My first girlfriend said she either wanted to sleep with ‘a girl or a Black guy’ – since then my experience of dating has been tainted by toxic stereotypes
My first serious girlfriend was a year older than me and educated at an expensive private school in south London. She had recently broken up with her long-term boyfriend. I was still a virgin, although among my teenage peers I maintained the fiction of being an experienced conqueror of the opposite sex. After our first meeting at a Saturday music course where we sang a duet of The Lady Is a Tramp, the flirtation graduated from MSN Messenger nudges and hour-long conversations, to texting, to kisses on an ice rink in west London, to finally being welcomed into her empty house. Her parents were away at a function in the country.
Armed with a bottle of port pilfered from my parents’ drinks store, we loaded The Notebook into the DVD player, valiantly attempting to uphold the pretence that the very thing we had spent hours late at night discussing and imagining was definitely not going to happen. Soon enough, small talk began to peter out. So it was that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams became muted witnesses to my deflowering.