‘Violet, how many men have you slept with?’
This question, completely out of the blue, came from my best friend forever, the prude.
‘It’s none of your fucking business,’ I replied.
But then, I couldn’t resist.
‘Oh, what the hell, let’s count.’
I remembered the guy that I’d lost my virginity with, the gorgeous (sleazy) Moroccan in Israel. He’d taken me to his little house, thrown a red scarf over the bedside lamp and helped me do what I wanted to do, with great ease. He was so good that I hadn’t noticed the dirty sheets or used condoms in the bathroom.
My two girlfriends were with me in Israel and we all lost our virginity on the same night.
To different men!
That was a long time ago and we’re all still good friends. It’s a real bonding thing, having sex for the first time in next door rooms.
And then I thought about my encounters after that. The one night stands while travelling through Europe, the bumbling relationships back home, the waiter, oh my the waiter, the experiments, the one much older man and the game ranger, oh dear sweet goddesses I remember the game ranger.
And the idea that all these sexual encounters meant something.
It was easy, back then, to mistake sex for love.
After that – marriage and a different kind of sex and intimacy – and then, sadly -divorce.
More new bumbling relationships, more one night stands, definitely more experiments. Which are all a lot more interesting when you’re older.
Although it is still easy to mistake sex for love.
The memories brought some tears.
But they also brought back amazing moments. Because you know, each encounter did mean something. Each one brought a bit of growth, new experience and a whole lot of new emotions.
Also – I remembered the name of every single guy.
Of course, I ran out of fingers and thumbs and had to get pen and paper for my list. And I insisted she made a list too.
I’m delighted to say, her list was also pretty damn long.
What I loved most is that there was no shame. Just fabulous stories of Sam and Joe and Assad and the guy with long hair whose name I can’t remember and the Dutch guy and the French guy and oh my god that guy in Egypt and the fireman and you know what, I think I may have to find the fireman again.
And also, to know that there will still be more. Maybe not too many more because it would be nice to find love again.
Which I will keep looking for.
As well as, I imagine, making a whole lot of new mistakes along the way.