Everyone said it would hurt.
All the romance novels always have the hero saying that it will only hurt for a moment and he wishes he could take the pain for her, but he can't. Then he slides in and for a second it's painful, but then there's passion and fireworks. In a way, I guess that's what I was expecting. I had read online that first time sex isn't always so good, so it wasn't like I was going to hold my husband to some sort of standard. But that's what I wanted it to be. Magical.
My cousin said it hurt so much when her husband penetrated her. I had been frightened before, but when she told me that, I got even more worried. Only later did I find out that she hadn't been wet, which is part of why it hurt her so much. In a way, she was raped.
So when my husband got on the bed the second night and tried to penetrate me, I couldn't let him do it. I don't even remember everything clearly. I remember I had been anxious about this from even before the wedding. I didn't really know my anatomy well. I mean, I had looked at a bunch of diagrams and read niddah books but I had never put my finger inside me. Or used a tampon. I grew up using pads and that's just what I stayed with until the wedding.
So I didn't know where the hole he was supposed to be entering was. I couldn't find it, or see it, and in a way I guess I was afraid it wasn't really there. Even though the blood that dripped onto my pads during my periods had to come from somewhere.
He didn't either really know. The room was dark. He tried to open up my folds and push. This didn't work. I screamed. It hurt a lot. Just like everyone said it would.
But what hurt more was the bright smile I had to put on my face when I attended Sheva Brachos that night. And the night after that. And the night after that. Seven nights in total. Seven nights of fear, worry, pain, shame, guilt and horror.
I also felt like a terrible wife. What kind of incompetent person was I that I didn't even know where the hole was? And I knew that men had needs but I wasn't helping my husband fulfill his. I felt so lonely and ashamed. The happy parties that people were making for us had nothing to do with the reality. We knew something was wrong but we didn't want to admit ourselves that we simply didn't know how to have sex.
Because I mean, come on. It's the 21st century. Who doesn't know how to have sex? The man is erect and he penetrates the woman. What's to know? Even thirteen-year-olds know how to do it and get babies out of it, too. Besides, we felt that if we kept on trying we'd have to stumble upon it at some point. I had been told the hymen was a thin piece of skin which my husband would just break through. Unfortunately, in my mind I had images of skin tearing, ripping, shredding while blood gushed out. It's no wonder I was frightened. But I also wanted to be normal. So I kept on having him push into me, until finally, one time, he hurt me so much that I thought that had to be it. He must have torn the hymen. Nothing else could cause that kind of pain.
I was wrong.