I just realized that it's been many, many years since I last slow danced. It was such a big deal in middle school--I got used to awkwardly sitting out slow dances until one day a boy I didn't even know asked me to dance. He put his arms around my waist, I put my arms around his waist, he gently corrected me, and we wobbled around to "My Heart Will Go On" for a few minutes. His name was Kevin, he wasn't in any of my classes, and we didn't really get to know each other after that either. But for a good four or five minutes, our bodies were together and we were touching each other. When you're twelve it's a pretty big deal.
It's absolutely insane for me to realize that just three years later I would have an actual sex life with the full range of adult activities. Or that ten years later I would be a kinky slut with a two-digit "number" and a sex blog. I was such a mouse.
But it's funny to realize that with the huge range of erotic activities I can participate in these days when I can talk to boys and everything, there's some things I don't do any more. I don't slow dance. (Short of bar mitzvahs and weddings, I'm not sure where I would slow dance.) I don't make out--I get smoochy and slobbery with boys, but it's foreplay, I don't make out to make out. I don't dry hump much either, I don't have sex in cars, and I don't make a big deal out of doing "everything but" intercourse like there's a giant invisible line. I don't observe the "bases." And I think I've completely lost the skill of getting dressed in 0.12 seconds at the sound of the front door unlocking.
Maybe the real lost ritual is the sense of "oh my God I can't believe I'm actually doing this." For so many years, getting laid seemed as likely as walking on the moon--so when I actually had an Everquest player shove his hand down my pants in his mom's basement, I felt like Neil Fucking Armstrong. It wasn't just a first-time thing; for probably the first year of sex, sheer novelty and the sense of getting away with something nearly outweighed the physical pleasure.
But on some level I expected that to go away. I knew sex couldn't be new forever, and I figured that once you have your own place you don't have to sneak around. (This turned out to be partly true. Bringing home someone new with nosy roommates or neighbors won't get you in "trouble" per se, but it can be awkward.) What I didn't expect is that unless I was at a wedding or a bar mitzvah or something, I'd never slow dance again.
All the grownup stuff I do get to do is totally better though.