How Feminist Theory Helped My Sex Life

*Editor’s note: NSFW

My friends had built up the First Time as a scary experience. They told me to expect it to hurt for me and feel good only for him.

Part of me came to dread the occasion and resent its supposed inequality — perhaps the same part of me that internalized the ubiquitous view of girls as structures that are invaded, rather than forces that engulf.

But part of me knew I deserved more. Before I could fully articulate why, the conventional view didn’t seem right; my vagina made it obvious to me from the beginning that it was a force to be reckoned with. Its desire was too strong to be satiated by having things done to it. It needed to do.

But the way I had heard sex described, that didn’t seem possible. Could intercourse even satisfy my hyperactive vagina?

The answer came in gender studies class: The traditional narrative of “man penetrates woman” could be replaced by “woman envelops man.”

In further search of an equalizing discourse, I decided one could say that the two participants penvelop.

I also decided that a theory I had formulated in my head after struggling with disordered eating — that, if women put something in their bodies if (but only if) they felt the need and it didn’t make them uncomfortable, food wouldn’t be so scary — also applied to sex.

It was a February evening when I gave my virginity. I say “gave” rather than “lost” because it was not misplaced; I know exactly where it is, who it is with. I know the smooth slope of the shoulders that carry this gift, the lovely contours of the hips that graciously, gracefully accepted it.

We were a month-old couple on the verge of sleep but too horny to calm down. In hindsight, I know that, on that particular day, both of us had purchased exactly two condoms in preparation for what may ensue — emphasis on the may; the transactions were merely precautionary.

Before we knew it, I was touching myself and telling my boyfriend (who was not a virgin) what I liked to imagine my finger as. “It would feel good, don’t you think?” I wondered aloud.

“Yeah,” he half-whispered, half-panted.

“I think I want to try soon.”

“How soon?”

“I don’t know.”

I became immersed in the messages emanating from between my legs. “I bought condoms.”

Soon, we were slowly undressing and caressing each other.

I felt my yearning escalate. I knew what would happen. I needed it to.

“Please make this good for me.”

“I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

When I held my breath waiting for the pain and all I felt was wonder, I commented with surprise and relief, “That feels really good!!!” We both giggled and kissed and pressed ourselves closer until we realized the clock was ticking for nearly an hour and my roommate would be back.

“Thank you for making my first time special,” I murmured between kisses, as we lay holding each other. “How do you feel?”


“What kind of happy?”



“It was our first time.”

Contrary to popular belief, he did not get laid, I was not fucked, and I was not penetrated. We had penveloped.

The next morning, because we could not get enough of each other and because my roommate was asleep, we locked ourselves in the bathroom and went at it once more with me on the counter. Then we walked into the sunrise.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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