By Daniel Weispfenning
When I was sixteen, my mother decided to give me “the talk” as part of Sunday school curriculum instead of at a private, only partially-mortifying venue. My first assignment was to draw a car which would represent me as a sexual being traveling down the road of life until I parked in the driveway of a committed heterosexual relationship and gave my mother some damn grandchildren. I drew a unicycle. At the time, I thought I was just being goofy. Once I had become a gay, twenty-year-old virgin, I realized I was actually being clairvoyant.
It was summer. A month beforehand, I had successfully masturbated for the first time. Since most people started in their early teens, I had to make up for lost time. My pace would have been blistering were it not for Vaseline. Emboldened by my success at self-stimulation, I made a summer goal—get laid.
I didn’t want to contract Herpes until at least the third time I had sex, so I made a point to stop in the medical section of Rainbow Foods while grocery shopping. Rainbow had recently changed their logo to something that would make sense only if they also changed their name to Dark Green Foods. My theory on the logo change was that a rainbow logo was too gay for Middle America. By changing the color, they could pretend they were founded by and named for Thaddeus H. Rainbow.
Looking at the packs of condoms, I faced a conundrum. They all touted their abilities to please “her.” The class Comparative Orifices was not a part of my Catholic sex education. I didn’t know if pleasure ridges or bumps were more suited to anal cavities. I briefly considered asking a passing employee which brand he’d recommend for butt sex until I saw that he was seventy. He could have been the keeper of the greatest secret anal sex techniques, but due to his age, I wouldn’t have minded if they died with him.
Eventually I bought a three pack of what seemed to be the most basic variety. There would be time for experimentation later. Two were lost the moment they touched the nest of papers and debris around my mattress. The survivor was put into my coin purse. The coin purse had a Japanese cartoon penguin on it, but it was an evil Japanese cartoon penguin which I believe butched it up.
At that point, I didn’t have any specific plans as to with whom or where I would get laid. The condom was merely a good-faith gesture. It said, “Hey world, I’m ready for whatever sexual adventures you want to throw my way. Don’t hold back because you think I’m not ready.”
In July, a sexual adventure was thrown squarely at me. I had begun my first semi-relationship. We were on our second faux-date. The first one involved us walking around campus realizing that without chemical inducements we had no interpersonal connection. For our second sort of date, he came to my apartment, watched the first half of a movie, lost interest and started feeling me up. At first, it tickled, and I would laugh uncontrollably, forcing him to retreat. Once I was able to will myself out of being ticklish, he gave me a glorious boner. It pressed against my jeans so hard it hurt. This was when I was supposed to relieve the pressure by unzipping my pants. Then we would have segued into a light blowjob and then full-on sex.
But if that happened, I wouldn’t know exactly what to do. I had a general idea of the theory behind butt sex. I knew the prostate was something I should be looking for. However, I didn’t know any of its distinguishing characteristics. I feared that I would have to spend a lot of time rummaging around in him playing “hot” or “cold”. I should have done my research.
Instead I nervously laughed at the movie, hoping to divert his attention back to it. When that didn’t work, I tried to figure out what I should do with my hands. It didn’t seem right that I was experiencing the most spectacular hard-on I had ever had while giving nothing in return, but I was worried my attempts wouldn’t be as effective.
The movie ended, and the sex had not happened after thirty minutes of aggressive hinting. There was still a small chance we could become the best of fuck buddies—unless I was bad in bed, which I probably was. I said goodbye. I walked him to the door with the crotch of my jeans still taut. We had no further pseudo-dates.
For the rest of the summer, I came no closer to losing my virginity. The start of classes would mark my official failure. I planned to celebrate by inflating my condom. The balloon would symbolize my hopes for the summer. It would be popped.
My last chance to meet someone was an end-of-summer party I attended with a friend and her boyfriend. The men at the party were overwhelmingly straight, as evidenced by the non-ironic beer pong table. On the walk back to my house my friend received a phone call. It was from a girl back at the party, a blonde from Iowa. Valiantly I offered up my condom. My friend whisked it back to the party. The blonde probably enjoyed it more than I would have.
One day I’ll be ready to learn to ride that unicycle . I know the pharmaceutical aisles at Dark Green Foods are waiting for me.