It stands to reason why any God-fearing adult would ever deprive young adults of the sultry and often slippery adventures that seem to invariably accompany those awkward years of discovering one’s sexuality. Obvious though the absurdity of this endeavor may be to those of us who have only recently stumbled out of the brambles of adolescents (dare I say we remain in the shallow meadows of her forests’ border?), it seems the powers that be (or rather, were) at a certain boarding school on the outskirts of London deemed it prudent (perhaps merely prude?) that young men and young women attending the institution should not be provided any space in which to come into intimate contact with one another.
Thus begins our story.
My girlfriend and I had been dating for a little over three months when we mutually decided it was time to visit the shack. It should be understood that the irony of the the song “Love Shack,” courtesy of the B-52s (it has always been my opinion that the 80s were a very unfortunate time for music), escaped neither us nor the countless other attendees of said educational institution who frequented the backyard shack’s iron walls for all the huggin’ and a kissin’, dancin’ and a lovin’ they could handle. All this at the tender age 14.
Needless to say, my significant other was the far more experienced of our rather unlikely pair and she quickly lead the way in beginning to explore some of the more intimate areas of interest. Voracious to be sure, she was also more than willing to yield herself to some of my more inelegant, though no less slippery salutations to her body, and we quickly settled into a pleasurable rhythm of our typical running of the bases*.
*It should at this point be noted that although our activities naturally lent themselves to a gradual progression of increasing heat, the ambient air temperature was around 35 degrees (that’s around 2 degrees for our metric readers) and I have no doubt in retrospect that our basal body temperatures were quickly descending.
Of course, this was not to be our typical night of pleasurable indulgence; tonight was to embody for me that pivotal moment of transition from partial to full existence (for if you haven’t had sex, you haven’t lived), and for my girlfriend that giddy, if less focal, feeling of being someone’s first. Having thus rounded all but home plate (to completion, of course; we had both time and rather impressive youthful virility on our side), we both quickly realized that while disheveled, our eager haste had left us, if not fully clothed, then at least more hampered by our garments than either of us wanted to be in preparation for the final act.
And so, with the hopeful yet worrisome twist of anticipation in my stomach and what I can only hope was at least a small token of excitement on my girlfriend’s part, we quickly and separately tore off our remaining shackles of social obedience, I hastily ripped open the obligatory small wrapper (responsibility above all else), and we turned to face each other. Upon memory of this moment, I cannot help but stifle the lingering embarrassment of a laugh. There we were, entirely exposed to one another, our naked, cold, and not-a-little aroused bodies dutifully pointing fervently toward one another, mine sheathed in a thin layer of latex, hers partially covered by her tangled hair, lit by nothing more than the bare lightbulb suspended by its electrical wiring above us.
As my girlfriend would later rather crassly explain over the course of recounting her nightly adventures with me to her unwillingly celibate room mate, “We just couldn’t do it.” Admittedly, the feeling was mutual; a sort of spark that flashed between our locked eyes and naked bodies that somehow revealed the incredible absurdity of the situation to both of us. We gathered our clothes and, not untenderly, paid our last physical respects to each others’ bodies, though both of us could feel (and see) the drain of excitement from the other.
Two days later, we decided to end our relationship. Though the exact cause of the termination of our partnership was unclear, I think I see now it had something to do with being too young, or perhaps merely too fragile. Whatever the case, I still think back on that night with a wry smile – part chagrin, part nostalgia, part longing. And part sadness for that youthfulness I have now lost.