What is sex?

Sex.

Our society seems to be a sex driven society. Songs on the radio are usually about sex, celebrities are viewed as sex icons, and the idea of sex itself seems to be a huge piece of the mainstream. But what is sex to people and what does their first time experience, or lack of experience, show what sex mean to them.

For starters I looked at a dictionary. Sex according to the Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary (I told the staff at Upward Bound this dictionary would be put to a good use) is an act performed with another to perform sexual gratification. By this definition many different things would count as sex such as dry humping and oral sex. For the purpose of this experiment I focused solely on sexual acts involving some form of penetration involving the genitals, as that is how sex is viewed by the majority of society.

When it came to finding people I started with the easiest person I could talk to; myself. My first time, which could be better explained in this link http://samanthalikestosmile.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/i-just-wanna-see-you-strip/ was when I was a freshman in high school. It just happened in a field and ultimately it wasn’t all that special. I then went on to search for a better story than my own.

I decided to mention my project at the Thanksgiving dinner table when my 18 year old Brother Andrew King said, “You can’t ask me.” My younger brother is a born again Christian who believes that you should wait until you are married to have sex. “I also plan on remaining celibate,” he joked around, “I guess I will never have sex.”

I decided that since my family wasn’t working out that I would ask someone else really close to me about their experiences; my girlfriend.

“I would tell you about my first time but it hasn’t happened yet,” said Sara Plude, a 16 year old junior at Ticonderoga High School.

I can’t run into any more roadblocks of first time stories after that right? WRONG.

“I kinda would not wanna talk about my awkward first time,” said Kasey Rosselli, a junior at SUNY Potsdam.

I then ran into a story I didn’t even want to hear.

“You realize my first time was with your sister,” said one of my good friend Cody Mitchell, a 21 year old resident of Elizabethtown. No further questions were needed.

At this point I did what every teenager with a problem does, turns to facebook to create a status. “I have to do a journalism assignment where I have to interview 10 people about their first time having sex. If anyone has a really good story they would like to share I would love to include it,” my status said. The messages slowly started rolling in.

The first person I talked to was Shelby Coleman, a college freshman in SUNY Plattsburgh. She was 16 when she had her first time and it was with someone she was dating. “It was at my house in my room,I was pretty nervous because it was my first time,” she said. “I remember feeling sort of alone after even though he was there it like a part of me was gone.” Coleman continued about the experience. “I felt like I needed to be close or held or something.”

After hearing stories of loneliness I heard two stories that involved crying.

“I was 13 and it hurt so bad that I cried,” said U Albany sophomore Vicky Bennett. “It hurt several times after that too.”

“My boyfriend and I had planned this for our four year anniversary. It was at his house. And I was extremely nervous yet excited too,” said Samantha Dobies a Sophomore at U Albany. “I thought it was going to be this great sensation but it hurt so bad. To be honest I cried a little.”

As a guy it is hard for me to fathom the idea of it being painful. I can understand it mentally but I cannot fully comprehend how much it actually hurts. I also couldn’t imagine stories getting sadder or more painful than this but I was sadly mistaken.

Jolene Pierce, a junior at Saint Rose, started her story with a warning. “The story isn’t your average first time story,” said Pierce.

“I was visiting my dad for the summer and my older stepbrother was visiting as well. It was the first time I met him and we had a lot of fun for the first few weeks having someone to hang out with. Apparently it meant more to him and while my dad was at work one afternoon he tried to make a move on me. I was taken back because I considered him family. Nothing happened that time but over the summer he became what other people saw as jokingly but was actually quite painfully abusive. People pushed it off as sibling rivalry. The last night I was visiting for the summer we were watching jaws in the basement and he waited until everyone was asleep and preceded to force me to have sex with him. He told me if I didn’t he would tell my Dad and Step-Mom that I was crazy and was trying to have a relationship with him and by that point he had abused me enough that I believed him and gave in. He tried to tell me it would be painless and even enjoyable and that he did care about me. I was hurt from it for years but have now come to terms with what happened and have grown from it,” Pierce said.

This story was a hard one for me to include due to it’s very sad nature but she insisted I included the story. Sex is generally viewed as a beautiful art and your first time is supposed to be a magical moment but this story shows how sometimes people can have their moment stolen. I know many people who have been sexually abused and I include this story as painful reminder that sometimes you don’t have a choice in life and it can be painful but you can get through it. I was genuinely inspired by Jolene’s courage to share that story.

After I dried my eyes from that story I realized that sex is unpredictable. Even for the people who planned their sexual experiences, their answers showed that they couldn’t predict what was going to happen. The people who cried didn’t expect to cry, Shelby didn’t expect to feel lonely, Jolene never expected to be sexually abused and I didn’t expect to be doing it in knee high grass by a burned down high school. I left the virgins that I interviewed with advice about sex based on all the interviews I did; the first time is never what you expect.

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4 thoughts on “What is sex?

  1. I really enjoyed your article. The beginning was humorous but I appreciate the fact that you included Jolene’s story. Sometimes sex isn’t wanted and that is a serious issue that you brought light of, very inspiring.

    • It was hard to include it but I was glad I included it because it adds a new perspective to it that is a lot more serious.

  2. Great story, very clever and well done. Except for one thing — you intentionally circumvented the main purpose of the assignment — getting you to talk to strangers about an uncomfortable topic! These are all acquaintances or relatives or yourself or people you met virtually. hmmmm. What are you afraid of!? B

    • I have no problem talking to strangers, I just happened to be home because this assignment was due during our Thanksgiving break and I live in such a small town that I know everyone. I couldn’t find strangers if I tried in Port Henry.

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