Remember your first time? Close your eyes and take yourself back. I remember the sun on my face, my back pressed against the lounge chair, as my heart raced a bit faster in anticipation. Completely transfixed in the moment, and transported to a place of sensuality and drama and heat. Furiously pushing myself toward the end, toward the ultimate satisfaction, I finally reached it and slumped down in complete satisfaction, wrung out emotionally, physically, but happier than I have been a long time.
I had read my very first romance novel.
What did you think I meant?
I was thinking about firsts the other night. The first kiss. The first sexual experience. The first sexual experience going “all the way.” The first love. The first baby. The first heartbreak.
Firsts define who we are. Our journey is individual and unique, and someone else’s first will never be yours. Sometimes, we rush through life and rarely catalogue what made us who we are. As a mother, I record all of my children’s firsts. First haircut. First tooth. First day I fed them baby food. First step. First day of school. Their journey gives me a fierce satisfaction that rivals nothing else. Concentrating on our children is both a pleasure and responsibility, but sometimes we get lost along the way.
Maybe it’s time to remember our own firsts.
Take a moment when you read this to think back on some of the moments that you experienced as your first time. For example, I remember my first kiss. I had dreamed about it for so long, fantasized how it would happen and how it would feel. The reality was a sloppy, saliva laden kiss by a boy I didn’t really like but felt like it was time I was kissed. On my mother’s faded floral couch in the basement. I felt nothing but a minor disgust. I panicked immediately, wondering if something was wrong with me, and told my best friend I wanted to move out of state because I hadn’t FELT like I thought I should.
So, expectations of firsts change us also. Thank goodness I finally met a boy who I actually cared about and the kiss was so much better. But the memory still makes me squirm.
The first time I got my book published I felt like something had completely transformed inside of me. I held the real book in my hand, glided my finger over the shiny cover, and stared at my name. I had arrived. I was published. I had changed my life. That week was like a wonderful dream. I floated through my days with a dreamy smile, feeling nothing would ever be the same. I wouldn’t give up that memory for all the world. Later, I realized I hadn’t sold many copies, and I still couldn’t sell my second book easily, and the happy satisfaction faded away while I focused on my next goal. But no one could take away the feel of a success well deserved for that little bit of time.
As writers, we build characters. When having trouble with a character, take a break and think about the hero or heroine’s first times. Sketch out a background of his/her first sexual experience, first kiss, first heartbreak, and first success. You’ll be surprised how much deeper you can go.
What about your firsts? Take a moment and share one with me – I’d love to hear your stories.