I Spent 2 Nights at the Hospital After Having Sex for the First Time
They say you’ll always remember your first
Trigger warning: sexual injury
I was 17 the first time I had sex and it was a complete disaster.
I should’ve known doing it with my ex boyfriend from school, the one who’d ghosted me on multiple occasions whenever he wanted to (which was all the time), was a terrible idea. But I was clouded by that ‘first love’ blindness; still enamoured with him, four years after we’d met, dated and broken up more times than I could count in a two year period.
We effectively called it quits after that two year mark, saying we’d be better off as friends. But we never were. Sometime between agreeing to be friends and getting ghosted, yet again, and rekindling that spark, even though he had a girlfriend, we met up at a hotel room. I wasn’t ready for sex, not at all, but I thought hey, maybe he’ll stay in my life this time.
I remember that it was the 12th January, partly because it’s Zayn Malik’s birthday, and partly because the godawful sex made the room look like a murder had occurred. Maybe, I thought at the time, this happened because I’d been brought up to believe sex was something that only happened in a marriage, to create children and I went against everything I’d been taught. The very idea of even wanting to have sex was seen as something to be ashamed of, a secret to bury under layers of innocence and purity in the eyes of a culture staking it’s claim in whether a girl is a virgin or not. Because, in this culture, that is where our worth and very essence of our being lies.
Downhill From Here
That day, we met up at a hotel local to him and talked as we waited for the room key. I remember we spoke about education and future aspirations, but I don’t remember any of what was said. I remember how I felt: awkward, uncomfortable, nervous, jittery. None of which were good feelings, or even a sign that I was even remotely ready to lose my socially-constructed virginity.
Everything else is hazy, from when we got to the room, until the pain set in. It was a sharp, tearing pain in my vagina (bare in mind, this was without any foreplay for me). Instantaneously, I began to bleed. It spread all over the previously pristine white bed sheets and dripped to the carpeted floor. I remember thinking this is going to be hard for them to clean and feeling bad. The pain had disappeared but I just wouldn’t stop bleeding.
“You didn’t tell me you were on your period,” he said to me, sounding annoyed.
I stared at him. “This isn’t my period.”
“Then why are you bleeding?”
I didn’t know why I was bleeding, but I knew something wasn’t right. And it definitely wasn’t my period. I asked him to buy me some sanitary pads from the local Superdrug, panicking, feeling my heart pounding against my ribcage as if it wanted to get out. My head felt hot and my palms were clammy. I was terrified. I had my hand between my legs and sprinted into the bathroom, running into the shower. I watched as blood continued to fall endlessly.
It was like a waterfall of red, swirling into the drain.
A part of me was scared he wouldn’t come back and I had no idea what to do, how to react. I felt myself feeling dizzy, tingles shooting up and down my arms, my entire body. I was full on panicking.
Even to this day, I remember the feeling clearly: the fear, the queasy anxiousness settling into the pit of my stomach. My mouth was dry and I couldn’t think of anything else other than, my parents are going to kill me.
Between him coming back from Superdrug and calling 111 for me, I’d soaked through ten sanitary pads, even when two were layered together. A few short hours later and after a trip to the walk-in centre and then the emergency room, I was admitted into hospital for a tear on either side of my vaginal walls, both one inch in length.
He’d texted me a curt get well soon, after sending me off to the hospital in a taxi, and I didn’t hear from him again, other than when he’d said it was all my fault and then blocked me on everything.
In the hospital, I was told if the bleeding didn’t stop, after they put a huge gauze into my vagina (it hurt like hell and I cried), then I would have to get surgery. Thankfully, it did stop.
I couldn’t eat for the two nights I was in hospital; I felt nauseous and ended up being sick a couple times. I also had a brief therapy session after the trauma of my first sexual encounter, completely scarred.
Sex isn’t meant to hurt
Now, five years later and in a healthier, happier relationship, I realise that I had never been completely prepared for sex. I knew everything sex entailed, but I thought first time sex was meant to hurt. I did know it didn’t require a hospital stay or vaginal tears. But I didn’t know I didn’t have to engage in the act when it wasn’t something I genuinely wasn’t ready for, simply because I felt like it was the only way to keep whatever semblance of a whatever-it-was alive, even though it was long broken and he was never a good guy for me.
It was a learning experience; one that taught me foreplay, especially for a person with a vagina, is a must. Too often, men rush into sex, thinking a few quick kisses and fondling the breasts will get her wet, and hurry to penetration and then it’s over. Sex goes far beyond that and it’s something I wish 17-year-old me had known.