The Bag


Pressure and Protection


I sat in my buddy's living room watching FUSE. At this point, I was a still a virgin but I had become very aware of the opposite sex. My buddy, Tim, went into his older brother's room to find a controller so we could hook up the Xbox 360. However, when he came out he was holding a big bag with an even bigger grin on his face.


Tim wasn't a virgin. I guess you could say he got lucky, but he hardly remembers because he was so drunk when it happened. His brother, on the other hand, had a new girl with him every time I came over.


Tim dumped the bag out in the middle of the living room table. So many condoms fell out that some started to spill over the table top.

"What the heck? Who needs this many?!" I exclaimed.

"Dude, I'm gonna' take some."

"No! Your brother's gonna' kill you!"

"He has so many! He won't even know. In fact, you should take one," Tim held one out. There in his hand was the plastic wrapper with the all too-familiar protruding ring-shape. "That is of course, unless you're too much of a girl?"

"What? No, I'll take it..."I reached out and grabbed the condom. I then took out my wallet and slid it inside. What the heck am I doing? My parents haven't even talked to me about sex! I felt pressured to use the condom, but I had no idea how.


All throughout high school, I remember the power I felt knowing I had the ability to have sex anytime. Why? Because I had a condom! I didn't care about the repercussions, I had no grid for it because no one I cared about ever stopped to talk to me about it. In fact, I almost felt encouraged. As long as I was careful not to catch anything, then everything would be just fine. Protection -- that's what I had.


But I was wrong.


This girl, who I won't name, captured my heart. I did everything for her. I texted her often and called her late. After school, I would walk her home then turn around and find my way back to my house. I cared about her. I used to think to myself, "If I could spend this one condom... I would spend it on her." But I didn't. Much like the other girls in my class, she got drunk and gave herself to someone else.


The worst part was, I was at that same party when she "disappeared" with some guy. It broke me. I couldn't even look at her for the longest time. Or him. I lost my appetite and cried often.


I realized something through that experience: sex is powerful. I thought I had it all figured out because I had 3 oz. of rubber and plastic in my back pocket. I was wrong. I knew I wanted to be a man who valued sex. I carried around that condom for another year. When it was time to get rid of it, I decided thereafter to save myself for the woman of my dreams. But when I finally threw it away, I didn't feel like I was missing out. Instead, I felt like I had discovered the real me: a man who felt no pressure to lose his virginity.


- Victor, 22 Arizona US