Dear Dionysus XV: Bon Voyage, Virginity

Dear Dionysus XV: Bon Voyage, Virginity

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Dear Dionysus,

All this talk about sex has gotten me a little worked up if you know what I mean. I’m rather sensitive about the subject at the moment; sore, even. I won’t go into graphic detail (Protestant upbringing), but you can call me Onan The Barbarian.

I’m only kidding, Dionysus. There’s nothing barbaric about masturbation is there? It certainly doesn’t seem to me as primal or bestial as the coupled variety. After all, even the lower order of beasts copulate with one another, but only the more evolved species copulate with themselves.

Sexual urges are burdensome, Dionysus. They’re a nagging swarm of gnats that simply won’t go away. You can stave them off for awhile, but they always return, don’t they? And it’s especially tricky when the only swatter you have handy is your hand, dig?

I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here. I’m not a chronic masturbator by any means and I don’t think I have anything beyond an average libido, but that average libido has made a libertine out of me in the past. I had become accustomed to certain things, certain sordid dances: The horizontal mambo, the coitus quadrille, the pornographic polka. I was a pretty fine dancer, indeed.

But I don’t want to dance, Dionysus. I really don’t. Except this pesky drive wants me out on that naughty dance floor. It wants me to cut a rug (or do other, less appropriate things to a rug if we’re being honest). I’ve retired my dancing shoes for now, however.

Sex is messy, Dionysus. It’s never casual. At least not in my case. It leads to all sorts of grave consequences, like unscripted pillow talk and post-coital awkward silences and shaky relationships that are only grounded in physical pleasure. I don’t have time for any of that nonsense at the moment, love. I’ve got too much work to do.

I suppose it wasn’t always such an inconveniencing thing though. I remember the first time, although I don’t remember most of the others. Isadora was a nice girl and two years my junior (pay attention here, Dionysus; this tidbit will be important later). I met her on the Banana Man’s boat which, unfortunately, was not a Banana Boat. I was only there that night because I hadn’t been allowed in this bar to see Toys That Kill (punk points +1) because I was only seventeen (punk points -1). So I had my friend who was of age buy me some Sparks for the night as a sort of consolation prize and I made my way to the harbor. I can’t recall if I cracked one for the road, but I likely did, Dionysus (+1 punk and driver’s license points).

Isadora caught my eye immediately. She was real cute, Dionysus. Not exceptionally punk rock, but I could tell she probably had a Ramones record or two in her collection. In fact, her haircut was pretty similar to Johnny Ramone’s, except it was dyed jet black. You know that one Hemingway bit where he describes some flapper chick’s hair as a raven’s wing? It was like that.

I was on top of my game that night, old friend. I was still a far cry from the smooth-talking charmer I would later become, but I had picked up a trick or two. For example, I knew that girls liked it if you asked them questions, like what they were interested in, and then feigned interest yourself. Isadora was a good one though, because I didn’t have to feign anything; she was pretty interesting for a fifteen year old.

Besides, I was liquored up and loquacious and lovable that night. And my Pee Wee Herman parlor trick certainly didn’t hurt either.

I used to have these white creepers that were about six inches tall and two sizes too big; so instead of being my usual six four size thirteen self, I was like six ten and size fifteen.* If you’ve ever seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, then you may recall a scene involving a similar pair of shoes. Pee Wee’s got himself in a real tight spot after accidentally knocking over a bunch of motorcycles like so many dominoes at a dive bar. However, he gets one final request before the bikers are to beat him to a bloody bowtied pulp, so he asks for one of the biker’s shoes. He puts “Tequila” on the jukebox and proceeds to dance, getting up on the toes of those silent thrillers and doing a very Chuck Berryesque sort of display. This immediately endears him to the biker gang who, instead of killing him, give him a motorcycle, which he then proceeds to crash almost immediately. It’s a fantastic scene, Dionysus.

So replace Pee Wee with me and “Tequila” with “Blitzkrieg Bop” and bikers with a fifteen year old girl and crashing motorcycles with making out and that’s pretty much how that night went for me, Dionysus.

Pretty soon, Isadora and I were going steady. After a couple months of heavy petting and softcore sexual engagements, the stage was set for that event that every single teenage boy looks forward to with more expectation and trepidation than any other: I was to lose my virginity. And she was to lose hers, which made it doubly terrifying.

Remember that older friend that bought me those Sparks? Well he had his own apartment, which was so radical and adult a concept to me that I couldn’t even fathom what that was like. It was the smallest, most overpriced Cracker Jack domicile in existence, but to my seventeen year old inexperienced mind it was a fucking palace.

We used to hang out there pretty regularly; there would be like five or six of us packed into this eight by twelve foot room like sardines, drinking forties and watching VHS tapes on his thirteen inch television. One night, he said that he and his girlfriend were going camping, and that Isadora and I could have the apartment for the night.

Now, I don’t know what kind of message he was trying to send by springing that one on me. It was probably something along the lines of “Relax and watch a movie and get away from your parents for a night because they seem to be routinely pissed off at you for one thing or another.” But what I heard was “I want you to become a man tonight by deflowering your teenage girlfriend in my bed as many times as humanly possible before I come home in the morning.”

So I went with the latter plan, and that’s basically how it happened. After getting thoroughly drunk first of course, but that goes without saying: As with most major events in my adolescence, I was far too much of a coward to carry them out unless I was blacked out.

Dionysus, I learned some things that night. Firstly, I learned that I appeared to possess a preternatural and instinctual capacity for pleasing a woman (or teenage girl) that predated most of my experience in that department. I’m not bragging; I say this because it explains a lot about me. There I was, for all intents and purposes still the fat kid that girls wouldn’t even talk to (let alone touch) for most of my young existence, and as it turns out I was a closet Don Juan.** You can’t possibly imagine how this made me feel, Dionysus. Not the sex part, which was all right, but nowhere near the earth-shattering deal I had made it out to be in my head: As it turns out, orgasms are orgasms essentially, no matter how many people are involved. But the effect on my ego was divine: I was a golden Adonis, a silver-tongued sex god, a red-faced Romeo, etc. Just like you, Dionysus.

I also learned one other important lesson that time: Namely, that one’s friends might get upset with one if they come home to weird stains on their sheets for which one has no real explanation.

But you know me, Dionysus: always good in a pinch.

“Those stains? Cranberry juice. Cran-apple.”

Thanks, Patrick Bateman.

</3 Sir Rateval Hurtlinge

P.S. Isadora will most certainly pop up later. Oddly enough, I think she's the only ex-girlfriend I have that doesn't completely despise me. If you've been reading these letters, then that probably doesn't surprise you.

P.P.S. The only other thing I remember about the incident was that we went out for bagels in the morning. I devoured mine; she barely touched hers. The tension was palpable: it was a pervasive sense that nothing would ever be the same again, that we had crossed some sacred threshold that now bound us together for the rest of our lives. Or at least a few more months, which we'll get to later.

*A fun fact: Aaron Cometbus, my absolute idol during this period of my life, wore a size fifteen shoe. I loved the guy so much that I named my first truck "The Comet Bus."

**Amongst the litany of complaints almost every girl I've ever been with has had in regards to my character, my performance in bed has never been one of them. I'm just being honest, which is, after all, my ultimate goal. Right?

(I also should have been at this show; I’ll save the tale of why I wasn’t for a future letter, Dionysus).

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