I lost my virginity to a bandmate. He was the guitarist; I was the bassist. He was also my best friend in the whole world.
We were a quartet. My older brother was the voice. Our neighbor was the drummer, who gave the band its heartbeat. My bass provided the backbone. And there was Sam, and his guitar riffs and solos and electric melodies. I was in my early teens when my brother and Sam — his best friend — decided to become rock stars, and I begged them to let me be in the band. My uncle had taught me how to play bass guitar, and the guys couldn’t find another bassist, so they let me join. I fought to stay in the band, and after a while they had to realize I was an integral part of it.
It was the most important thing in my life at that point. I didn’t have many friends outside the band, and I was very close to Sam. I could tell him anything, and, unlike my own brother, he always treated me like an adult. It wasn’t the patronizing “be nice to your friend’s little sister” attitude; we were truly close, real friends. We cared about each other deeply, but we never felt anything romantic for each other.
It wasn’t the patronizing “be nice to your friend’s little sister” attitude; we were truly close, real friends.
Speaking of romance, I didn’t have much luck with boys. Offstage, I was quite shy and socially awkward. By the time I turned seventeen, my only experiences with men were a few kisses. I never really dated, and I never had a real boyfriend. It was during that time I’ve realized I needed something more; I wanted to be loved and wanted, yes, to have sex. I guess I was high on hormones and emotions and I didn’t have anybody who could receive all of it.
It happened that Sam was away for two months that summer. We all missed our jams, and we all missed him. When he returned, we played a reunion gig at a local pub and then retired to the garage (which was our rehearsal place) for a welcome-back party. But after a while my brother and the drummer and the rest of the partygoers disappeared and Sam and I were left alone.
This wasn’t the first time we’d been alone in the garage together, so nobody cared. But somehow, it was different. I don’t know if it was alcohol or the fact we hadn’t seen each other for a while. I was just so happy my best friend was back, and so overwhelmed by a feeling of loneliness and by thwarted romantic expectations. With the help of alcohol, these things somehow got rolled into one, and Sam and I started making out on the couch. I don’t know who made the first move, or why, but I think it was me.
Once we began, we didn’t speak much. I just wanted him to hold me close, and he did, and then he put his hands under my shirt, and I touched him, excited to hear him moan when my clumsy fingers touched the tip of his penis. I don’t quite remember what happened next, but I remember us, semi-naked in the dark, him on top of me, my legs spread. And then, after only a little hesitation, Sam found his way into me. I guess it took him some time to do it, but I was drunk and fully relaxed, and all I can remember is a slight discomfort, nothing horrible as I feared it would be. We’d followed each other so many times on stage that this just seemed like a variation.
We fell asleep on the couch, and when we woke up the next morning, our hangovers weren’t our biggest problem. I hadn’t felt it the night before, but I’d bled so much that I’d completely stained the t-shirt he put under me and soaked through to the couch. (Stains can be found to this day.)
We’d followed each other so many times on stage that this just seemed like a variation.
We cleaned the place the best we could and then separated. I climbed upstairs, and he went back home. My head wanted to explode. I wasn’t sure about my feelings; all I knew was that I didn’t want to lose my best friend. But at the same time, I was calm. What we did felt right to me, the only way it could be.
So I phoned him and asked him to come back to my place so we could talk. My mother was still asleep, and we talked in the kitchen. He felt really guilty about the whole thing. He thought he hurt me physically, and I did my best to explain I didn’t feel that — that it was less traumatic than I expected it to be. He also feared he took advantage of me, that I should have lost it to my first love. It took me months to make him understand something that I instinctively knew that very morning: he was there for me when I needed him the most, and I could trust him. We might not have been in love with each other, but there was so much love and understanding between us. I trusted him with my life, and that’s something you need from your first lover.