Cherry bombs away: Write up your first time for a good cause

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Laura Goode (left) and Farah Goes Bang co-writer Meera Menon, secret sharers.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA GOODE

Today I wrote a story about my sexual initiation. I forwarded my story to my friends, we discussed, they wrote down theirs. Turns out one of my loved ones did the deed over half an ecstasy pill on Staten Island. Another's first time was with a boyfriend so unmemorable that she couldn't remember identifying characteristics. Apparently they had a hard time getting it in.  

Is there a moment in life that is as important, yet less talked-about than the dismissal of one's virginity? Hardly. So few things equaled the cheap thrill I got from handing over my own story to local author turned filmmaker Laura Goode to publish on her film's new fundraising website.

“Society just doesn't talk about the importance of that first time,” Goode says during her Guardian interview, artfully angling her words around a can of Trader Joe's beer while sitting in her improbably awesome, rundown-cute Mission District carriage-house-cum-studio. She's an author, recently having penned last year's Sister Mischief, a kickass young adult novel about a bunch of high school girls from a elite Christian Minneapolis suburb who bust rhymes in a hip-hop collective, start a queer-straight alliance at their straight-laced campus, and come out of the closet with flair.

Goode's work tends to have a political plotline with a sex-positive subtext, which explains the next paragraph well enough. 

She and co-editor Neelanjana Banerjee created Cherry Bomb as a companion to Farah Goes Bang, a movie that they're working on with a crack production team. The script – written by Goode and co-writer Meera Menon -- follows four young women who take to the road during the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign, a magical moment (ahem) in United States history if ere there was one. The titular Farah is one of the four, and is hellbent on -- as the title neatly references -- getting laid for the first time. Cherry Bomb is, essentially, a reward for people who donate to Farah Goes Bang's Kickstarter page

And so, partly as a gift for those who donate to the cause of their movie-to-be, the women have created Cherry Bomb. The forum hopes to be a sex-positive secret space  – you can only view the seduction stories after donating to the movie or by speaking your piece yourself. The idea, Goode says, is for the site to be a safe zone to talk about that time in your life when you're hovering on the brink of sexual activity. Why did you make the decision to become sexually active? How did it feel? What do you remember from that act?

"There aren't a lot of orgasms, even for the dudes," says Banerjee. "Which is to say, I think people are being really honest and real about the event. The great thing about this topic is that it swings from the nostalgic to the tragic, and everywhere in-between."

There is just not enough real talk about sex and sexuality," Banerjee continues. "There is so much posturing on all sides, so I thought a forum dedicated to diversity would be amazing: stories of girls who couldn't wait to lose it next to stories of girls who wanted to lose it but didn't really care that much, side-by-side with stories about guys who still think about the girl who took theirs when they were 15 or guys who waited until they were almost 30, etc."

It's worth joining in, and not just to support a film that sounds like it's going to be an empowering storyline for young women. Writing out the story of how you lost your v-card (and then posting to a semi-public website) is a great way to reclaim your sexual narrative. Especially if you have a bone to pick with that dick who jumped you in dirty (no pun intended, no pun intended, no pun intended.)

For more info on Goode's film and accompanying cherry-picking website, head to www.farahgoesbang.com