Seems we’re all talking about virginity these days….
I found it hard to relate to the two previous posts on virginity, because I don’t remember losing mine, so it never got to be an issue. Although the way I lost it became a VERY big issue for a while.
I’m amazed at how little I remember – I was 10 or 11 at the time, not a total child. I’ve never known how to label what happened. “Child abuse” as a concept didn’t exist at the time, and although it has since become a big subject in the media, it always seems to be in terms of wicked family members.
My experience wasn’t like that. I had a little job delivering newspapers to houses before school. The newsagent just got friendlier and friendlier. He “promoted” me to helping me mark up the papers with the house numbers for the delivery routes, so I was on my own with him in the shop, and got even friendlier.
And I was flattered – I assume. I actually have no memory of what I felt, I just know that no physical violence, threats or hothouse family atmospheres were ever involved, and don’t know how else to explain my compliance.
He had a dog. I desperately wanted a dog. My parents wouldn’t let me have a dog. So I started going round to his house after school to play with his dog, or take it for walks. This led on to playing with him, and then to sex. He must have been very patient and determined.
This went on for more than a year. Of all that time, I have only four short “videos” in my memory. Four. They aren’t particularly shocking, except for the fact that I was 10 or 12 and he was 28 or 29, and weren’t, as far as I’m aware, traumatic. But I don’t think I need to describe them here.
What WAS traumatic was when my parents found out. Oh Lord, did the heavens ever fall in. I hadn’t been forced, therefore I was a fallen woman, a shame to the family, a disgrace, dirty, untouchable. My father couldn’t bear to look at me, whilst my mother was very vocal in her disgust, which spilled out all over the place.
That also went on for years. The fall-out was quite spectacular and my feelings for my parents have never recovered.
It wasn’t until I was 24 when someone handed me a book on child abuse that I began to punch my way out of the paper bag of being a fallen woman, a shame to the family, a disgrace, dirty, untouchable. But by then, of course, I had become so (in the eyes of people who believe in such concepts). Having lost my virginity and any sense of connection with my parents at 10 or 11, it wasn’t difficult at all to look for acceptance and affection elsewhere using this new-found skill.
Of course, we only have one life, so it’s never possible to set up experiments with a control. I can’t know what my life would have been without that experience. I suspect I learnt far too early on to “service” in bed rather than share, but isn’t that many women’s experience anyway? I can’t imagine trusting my parents, but I might have done if this hadn’t happened, and who knows how that might have changed my life? Not to mention how my life might have been different if I hadn’t been cast in the role of untrustworthy scarlet woman so early on. On the other hand, becoming independent and taking risks might have been more difficult if I’d had any kind of meaningful relationship left with them. For example, the fact that moving abroad would mean I would see very little of my parents has never been a problem for me. And in my wild sleeping around days (which I might have had anyway), I actually met some truly nice people who are still friends today, 30 years later. And all of my long-term relationships (I’m on my third) grew out of one-night stands (do people still use that expression?). Re-reading those last two sentences makes me wonder whether it's perhaps because I was introduced to sex so early on that's it's never been a really big deal to me, and in fact has often been a way for meeting people and making friends.
In the end, it’s not an experience that dominates my life, but I’m aware it’s there, lurking in the background. Witness this post. There’s no conclusion, or even any real point to this post, but reading two posts in succession about virginity, well, this is what has been stirred up for me.