Six days after the first time I had sex, everyone found out.
To many people, though, this wasn’t the first time I had lost my flashing V. The year beforehand, the rumour had spread that I had had sex with Louise, when the truth itself was much more complicated. When it boils down, however, to “I didn’t actually have sex with her, but she asked me to start a rumour that I had“, it doesn’t seem too complex, but at the time it was.
To this day I still genuinely don’t know if any of my (former) classmates believed, at the time, that I did sleep with Louise – although I did sleep with Louise, three years later – or if any of them still do; I was never too clear on the matter.
This time, however, it was real and completely undeniable. No longer was I vague or coy, nor was I ashamed: I was a sexual being and I’d had sex, and I was going to be having some more, and although it came out in a relatively random way, I wasn’t going to not answer things any more.
“So are you seeing her tonight?”
“Yes, I am! I’m going up there right after school!”
“This relationship’s really going somewhere, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I’m so pleased! It’s going really far, really fast!”
“What do you mean… you haven’t slept with her, have you?”
“Well, yeah, but that’s to be expected, I mean, we’re in a relationsh…”
By the time the door opened and we made our way into the English classroom, everyone in the class knew I had done it. (And this time, everyone believed it.)
Their reactions ranged from polite, confused befuddlement to absolute horror (which didn’t do too much for my poor self-image). One friend, who had expressed amazement and hastily reassured me that it wasn’t because I was physically abhorrent and she couldn’t understand any anyone would have sex with me (that was Lightsinthesky’s take), eventually came out with what I assume everyone was thinking:
“But I thought you were against sex before marriage?”
I’ve never been against sex before marriage.
“No, I’m not aga…”
“You were, but not any more, right?”
“No, I’ve never been…”
“Because now you’ve had sex and you’ve changed your tune, right?”
“No, I’ve never been agai…”
“But you’re a Christian!”
“Yes, I am, but that…”
At which point our teacher entered and everyone shut up.
It’s not like the signs hadn’t been there. As early as year 7 RS, when I’d stood up in front of the class and said verbatim that I had no problem with sex before marriage (as it was an expression of love and marriage didn’t need to be necessary), and then written the same in my exercise book (my teacher countered with “can you love someone and not marry them?”, which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a teacher say), it had been fairly clear to which mast my colours were nailed.
I barely remember what our teacher said during that A2 English lesson. What I do remember, vividly, was the fact that all eyes were on me throughout, as if I were about to spontaneously combust or something. For the first time, I found myself enjoying the attention.
I was still replaying the conversation/revelation a couple of hours later, when on the coach to Birmingham. I was sure that they’d all still have questions (for me; nobody thought to ask Lightsinthesky, or my token black friend, both of whom had lost their flashing V the year prior), but right then, I was unavailable for comment.
Because I was on the coach, on the way to Birmingham.
For more sex.