My first real romance and how it has affected me as a young(ish) girl. We knew each other for three days and I thought about him for three years. It’s true that the first time hurts… like hell!
Being a late bloomer, I was still a virgin at twenty-two. I could not figure out why, but I was never physically drawn to any guys that I’ve shortly dated up to this point. While I was dying of curiosity and of course dying to have sex with someone, I could not for the life of me do it with someone I was not attracted to. Unfortunately, all of the boys I have dated did not fulfill the ideal of the strong man that I so wanted. Even kissing them stirred no sense of longing in me.
I have not had a boyfriend for an eternity. Up to this point kissing was just okay and sex was an illusion I felt would never become real. I have started to consider myself an ‘old virgin’ and began to think there might be something wrong with me. Maybe I was abnormal? All my friends have already had sex and here I was, not even really wanting to.
That December, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic with my mother, thinking that I needed to get away from the cold Canadian winter and the disappointment the lack of my love life was causing me.
The first three days were uneventful and one day it rained so hard that I felt like heading back home. My mom and I sat in the lobby staring at the entrance and I moaned aloud about how much I wished someone cute and European would arrive.
Day 0: The Staring
I saw him the next day as I was lying on the beach lounge chair. He stood there very built and confident alongside a shrimpy-looking friend, looking at me with no hesitation in his dark eyes. I glanced at him nervously, then as he caught my gaze, quickly averted it to make it seem I was starting intensely at a palm tree. Minutes later he walked by me, throwing me another intense stare. That evening, I waited to see him at the resort club, but he never showed.
Day 1: Meet Ze Germans
I finally spotted him the next day. My mom and her new friend were urging me to go to the beach with them. However, I was fully set on hanging out by the pool in order to see him again. Surely enough, I finally saw him lazily strutting to a lounge chair. My breath caught and I raised my magazine to look like I was reading.
He noticed me and seated himself on the other side of the pool – right across. However, he made no move to talk to me, so I decided to take proactive action and lowered myself in the pool, as sexily as I could. Deeply inhaling, I swam along the donut-shaped pool, attempting to look both nonchalant and sexy. When I swam by him, however, he did not even look at me. The jerk was too busy reading a book.
Dejected, and somewhat relieved, I swam back to my lounge chair. Now he would have to make a move, I told myself. I’m done.
I raised the magazine back to my face and lowered it slightly to be able to observe him at the same time. Just then, he finally put his book down, stretched out slowly and threw me a direct look. Getting in the water, he swam to my side of the pool, to the basketball net which was located immediately by me. Clearly showing off his physique, he started throwing the ball in the net, and might I add – missing a few times. His shrimpy friend came by and they exchanged a few words in what definitely was German.
“Damn… Germans” I thought. I never liked them. They were rude. They were efficient. They were cold. They were cheap. I could go on. I have never actually met a German guy, so these were all based on many World War II movies and the stories of others. But I guess I had to give this a chance. Maybe he was all of the above, but I was on vacation. Normal rules did not apply here.
His goofy friend and he started to play basketball and I, unable to take any more of this bravado and eager to start a conversation, sat on the ledge of the pool. “Who’s winning?” I finally mustered.
The macho man turned toward me with a smile. “I alvays lose.” The goofy friend giggled.
“Can I join?” I asked.
“Ah. Of course!” He smiled widely. “I am Stefan and zis is my friend Christoff. Vy are from Germany. And you?”
As if that isn’t obvious by your thick accent, I wanted to add.
“Well, I’m Russian, but I live in Canada. Did you just arrive?”
“Russian!” He exclaimed. “Yes, vy arrived ven it vas raining very hard. And vy have ten days more. And you?”
“ Three more days.”
“Oh, zat is all? It is too bad.” He looked sad, then smiled charmingly. “Vy should take advantage of the tree days zen!”
And by advantage, I assume he meant ‘German sex, ya?’ I could laugh at the arrogance! No one was taking advantage of anything. Here he was thinking he was going to get laid, but there was no way I was going to have my first time on vacation. That was not like me.
Stefan was not my idea of gorgeous. I have always gone for the commercial boys, but he was much more manly and strong. The quality that attracted me about him was his confidence, charm and the ability to be so damn relaxed. He knew I would say yes to him, even when I did not yet know it.
“So vy can meet after dinner, yes?” he continued. The basketball was moving from one of his hands to another.
“Sure” I smiled. “Okay”
He passed me the basketball. “You vould like to try?”
I took the ball and threw it in the net. To my surprise, the ball went in perfectly.
“Beginner’s luck” he winked at me.
I swam back to my lounge chair. My mom has returned from the beach and was smiling widely at me. “Who’s the guy?” She asked me in Russian. I told her the story as I’ve always told her everything about my love life. Which to this point has all been PG13. She approved, thinking that Stefan was extremely charming. She then made me go ‘for a swim’ around his lounge chair, which was the most awkward thing in the world, topped off by her flirting in bad German.
As we walked out after dinner, I noticed the Germans standing by the restaurant. I began to hyperventilate. To make matters worse, my mom noticed them as well and began to push me in their direction. “They’re waiting for you” she said. “I need to catch my breath” I whizzed, my knees wobbling. Thank God I didn’t wear heels. “You can breathe while you’re talking to them.” She said.
Okay, here goes – I told myself and wobbled towards them. Both smiled at the sight of me. We sat down on the curb and started talking. Stefan told me that he was a professional boxer and was apparently ‘quite well known in Deutschland’. Christoff also used to be a boxer, but now worked as a trainer. The image of skinny Christof getting punched in his goofy face was a bit too much to handle. Stefan, come to think of it, really did look like a professional boxer with his buff body, short hair and somewhat broken nose. Yes, he had a broken nose. Definitely not a picture of a an Abercrombie model.
I drank rum and coke and suddenly it seemed we all spoke English fluently. At least this was the most fun I’ve had in a while. And I felt so wonderful talking to Stefan. He was funny, he was sarcastic and he was definitely sexy. And a surprisingly great dancer. I think it’s all the dancing you have to do in boxing in order not to get punched. That I realized when we went dancing that night and he led me effortlessly. But his manliness was a bit too much. He opened water bottles for me, he threw an angry gaze at a man dancing with me and when I commented I felt bad for leaving Christoff alone, on our way out of the club, told me that “Christoff is not a child. Vy don’t need to babysit him.”
We walked together through the resort and sat down near the pool. The conversation, from what I remember, did not consist of much depth. And really, how could it? We spoke two different languages and no matter how many drinks we had, we would never be completely fluent. All I remember is discussing the word “trousers” for hours and wanting him to kiss me. However he stood in the pool in front of me as I sat on the ledge, looking very relaxed and nonchalant. Definitely in no rush.
I asked him to teach me how to box, because frankly the kissing wasn’t coming, and he started showing me how to avoid punches.Then when I tried to punch him, he twisted my arm around with an ironic smile on his face. Then he kissed me.
I’ve kissed quite a few guys to this point, but this was not a guy. I felt like I was kissing a man. As he continued kissing me, I felt like I had actual desire for him. Many of you will say it’s normal. Of course it is! But not for me, who up to this point had no idea what it was to feel this desire. Usually, I would check off lists in my head, make plans or count. As in 1, 2, 3 aand done! Ok, maybe a 4,5. Now, done for sure.
As I pressed my body to his hard rock chest I felt a curiosity about what it would be like to
have sex with him. Most guys just kissed me. He kissed me like he wanted me. And it made me want him. After, he held me close to him. He invited me back to his room and of course I declined.
Day 2: Like a Virgin
The next day, I felt a little nervous about seeing him. However, he was playful and just as into me as he was last night. Christoff also helped diffuse the atmosphere through his giddiness and ridiculous jokes.
Stefan threw me into the pool, then jumped in and pressed me to himself. “Everyone’s watching!” I complained, my usual paranoid self.
“Who is vatching?” he would turn me around in the water. “Look.” I would take in all the sleeping red people or others with magazines who really did not give two damns about us making a show in the water. “See?” He would smile to me, a Cheshire smile and then lean in to kiss me and I felt him go hard against me, which was a curious sensation since I’ve never felt anything like it before. Only heard about it. Yes, fo real!
That evening I decided to show off and joined the animators in a Bachata lesson. I knew how to dance Latin and did not need a lesson to learn the basic moves of Bachata, because the dance literally consists of 3 steps. I did it only so he could see just how sexy I could be.
All the animators were impressed with my moves and the instructor ended up dancing with me after the lesson was over. This was perfect as Stefan was right there, watching us. As I walked over to his lounge chair and lay near him, under the towel, he looked at me – with those lust-filled eyes.
“You’re really great at dancing” he said. “I wonder vat else you are great at.”
Really. How romantic, right? To top of the douchy machismo, his hand was slowly running over my leg as his eyes were drinking me in. This guy was clearly interested in having a vacation fling. Why wouldn’t he be? And why wouldn’t he be convinced that at twenty-two, I was no longer a virgin? Even I couldn’t convince myself that was possible.
“What a jerk” I thought as he looked at me with those piercing dark eyes. “There is no way he’s going to get anything. The joke is on him.” However, a part of me wanted him so badly that I did not push his hand away or say anything to put him in his place.
As I was taking a shower later on, I started thinking. Why not have sex with him? Sure, he was from another country. Sure, I would probably never see him again. And yes, he probably was not in love with me and couldn’t be in the one and a half days that I’ve known him. I was certain it would hurt me more than I’ve ever been hurt. I was positive that it was ridiculous having your first time on vacation. However, there was one loud voice within me, telling how much I wanted it. I was twenty-two. I was not a child. The reason I have waited for so long was that I did not want to have sex until I would have felt a desire for someone. And here was this desire. I knew that no matter how painful it would be in the future, it would be worth it. I would remember this beautiful vacation forever. And I still remember myself in what was probably the longest shower in my life.
He knocked on my door later that night and we walked to the beach. We lay down side by side on the lounge chairs and slowly he started to kiss me. As things began to heat up, Stefan looked down at me.
“Mia, you vould like to go to my room?” he asked quietly.
“Stefan, I should tell you something” I began. “I’m a virgin.”
As I uttered those three words, I swear to you, just as in a cheesy chick flick, rain started to pour down. Stefan stared at me, a look of pure bewilderment.
“But you are twenty-two.”
Yes, thank you. I know. Please remind me again so I don’t forget.
“I always told myself that I would know when I wanted someone.. but I have not wanted anyone until now.”
“But I do not vant you to feel bad afterward. I vant you to have sex with your boyfriend. I don’t vant to hurt you.”
“ But you won’t! I know what I’m doing and I know what I want.”
“Ok” he said, as we walked under the pouring rain. “Come to my room. Just to talk.”
We went to his room and because I needed to get something from mine, I told him I would be back. However, by the time I got to his floor, the number of his room completely eluded me. I walked around, quietly knocking on doors and whispering Stefan? but no one responded. Dejected, I walked barefoot to reception and asked them for his room number, but they could not help me. As I walked back up, I felt crushed that I might not be able to find him, but somehow I finally found his door. He opened it in his boxer briefs.
“You left for thirty minutes. I thought you vould not come back” he said angrily and pulled me into the room. We kissed on the bed, but he never took my clothes off. Then, he pried a pillow under him and looked at me with a smile on his face.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“This is sex” he said. The cocky asshole. But his slight cockiness was unfortunately the thing that drew me into him in the first place.
“I do not feel right about this” he continued with a sigh.
“Look, I told you. I’m fine” I said. I have set my mind on this and there was no turning back.
That seemed enough to convince him and we continued our make out session, until the door opened and Christoff stood there with a silly grin on his face. I was so embarrassed, I almost threw Stefan off of the bed.
“Christoff!” yelled Stefan. “Didn’t I tell you to sleep on ze beach?”
Even though Stefan kept on convincing me to stay with him and even gave me his toothbrush, I decided to leave back to my room. We had one more day left. The final third day.
Day 3: The First Time Hurts…
That last day we spent hours just lying by the pool, looking at each other and as the sun started to set down, I realized that this sunset was bringing the end of this short vacation romance. I left him with Christoff and sat on my balcony, putting on makeup and crying. As a result, smudging all the mascara around my eyes.
I put on a light green halter top with a white skirt, my skin glowing from the sun. As I walked by the bar, he called out my name and I saw him sitting by himself, looking quite dejected. I sat near him. He looked at me for some time then said:
“I do vant to see you. I will try to come to Canada in the summer.”
“The summer?” I exclaimed. “I would have forgotten you by then.” As it turned out, I would not.
He asked to have dinner with me and afterwards, we sat on the side of the pool.
“Look, I still feel bad.” He told me. “ You should be with someone you know. Someone you are in the same city with. I do not vant you to regret this.”
“Stefan” I said. “ I am attracted to you. This does not normally happen to me and I told myself that once I’m really attracted to someone, be in Canada or abroad, I would go for it. The only way I would regret something is if I did it with no feeling.”
He looked at me thoughtfully for some time and finally said: “Come with me.”
It sounds very funny, but it is incredible how giddy I was before going to his room. I danced in front of a mirror to “I’m a Slave for You” which was playing through the windows. The irony. I was curious and happy, and not at all nervous. I literally looked like a kid at Christmas.
So, most people tell me their first time was terrible or boring or nothing really amazing. Stefan and I only had one time, but it was the most memorable time I have ever had. Possibly because it was so limited. Granted, I should be honest and say he was a bit of an arrogant prick, even then. Standing in front of me, very toned and quite sexy, he asked me “Have you ever seen a naked man before?” like he was Michelangelo’s David or something.
“Yes” I mumbled. I have not. Only on TV or my brother, accidentally; neither of which counted.
However, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Even if it hurt a little. I think because he was the first, and I would spend quite a lot of time comparing others to him. Though to know what I was comparing them to was strange as we only had that one time.
Afterwards, I changed into a blue dress and we went dancing. I remember that we danced to Madonna’s Like a Prayer, because anytime I hear that song I get a bit wistful. I also remember my mom crying on the side, because “it was just so sad and romantic”. I had to send her back, so she wouldn’t embarrass me.
“I will not sleep tonight!” Stefan told me, but as we lay in bed, he dozed off. I studied his face as if I was saving it for the future. Would we ever see each other? Would we even want to? Something that you share together on vacation does not transfer to real life. Vacation was not real. We were not real there. We didn’t have school or jobs. Hell, we didn’t have anything else to do rather than go swimming, eat, dance, drink and make love.
When I went back to Canada and he to Germany, we would realize how little we had in common. I stared at him for quite some time, cried a little and left.
Day 4: Road to Nothing
The morning was difficult. He woke up early to say bye to me. I remember that the sky was cloudless, the water crystal clear and it was so just hard to leave. He has offered me to stay many times, but he has never offered paying for the return ticket. Now, sleepy eyed and clearly wanting to still be in bed, he carried my luggage out of my room. We sat in the lobby for some time, but I just wanted to leave. There is a Russian saying that goes: “You cannot breathe too much air before you die.” I could not get enough of him before I left. I had to leave regardless.
The bus arrived and I gave him a quick awkward hug and kiss before scurrying off to sit down. Tears were pouring under my sun glasses. Stefan came in the bus and sat near me.
“You think I am not sad? I vould cry too, but I am a man. I can’t” he smiled to me. “ My little Karandash.” That was his nickname for me. In Russian it meant pencil and that was the only thing he knew how to say. I was trying to stop crying, which was futile as tears kept on running down my cheeks. The whole bus was watching this like in a movie (except no one clapped at the end). We kissed again. “Don’t get burnt” I think was the last thing I said to him. How trivial and ridiculous are the last things we sometimes say to people. He left the bus and stood outside it. Though I believed he was sad too, just for a short moment I saw him exchange a laugh with Christoff. I dismissed it but it hurt me.
Then the doors closed and the bus began moving. Even now, four years later, I still remember the terrible sadness that rushed through me. We were moving to nowhere, I felt. We were going further and further away from him. Only in the movies, would I ask them to stop the bus and run into his arms. The end. But in reality, I sat there, watching the dry Dominican scenery pass by us. I was certain that this vacation would affect me more than I ever thought. And it did.
2008-2009: The Pain
I came back to the cold winter, that has just began. Days were short and everything seemed so dull and gray. I remember running on the track at my university and looking at the planes whizzing past me in the sky. I yearned with all my heart to go to Germany. I was obsessed with the language, with the country, with the WWII, you name it. Just the mention of anything German would send a pang into my chest. I always wanted to cry. The only thing I looked forward to was talking to him, but the distance left its mark. Now he was no longer on vacation, but back to real life. He talked to me and he told me he missed me, but I didn’t feel it. He never called me on the telephone and he could not even install Skype. I tried being friendly, I tried being fun and easygoing, but it was all pointless as I felt pure indifference from his side. We weren’t just separated by distance. We really had nothing in common besides those three short vacation days. Our conversations were hollow and filled in by my constant chatter, trying desperately to create something out of nothing. I got angry at him a few times, but afterwards realized just how ridiculous it was to fight with someone who really did not care. I remember that New Years and how I sat in the bathroom crying. He did not even wish me a New Years and when I offered to call him on my birthday a few days after, told me that he was leaving to a friend’s house.
Two months later, I met a Russian guy and started going out with him. At first I was excited about the new relationship, but soon, that nasty feeling caught up with me again. I cried in my boyfriend’s kitchen. I looked up pictures of Stefan online, as they filled the internet. I would see someone who looked like him enter a subway and get a pang in my chest. It hurt to know I couldn’t even see him on the street. In fact, I would probably never see him. The amount of crying he caused me was very cruel. He cut me off so easily, and I was still there waiting for him. I daydreamed constantly about our beautiful meeting in the future. The scenarios and locations would change, but it was always the same image. I would stand in the middle of the city in some bright dress and heels and he would come up to me with that impish smile and tell me just how beautiful I have become.
2010: Switching the Roles
We have stayed in some form of contact over the years and later the roles have switched as he started writing to me. I just came back from the animator position in Mexico and he saw all the photos I have posted of myself: confident, better looking and more of a woman. Suddenly, we found contact again and he apologized for the way he has treated me. He asked me if I ever regretted that night and my answer was no. Truthfully, though it has hurt me, made me depressed and full of constant longing for him and for that vacation, I have never until this day regretted my decision. Mostly because I really wanted to have my first time with him. However, it has definitely caused for a lot of vacation flings in my life. It seems that I’ve been wanting to recapture this first time with him. Most importantly, I think it was him who started my obsession with the International dating.
Over the few years, the pain and the longing has subsided. I stopped feeling a pang when I thought about him, I stopped longing to see him and I would only Google his name out of boredom. Last winter, he reappeared again with the invitation to LA because he had a fight there. He emphasized how much he wanted to see me, how sexy I was and how wonderful our reunion would be.
At this point, I was in a relationship with Dominick, but I was not in love with my boyfriend and once again I started fantasizing about meeting up with Stefan. Me coming out of the airport with a feminine coral dress and white heels and him looking incredulous at how beautiful I’ve become. It seems, however that Stefan was much too cheap to actually consider paying for me and thankfully I’ve come to have a much bigger backbone than to fly myself to LA in order to provide free sex on wheels.
At this point, I was not hurt nor surprised as I’ve seen this side of Stefan all throughout the years. And in all honesty, the fact that he never showed any real kindness to me, after being my first was a clear bright sign. However, even though there was no feeling towards him left in me, I still needed some closure. I finally got a wonderful one last summer.
- 2011: The Closure
I was in Europe for the summer and my last stop was supposed to be in Berlin. I was not planning to go to Hamburg, though a part of me was interested in seeing him. It was my first time in that part of Germany and the idea of finally realizing that dream that I’ve been having for years was surreal. At this point, I still had Dominick back home, but was planning on breaking up with him. Additionally, I have met Luiz (see the Portuguese) who has flown in to stay with me in Germany for four days. Needless to say, I had no room for another guy. The problem or the interesting fact was that the cheapest ticket I could get out of Germany was of course out of Hamburg, so I would have to go there whether I wanted to or not. And of course, after going over it (for maybe five minutes) I decided, what the hell, I’ll write to him. He was very happy to hear from me, though he was in a relationship. We arranged to get in touch again before I got to Hamburg.
I told Luiz I was meeting with a good friend of mine and he was clueless as to who Stefan actually was. So clueless that he even gave me his phone to get in touch with the German. The first time I heard Stefan on the phone, I felt like we never lost contact. It was just so effortless and natural. We laughed a little and he poked some fun at me trying to pronounce German street names.Then he asked me if I was with a friend. I told him I was. He asked if it was my boyfriend. I told him it was complicated. He asked what my ‘friend’ would do if we met. I told him that my ‘friend’ could manage on his own. He said OK. He would pick me up tomorrow.
All I remember is that the big letters spelling out Hamburg stood out for me, as if they were the eighth wonder of the world. This regular European city was the one I’ve been striving to get to for years and finally I was here. It was difficult to even believe it. Not only that, I was here with another guy I met on vacation, who while I was staring out the window and trying to register being here, was trying to hug me from behind.
Unfortunately, unlike my dream, Hamburg was dreary, cold and it rained almost non-stop. Also unlike my dream, I was not glowing with a bronze tan, but looked like a pale pimply ghost and I could definitely not wear a dress in this horrible weather. Out of the limited clothing I brought for the cold, all I had was tights and a few sweaters, which was definitely not what I had in mind for all these years. Nevertheless, I got up the next day and piled on tons of makeup I bought in the Berlin bus station, while I told Luiz I was looking for food. Sure, this was not ideal, but at least I would finally see him.
When I didn’t hear anything from him, I checked my email only to see a message in which he told me he had a meeting for boxing and was busy the whole day. When was I leaving? I told him that I was leaving tomorrow and that it was today or never. He told me he would call me later on.
He never did.
He never apologized. He never made an excuse. He said absolutely nothing. So that was it – three ridiculous days, three long years and many excuses. But to actually do this to me when I was steps within his house, was even beyond him. I wrote him that I was done with this, wished him a good life and erased him out of contacts and finally my life.