First sexual experience

I was 19 in 1963, had just left home spurred on by my girlfriend Estelle Irving to join her in a large rented house with 2 other psychology students from Leeds in studenty bedsit Withington, Manchester. She introduced me to a young attractive Iraqi Kurd from Baghdad called Khaled Askar, head of the Manchester University Communist party and in exile. Never had I met an Iraqi Kurd nor for that matter ever since!

Khaled was attractive, dark features with black wavy hair and liquid brown eyes plus a winning charming smile. About 26, he was gentle, polite, open and romantic. I had not come across foreign boys before, coming from the leafy suburbs of provincial Liverpool. We were platonic friends for a short while as I was still a virgin. Jewish and Muslim - what an interesting combination!

 I had had a heavy petting experience when I was 16 with my then boyfriend, market trader wide boy Cliff Adlard. I remember wearing my pink and red striped Polly Peck dress that night taking extra special care not to get telltale blood on it! The van, with ladders on top, was parked outside my parent’s house in respectable middle class Childwall. My father was not pleased that a large van was parked outside. What would the neighbours think and say? I had no education as to what sex was about despite my mother being a chemist. I thought Cliff was having an epileptic fit when he came and asked if he was alright!! This was an era when no sex education was given at home or at school, no books or discussions. How did one find out in the 1950s and 1960s pre-pill. An era of necking and petting on the back row of the Odeon cinema, a parked car or perhaps getting a telltale love bite to show your mates? The hard way was through trial and error!

But back to Khaled. We were having supper in the university canteen when he looked me in the eyes and touched my light brown cascading hair, whispering 'Tonight is the night'. I nodded silently knowing what he meant. Well it was about time to discover what sex was about. I was 19 after all! He would, I thought, be my mentor. In silence, holding hands, we went to his tidy student room already prepared to seduce me. Dim lighting and candles ready to be lit. I don't recall washing or undressing, just a low creaky bed and him getting on top of me after a little bit of kissing. Was it French kissing? I don't think so. Mouth to mouth. Lips to lips. No erotic art in that!  No foreplay. No caressing my trembling body. He just got on top of me and stuck it in! It was over in a flash and I remember thinking, 'That's it? How boring! What's all the fuss about?'

I raced off afterwards mumbling some excuse, so there was no intimate conversation or discussion about our experience.  No questions asked like 'Was it good for you?' No it wasn't!! I recall going home on the bus up the Palatine Road back to dreary Withington convinced that the students sitting opposite me knew what I'd done. Silently on the screen of my mind I repeated, 'I'm not a virgin anymore!'

I immediately ditched poor Khaled and only saw him once a year later in Manchester after he had moved away to Bedford working as an civil engineer. He said he remembered me well because I was 'funny' in bed!!

Originally written in 2011 and updated 2018 in St Benedict, St Leonards.

Read on ‘Your voice matters’ BHCR on 11.5.18

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