I met #63 through #59. He was nineteen, two years younger than me. I wasn’t attracted to him when we first started hanging out, but I suddenly changed my mind when we went to a drag party and I saw him in a wig and a dress. Somebody handcuffed us to each other, and after consuming enough Dutch courage, I decided to make my move.
Unfortunately, this was right around the moment he discovered he’d drank too much red wine. I was lucky enough to escape the eruption, but an innocent bystander was not so fortunate. #63 embarked on a desperate race to the bathroom, whisking me along with him because we were still joined at the wrist. It was not his finest hour.
He recovered, though, and then we got on with it, and we saw each other a few times before I went off to Japan for three weeks. He dutifully awaited my return, and as soon as I came back I treated him to my “actually let’s just be friends” talk. I don’t remember it being that big a deal at the time, my calling an end to something that wasn’t an official relationship to begin with. We still hung out and everything was cool. Cool enough, in fact, that a couple of months down the line we figured it was okay to start making out again at my post-Pride party, and then after that we went out to a Japanese restaurant in Leith with #61 and #103 and drank a lot and I wound up back at #63’s place and we made out and then we had sex. And that was the end of my heteronormative virginity, and his, too.
Surprise! You assumed this had already happened, didn’t you? Everyone did. #37 had apologised for misjudging me. #24 had asked if it was for religious reasons. (It wasn’t.) And my favourite reaction came from #79: “I thought you were the sex revolution of the nineties!” she’d exclaimed.
No, dear reader, I was not the sex revolution of the nineties; nor did I proceed to be the sex revolution of the twenty-first century. The thing was, I already understood sex as a range of sexual activities, some of which I already engaged in, and I didn’t really feel like a virgin. I waited until I felt ready, and resisted viewing it as the big deal it’s often made out to be. I had friends, male and female, whose first experiences were not so empowering. I had no regrets about my decision, except that I didn’t look in the mirror the next day before I went for lunch with #63 and his mother and some epic hickeys on my neck.
We had what I thought of as platonic sex a few more times. I remember one night, he asked me to sleep over at his place afterwards. Sex was fine, but doing this, it felt too intimate. I tried, I really did, but I lay there in the dark with my fear of commitment washing over me until I gave up and walked home through the quiet streets.
A month or so later, I got into a relationship and was completely distracted. #63 and #113 came to Dublin with me one time when I visited my boyfriend, and the pair of them behaved like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show. #63 started going out with a Japanese girl who became a friend of mine, and then we sort of grew apart and fell out of touch. The last time I saw him, I really didn’t know what to talk to him about, but I do wonder what he’s doing these days.