How to stop feeling pure and innocent

I was lying in bed, naked, with a 33-year-old man sobbing into my chest.


In all likelihood, I would never be able to get this moment out of my head. It would come back to me so many times in the future, as frequently as I used to imagine my first sexual experience. The only difference between my vivid imagination and reality was that now I was the one patting and soothing him as gently as possible, trying every way to ease the audible pain away. Though I thought I definitely deserved to be comforted as much as he did, it couldn’t hurt to play Saint Maria for now.

I used to think about sex a lot. I listened to my friends talking about sex with insatiable eagerness: what would it be like to have such a mysterious sensation on my body part? Being a virgin—a rare identity on an American campus—constantly reminded me of my lack of this prevalent enjoyment.

However, I don’t know if I would have labeled this moment as enjoyable, although he kept repeating that he had never been this happy before, that I was the first woman who had ever truly loved him, and the first virgin he had ever slept with. He wept for his pathetic past, his fleeting joy, and his dead-end future.

I felt bad for him. I felt bad for myself. Who would have imagined that my “first love” would be a married man with a two-year-old kid and an abusive wife? That I would lose my virginity on his bed in his home, while his wife was out on a business trip? As far as I knew, this wasn’t a typical start to a sex life.


While I was deep in thought, a cracking sound woke me up.

It sounded like someone had put a key into the keyhole.

In that split second, my pulse raced to 200, and I heard his breath stop, his body tense and still.

Everything froze for a while.

“Could that be your wife?” I muffled, my voice as quiet as possible.

“No… It’s probably just the plastic bag.” He softened a bit.

“Oh, good… I mean, this could be a really gross scene for her to see.” I looked down on his undressed body.

He chuckled and relaxed. So did I.


He had an app to locate his wife. I was surprised that his wife would even let him do that. Now we knew that his wife was in another city, three hours away. But I still didn’t feel safe in his house, with an open door; It was an open door to reality. I looked right into the pale living room light, and remembered I was staying with a man in his house, waiting for his wife to come home and expose us, probably. I felt as if there were an eye looking at me through that open door, judging me.


What was I afraid of? No one was going to find out, except my conscience—I was afraid I might wake it up some day.


I knew it was wrong to sleep with a married man, even without the preaching voice of my superego. Does this make me a shameless woman who steals husbands and ruins families?

Strangely, I felt more like a virgin when I was walking with him afterwards, outside under the sunlight. I tried to look pure and innocent to people we passed, those hidden eyes following us. To be honest, I wasn’t faking that innocence—I didn’t think that I was doing something intolerable and sinful; I still viewed myself as a virgin.


Of course, I didn’t have any of these thoughts when I stared into the cold light coming from the door. Naturally nearsighted, I merely managed to figure out the blurred lines of tables and chairs, the sofa, and the floor pattern. I felt like I was getting to know this house better.

My vision went blurry and I gradually fell into a deep slumber. Before unconsciousness hit me, a voice whispered in my head:

I… I wish I could be a virgin again.