Portrait of a Sex-Starved Teen

There was a time in my young life when I thought sex would never happen for me, that I would never learn about the great mystery of it. It seemed my chance for it had passed me by. Okay, so I was just a teenager, and it’s not so unusual for teens, especially males, to be half-crazed, thinking about the how and the when and the what’s-it-all-about of their first sexual encounter. By the time a male is sixteen he is supposedly at the height of his sexual potency and therefore his desires.

It can’t be true that sex was all I thought about during my high school years, but it feels now as if it were. Some days I walked around with an all-day bulge in my pants, and noticed nothing the teachers in my classes were saying, focusing instead on the smooth, creamy thighs of the girl next to me, who, oblivious of me, was paying attention and taking notes, apparently unaware that her skirt had ridden up several inches above her knees in the act of sitting.

I experienced extreme angst over the fact that sex was happening with my friends but not with me. When we were together in groups, the talk always got around to sexual exploits, and that was often the only topic of discussion. They chuckled over the fact that they were all having sex in one form or another—in the backs of cars, or in the bushes of deserted parks late at night, or in stairwells, or wherever—and there was much lascivious leering over the lurid descriptions of their encounters with Rita Rottencrotch or Hand Job Angie. I cackled along with them, trying not to give away the fact that I was still a virgin and clueless over what all this must really be like.

One boy in particular, who had just moved into our New Jersey neighborhood from New York, the big bad city across the Hudson River, was by definition worldlier, especially in matters of sex. And in his case, it was obviously true. Though roughly the same age as the rest of us, he was a man among boys, and his exploits were believable, just from the fact that girls, and even women, found him irresistible. Whenever we were together, just the two of us, and happened to meet a girl somewhere, say during a chance encounter at the nearby park or at the soda shop on 48th Street, I never stood a chance. Her eyes would follow him around, ignoring me, while he would act as if her stares were his due. He was always sure of himself in these encounters, and he always got the girl, while I looked on.

When it was just the two of us together, he liked talking about the many girls he’d had, once telling me in a casual way that he’d counted up all that he’d had sex with from the time he was thirteen, and it came to over a hundred. And more than a few were with women years older than he. All this by the time we were both sixteen, and I was still looking for my first.

I finally did lose my virginity, and it turned out to be not the big deal I believed in. Not that it was bad. It was good but not in the spectacular way I’d come to believe. And over the years, perhaps I tried to compensate for my early years of sexual deprivation. I went overboard. I had a lot of sex, much of it of the casual variety. But there seemed to be something missing in it. It became just an ordinary occurrence in my life, though usually a good one. Maybe it was just my imagination playing with me, giving me the feeling that, by waiting so long, I had missed out on the real good sex I had once dreamed of. And while I always liked the old joke that the worst sex I ever had was wonderful, I never really believed it.


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