I was sexually conservative. I didn’t jump into bed with guys, so I didn’t need to tell my boyfriends.
In addition to J, my husband, I had two boyfriends in college that were serious enough to tell.
I had dated the first boyfriend for months. It was something that he should know if our relationship was going to go anywhere.
I told him over a long, romantic, white-tablecloth-and-candles dinner. Over dessert, I took his hand, looked him in the eyes and told him that I wanted him to spend the night. No intercourse, just snuggling. And one other thing: I need to wear something to protect him, because I wet the bed.
I was so nervous I was shaking. My boyfriend laughed and said he thought I was nervous because I was afraid that he couldn’t be trusted to stick to the rules.
I had the same romantic dinner and the same talk with the other boyfriend and with J. Their reactions were, essentially, “That’s interesting.”
It didn’t matter to any of them. I had been close enough to each of them for long enough that it was an addition to a bigger, longer context. Of course, all three were curious — the cause, the prognosis, how I dealt with it.
It was a bond with each of them, as an intimate secret tends to be. All of them joked about it with me, as people tend to do with intimate secrets. But it wasn’t a big deal for any of them. It certainly wasn’t a cause for breaking up or drifting apart.