Back in the dark ages when I was sixteen, shopkeepers blithely sold school kids cigarettes for ten p a pop. I had spent five years in a rather posh girls' school that smelt like old cabbage and like old cabbage was riddled with spinster teachers who were as hideous as grotesque caterpillars. At that school you could be expelled for dying your hair blue or smoking in the bogs. Consequently I made my escape sharpish to the local comprehensive where you could buy a selection of illegal substances at the school gates and where the teachers turned a blind eye if you smoked weed in the sixth form common room (I kid you not). We often smoked joints on Hampstead Heath (which was where the school was located), and soon after I started at the comprehensive, I realized I had entered an extremely sophisticated realm and that my state of virginity could not be tolerated - by myself.
Before my seventeenth birthday, I was determined to rid myself of this blight. I started taking the pill but my mum found it and flushed it down the toilet. I went to Crazy Larry's one night (King's Road) with my friend Jane, her 19 year old brother Jake and his friend whose name was Dan. All the girls at Crazy Larry's fancied this Dan bloke and so I made it a personal goal for myself to lose my virginity to this incredibly sophisticated (to me) nineteen year old. We went back to Jake's student residences at LSE and smoked some joints. Jane said she was going home, did I want to come? I said, "No, I'm staying here." Now, since Jake and Dan shared a room I promptly got into bed with Dan and lost my virginity. This was a strictly mechanical act. Firstly, we did not bother with small talk or any talk at all. Secondly, he said, "Why don't you kiss me?" but I wasn't interested in romance, I was just interested in being popped. When I found blood on my knickers the next morning I was rather proud of myself. The event itself can best be described as neither here nor there. I then went round the corner to the free clinic and got the morning after pill. Quite honestly, I don't think I have ever felt as sophisticated as when I got back to school and told my friends that, oh yeah, by the way I lost my virginity to this student on the weekend.
All of which brings me to the point of that cartoon which is, should one wait until marriage to have sex? I believe that Mermaid is a virgin or a born again virgin and is waiting for her matrimonials before she does the dirty. I take my hat off to her for keeping her legs crossed, but have no idea how she does it. Also, in my experience, it took about ten years for sex to become better than okay. Admittedly, I may have had a particularly bad crop of lovers, but isn't it every woman's experience that for the first few years you fake it (I never have) or lie there while they tinker away, waiting for an explosion that never happens, assuming all the while that they know what they're doing. I remember in my mid-twenties lying there while a guy did oral sex on me and saying, wearily, "There's no point trying, nothing's going to happen." But he kept going and well, something did! Nirvana. It was a turning point. He was the first guy who knew the first rule of sex: your tongue must be able to endure many many minutes of oral sex without recourse to tea breaks or fag breaks - if you are to make the lady sing.
After that, sex got better, but I have to say that it really only became great from my mid-thirties onwards, I suppose, because one knows what one wants and knows how to ask for it without being aggressive. So, if you wait until you're married, it might take years for it to become good and then you've missed out on a lot of pleasure. That's my theory anyway.
And yes, of course I want to know how you lost your virginity. And also whether any of you - and by that I of course mean the women - had an orgasm the first time.
Who am I? Displaced Londoner now living in the States with my two little girlies and long suffering husband. Co-author of hilarious parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.cocktailsatnaptime.com
My mom's an Austrian, my dad's a Brit, which makes me a Britaustrian, or possibly an Austrish?