Weekend in Chelsea By Mark Tulin

Sunday, March 27, 2016
Teenage boys find sexual awakening on an outing to Chelsea; by Mark Tulin.

I had been a loyal follower of Kevin. He was the kid with the nice curly hair, well-chiseled nose, straight teeth, and deep brown eyes. I, on the other hand, was average looking with hair that never laid right, tinsel teeth, and bugger-green eyes. Kevin was the smart one, the strong one, and the person who called me every Saturday morning and told me what our plans were. I was like his obedient dog, anticipating my master's call, never straying too far from the phone.

"You wanna to go to Chelsea this weekend?"

"Sure," I said. "How much shall I bring?"

"At least fifty," he said. "We're going to stay over; find a cheap room somewhere."


I grabbed the money from the drawer that I saved from my bar mitzvah, and took a few extra bucks from my mother's purse for good measure. I wore my best torn-off jean shorts, a pair of high-top black Converse, and a Grateful Dead t-shirt that I bought at the Roosevelt Mall last weekend.

Kevin rang the doorbell at 9:30 am. I stuck a note on the refrigerator, telling my mom where I was going and that I would call her once I got there. We walked to Levick Street and got a hitch from a guy in a VW bug with a bunch of anti-war stickers all over it. He drove us down Route 73 and dropped us off at Olga's Dinner. It took us two more rides to get to Atlantic City. We arrived at 2pm and walked the boards looking for a couple slices of pepperoni pizza.

We took off our t-shirts and walked slowly along the boardwalk, eying the beautiful young girls in string bikinis. We heard the seagulls screaming overhead and the shouts of the vendors on the pier. The gigantic Ferris wheel turned and people cried from the snaking roller coaster. We smelled the wild rose incense from the head shop and heard Jimi Hendrix playing, "Crosstown Traffic." We got out of the way of the roller cars and the big burly guys with hairy chests and tattoos. We sampled nuts from the tray that Mr. Peanut was holding. We were warmed by the sun and relaxed by the sound of the ocean tide rolling in and out.

After we ate two greasy slices of pizza, we found a little room in an old Victorian house in Chelsea, just a few blocks from the boardwalk. The windows were wide open and plenty of sunlight shone in. There was a King-sized bed, two white rattan chairs on either side of the room, a couple of seashell ashtrays, a large oval mirror, and a freshly painted bureau with a lava lamp on it that didn't work.

Down the hall the Cream was playing on the radio. A female was in the shower singing "Strange Brew." The singing girl came out of the shower wrapped in a towel, with her hair wet and soap dripping down the side of her tan leg. She tiptoed into her room, not before she turned to me and winked. She opened the door to her room and giggled with her girlfriend.

For the next hour we couldn't stop talking about the two older teenage girls, and coming up with different scenarios on how to meet them. We could ask if there are any good places to eat around here and then invite them to dinner. We could knock on their door and say, "Hi" and start up a conversation. I wanted Kevin to initiate it because he had a way with girls. But he didn't want to make a move because he felt that they'd be more interested in older guys.

So we were totally surprised when the two girls squeaked out of their room in their flip flops, knocked on our open door and asked us if they could come in. They said that this was their last night and that they wanted to have a little fun before they went back home.

"You're cute," the blonde told Kevin.

Her girlfriend with long auburn hair smiled at me.

"Can I sit on your bed?" the blonde asked Kevin.

He was tongue-tied and just nodded.

The blonde ran the tip of her finger over the bridge of Kevin's nose. "You're good looking," she said. "Do you have a girlfriend?"

The two girls smiled at each other as they teased us. They knew that we were young and shy and they took full advantage of it. Kevin and I took turns blushing, but we didn't mind one bit. We were getting the kind of attention from attractive girls that we dreamed of.

"Do you want to smoke some pot?" the auburn-haired girl asked me.

"Sure," I said reluctantly. Never having smoked pot before, I didn't know what to expect. It was hard to refuse a hot girl with bare sexy legs stretched over our bed. When you're thirteen and as naive as we were you're open to anything, even though you don't understand the consequences.

As the blonde was fondling Kevin, the auburn-haired girl lured me to the opposite side of the bed. She reached into her suede, frilly purse and pulled out a small Sucrets tin box with several rolled-up joints inside. I watched as she took a couple of hearty tokes of the marijuana cigarette, holding the delicious smoke in her lungs for a second or two and then blowing perfect smoke rings into the air, watching as they disintegrated before reaching the ceiling.

"Your turn," she smiled. I carefully took the lit joint in my mouth and inhaled the smoke like I was sucking in medicine from an inhaler for asthma. I knew that the smoke was not good for my lungs, but I was too far-gone to behave with any sense. I went with the flow. Wherever she led me, I followed.

Kevin and the blonde were making out with a fierce passion, smacking their lips with loud conviction. It inspired me to do the same with the beautiful girl by my side.

The auburn-haired girl propped herself against the headboard, spreading her legs and revealing a spectacular view of her panty. I became hard in an instant. But in all honesty, I didn't know what to do next. I wasn't like Kevin. He knew exactly what a woman wanted, probably from all the experience he had making out with his neighbor's daughter, Sandy Fingleman. He told me that he made out with her twice a week while watching the Three Stooges on the sofa before her mother came home from work.

I didn't have enough experience to know what I was doing. I hoped that the auburn-haired girl would literally take my hand and point me in the right direction.

She pulled me closer and kissed me gently on the mouth; her lips were so big and juicy that they engulfed me. Her wet tongue slithered in my mouth like a gigantic serpent and tasted just like the sweet Double Bubble gum she was chewing. I tried to keep my tongue inside of her as long as I could, but because I breathed through my mouth it was difficult to French kiss and to inhale air at the same time.

Next thing I knew she was removing my Grateful Dead t-shirt and massaging my chest with her warm hands, then slowly running her pink fingernails from my nipples to the edge of my pubic hair. Kevin was already naked at the other end of the bed. The blonde was going down on him; her head undulating like a well-oiled machine. Kevin was in a trance, staring at the ceiling like he was looking at the Sistine Chapel.

The auburn-haired girl and I were going toe-to-toe with Kevin and his girl. When I got head, it felt like the room was spinning and I was floating upside down. Although I had a bar mitzvah last week, and the rabbi said that I was a man, it was only in that sexual instant did I feel like a real man. I couldn't imagine life being any better.

Just think, I thought, I was in bed with a sexy woman and not those imaginary ones that I created from invented scenarios. The auburn-haired girl slipped a condom on my penis with her mouth. Not only was she sexy but also she was able to do really amazing things without her hands.

Once the condom was on, the auburn-haired girl looked at me as if she were waiting for me to do something.

"Is this your first time?" she asked.

"Yes," I said, feeling weak and vulnerable right after the word "yes" came out of my mouth. There's nothing scarier than going against your male ego, especially when it comes to telling the truth about your sexual experience. I expected her to laugh at me, but instead she gave me a look like Oh, you're so sweet.

"Well, get on top of me," she motioned.

At the other end of the bed things were not going so well for Kevin. The blonde was upset. She got off the bed and said that he came too soon. She accused him of being an "immature little schoolboy" and said that she wanted a real man who knew how to please a woman. Kevin said something too vulgar to repeat and the blonde snapped on her panties, turned to her girlfriend and said, "Let's get out of here!"

I've never seen Kevin so devastated. He was totally humiliated by the hands of beautiful, but insensitive teenage girl. Rejection had never been something he had to deal with; everything came so easy for him. But now he was naked, vulnerable, and his manhood was in question.

He sat up on the edge of the bed, looked down at the hardwood floor hoping to get an answer. He slowly rose from the bed and shuffled to the bathroom like a man who lost his best friend. He turned on the shower and just stood under the showerhead, letting the hot running water wash over his wounded psyche.

For once in my life I was the amazing one. The auburn-hair girl didn't want to leave me and told her friend to wait in her room because she's not finished. She continued to instruct me in the art of making love. She placed my hand where she could feel the most pleasure and told me how soft or hard to touch her. She sighed and moaned in a way that made me proud. When our passion slowly came to an end, she said that I treated her with respect, and better than most of the boys that she had been with. She told me that her brother was picking her up in a little while and gave me a kiss on the cheek. She wrote down her phone number on my hand in blue ink.

"I really want to hear from you again," she said. I never called her back. She was far too old for me. But she made a lasting impression, like an angel who came into my life for a brief moment to give me a precious gift and then gracefully flew away.

It was shortly after my first sexual encounter did I realize that I have always underestimated myself. I was a lot more competent than I gave myself credit for. I was on a par with my best friend but I never realized it. I had convinced myself that I was a marginal person and that I would never be a leader or popular. That weekend in Chelsea opened my eyes to what I could be. I may not have thick curly hair, a well-chiseled nose, or rich brown eyes but I had something that many teenagers my age didn't have. I developed a belief in myself that goes far beyond looks. That auburn-haired girl taught me that all I had to do was to be honest with people. If I told the truth I would get more of what I wanted. Being vulnerable, especially with women, was a sign of strength.

As for Kevin, we never talked about what happened to him during that weekend in Chelsea. He just acted like that weekend never existed, but he couldn't hide the fact that he was a changed kid once he got back to Philly. He didn't have the same amount of confidence. He became more humble and more willing to let me plan our weekends and to initiate contact with girls. He stopped making out with Sandy Fingleman on the sofa because he realized that it didn't make him a better lover. He viewed me differently, too. He finally realized that his best friend was someone special, a really cool guy, and not someone to underestimate. For the first time in our young lives, he became a follower and I became the leader.


  1. a fine rites of passage story, showing how we accept people at face value, thereby perpetuating the impression,some people just need a chance to show their value
    and yes, honesty does pay!
    well done

    Mike McC

  2. Very mature not to call a sure thing. The narrator sounds old way beyond his years.

  3. A great conclusion - believe in yourself. A good lesson for the young but also for the rest of us. Nicely done.

  4. A nice story well told - but I couldn't quite believe that the boys were only thirteen years old - setting off on a whim and booking into a guest house and so on - maybe fifteen or so? Nonetheless the underlying dynamics and subsequent lessons learnt were powerful, many thanks,

  5. Chelsea is a section of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I don't know how things are now, but back in the early 70s it used to be very lax; the rooming houses or hotels, especially the rundown ones, rented to anyone who could pay no matter the age or appearance. I know, it's hard to believe that was the way it was.