When I was eighteen, I walked into my dorm room, agitated. I couldn’t name the source of my frustration, but my (older, wiser) roommate saw the signs loud and clear. I was horny.
Of course I knew what horniness felt like, but this feeling was beyond the need to have an orgasm. It was deeper. I wanted to smell someone’s hair, rub my face against their chest, and squeeze their muscles beneath my palms.
I wanted to f***.
But I was still grappling with the lessons my parents taught me when they insisted sex was something to be shared only when you were in love (and preferably married; but let’s be real, that wasn’t happening any time soon). My high school sex ed taught me “Abstinence is the Best Choice!” My church taught me physical pleasure was suspicious and most likely sinful. Despite these warnings, I’d had sex with three people before I turned eighteen. Though, heeding my parents’ advice, each was a committed relationship, and we were “in love” or some teenage approximation of it.
When I walked into my dorm, ready to rub myself against a tree like a grizzly bear, I was single and nursing a broken heart after Boyfriend #3 abruptly moved away.
I needed to get properly laid. Without a sweetheart, though, how was that supposed to happen? My roommate suggested I just go out and find someone to have sex with. I scoffed in prudish horror.
I’ll never forget how she replied: “Allison, horniness is like hunger. It’s a basic bodily function signifying a need.”
Her friend agreed. “You’re in college surrounded by other hot, single people. Go find someone to hook up with. Scratch that itch.”
The permission those two women gave me changed my life. For the first time, I didn’t see desire as love’s by-product, but a perk of being a living, breathing human being. I could choose to work through the feelings in my body in another way, maybe through exercise or art. Or I could choose to go find someone cool to help me “scratch the itch.” The choice was up to me.
I chose sex.
Since that night, I’ve had amazing sex with lots of wonderful people. Some of those people became lifelong friends. Some I never saw again. Each experience taught me something new about myself and people in general. Though I’ve gained lots of experience getting naked with people, I never stop feeling giddy, nervous, and thrilled when I get to do it with a new, wonderful person.
Copyright © 2020 by Allison Moon. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.