Monday, April 7, 2008

Oral Sex Gone Horribly Wrong

Most people I know had their first sexual experiences at camp. I’m no different. Nine two-month summers of $150/day camping and I had my share of sex, violence, baseball, peanut butter sandwiches, and homosocial relationships.

I won’t name the camp, but it’s far enough north on the 400 so you can actually breathe without getting headaches. This was Canada! The great Canadian north! Not America, where mothers and daughters went to the same high school. But we were debauched, and healthy. In the eighteen months I spent there I never even sneezed. And I was a kid who, at thirteen, was scrubbing my face with isopropyl alcohol. Over one year spent at camp and my skin was like Jennifer Lopez’s waxed inner thigh. It was amazing.

But here we were, some four hundred Jewish kids from middle- to upper-middle-class to my-grandfather-founded-Stelco backgrounds, and we were in it together. It was like a weird conveyor belt where every year the same kind of shit would happen to the same age groups; the same fights, the same plays, the same dances, the same sweatpants. We'd just be one year older, and they'd just be one year younger. I guess if you went back there today the same stories would be unfolding. Teenagers, you know, aren't that original.

But the thing that dominated camp was sex. Sex was everywhere. We were teenagers, and we gossiped. One morning I woke up and a friend was crouched beside my bed. “Did you hear about Lisa? She gave her first blowjob last night.”

Lisa was fifteen. She’s now in her third year of medical school at McMaster. She wants to work in the paediatric cancer ward. But eleven years ago she got on her knees in the dust of a grey plywood-floored cabin to service a guy who spelled know with a g.

That was camp. I remember, one night, a councillor who was having loud sex with his girlfriend in the back room of our cabin. Yeah, the counterpane he’d hung in the doorway just didn’t block out the sound like he’d thought it would. She had a loud orgasm, which I taped on my boom box. Back then--1997--people still had orgasms.

I’ll say this about my personal experience. I guess that's what this post's about. When you’re a teenager you know you don’t know what you’re doing. But you’re willing to try. A friend with a cock like a garden hose was talking about how he’d just screwed a female unit head who was five years our senior. Looking back, had that really happened, it might have been illegal. But this was camp. It was Vegas, for kids.

Oral sex was the thing to do. Being from repressed Jewish homes, actual sex was out. The girls wouldn’t do it, and the guys didn’t want to do it. Many of them probably couldn’t have done it. The cabins were open spaces with bunk-beds arranged along the walls. You could have rolled around in a field, but the grass was always cut short. One guy had gone off to the woods with his girlfriend, and had been bitten on the scrotum by a black fly.

And these beds rocked. The metal frames were about forty years old, and it was all a guy could do to hang a sheet over the front and move just enough so that the thing wouldn't creak. Then someone me jumped in and shoved a straw broom onto exposed skin. It was fun for everyone.

All this as a circuitous way to introduce my story of two fifteen-year-olds trying to give and receive in a dark, empty cabin. It was late in the day, during the free period before dinner, and the blood was flowing. I’ll say this: we were both willing. Sunlight was streaming through the windows we curtained with beach towels, and dust motes revolved through the close air like we were sitting in a chalk mine.

Why didn’t it work? It was a problem I’d actually heard about from the hose-cocked friend, the one with the legitimate mantle as “experienced.” Though there were showers in the cabins, the days at camp were long. And hot. It had been 105 that day, and I’d played basketball. She’d gone sailing in the lake, and had tipped over, twice. She had not changed her clothes.

But we didn’t know. This was a mutual first, and that particular aspect of the act just hadn’t occurred to me. The same was true for her. We were thinking about one sense, not two. Or three. Or four.

She went first. To give her credit, she persevered. At that stage of my life it wasn’t exactly a time-consuming process.

Fair is fair. When my turn came I was excited. I was ready…And, for crissakes, do you know…Lake water…Lake water ferments. It’s a weird chemical process that you shouldn’t try to understand. But lake water is neither pure nor benign. And when it’s a hundred degrees outside, and when you’re a woman and you’ve been wearing a bathing suit all afternoon…

The sensations remain with me to this day. I bought a shaving cream a couple years ago. And as I was lathering my face, I smelled something. I was on the floor, head between my knees, taking deep breaths. Saliva was flowing in my mouth. I couldn’t stop spitting.

So that was my first real sexual experience; my first real sexual horror story. There have been others, but nothing as scarring as that late-summer afternoon. I can laugh about it now. But I lost weight that summer.


highwaisted said...

oh man hilarious!

metro mama said...

Ewwww. I remember the first time a guy stuck his tongue in my mouth. I was horrified.

I was 15 the first time a guy went down on me. He was a little older, and knew what he was doing--it was like the gates of heaven opened, bright light shone down, and trumpets blared. Ah, youth.

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