I broke the bed when I lost my virginity.
That might give you an image of hairy-chested alpha-male muscular masculinity. Or maybe even a swan dive with double backflip in the pike position from the top of the wardrobe. Jeremy Clarkson bragging that the last time he had this much fun some furniture got broken.
The truth was a little different.
First of all, I ought to issue a yellow “be aware” storm warning. The following story contains naughtiness. There are scenes describing the making of lurve and at least one virginity losing. If that is likely to offend, or if you are my Mum or my son, please look away now.
Once upon a time there was a bed. Oh yes. The bed is as much a part of dramatis personae of this scene as the two humans who squeezed into it.
As beds go, it was not very impressive or very comfortable. It was a narrow single, with a frame of severe hard wood and a base made of ancient springs. Over its long life, the springs had given up resisting and now sagged alarmingly downwards. In its native state, it was thus more hammock than bed.
At some point in its life, someone had tackled the saggy hammock problem by inserting a piece of chipboard between the mattress and the springs. And for a while I suspect that the bed had been a hard and uncomfortable place.
Until the chipboard broke – no doubt due to the sort of bedroom Olympics that I was intending with my then girlfriend.
By the time we meet this bed, the original rectangle of chipboard had disintegrated into half a dozen triangles, rhomboids and other irregular shaped polygons. In order to get anything even resembling a good night’s sleep, you needed to arrange the shards into a criss-cross pattern across the metal frame of the bed.
But it wasn’t a good night’s sleep that I had in mind. I was ready. She was ready. We about to do the deed.
It turned out to be the most mentally taxing few minutes of my life. I’d like to say that we were transported to ecstasy on the wings of rapture. Instead if felt more like the world’s hardest exam.
Naturally we had to be very quiet. This was a student house after all and the walls were paper thin. This was no time for “Me Tarzan, you Jane” cosplay. We played out a duet of oohs and aaahs interspersed with “shhhh”s.
Then I had to think of Margaret Thatcher so that we didn’t … ahem … arrive at our destination station ahead of the timetable. Quadratic equations. Cricket scores. Ian Botham. The poetry of Thomas Hardy. The Highway Code.
Naturally I felt very self-conscious. Was I doing it right? I knew the basics from … ahem … appropriate literature but there was the whole foreplay stuff to get my head around. I could manage the basics in an insert tab A into slot B sort of Ikea wardrobe instruction. But I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about those. Or that. Or exactly which point in the proceedings you should switch from doing round and round to up and down.
Luckily, it was around this point that she started to give me instructions. Touch me there. And there. Hold me there. Nuzzle my whatnot. Stroke my doodah.
It was like one of those exercises where you have to stroke your tummy whilst patting your head. Only I was running out of hands. I felt like pressing pause to ask for clarification – excuse me, do you want me to press that, pull that and tweak those all at the same time? Because if so I think I might need to call for reinforcements.
It wasn’t so much a case of finding the G spot, she was asking me to twiddle the H, J, K and L spots as well. For the first and only time in my life I could see why the good Lord invented octopi.
Then a strange thing happened. She started to make a new sound. I was getting used to the oohs and aaahs as the tide went in and out. And very comforting they were too that I was getting at least some part of the operation right. Or not wrong.
Until she started making ooh, aah, eek noises. The eek noise was new. To be fair, just about everything was new to me at the point, but the eek was the newest.
What’s more, the eek turned out to be linked to the speed control. When I switched from 33 rpm to 45, the eeks got louder.
For a brief millisecond I had a wash of masculine pride. I had made a girl go eek. This could turn out to be a hidden skill. The ladyfolk of the world would whisper in hushed tones about the man who made women eek with pleasure. Eek me to the moon and back, baby.
There was only one problem. She didn’t seem to be enjoying the eeks. In fact she looked bloody annoyed.
And that was when the awful truth dawned. In our exertions up to this point we had jiggled the shards of chipboard which formed a part of the structural integrity of the bed. By complete accident, I had managed to place my knee on one end of a triangular wedge which ran all the way to the middle of her back.
Each time I pushed down on that knee, the other end of the chipboard speared up. And not in a nice way. The oohs, aahs and eeks soon were replaced with “gerroff”.
And that brought a halt to proceedings.
Still, I could console myself with the thought that, on one definition at least, I had both broken the bed and lost my virginity all at the same time.
That was more than thirty years ago. Now fifty shades of grey is a more accurate description of the hairs on my chest than my nocturnal exploits.
But you never forget your first time, do you?