too, not as much but in the same way. So those of you anticipating your second times, don't worry if that hurts too.