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MISS ALANA LAKE. I’ll let her photography speak for itself ... twenteenxX

by Naida Ally I asked a hundred London based 16-30 year olds how old they were when they lost their virginites. It seemed like a good place to start when attempting to write about sex. i just wish I’d realised that it’s not about when you lose it that’s how. I don’t know what I was expecting. The youngest anyone admitted to being was 13. It was a random one night thing. He was my exes mate (I know, slutty roots lol) I had gotten off with him once or twice before. We sort of planned it and then it jut happened.-R Somewhere around the age of 13, I was still far away from the real thing. Instead, through films like Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet, and Cruel Intentions, I imagined a tender, softly lit loving embrace. Like most things in life, my experience fell far short of my expectations.

I asked my boyfriend how old he was. “16” Was it good? “Yeah. I mean, she didn’t complain.” So were you in a relationship? “Yeah. She lived in Bradford. I met her at Butlins. I used to go and visit her. We planned it for one day when her parents were out.” I say in a BBM, “I wish you’d taken my V,” and my words echo to the silence of no response. The average age statistically from my survey results was 16, which is also the national legal age. London bsaed rapper/DJ/ musician NIYI, most commonly found gracing the pages of music magazines and Dj’ing in the underbelly of east London and all over Europe lost his at 18. Kind of late I guess- N

I tell him not really, and we discuss how it appears that the younger people I’d asked seemed to have lost theirs younger. Assuming religion isn’t a factor, the loss of one’s

virginity is a rite of passage for todays teen. It’s inevitable due to curiosity, natural urges of the human body, and maybe an aspect of competition. As P explained, “I was 17. I just wanted to get it over and done with. I don’t really remember it really, just the overwhelming sense that I was missing out on something, being left behind.” Do you regret it? I asked. “Yeah I suppose i do. It’s like, at the time all you want is to just be like everyone else or something. The thing is though, the way i did it wasn’t the same as the other people I wanted to be like. Some of them were actually in love. They’d been with their boyfriends for was planned. It was special. it wasn’t some disastrous drunken fumble.” “So you wished you’d waited?” “i just wish I’d realised that it’s not about when you lose it that’s how.”

'Lemon Mould Drawing' Lemon mould was used to create this image. The arrangement is part orchestrated, part random. I see the mould as a signifier for both life and death. The acidic coloring looks toxic. The image hosts an indeterminate space, it could be lunar, it could be an explosion? hence the title 'Untitled Attack'. The above words and photography by Alana Lake m FIND HER HERE twenteen xX


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