Once I become enraptured with something, I am succumbed. Vagina and eventually sexuality, became a whole new world to discover and learn. This hearth that lays near but remains in many ways a mystery, I wanted to be more familiar with her, befriend her. Learn her quirks and preferences.
There was also the ‘innocent girl’ laurel I wore that I wanted to put to rest in the earth. Though sometimes I still fight the urge to cover my eyes at anything sexually intimate, for most of my life even a smooch on screen would be hard to look at. It felt intrusive and sinful. My Christian and conservative upbringing drilled into my head that anything sexual, even more so pre-marital, was committing sin. Because God is omnipotent, He will know. My romance novels with their sweet kisses and steamy scenes were transgressions I prayed forgiveness for continuously but they asides from the Bible, helped me get through with life. I could not part from them just yet and I probably never will.
I was the innocent girl amongst my friends at MIHS and then I went to RBC and was forever stamped as the innocent girl for the two years I was there. It was my first year at RBC and our principal came to our Social and Cultural Anthropology class to observe. I was reading a paragraph from the book we were discussing and had to ask another to finish because of all the swearings. Our teacher asked if we had any question and I did.
“What is a blow job?”
My friend across me immediately bit her lip and put her head down. Everybody else suddenly had merry carols in their eyes while the principal looked at me, stupefied.
It was only a year later when the new students arrived and some of them upon learning my name, “OH! You are the innocent girl.”
They then proceeded to recount that event of which I had forgotten about. I never spoke about it because to me it was just another question asked. But it was not for others and in a small school words got around.
It felt disturbing to be labeled by these new students as ‘innocent’. Some of it was the superiority feeling in that I have lived longer than all of you therefore I have experienced life more. Then the other was not wanting to be belittled. Because I was now ‘innocent’ does that mean they will treat me as if I am incapable with a toddler’s brain?
In Majuro, I was almost worshipped for maintaining my ‘innocence’ all the while being the smart girl. Because I was a role model and the person you would want to meet your parent. But in Freiburg, I suppose it was adorable to some but the image became constrictive. For both homes, innocence alluded to anything sexual. At least in my case. I felt as if everybody looked at me as if I was a child and I was certainly treated by many as one. I was illiterate sexually but it did not mean I did not know life. It did not mean I was innocent in all aspect of my life. It almost makes me angry thinking about all that I went through only to be labeled as ‘innocent’ and treated in patronizing manners. But being so new to socializing and naive to nuances, I let it be. I allowed them to continue treating me as so. I kept thinking that it was soon I would graduate and I will be off to a new place, a new start. There I can start anew.
And I did. I wanted to be free of that image. I learned about sex. I learned about vagina and penis. But I did not just stick with what I was reading. I was actively observing my own body as well. In the steamy scenes I read, I noticed my body would react in certain ways once I started comprehending more of what was happening. For example, my vagina would get wet. I wondered if that was normal therefore I would go on Google and look up why my vagina was wet. I learned it was me being aroused.
Then it clicked. So that is why the female character is wet. Because her body was reacting to what was being done to her. Unfortunately not always with consent but somehow in these problematic books, they preach the idea that because she loves that male character, it is okay that he rapes her. Half-way between that toss and tussle, the women acquiesced to her desires and off they go gallivanting. Oh but it would aggravate me whenever this happened. She clearly was angry and was not wanting to do anything but big bad alpha could only react to the overwhelming emotions with his head in the gutter. But at that time, I knew I was upset but I did not know nor could I explain why I was upset. This will be a topic for another time but I strongly encourage you to read up on it when you can. And also GET RID of those terrible excuse of a book.
So back on track. With the vagina being wet, that is how the penis or whatever people use to penetrate with slides in easier. I felt cheated upon this new-found knowledge. All my girlfriends and relatives who went through so much pain on their first time, and those horny boys who knew no better. How they could have blossomed and experienced how sex could be a pleasurable thing had they known how to do it properly. What I was told from my friends of the ‘technique’ is first finger, then second finger, and third finger into the vaginal hole. Then penis.
Many of them experienced incredible pain. Why was that? Because they were dry down there. Another stupid belief I was told is that it is better if you are dry in your vagina during penetration. Supposedly it is more pleasurable for the man because if you are wet, the suctioning will be too much for the man and it will be hard for him to withdraw. This explanation was given with a wine bottle at hand for presentation. You never want to be a wine bottle for your man. You never want that popping sound. Being dry also meant you have cleansed properly with traditional medicine, eradicating all the liquid and smell that abides in our vagina. The perfect Marshallese woman.
I cannot say how the pain is exactly like though I have been spending several minutes trying to imagine what it is like with claws in my heart, but the resistance and friction would be akin to a rug burn. Though probably maybe a lot less, I need to ask someone. But that was just to give an idea for those who have not had sex and are planning to. Get a lubricant as well. That will help.
It was amazing all that I was learning and the need to give the sex education to all the young and adult in my society was great. But I am still unsure on how to go about it without upsetting cultural boundaries though these posts certainly already are.
Before my friends and relatives went and had their first sex, I had several who approached me about it. All of us 16 year old who knew nothing, “Selina I am scared of dying. He said he loves me and wants to save my life.”
The belief is that you have to have sex by the time you are 18 because if you do it past that age, the pain will be incredibly excruciating you might die. The fear was suffocating. I have been told this many times I go back home and another nosey person asks if I have lost my
virginity. But I could see the fear in my friend’s and I could feel my fear for them and two voices warring in my head.
My Christian side thinking, “But you have God. If you believe in Him, He will let you live. So you do not have to.” I did not say this out loud though. I was scared it will be interpreted as me telling them to gamble with their lives. That I was being thoughtless.
My unschooled side thinking, “But what if they really die?” This I did not say either.
None of them wanted to. But because the aunties and grandma’s pull them aside to tell them this, with how untried we all were, we believed it. Till this day some of them find sex an inconvenient chore and now with what I have learned, I tell them it is not so. What they need is
And I tell these as well to 40+ year old aunties who have broached the subject of my ‘virginity’.
I cannot stress this enough. Do your research on consent and sex.