I have sex quite often. I’m not bragging about it (I don’t understand the heterosexual obsession with virility) – it’s more like a chore, really. It’s something my body wants to do after a day’s work, or on lazy weekends, or when I am travelling to different cities and countries and the excitement of the exotic is too overpowering. I am not complaining, of course, but neither am I glorifying the act. So, when friends get together (which is very often for me, as I am single and my home is the party pad) and get all nostalgic after some gin and ganja, and start discussing “the first cigarette I had”, or “the first snog” or the inevitable “first time I had sex”, I am at a loss. I have absolutely no memory of my first times. While, on the one hand, this could be a telling sign of early amnesia, on the other, I rarely keep track of my silver and bronze medals. And you never win gold the first time.

I mouth-fagged for a whole year of smoking socially, because no one taught me how to smoke a cigarette until a dear friend saw my erroneous breathing technique. My first kiss was slurpy and had too much saliva, with a girl with too much acne and too much tongue. I don’t remember her face too well either. And, most importantly, I didn’t know what on earth we were doing the first time I had sex. It was borderline Blue Lagoon, because I hadn’t watched porn by then, and the only sex ed I had had was in Moral Science class in school, where pre-marital sex was passionately condemned and “adult relationship” and “romantic coitus” were the red hot euphemisms. I won’t give away how old I was when I lost my virginity, but the fact that I still had Moral Science as a subject should give you some idea. It was a sweaty-confusing-nervous (and very short) summer vacation afternoon.

The point I am trying to make is that “the first time” is an unnecessary romantic idea that comes bearing too much pressure and unwanted connotations. We bother way too much about the first time being perfect and absolutely mind-blowing – be it sex or getting sloshed. And then, when the experience falls on its face, we slap it with “oh-so overrated” or “emotion makes it better” or “maal from Churchgate is horseshit”. This only creates a new void, fuelled with hope inside us, hoping for a better memory that can overwrite our disastrous debuts. Life becomes a frustrating pursuit for romance, orgasms and acid.

Funnily, there is an upside in getting your first times out of the way early in life. When I see how sex-crazed early-20 virginers are, with their almost mythic expectations from sex, booze and drugs, fed with porn, movies and Instagram, I hate to think what their first times would be like. I see them dressing up in their older sister’s Gucci for a college party, hoping that it will be something out of Bling Ring. We all know that the late-teens-early- 20s are when people are at their wannabe best (read: worst), but the generation today is being bombarded with grow-the-fuck-up- ASAP-and-buy-into-the-bullshit-we-are-selling messages like never before. Hence, it is just better to have sex early on, rather than reaching the age when everybody is either dissing you for not having had it yet or telling you how the best orgasm of your life is just round the corner. The same goes for alcohol (“What kind of a man does not drink?!”) or New Year’s eve parties in Goa (“Get ready for the best party of your life!!!”). I could go on and on about how solid parenting and good schooling makes you a level-headed person with the ability to make the right choices, but none of that can tackle the whirlwind of social media, Bollywood blitz and advertising we live in the midst of.

What I am basically saying is that if you are not a precocious chap like me, remember this: never expect anything from your first time. Don’t try to make it like something you saw on YouTube. Don’t take to smoking because you want to flick a stub like Clint Eastwood. Don’t drink a dry martini because Bond does so – trust me, it’s an overrated drink, and Cosmopolitans taste way better. And don’t have sex hoping to set off fireworks, or to be cool. You won’t set off fireworks and there is nothing “cool” about a bodily function as banal as taking a dump. Trust me, you are going to have a lot of sex in life and that is the perfect and most optimistic note to end on.

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