I should have known better. I was raised to be good. The kind of good that comes from generations of sacrifices and ambition, hard work. My parents did all the right things and made all the right choices. I rehearsed all the right scriptures in church and said all the right answers in school. But, like many good girls before me, perfection was killing me, stifling me. So one day, I decided that I was going to stop being good and start being me. Being me brought all the freedom I dared to hope for and all the chaos that my parents, pastors and teachers feared.
The first time I had sex, I was overwhelmed with relief. I had listened to my body’s natural wants and desires and did the thing that, for decades, I had believed would be the start of my demise. A part of me still does. Fear and shame are like leeches, even when you prise them from your skin, you are left wounded and scarred and with less of yourself. I had feared that it was simply a one night stand, so you can imagine my joy when he messaged me the same day. He wished me a safe journey home and looked forward to seeing me again. I thanked God that my first time was with a decent guy. I was familiar with the horror stories. In the days that passed, I shared my newfound sexual liberation with my friends. They squealed and laughed and probed as I detailed my finally eventful sex life.