Sexy Time: V Is For Virginity
Our society’s discourse on sex in incredibly reckless.
From an American perspective, the rhetoric is either, “Sex is awesome, and if you’re not having it, your life fails to have any meaning” or “If you’re having sex, you’re a dirty heathen who deserves to burn in eternal damnation.” This is so dysfunctional, and I really feel it does more harm than good. Many of my columns have taken a very actively sex-positive slant, encouraging safe, consensual, fun, enjoyable sex — which of course I will forever support. However, sometimes I think it’s far more interesting to think about the reasons people abstain from sex.
As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 22, almost a year after I graduated from college. Many of my friends also remained virgins throughout their entire college tenure. None of us were prudes – we all enjoyed steamy makeout sessions and poor lapses in judgment just like our friends who were fully indulging in coitus. None of us were remotely religious, and we didn’t engage in slut shaming. There were definitely times in my college experience where, had I chosen to, I could have just done it and crossed “losing my virginity” off the list. And yet, I was never comfortable enough to go for it. I didn’t buy into the idea that losing my virginity was supposed to be a supremely remarkable experience, complete with fireworks, rose petals and dubious in-the-moment declarations of love. However, I knew that I wanted it to be with someone I placed a modicum of trust in, and more importantly, I wanted to be confident that I could make it through the experience unscathed and still comfortable with myself – after my first kiss, I was so anxious that I couldn’t even go to sleep that night. I was overwhelmed with nausea, I couldn’t stop shaking and I felt like I had given away a part of myself to someone who didn’t appreciate it. All of that was following only some kissing and boob action, so of course I was extremely hesitant to bring penetration into the mix. That hangup aside, I was pretty content doing almost anything that didn’t involve a P near my V or my A.
By my senior year of college, I was idly starting to worry. I mean, it seemed pretty strange to leave college still clinging to my virginity, and I was kind of concerned that guys in the future would pick up on my lack of experience and think I was damaged goods (no, I wasn’t evolved enough to realize that a guy like that is not someone I should be interested in banging anyway). I’m really glad I didn’t bow to any external or internal pressure to swipe my v-card just to get it over with, but it worries me to think of how many women (and men) end up having sex way before they’re ready just because of some arbitrary social expectation that they should. Yes, sex is a great thing, but it is also incredibly personal. We all (to be totally cheeseball) blossom at different times, and I wish that virginity wasn’t as stigmatized as it is. Some people are pretty content with being virgins while still leading enjoyable, fun, robust lives (intimate and otherwise), so can we put a moratorium on policing other people’s sexy times?
[Image via Kamira/Shutterstock]