When I first heard about the course, I could only imagine. I'd been teased about having remained a virgin all through high school. Not that I hadn't had the opportunity, I had, but I'd refrained simply because for me, the timing just wasn't right.
Don't get me wrong either. It wasn't about waiting for the right girl to come along, many of the girls I had gone out with would have been "just right", but I really did want the mood, the setting and the girl to be perfect. Sometimes those three things just can't seem to come together at the same time. So now, here I was twenty-four years old and still a virgin.
And I'm no saint either. I'd had a few of those awkward make out sessions in the back seat of a car at the drive-in, and plenty of them on the downstairs couch at my current girlfriend's home on a weekend when the parents were away. But like I said, maybe the girl and the mood were right, but often the setting wasn't. I just didn't want to be caught in the middle of things and suddenly have to duck out of a window carrying my clothes.
My best friend Larry understood that, to a point, though he'd been amongst my worst critic's and teasers, never being able to understand why I had allowed so many "golden opportunities" pass by as he'd put it. Then one weekend he had come over to my apartment for our usual pizza, beer and the football game. But he had brought along a brochure with him as well.
"You've got to be kidding me," I told him after he'd handed it to me. "I don't need to attend a seminar on being a virgin." I explained testily. "I've had plenty of experience being one for one thing, and for another, it's not like it's been my goal in life to remain one either."
"Read the brochure," he said simply. "It's not anything like you're thinking it is. Diane's girlfriend Charlene took the course last summer, and according to Diane, it was the best thing that ever happened to her."
"I'll bet," I said dubiously. Diane was Larry's sister, and through her I had once bumped into Charlene. Having met her, I could understand why she had remained a virgin. "I can just see it now Larry, a fun filled week of lectures, seminars and god knows what with a bunch of nerdy, homely looking men and women with nothing better to do than to sit there gawking at one another and wondering just as I would be doing, why the hell they even took the course in the first place."
"If you were to see Charlene now, you'd know what I mean," Larry told me disapprovingly. "Like they say, don't judge a book by its cover. She's changed, and if it wasn't for the fact I was dating Susan, I might seriously consider having a run at Charlene myself."
"Just take a look at it, read through it and then decide. According to what Charlene told my sister, it wasn't like anything she'd been expecting it to be either."
I glanced through it while we ate pizza, drank our beer and watched the game. The next available openings were less than a month away over a long weekend beginning with orientation night on a Thursday, and ending on Monday evening with a graduation of sorts for those who completed the course.
Though I had skimmed through it, I hadn't really read through it, pretty much discarding the whole idea in spite of everything Larry had told me. Once again, being forced to participate in a seminar specifically designed for self possessed virgins wasn't my idea of a good time, nor a way to spend and waste a long weekend.
As an afterthought, I took the brochure with me to work on Monday and decided to give it a more critical look before tossing it in the waste can. By nine-thirty I was on the phone.
"I know that the fee seems a little steep," the sultry sounding voice that had called her self Janet told me over the phone, "but it's to ensure a real commitment by those who choose to participate. Two hundred and fifty of which is refunded upon completion of the course."
A thousand dollars was a lot of money, though I was honestly now intrigued by a few of the things I had finally read and not merely skimmed over as I'd previously done.
"And that includes the room, meals and all of the classes and courses you've mentioned in the brochure?" I asked once again. I could almost see the smile in her voice as she spoke.
"All of that and more," she said hinting at more than what was obviously contained or had been mentioned. "Now, can I send out an application form and a profile study?" she asked.
"Profile study? This isn't one of those 'match your mate' sort of things now is it?"
She laughed at that. "No, it isn't Mr. Richards," she said taking a more serious tone. "After orientation we do group several men and women together for participation in the classes. We like to arrange them with people of similar interests, tastes and personalities if we can. It also makes the classes a lot more interesting and stimulating if you attend them with others more like yourself."
That made sense, in a way I guess. "Oh, ok, well in that case then, sure go ahead and send me out an application."
"Can I go ahead and tentatively mark you down for attendance then?" she asked.
"Sure, why not." I decided finally. "Maybe this wouldn't be quite so bad after all."
I had quickly arranged the time off from work, packed a small suitcase with the few things that the brochure recommended I bring. Most everything else I could want or even think of needing would be provided. It was a relatively short drive to the resort from where I lived, a nice little mountain hide-a-way that promised plenty of scenery and seclusion. And no wonder, a couple of the "classes" as they'd been more specifically outlined in detail would need a fair amount of seclusion, especially if held outside as many of them would be in order to create a more relaxed, less awkward environment.
I finally met Janet and was indeed a little disappointed that her voice didn't exactly match the image I had created of her. Not that she wasn't attractive in a way, she was at the very least certainly cute, but just plain enough to cause me to once again wonder what I was really doing here.
"So, have you been through the course?" I asked curiously sitting down in front of her as I finished filling out a few remaining forms.
"We all have," she responded simply. "I went through it about two years ago, and then came to work for them shortly after that," she explained. "But everyone who's hired, whether they're still virgins or not attends the course."
I merely smiled in response having satisfied my curiosity. But there was still one question I had remaining.
"It said in the brochure that I get the refund if I complete the course, but it also says there's a special graduation ceremony on Sunday night for those wishing to stay and attend that part. Aren't they one and the same?"
This time she laughed. "I'll let Mrs. Davies explain all that at orientation tonight," she told me. "But I'll at least tell you this, many of the people who attend this seminar choose to remain virgins for one reason or another afterwards, but they do so with a different outlook, understanding and self awareness than most other virgins do. A few who might find circumstances here conducive to losing their virginity while here, are given a very special graduation ceremony in their honor, but again, it's entirely up to you. The refund is assured simply by attending and completing the course, not necessarily 'graduating'," as she put it with an interesting emphasis on the word. "But like I said, Mrs. Davies the course instructor will go into a lot more detail about that during orientation this evening."
Shortly after, I was then escorted to my modest, but lavishly furnished room. I noticed a T.V., but had already been informed its intent was for evening homework assignments or other instructional applications and not for any other use. There was a bright green terry cloth bathrobe that had been laid out on the bed and was mine to keep. One of the few nice perks I saw from coming here. I'd also been told on the way over to my room as we'd passed by the enormous outdoors swimming pool that orientation would begin there at six-o'clock sharp, just over an hour from now. I was also told as I noticed, that there were several brightly colored chase lounge chairs all grouped together by color surrounding the pool area. My assigned color was green, and I was to join my particular "group" where the seats so indicated by color at that time.
Along with the bathrobe, there was a short welcoming agenda waiting for me. I quickly put away what very few things I had brought along with me, put on the swim-suit we'd been advised to bring along, as well as my new green robe, and headed out towards the pool where I noticed from my window that many who were already there began to congregate. I was pleased to note that some rather attractive looking waitress's dressed in white bikinis made the rounds taking drink orders and serving them. So far, I was the only 'green' person to have arrived as yet.
Having placed my drink order and awaiting it, I took a seat and allowed myself to begin scrutinizing some of the other's who'd already arrived. It was certainly a surprising mix, one I hadn't quite totally expected to see. And one that I also found curiously interesting, though I had remembered reading through one section of the brochure about "born again virgin's" which had something to do with those who weren't technically 'real' virgins, but had become through life's circumstance once again celibate for one reason or another. Thus, when I saw a few "older" men and women suddenly forming together in the red group of chairs, I understood why, though I found it somewhat amusing.
"Hi, my names Kate."
.... There is more of this story ...