I had a childhood friend who had long brown, pin straight hair, far-reaching legs and olive skin. She was tall, graceful, feminine and stunning.

She was the
complete opposite of me and had always seemed more mature.

We lived three minutes away from each other in a small community in Toronto. Looking back at our friendship I don’t know if we ever had anything in common.

She taught me how to kiss and I taught her how to climb trees. She showed me how to put on lipstick and I showed her how to jump off swings.

As we grew up, we grew further apart. My family moved to another city and we started to realize we didn’t have much to talk about.

So when we did visit each other in our early teens we resorted to sexual creativity. We showed each other how we masturbated and she talked to me about the boys she fooled around with.

I smoked my first cigarette with her at the age of 10, late at night in her parent’s basement while everyone else was asleep. We listened to her parents’ records and ate junk food.

Some years later, she asked me if I wanted to go down on her. I told her that I didn’t know what that meant. She explained. I was reluctant because I didn’t know how to do it properly. She said she would teach me. I had never done anything like that with boys before. She drew a hot bath and we both got in. It all happened in the bathtub.

It was awkward and exciting. Being completely naked in the tub exposed me to a side of myself I was unaware of at the time.

There was no hidden parts, no shadows to hide behind, and no blankets to be shy under. I was bare. She was bare. And I was curious. By the time we got out of the bath, the water was cold.

I guess looking back on it, I had been attracted to her long before I knew what attraction was. She was confident, smart and comfortable in her own skin.

She inspired me. I was curious about women. The idea of the feminine. The concept of power dynamics. New ideas I had never even known existed.

A world full of discovery. I had my first taste of sexuality and I liked it.

Eventually we drifted apart, years later I found her on social media and she had chosen a career as a law enforcement officer. An interesting choice for her, but natural to an extent.

She always had the upper hand between us, as if I was wrapped around her finger and she liked it that way. I don’t recall if I ended things or if she did.

Maybe it had been a mutual non-spoken departure between us. Whichever it was, it wouldn’t be until my mid-20s that I would consider her to be my first sexual experience.

Reflecting back on those years, so much now makes sense to me. It was a part of me that I hid away from view for so long. Only to finally allow it to show, one little piece at a time.

Email me questions, comments, stories. Things you would like to share. Ideas for future columns.

The Betty Luster Column will be a monthly column and it will explore our community through a sexual lens. When I say “sexual” I am referring to a part, of most of us that is made up of many different colours and layers that are complex and help to make us who we are. It is an umbrella term that can include whatever you like.

*Confidentiality, Consent and Respect (CCR) are at the core of this column. Please keep this in mind when responding to this column.