I was sixteen years old when I made the bittersweet transition from Virgin Most Pure to Experienced Woman of the World.
In retrospect, I was way too young. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no clue as to the nature of men, or the nature of sex, or the nature of relationships. I had not a single shred of knowledge about what to expect.
Back then, all I knew was that I had a Very Serious Boyfriend and we were both totally DTF.
I ended up dating this same boyfriend until my junior year in college, despite the fact that long-distance relationships are completely dumb and unsustainable at such a young age. When we did finally split up, it didn’t take me long to realize that I was without a man for the first time in my sexual “career” and that I had absolutely no idea how to navigate the single life.
Because no one had ever thought to tell me how.
And why would they? For the previous four years, my friends and family members had operated under the perfectly reasonable assumption that since I had a Very Serious Boyfriend, I was probably pretty wise to the ways of men. It didn’t occur to them to consider that while I certainly knew my way around a penis, I only knew my way around ONE penis. And that penis? It loved me. It knew me. It was a known quantity.
Without it, I was clueless.
If only there had been some resource I could have turned to back then. Some sort of reference material, something I could have studied at the college library, some helpful guide to the mad world of dating and casual sex. A volume, perhaps, of useful diagrams, theoretical case studies, and educational anecdotes meant to impart only the most valuable of advice. Lessons such as this:
It’s three in the morning, the dormitory is relatively quiet, and you’ve finished your studying for the night – yet you’re still all hopped up on Adderall and oily coffee. What to do? Laundry, of course! No one will be using the machines now.
You heave your bag of dirty smalls over your shoulders, grab your roll of quarters, and head for the laundry room.
And there he is. A tall drink of water standing over one of the washing machines with a bemused expression and a hesitant, fearful stance. It takes you less than four seconds to assess the situation – this dude has crept down here in the middle of the night to avoid any witness to the certain MASSACRE he is about to perpetrate on his laundry.
Because this guy? Has never used a washing machine before in his life.
His chambray eyes alight on you and immediately fill with hope. “Look,” they say, “A woman! She will surely know what to do with this clothes washing contraption.” And because you’re not a helpless idiot whose mother didn’t bother to show you how to use a laundry machine before you left for college, you do know what to do with it. You know very well.
You show the gorgeous spoiled moron how to sort his laundry, measure the detergent, pour it in, and choose a cycle. He is so relieved and grateful that you agree to sit and flirt with him while your collective clothes agitate and spin. Pretty soon he’s got his tongue in your face, and you’ve got your hands down the back of his jeans. The next thing you know you’ve both swiftly agreed to a laundry facility quickie.
That’s the easy part.
The tough decision comes after the Laundry Room Delight, when you’re on your way back to your dorm room, your clothes fresh and clean, your nether parts tingly and sore. It’s at that point that you will without a doubt ask yourself: “What do I do now?” And the unequivocal answer is:
Seriously. Do nothing. Don’t try and find out who he is. Don’t try and track down his number. Don’t look for him around campus, or ask your friends about him, or hang out in the laundry room night after night hoping for another “accidental” encounter. Trust me, he does not want this kind of attention. He does not want you to seek him out. Do that, and you will end up vastly disappointed. Instead, simply try and enjoy the experience for what it was – a hot, sexy, hormone-filled college romp. Cache it away in the depths of your mind for later “mental exploration” and move on.
Listen up and listen good. This here? Is the best advice about dating and sex that no one ever saw fit to give me. The advice to just BACK OFF. To not obsess. To not pin hopes of marriage and children and “happily ever after” on every guy who ever graced my bed. And most importantly, to spend at least some of my college years having fun, having sex, and having fun sex, rather than fixating on and mooning over every cute boy to ever pull and pray all over my lady garden.
No one ever gave me this advice, so I’m going to give it to all of the young ladies out there who need some guidance in the ways of dating and casual sex: enjoy your youth, enjoy your bodies, but don’t have ridiculous expectations. Ridiculous expectations lead to disappointment, and you don’t want to spend the best years of your life disappointed. Worry not – your “one” will come along – but it probably won’t be the guy who fucked you in the communal laundry room.