For a very long time, I thought I was 18 when I lost my virginity. It turns out I was 15.
Do not be horrified. In both cases it was consensual and no drugs or alcohol were involved. It's just that I really lost my virginity to another woman.
Given that said other woman and I were both young women attending a Lutheran High School, it didn't occur to me for many years that that was actually how it happened.
She is apparently very straight and Christian now, so she will remain anonymous.
It happened, as all good teenage lesbian sex stories do, at a sleepover. I had recently had my first kiss (with a boy) and we were discussing the finer points of how to breathe while someone probed your tonsils with their tongue.
I leaned in. She leaned in. We were kissing. And the rest, as they say, is history. Hot, sexy history.
You may or many not be confused as to why I didn't register this as "sex" and therefore "losing my virginity".
I say again: Lutheran High School.
But also, heteronormative sex ed. Lesbian and gay sex were not covered at all in any of the sex ed classes I was forced to endure.
And now, as a mother to a 12-year-old girl, it is apparent that it wasn't just my school. It is routine to leave out discussions of gender identity, sexuality, and pleasure.
This makes me sad. How much easier would it be to "come out" and be comfortable with who you are if all of that was covered in the same matter-of-fact way that heterosexual sex -- with a focus on procreation -- is covered.
At 14 I came out to my mother. We were in the car, driving home from school with my then six-year-old sister in the car.
"Mum. I've been thinking. And I like girls and boys."
"Okay, darling." Mum didn't even blink.
That was the sum total of my coming out. It was about as easy as it could be. But still, no one, not even my Doctor mother, thought to educate me on what "liking" girls could actually involve. And since sex was Penis in Vagina and there was no penis, it was clearly not sex.
The sad thing is that it wasn't until I had my first real girlfriend -- in my thirties -- that I even considered if I had had "lesbian" sex before or not. The answer was clearly "well duh". But I can assure you it came as a shock. This is depressing given how much I like women and how much more confidence I would have had in pursuing that had I not believed in the PiV rule of sex.
This post first appeared on August 25, 2016.