Ah, the bloom of new love…
I’ve been working on a new book, set in 1980. The two main characters are in love and working their way toward consummating their relationship. As I’ve been writing, I’ve also been remembering – not always a good thing.
I know a lot of (most?) lesbian romances include hot love scenes where the characters, even the first-timers who have never been with a woman, have ecstatic sex with earth-shaking orgasms and somehow they just instinctively know how to bring all this about. I’m guilty as charged – I’ve written scenes like that.
Women loving women should just know what to do and how to do it, right?
But as I’m trying to remember my own past and write a realistic story for these new characters, I’m not remembering it quite that way.
This is probably revealing way too much about my own early experiences with love and sex, but take the fact that my first girlfriend knew even less than I did, combined with a double dose of Catholic uptightness slathered with a generous portion of even more Catholic guilt, mix it all together and you’ve got a perfect recipe for less-than-perfect sexual encounters.
Don’t get me wrong – the desire was there. The kissing and hugging and the anticipation were enough to drive me insane. And I’m pretty sure I acted like I was insane at that point in my life. I knew I wanted to be with a woman, I just didn’t know much about how to do it.
Did everybody else just magically know how to touch and please their sexual partners and bring on perfectly timed mutual orgasms? Where was I when they had that lecture?
Anyone listening outside the door thirty years ago would have heard sounds, but they most likely wouldn’t have been sounds of passion. My memories of those early liaisons are more filled with constant whispers of “shhh!” lest we be overheard in our nakedness. Any other sounds we did make were often gasps of pain as limbs cramped and arms shuddered with exhaustion as it seemed to take forever to get to “the moment”.
I should also admit that I am not the bearer of lots of notches on my belt, if you know what I mean. Maybe practice makes perfect, but I tend to be a little old-fashioned in that way. I’ve never slept with anyone casually, never had a one-night-stand, never had sex with someone because I was drunk. Even so, getting to know someone new is a learning process, or at least it has been for me.
Remember in Friends, when Monica and Chandler were finally engaged and they talked about the realization that this was “forever”? Monica was feeling sad that there would never be another first time, but Chandler was so relieved that there would never have to be another first time. I’m definitely Chandler.
I love writing first times for my characters, letting them experience the wonder and intoxication of falling in love and discovering the joys of being with the woman they love, but I love being in love even more.
I am relieved and happy to say that, despite my early ignorance, sex has gotten SO much better! Some things truly do improve with age and experience – and, I might add, a letting-go of all of that guilt!
So, now that I’ve let you in on waaaay too much about my past, I ask you, is it just me????