My best childhood friend Jake and I have different views
towards sex. He has a lot of it and I don’t have much. He looks at it
as a form of expression and takes part in sexual escapades
wholeheartedly. He looks at sex as a friend, an equal. I struggle to
understand it and I’m humbled by it—and I still have never given myself
up to it.
The sex thing was brought up again on a recent trip during long car ride:
“So, Rich—how long has it been since you had sex,” he asked.
“It’s been a while...a long while,” I replied.
“How can you even do that? How do you survive?”
“It’s not like I need sex to live. Besides, I’m freaked out by everything these days: STDs, intimacy, you name it”.
Jake has probably had sex with over 40 girls. Every time I see him, I hear a story from our post high school years involving new females: one night stands, random encounters, etc.
He describes sex with the listless lack of emotion that a serial killer would have confessesing to murder:
“So, then I went back to her place, fucked her.”
“So we ended up in a cab together, and I don’t think I really wanted to but I ended up fucking her.”
“She was disgusting. I didn’t find her attractive at all. So we fucked anyway for three hours.”
Jake has made statements that made him sound like a sex addict:
“Rich, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I gotta stop having sex with these random girls. I just need to stop, but I can't stop.”
My sex stories are much more amateur:
“First of all, I couldn’t even believe she got in bed with me but then she like, moved on top of me in the bed and it became apparent that we might have sex!”
To me, sex is still a huge deal but it is not to Jake.
I decided to figure out why sex held such different places in our lives. I came to the conclusion that the ages we were when we lost our virginity may have played a role in how our attitudes towards sex developed.
I lost my virginity when I was 18, just a few weeks before graduation from high school. The whole experience was a clumsy mess: we were like two people who speak different languages trying to put together IKEA furniture. Since then, sex has remained a mystery to me—something I consider incomplete unless I find the right person.
Jake went through puberty in fifth grade. By ninth grade he was dating a senior girl who ultimately took his virginity. He was 14.
When my buddies and I would stay over Jake’s house, we’d go into his closet and check out The Box. The Box was a shoebox where Jake kept his condoms and KY Jelly. We would open it up and giggle and take out a condom and make it into a water balloon. The fine line between childhood and young adulthood at 14 played itself out in that room every time that happened: most of us found the condoms silly and played with them...but one of us was using them (and buying them, which was just as scary an experience as using them at that point in our lives).
When we graduated, Jake took me and our other two close friends aside and apologized for not being around in 9th and 10th grade to do all of the whacky stupid things we did. It was as if he was acknowledging a lost part of his childhood—Jake had spent the majority of those first two years of high school with his older girlfriend, not us.
I must say that my neurotic behavior may certainly play a role in my struggles to understand sex. Jake is very low key and laid back. Perhaps he’s just into casual sex and I’m not. But I don’t feel the need to have sex all the time like he seems to feel, and I’ve never exhibited sex addiction behavior like Jake has. Sometimes I wonder if Jake's early experience desensitized him to sex, or if it played a role in his permiscuous behavior.
When is it ever the right time to start having sex? Do you agree with my theory about Jake and I? Did certain sexual encounters early in your life lay the groundwork for your feelings towards sex? If so, what were they?