Nikki and I had similar experiences in high school health class. Pregnancy was the biggest threat in my mind, and for awhile, STD’s didn’t enter my sexual vocabulary. That changed when the media began reporting HIV/AIDS cases. For the very first time, health class became relevant. I can remember Mr. Schneider drawing red circles on the chalkboard to explain a crucial point.
“This is you and your boyfriend/girlfriend,” he said to us and drew two circles that almost touched. “He says he has only slept with two other people, right? And you? You’re a virgin.”
He rolled his eyes a little, but the sarcasm flew over my head at the time. I was too busy watching more circles go behind the Circle Boyfriend.
Mr. Schneider turned to face the class and poked a chalk-coated finger into the air. He coached football and enjoyed stabbing motions. “Now who can tell me how many people those two slept with? What if they’re lying? Even if they only slept with one person that doesn’t guarantee that they don’t have an STD. Without a condom, every person from that point of contact going forward will get their STD too. ”
I watched in horror as the chalkboard filled with red circles. At that point I had only slept with two people, but Senior Week and a trip to the beach loomed on the horizon. I didn’t know it, but I was going to triple that number over the next three weeks. Even with a low number of sexual partners at that point, I didn’t feel that I could be honest about it. It was common knowledge that my boyfriend took my virginity in a cloud of Coors Light fumes on Mike Caroll’s bedroom floor. The ex-bf told everyone about those sixty seconds of infamy, and even now, as his profile pic pops up on my Facebook page, I question my sanity.
I took that condom lesson to heart as my tally of sexual partners grew. I had no qualms about insisting on protection, but if the guy asked about my previous experiences, I broke out in a cold sweat. Even my girlfriends stared at me askance if I whispered the number. Eventually, I gave up keeping count and decided that if asked, I slept with eight people. Eight was enough to indicate that I could have fun and knew my way around a penis, but that I hadn’t taken up residence in the Land of Whores. I don’t know where that land is, but apparently, women who sleep with more than eight people own condos there.
As I’ve matured, sharing my sexual history has become an act of trust. Up until meeting my Master, I had never told anyone the entire fucking truth, even the prudish, judgemental man I divorced. M gradually pulled the stories from me, and like Pandora’s box, they came tumbling out amongst a flood of embarrassment and chagrin. To my everlasting amazement, he didn’t condemn me. Despite twinges of jealousy, he relished them and asked for explicit details. They became woven into his fantasies that eventually involved him, me and someone(s) else. Instead of using my sexually adventurous past against me, he used it to celebrate the person I am now. Regardless of how others may feel about it, without those experiences, good, bad and horny, I wouldn’t be me.
When I came up with the title for this post, I hesitated at using the word sin. I didn’t choose it because I’m ashamed, but because many people think I should be. Or they’d make snap judgments that I wasn’t worth knowing because I fucked eight (or so) people. What is the precise “weight” of a previous sexual experience? How does it or should it effect the relationship you’re in today? My point is this: if you’re with the person you want to be with, why do you give a flying fuck about their past?
I promise you that I don’t, but baby, you still have to wear a condom.