Today is the exact 10 year anniversary of me losing my virginity. In celebration of this fact I am posting a project that I have been working on for a while. I was not thinking about today when I started the project, but when I realized what it was, I thought that this was a perfect time to post it. Enjoy.
On a recent drive through the neighborhood I grew up in I realized that most of the strong feelings that I had were a result of a nostalgia directly related to a more innocent feeling of women and my own sexuality that I had when growing up in Alexandria, VA. I wanted to do a photo project on this and take some images of the spots that gave me the most tingles. I decided to use Polaroid film because it’s number one use is taking dirty pictures of people. My relationship with the film has also been a sleazy one as 95% of the pictures I have taken using the medium have been of naked girls. I though documenting my early sex life would be a perfect reason to use Polaroids to do something other than take naked pictures, yet to still play on the sexual identity of the medium.
I lived in Alexandria from 1980 to 1999. These were my formative years and they were they determined the way I dealt with women. When I was a kid I was very weird and had no luck with girls. This was not really an issue until I transfered to a private school outside my neighborhood in the 4th grade. From that point on I was in school with the same people for the next 9 years. The first week of 4th grade I made a joke about eating a praying mantis and that haunted me for the rest of my time at the school. At my old school eating bugs was funny, at my new school it was weird. From then on I was the weird kid… and then the fat kid, and then the weird kid kid again when I started getting into punk rock my freshman year of high school. I eventually started working out, lost all the weight and starting in about the 10th grade I really came into myself and started acting confidently. I stopped getting beat up at school, but I still had no luck with girls, because even then I was still viewed as the weird kid who ate bugs. As soon as I met girls outside of school, that changed forever. I have spent the last decade of my life trying to make up for my short comings as a kid and that has left me perpetually single and probably a bit more promiscuous than is healthy. But my unhealthy relationship with women started slowly and those more innocent times bring back amazing memories and that’s what this project is all about. Working thorough those early sexual encounters and finding out what the fuck went wrong.
I decided only to include stories and images from directly around my old neighborhood. Many of the important events in my life happened outside this little area as my school and all my high school hang out points were farther away. That being said, this is the most concentrated area and because of that, being in these few square miles gives me the strongest sense of my past, both of my life and specifically of my early sexuality
This project can be viewed by visiting the Google Map I made. Each map point has a Polaroid and a description of why that photo is important. The map points are listed in chronological order and should be read in that order. I hope you enjoy the project, I spent way too much time on it.
To view higher resolution versions of the polaroids click here.
Update: Due to the amount of interest that this post has received, if you are linking this, please link this post and not the map directly, as the explanation of the project is important to it, and the google map did not allow me enough space to get all my thoughts down. Also, if you dig this, Digg it.