Here’s another interview of a former lover, TheVault. There will be a second part coming soon. (This is Part I of II. This interview: Part II of II)
BAP Blog: Welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you for the blog interview. So, how are you right now? What’s good in your life? (I’ll be using TV for shorthand.)
TV: I am doing well. Thanks for asking. There are a lot of positive things in my life right now. In just a couple of weeks my stepson is graduating from high school, which is a big milestone. And in just a month my baby girl is turning two.
BAP Blog: Congrats on both events! Greats news. I’m wondering if you could tell us a little about your upbringing. Where were you raised? How did you identify growing up?
TV: I was raised mainly in California. My family moved to Southern California when I was two and we lived there until I was ten. Then my family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I lived until I left for college. My father is Chinese. He came to the United States in the 1970’s as a student, where he met my mother, who is Caucasian. Somehow they have remained married for nearly forty years, although they seem pretty incompatible at times. I have two sisters, whom I love dearly.
We were super lucky to have our Yieh-Yieh [Chinese for paternal grandpa] living with us, taking care of us as kids while our parents were at work. He was a widower and ended up remarrying when I was six, so his wife moved in with us too. Unfortunately my father was not terribly involved as a parent. It’s not like he wasn’t around, he just didn’t make much of an effort to do things with us. I remember him spending a lot of time hanging out in his boxers, watching Star-Trek.
However, when we moved to the SF Bay Area he became involved in Chinese School and wanted his daughters to go. But I guess it was late for us. We spoke mainly English at home, so we were super behind the other kids our age who were there to learn writing. I guess it was mainly a social activity, but I definitely felt like an outsider. I just wasn’t Chinese enough. I think we went for about a year. My mother was more involved as a parent. She is religious, so church was a big part of my life growing up. I don’t ever remember my father going to church, but he did before I was born. Church was almost like another parent. There were good things about it, but I have a lot of guilt from it, and it hasn’t been a part of my life for a long time.
I guess it’s funny that you ask how I identify. I haven’t really thought about it much recently, maybe because I’ve been living in this bubble where I spend most of my time hanging out with my child. We’ll go to activities with other kids and, while there is a lot of diversity, we are all basically moms with small children. But before I had my child I was a graduate student and a scientist, and that is still part of who I am. I am fairly liberal, socially and politically. But I think the government is pretty dysfunctional, and I don’t trust it to serve my interests. Maybe I’m going through a middle-age transition period in my identity or something.
BAP Blog: What was your experience with sex as you were discovering your sexuality and sexual identity?
TV: Growing up I went to church almost every Sunday and the church’s stance on premarital sex is that it is a serious sin. I was expected to wait until marriage. In fact, there were some people in the church who told teenagers they should not French kiss until after marriage, so “petting” and oral sex were pretty much off the menu. Even masturbation was a no-no.
In addition to this, I was a chubby kid and I didn’t have a good relationship with my body. It’s not like I had an eating disorder, but I thought my body was ugly and even suspected there might be something wrong with it. When I think about it I feel sad because I would never want my own daughter to feel so negatively about herself. In hindsight, my body was as close to perfect as it was ever going to be, but that is something I could not have understood.
I was also super shy and I didn’t dress particularly well. For one, modesty was super important. I wasn’t allowed to wear anything short, tight, or sleeveless. But I think the main problem was that I was just kind of clueless. I did have a boyfriend in high school but things never got very far. We did French kiss, though – oh la la! But I just couldn’t imagine letting another person touch my naked body, or even look at it really.
When I left home for college I continued to go to church, but during that first year I really began to question some of the church’s teachings. I seriously disagreed with the Church’s involvement in anti-gay politics. Eventually I stopped going to church, for multiple reasons, and it was no longer a part of my life. In terms of my own sexuality, I was a serious prude.
I didn’t lose my virginity until I was nearly 20. I had been dating a guy for about two months. We had kissed and touched and cuddled a lot and slept in the same bed together. It was really sensual. Then eventually we tried oral sex, but it didn’t do much for me (and still doesn’t). I just decided one morning that it was time to “do it.”
We were making out, kissing, touching, etc. which wasn’t unusual. But then I decided to take off my underwear, which was unusual, and then his. I remember licking and stroking his erect penis, and then rubbing it against my vagina and then trying to put it in. He asked me if it was really what I wanted to do, and I said yes.
I wish I could say that an awesome, orgasmic experience followed, but it was not quite that spectacular. I was nervous and my vagina was pretty tight, so penetration was difficult. It was kind of awkward and painful. My partner was pretty sensitive to the fact that it was my first time, so I was lucky. Really, it took a while, like weeks of trying different things, for me to enjoy it at all. Part of the issue could have been the guilt I felt. For a while I was afraid I was one of those women who just didn’t like sex, but I think I just needed time and to figure out what I liked. But gradually my boyfriend became less attentive to what I wanted and I even felt bored at times during sex. Eventually we broke up, for various reasons. My next boyfriend was younger than I was, and a virgin. When we started having sex he tried really hard to please me and he was a quick learner. I felt super connected to him while we were having sex. I would actually call it my first experience “making love.” And I definitely enjoyed it.
…to be continued…
This is Part I of II. Part II of II here.)