The First Time, In The Backseat

My first OkCupid date was on my twenty-third birthday. Sitting in the booth seat across from me, 

Patrick didn’t look entirely like his online self ––his boyish smile, wide brown eyes, and button 

nose were attractive features independently, but didn’t quite manage to fit all together on the 

same face at once. I decided it didn’t matter.

At some point mid-conversation, it occurred to me that no one knew where I was or what I was 

doing. The secrecy felt empowering and mature. Patrick’s frat boy style and gelled military 

haircut ––both omitted from his profile’s photos–– belied an impassioned past. Less than a year 

earlier, he’d been living with a thirty-five-year old woman and her toddler, replacing the absent 

deadbeat dad. He said he loved her but couldn’t ignore the reality, or really, the good fortune 

that ––at the age of twenty-four––he still had the irresponsibility of his youth to live out. Leaving 

mother and child, Patrick avoided an apparent burden but couldn’t ignore his guilt. He had 

recently moved back in with his parents. 

None of what he was saying was attractive to me, but he either didn’t realize, or he didn’t care. 

Brash and unabashed, Patrick had no hesitation in admitting he lived with his parents ––he 

didn’t even think of it as something to admit––and the irreverence projected a cool confidence 

that wryly contradicted first date etiquette.

He didn’t give a fuck what I thought of him.

Across the room, a three-year-old shrilled and we both looked over. 

“She looks like a real slutty cunt, huh?” Patrick whispered, leaning in over the table, with a 

devilish smile.

We were there for three hours before my dad texted me asking if I’d be returning home to make 

our 6:30 birthday dinner reservation. Walking to my car, I sensed that the night was ending 

prematurely for Patrick. He began to tactically widen his strides, until he was facing me besides 

the car. Holding the car keys inside the lock, I turned to kiss him. He grasped my neck. I let go 

of the keys. He softly grunted, while I bit his lower lip, and then inhaled a sharp breath through 

his teeth when I did it again. 

“Do you really have to go to dinner now?” 

After texting for two hours, feigning passionate urgency in hazarding ideas for how we could 

have sex somewhere else besides inside a car, I was invested in the fantasy. I liked the taste 

of his mouth more than I’d expected, and the prospect of a first-time car sex experience was 

irresistible to me. In psychology they call that novelty-seeking. I once was a Psych major, and 

as mediocre of a reputation as that degree may have, the ability to self-diagnose is one of the 

most useful skills you can hope to have by graduation day. 

I hoisted myself up into his enormous, teal, Ford truck, reaching for the grey plastic handle 

above my head ––the immediate impracticality of a utility vehicle–– if only we were hauling a 

boat instead of trying to have sex. He drove no more than a couple miles, pulling me over to 

kiss him as he sped through the dark, before he parked the car in front of a dog park.

Four years prior, as a senior on my high school cross-country team, I’d run a 5k race around 

the dirt trail perimeter. Looking out beyond the dashboard, past the forest green, chain-link 

fence, I thought, How far I’ve come. My innocence was a distant memory dating back to my 

long-distance running memories, and was now coming around full circle, catching up with me. 

I smirked at the quaintness of the “Closed after Sunset” sign. Intended to keep the youthful 

indiscretions of night time out after dark, it was now facilitating a desperate fuck. As quickly as 

the momentum of anticipation had been built up, it was now, as a matter of fact, deflating into a 

foregone conclusion. 

“How do you want me?” As soon as I said it, I knew I’d use that as a line again. 


Patrick reached a hand around my waist, pulling me on top of him. Bending my knees to frame 

his lap, the back of my head nearly touched the rearview mirror. The intensity escalated quickly 

within the confines of the fleece-covered front seats—the faster we had sex, the sooner we 

could stop having sex. Arching my back, bracing my hands against the top of the car seat, I 

started rocking my hips forward and back. I opened my eyes to see Patrick’s mouth gaping. 

Tensing his lips to expose the top row of his teeth, he let out a short breath. 

“Ooh, easy, slow down.”

A nearby streetlight illuminated the fogged windows with a faint burnt orange to resemble a 

sauna. His orgasm sounded exasperated as he let out a heavy shriek, his face and chest 

covered in cascading beads of sweat. He was still catching his breath while he removed the 

soggy condom, leaned sideways from under me to the passenger seat, rolled open the window, 

and threw it onto the asphalt parking lot. A montage of every discarded condom I’d ever seen 

flashed through my mind––the fabled scandal of their origins demystified in an instant. 

As we drove back to the parking lot in silence, I decided that I never wanted to see him again. 

The sex had felt hasty, instead of spontaneously lustful, but I wasn’t so much disappointed with 

rushed, mediocre car sex as I was surprised by how unmoved it left me.