It seemed to us rural teens a natural fact that those with nothing to do will do one another.
When I was 12, my family moved to rural Florida, pretty much ensuring that the social activities available to my sister and I in high school would be limited to church, drinking, and having sex. An atheist teetotaler in adolescence, I had few social activities, made fewer by a strict curfew and no driver’s license.
For churchgoing teens, there was a van that would pick up the willing without wheels. Drinking was done out a long dirt road into farmland, at a boat ramp where teens could party, mostly unmolested by sheriff’s deputies patrolling the unincorporated parts of the county. Premarital sex was accomplished by alternately sneaking around and being bold: waiting until someone’s house was free of parents, or by being more adventurous in where we had sex, and funny things happened inside and out. Once, we broke the bed when my partner leaned waaaay out to reach the condoms on the bedside dresser. No one was hurt, but it launched a series of cynical jokes about safe sex. Another time, in a parked car, in daylight, while having sex in the front seat of a car parked in an orange grove, in a pool of sweat on the vinyl seat, we were interrupted by someone galloping through the grove on horseback.
One night late, we were returning from a high school dance and desperate to get it on. My boyfriend pulled over onto the side of the road, and finding the inside of the cab too cramped, we got out of the truck to rut in the night air, on the hood of the parked vehicle. A few minutes into the act, my partner suddenly froze, then very slowly resumed.
“What is it?” I whispered.
“Alligators,” he whispered back. “They’re having sex, too,” he said, and paused as we listened to the rapid grunts together in the otherwise silent and enveloping darkness for a moment before rejoining them.
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