I remember how much stress — and how much significance — got placed on losing one’s virginity. Whose idea was it to begin telling hormonal teenagers they needed to worry about having sex before they turned 18? Looking back, I wish someone had come along and slapped me in the face and told me, “Stop it. Just stop it!”

In the end, after all the hype and all the craziness over virginity, losing it felt more like a letdown — exactly what happened with my first girlfriend. We were both young, and of course, we both thought we’d found that “forever love.” Psssh, right. What we’d found was mutual masturbation partners. Heck, even that might have been more exciting than the rushed, awkward, and truly unsatisfying experience losing our virginity turned out to be.

After that first time together, well… we broke up. I guess we weren’t exactly forever-bound by any means. I mean, it wasn’t, like, next-day break-up or anything, but it may as well have been. We went on for a few months, less intense than we’d been before the sex, and found out that we had plenty of different ideas and dreams.

So, I made a personal declaration: I was going to be a virgin again — figuratively speaking. Sure, I couldn’t undo the past, but I had actually learned quite a bit from it. I learned not to rush (two-pump-chump, anyone?). I learned to take my time, be considerate and loving, and not so much to focus on the task at hand, but just to enjoy the experience. Sure, I was idealistic and naïve, but I knew what I wanted to do whenever the opportunity arose again.

Of course, whenever I told someone about my personal decision to become a virgin again, they laughed. I kept it to myself after the first two girlfriends broke up with me, thinking I was lying or manipulating them when I revealed my “reclaimed” virginity. I guess, in a way, they were right, since I worded it that I actually was a virgin, leaving out the small detail that I wasn’t a true one, but only a self-declared one.

This was yet another proving point to my first theory that people place too much weight on virginity — as if being a virgin was a toxic disease, the only cure being awkward teenage sex riddled with insecurities and regrets.

All of that brings me to the reason I’m telling this tale: I wish to pay homage to the woman who cherished my Virginity 2.0 — a woman I am more than pleased to have given it to, a woman I wish I had given my true virginity to, and a woman I will always remember.

And it all started this one time, at band camp…


Yes, I know, that phrase is a cheesy, lame, and pathetic attempt at humor based on a raunchy movie that was somehow met with box-office success for its crude humor, lewdness, and unashamed tale of teens attempting to lose their virginity before their senior prom. I find it even more amusing that the very same direct and frank telling of teen romance woes (including gratuitous nudity) that was “pushing the envelope” at the time, is now common fare, seen in prime time on network TV. Young children are exposed regularly to this puerile innuendo (except maybe for the nudity… which still gets blurred or edited out, or somehow made passable by placing as much skin as possible on display without slipping in that shameful nipple or —horror of horrors! — a penis. But naked butts, both female and male, are free game nowadays?)

Seriously, however, I met the woman I shared my reclaimed virginity with at “band camp.” Technically speaking, that’s what you could call it. In reality, it was a grueling, exhausting experience aimed at weeding out the weak, out-of-shape, and pathetic marching band losers. Okay, that may have been a bit excessive, as I was, at one point in my life, one of the very same weak, out-of-shape, pathetic band geek losers.

But high school marching band and a major university’s marching band are like comparing pee-wee football to professional football. In high school marching band (my high school was small, class 2A, so my experience may be a little lightweight compared to a 4A or even bigger school), we practiced once a day, during the scheduled period for band class, under one hour, with about ten minutes of it spent by the director/teacher trying to get the weak, out-of-shape, pathetic band geek losers to get in line and pay attention. It’s nothing short of a miracle that the eighty of us somehow managed to make it to State Marching Band competitions every year I was in the band (although we never won, always placing second or lower, but that’s beside the point).

So, my senior year, I’m thinking I’m pretty hot shit, marching trombone in a band of eighty members, only three of them qualifying as weak, out-of… (you get the idea), that placed second in Class 2A State competitions, beat out by a 3A team that just barely got bumped back to 2A standings, by 2 points out of 100.

Now, fast-forward to the month before I began my freshman year at a major Division I NCAA-accredited university — where I got my first taste of “Band Camp Hell.” Yep, that’s what they called it, and they weren’t kidding. The first week of drills had absolutely nothing to do with playing your instrument.

Oh no, the director (most likely one of Satan’s most cherished spawn) thought it necessary to have everyone run twenty yard ladder sprints while carrying sixty-five pound drums… then “karaoke” agility runs, high-stepping runs, and a final one mile run. And that was only week one.

During this first week of Hell, I met her. She was a veteran, having been in the marching band already for two years, but this year, she was sitting out, convalescing from the extensive knee surgery she’d had that summer. She was still on crutches. And from a distance, when I first saw her, I assumed one of the band members had brought their kid along for practice. I learned later that she normally stands at a proud four feet ten inches, but that day, hunched over her crutches, she could maybe measure four and a half feet tops.

As I approached, though, I saw her standing next to a trombone (my instrument, too), and noticed she had quite attractive breasts, despite her diminutive stature. (Excursus: “Quite attractive” means different things for different people, so here goes: her breasts sat perfectly round upon her chest, proudly jutting out at just the right slope, just the right angle, and just the right size — neither too big, nor too small. Judging from appearances, they were C cups, charmingly taut and toned. They looked like perfect handfuls. But beyond the physical desirability of them, they complemented her overall figure. From the side, she looked like a model, despite whatever she lacked in height. From the front, her shirt wrapped around them and snugly hugged her trim stomach. We now resume our original programming.)Her first words to me were:

“Hey, buddy, I may be down here, but my eyes are still up here.” Busted. As she said this, she pointed to her eyes and used one of her crutches to whack the side of my leg.

“Ah, Midget, you can’t fault him for looking,” this coming from another trombone player, who came up behind her and rested his head on hers. “They are quite possibly your best assets.”

“Fuck off, Donkey,” she swung her crutch around, and, to my amazement, barely missed the one she called Donkey. (I’d learn later that the nicknames were sort of like an initiation into the trombone line, based upon their recipients’ tendencies or other embarrassing behaviors, and were meant to be insulting or degrading or both, all given, of course, out of love and amiable affection.)

“Midget! Donkey! Knock it off! We don’t need anyone else on crutches!”

I turned to see a short guy with wild blonde hair stroll up to us. “Ah, you’re one of the new guys. Welcome to the Bruces.”

“Bruces?” I raised my eyebrow at that.

“Hehe, yep. We’re the Bruces. Make it through Hell and we’ll tell you why we’re the Bruces — right, Bruce?” This, he said to the one called Donkey.

“Right, Bruce,” he said back, in what sounded like an Australian or faux-British accent. The others, who had gathered around during this exchange, were chuckling.

“But, let me introduce you and the other two new guys to the rest of the Bruces. G’DAY, BRUCE!” he finished with a yell.

The speed at which everyone jumped into formation startled me. Within seconds, the trombone section was in line, at attention, and looked as if they belonged in a crack military unit, not broiling here in the July sun for a marching band camp.

“You’ll learn everyone’s nickname first, and, if they like you, they’ll tell you their real name. I’m called Gas Bruce, and I’m section leader, along with Baby, the other section leader. Any questions, you come to us first,” he said, as he gestured to a long, dark haired, and short-but-not-quite-as-short-as-Midget girl stood away from the line, next to him.

“Right. We follow every band-wide rule, and we follow our own Bruce rules,” Baby spoke up, her voice much louder than her size would have suggested. “Three rules! Number one…”

“RESPECT ONE ANOTHER!” My head snapped back as everyone in line shouted the words in unison, nothing short of a deafening roar.

“Rule number two…” Baby started.

“WE WORK AS ONE!” Again, everyone shouted.

“And rule number three…”


I wanted to laugh, but everyone remained stoic, solemn, and straight-faced, eyes fixed on the horizon.

“Ok, remember them well, Newbies!” Gas finally grinned, looking at the three of us “newbies” standing before the line. “I’ll have everyone state their given names for you. Baby?”

“You may have guessed, I’m called Baby.” She turned to the left-most person in line, a cute, blonde haired girl.

“Hand Job!” No grins from anyone else, so I tried my hardest to mask my snicker at that one.

“Misty!” A skinny, short-haired guy shouted next.

“Donkey!” The guy who had been teasing Midget yelled out.

“Midget!” Even on crutches, and standing less than five feet, she looked intimidating.

“Boobs!” A large-busted girl shouted, her breasts somehow jiggling just from her shouting her nickname.

“Sasquatch!” A rather tall, hairy looking fellow yelled. Not too surprising a nickname.

“Dick!” Another cute, blonde girl shouted. I subdued yet another chuckle.

“Nipple!” The final guy on the right end yelled.

“Great. Now, to prevent confusion, you each get a number based on your name,” Gas addressed the three of us standing in front of the line.

“One,” he said to the guy to my left. “Two,” to the guy to my right, “and Three,” to me.

Baby spoke up next. “Listen carefully to Gas or myself; we’re giving drill instructions. Go grab a snare from the sidelines and get prepared for ladders!”

That began the first week of Hell. I was grateful I had chosen to run in track my senior year. If not for that, I probably would have dropped out from that week alone. As it was, Two left, leaving One and myself as the only newbies to the trombone line.

The first time I actually got to talk to Midget was at the end of the fourth day of Hell. I didn’t have a car, so I walked the two and a half miles to and from practice every day, since the field we used was off campus. I had just gotten to the end of the parking lot when I heard a horn blare behind me, making me almost drop my trombone case and jump quickly to the side. I quickly spun around and saw a small car that made me do a double-take — it looked like an older British car, my double take confirming it with the MG logo — with Midget in the passenger seat (where any American car’s driver would be) and a girl who looked like her double driving. They were laughing, clearly amused at my startled reaction. I picked up my trombone case and stepped back out of the way as they pulled forward a little farther.

“Need a ride, Number Three?” The driver, now that I could see her closer, was like a direct clone of Midget, only with blonde hair and blue eyes, whereas Midget had brown hair and hazel-green eyes. I was assuming she was short as well, as the two girls were sitting at the same height.

“Sure.” Who could pass up a ride offered by two incredibly short and just as incredibly attractive twins? I sure wasn’t going to. “You know where–”

“Jacobs Hall, right?” Blonde-clone of Midget replied, cutting me off, as I buckled up in the back seat.

“Uh… yeah, but how did you–”

“Jess lives there, too,” Midget cut in.

“Do you two always cut–”

“Yep,” they both replied, in perfect unison, giggling.

“Wow. But wait, if you’re both juniors, why are–”

“Jess just loves the dorm life. I live just off campus in a studio apartment.”

“I do love dorms, don’t ask why, I don’t even know. So, Number Three, what’s your name?” Jess asked, glancing back at me from the driver’s seat, flashing a grin that one might call wicked. “We’ll tell you ours if you tell us yours.” Holy crap, I felt a stirring in my pants from that… and it had nothing to do with anything overtly sexual in nature. Curse my overactive imagination, conjuring up a fantasy image of the two of these lovely twins stripping before me… On second thought, I think I’ll keep that image to myself.

“Uh…” my voice cracked. I cleared my throat and tried again. “Daniel Young. Most people call me Dan.” I hoped they didn’t hear that squeak in my voice, or see the blush I felt on my face.

“Alright, Dan. I’m Jessica, and this is my twin. Most people call me Jess, but please don’t call me Jessi. I don’t like it. It makes me want to hurt people.” Midget chuckled, but didn’t say anything.

“I’ll keep that in mind. Nice to meet you, Jess.”

“Likewise. I’d shake your hand but… driving.”

I nodded, realizing I was doing so while she wasn’t looking at me. “Hehe, right.”

“So I play clarinet in the band. When we start band-wide drills we’ll be seeing each other more…” she paused and moved her head so that, where I was sitting, I could see her lips in the rear-view mirror. She purposefully and quite sensually licked her lips, before continuing, “when we blow our horns.”

That gave me more than a stirring down below. In fact, it made me semi-hard. Obviously she was teasing, but it still had the effect that I’m sure she knew she was having on me.

“Jess, stop it. I’ll tell Jim.” Midget finally spoke.

“You wouldn’t…”

“Try me.”

“Why? I’m just having a little fun.”

“Yeah, at the expense of one of my section-mates.”

“Sheesh, you Bruces are a little bit Bruced in the head, taking all that shit way too seriously.”

“Ha! If every section of the band had as much dedication and cooperation as we do…”

“Yeah, I know, we’d be the best band in the nation. But we don’t compete with anyone, so what’s the point?”

“School pride? Or how about a sense of pride in what you do?”

“Hrmph.” Jess didn’t say any more at that. A short silence followed in the car.

“Oh, right, I haven’t told you my name,” Midget broke the silence. “I’m Jennifer, but most people call me Jen… or Midget, as I’m sure you can guess why.”

“Ah, right, the car you guys drive, huh?” I tried, hoping they’d get the joke. It was a long shot, of course, considering it was a rather obscure reference to an older car model, and one would have to know the history of the car company.

“No, because of our height, duh!” Jess piped in, right away. Jen looked sideways at her, then twisted in her seat to glance back at me. The twinkle in her eye and the grin on her face told me she got it, but that glance was enough to get us both to laugh.

“Jess, you’re such a ditz!” Jen laughed out loud.

“What? It’s your height, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but the maker of the car we drive used to produce the MG Midget.” Jen explained. I grinned like a fool, so happy that she got my joke. It was a stab in the dark, but I was impressed she knew some car history.

“So I’m a ditz for not knowing some ridiculously obscure and pointless fact about this rust-bucket? And how the hell do you know about car history?” Jess turned to her sister.

“You’re always a ditz,” Jen looked back at me and winked. “The MG Midget was, like, one of the most popular compact coupes way back. Right, Dan?”

Ah, that’s what the wink was for. The Midget, if I remembered correctly, was only produced in the UK.

“Uh, yeah,” I ventured, assuming she wanted me to help trick and tease her sister.

“Really? Like, VW Bug popular?”

“More. They’re everywhere. I’m surprised you don’t know about this.” Jen glanced at me again, a grin spreading across her face. These twins seemed like a lot of fun to be around.

“C’mon, you know I’m not a car person! To me, they’re all just small cars, big cars, vans, and trucks.” Jess glanced over at her twin, obviously seeing the grin. “Wha… oh fuck you! You did it again, didn’t you!?”

“God, you’re so easy!” Jen burst out in laughter. I couldn’t help it — I had to laugh, too.

“Was all of that made up then?” Jess sounded a little bit annoyed.

“Most of it. But Dan’s reference to cars was accurate. Remember when I got the nickname Midget, my freshman year, and one of the upper-classmen that year drove that tiny-ass car? That was an MG Midget.”

“Oh, you mean that clown car Doug always drove was actually called a Midget?”


“Gotcha… that explains a lot of those car jokes you’ve made that I never seemed to get…” Jess admitted.

Again, Jen and I made eye contact and we chuckled. The laughter, teasing, and good times continued until we reached Jen’s apartment. I offered to help her to her door, considering her crutches, but she politely declined. She waved at us and shut the door. She was quite an amazing woman, so tough and yet so short…

“You know, Dan, I’m not a chauffeur. And I don’t bite. You can sit up here with me,” Jess’s voice made me realize I had been staring at Jen as she crutched away.

“Oh, right, ok.” I hurried around to the front… driver… side and climbed in next to her. I definitely wasn’t used to British cars and the seats being opposite to what I was used to.

“It’s weird being on a different side, huh?” Jess asked, noticing how awkward I felt sitting on the left side of the car up front.

“Yeah, you could say that.”

“You’ve got the hots for my sister, don’t you?” Jess inquired, once we had pulled onto the road again. I blushed, I’m sure.

“Wha–” I couldn’t even finish a word before she continued.

“I mean, it’s okay. She hasn’t even dated anyone in two years, let alone screwed anyone.”

I blinked in surprise. Had she just said what I thought? Jess sure was a candid one.

“What? We’re sisters, twins, you know? We tell each other everything.

“I, uh, wouldn’t know. I only have a brother, six years older than me.”

“Ah, bummer, not exactly at the same stage of life, hard to share stuff with each other, huh?” She glanced over at me and placed her hand on my knee, making me jump slightly. “You know, you can share stuff with me, if you want…”