V-Card Diaries: 18 Birthday “I remember taking my clothes off, even my necklace, but for whatever reason I left on my glasses.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from 18 Birthday In My Birthday Suit, who at 38 has learned that it’s quality, not quantity. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 38 years old living in Kentucky who believes that sex is not a shameful act! I enjoy it and have had more than my fair share of partners but as my age has progressed I have learned its quality not quantity!

How I define virginity:

I used to see virginity as a gift that you gave the one man you loved. It was special. Now I see it as just another way for a man to take a little piece of you. It will stay with you good or bad forever so try to “give it” to a good one so you don’t cringe every time you think of it.

Here’s my story:

It was my 18th birthday and well lets just say I will never forget it. I was so scared Mike was older than me maybe 23 or 24. We were out with friends doing the back road drinking and 4×4 mudding which is the rural community standard. Then before ya know it Mike and I were kissing in the front of his lifted toyota metallic blue truck. Music was going I remember hearing Once Bitten Twice Shy which was appropriate. :-) I remember taking my clothes off even my necklace but I for whatever reason left on my glasses. I remember it hurt a bit but it was done and over with pretty quickly and in my head I literally said “happy birthday to me!” I of course “fell in love” because I thought you only do it if you love someone. Needless to say that one other time Mike and I got together and the lesson was learned that sex does not equate love!

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V-Card Diaries: Laura “I see a hot guy and the dirtiest thing that crosses my mind is I just want to stare at him all day.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Laura in Florida, who thinks she’s demi-sexual because she needs a connection to become aroused. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:
21, Female, Florida

How I define virginity:

I’m not sure how to define virginity. It’s complicated, I believe everyone has their own definition of what virginity is to them. For me, it’s not having had sex. Which is still very vague–because there’s lots of ways to have sex…so how do you pick what counts and what doesn’t? It’s confusing. Dictionary.com defines virginity as the condition or state of being a virgin, untouched, pure, fresh, or unused. Again..vague. So I came to a conclusion that virginity is just a thing, an experience someone hasn’t had yet. Whatever that experience may be to that person – because it could be anything!

Here’s my story:

My story is that I’m recently 21 and I’m a virgin. I’ve never even had a relationship before. AT 19, I (unfortunately) had my first kiss. (long story). But from that experience I learned a few things about myself. I am perfectly content being single. I’ve never had a relationship and I won’t until it’s right for me. And I’m still deciding whether or not I want to wait to have sex until marriage. Either way..it’s going to be with my (future) husband. I have no doubts about that. It’s not religious – it’s just what I feel is right for myself. I also think I’m demi-sexual which means I don’t experience sexual arousal unless I form a connection first. Seriously, I see a hot guy and the dirtiest thing that crosses my mind is I just want to stare at him all day..maybe get a hug. :P

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V-Card Diaries: Kitty Meowery “I had sex for the first time at 14, but didn’t think of it as virginity loss because I never orgasmed.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Kitty in the Bible Belt. She and her boyfriend consider themselves “two goofballs in love.” If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

Hi! I’m an 18 year old girl living in the Bible Belt. I love singing, laughing, and being happy!

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a state of mind. Virginity is like being a vegetarian. You can say you’re a vegetarian and BE a vegetarian even if you eat meat once or if you ate fish and said “eh, that’s not really meat.” Vegetarians define their own limitations, why is virginity something society chooses rather than the people involved?

Here’s my story:

I was 14 and it was spring break when I had sex the first time. But in that whole relationship, I never once orgasmed so I didn’t really think of it as real sex, hence no virginity lost. Also I don’t really remember that story either! My boyfriend of today and I lost our virginities together. We parked in an abandoned parking lot and he had sheets and pillows to make it comfy. Oh was a horrible night!

It was awfully funny and horrible unsatisfying. He was way too large for my vagina and I was way too obvious about the pain. He couldn’t keep it up because 1) all the blood an 2) my obvious pain. We tried so hard to make it work but we ended up laughing at the awkwardness of the whole situation. We tried so hard to make it so romantic when really we are just two goofballs in love who don’t need passionate crazy romantic sex to be happy. We left with neither of us finishing but I’ve never been so fulfilled emotionally in my life. That’s how I want to remember losing my virginity.

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On the lies we tell young men about sex

Whisper Male Virgin

I was interviewed by Fusion for an article on the toxic cultural forces that tell guys to lose their virginity as soon as possible–and to feel like utter losers if they don’t. It’s based on the male virgin section of a secret-sharing site called Whisper, which is cool on one hand because it allows these guys (gay, straight and bi) to be honest about their feelings about wanting sex or not, but also feels a little like a sex work matchmaking service for  losing it.

I spoke to the reporter about the lack of honest conversation about sexuality, the dearth of actual sex ed and the huge vacuum this leaves for young people just when they’re trying to make sense of their sexual feelings. When the vacuum gets filled with sexist, judgmental and usually inaccurate pop culture, porn and abstinence-until-marriage classes about what ‘real men’ are supposed to be like, it’s no wonder 17-year-old guys think life is over because they haven’t yet had intercourse. I’ve said this before, and I said it in the article: I believe that becoming sexual is a long and gradual process. It’s not some race to the finish line where the money-shot is the end goal.

The same day I was interviewed, I saw this quote from Cory Silverberg at About:Sexuality, with a collection of articles on delayed ejaculation and erectile disfunction in young men:

“The stories we tell each other and ourselves about men and sex are all pretty bleak.  They want sex all the time but never want to talk about it. They are ready any moment but are sexually callous.  They are fundamentally aggressive.  On and on it goes, and it’s no wonder that men are so messed up about sex when you think about the options presented to them.  And what do they do when the problem they are having doesn’t fit neatly into the options they have?”

A lack of understanding about sexuality doesn’t just harm the guys themselves, it also affects their partners. Here’s a disturbing study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine about young men’s attitudes towards having anal sex with female partners. While some women participated enthusiastically in receiving anal sex, the majority felt coerced:

“The researchers found that many young women who did engage in anal sex found the experiences painful and full of pressure. They seemed to occur in sexual climate in which the concept of mutuality wasn’t highlighted enough amongst teenagers, for reasons that ranged from a lack of open dialogue and education to young men attempting to mimic what they see in porn.”

Ah, mutuality…Guys receiving anal sex from their female partners. What a concept!

Guys, what do you think? Where are you getting your messages about sex and how to ‘be a man.’ What can we do to change the conversation about sexuality and masculinity?

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, Losing It, male virginity, Older virgins, Porn, Queer, Sex education, Sex Work, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Sally “In Lebanon, people raise their girls on the idea that they can not be sexual beings the way boys are.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Sally in Lebanon, who gets a reaction like a ‘you’re a hooker’ if she talks about sex in front of boys. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

Hello, my name is Sally. I’m from Lebanon, in the Middle East. I am a 19-year-old female.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is overrated. Especially for girls, people raise their girls on the idea that they can not be sexual beings the way boys are. Virginity for me is meaningless. I still didn’t have sex though but I will soon, but I look at other older females that have sexual desires they can’t obtain because of the whole traditions and religious crap.

Here’s my story:

I ‘m an atheist but I come from a Muslim background. My country is well known for it’s diversity ( we have around 18 sects). And apparently all of them still think Virginity is a sacred thing, including the new generation. Even masturbation. I doubt if more than 20% of the population knows about it. When I talk about sex in front of boys they tend to give me some sort of you’re a hooker or why are you so reckless with your life, they TRY to make me believe that Virginity is like doing drugs or even worse.

Middle eastern man tends to believe that his wife MUST be a virgin (even though he sleeps with tons) and if he really loves a woman but she’s not a virgin, he won’t marry her! Or if he wanted to, his parents ( which play a big role in a typical Arab man’s life) will hammer his head till they force him to dump her. Not to mention that some tend to kill the female who loses her Virginity because her virginity represents the whole family (yep those still exists which really annoys me). So why an innocent soul who just wanted to discover herself would be murdered because of a f*cking hymen ?!!

Posted in abstinence, Double standard, Human Rights, Hymenology, International Affairs, Religion, V-Card Diaries, Virgin/Whore, White Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check out our new trailer on Upworthy, then watch the film On Demand

Despite the fact that we love making fun of Upworthy, we also appreciate it when they post important things–like our new trailer! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out, and then go stream our film On Demand (available for a very limited time)

Posted in Defining virginity, film, Hymenology, Losing It, Religion, reproductive rights, Sex education, This Film, video, Virgin/Whore, White Wedding | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Women feel less guilty about losing their virginity, but is that the conversation we need to be having?

Note: Another story on this study just came out, so we’re reposting this response.  

Image via Rise, Rebel, Resist tumblr

As someone who’s been working for years to bust mythologies and change the conversation around virginity, I give a serious hooray for reducing guilt around first intercourse for women. Writing about a new study,  Salon reports in “Science: Losing your virginity isn’t as awkward as it was 20 years ago”:

“According to a study from the University of Illinois, young adults have felt better and better about their first-time sexual experiences for the past 23 years, with the difference between men’s and women’s emotional responses to early sexual intercourse decreasing over time.”

And this:

“The researchers discovered that gender differences in response to virginity loss diminished greatly over time, which they suspect might be “because of a reduction, in general, of social regulation of female sexuality and in the double standard” of sexual expression for each gender.”

It’s no surprise that women are feeling less guilt and shame around becoming sexual. They have more agency to choose how, when and why they’ll become sexual. (Thank you, Feminism) Women know more than they ever did about their bodies and how to get pleasure from the experience (Thank you Scarleteen and the other fantastic online resources). And maybe, just maybe, the guys are paying more attention to women’s pleasure as well. (Thank you again, Feminism).

But, as writer Jenny Kutner points out:

“It’s important to note, though, that men do still exhibit more positive responses and experience more pleasure than women — also because of the “reduction” in the policing of women’s bodies and not its complete obliteration.”

Reduction, not obliteration, and I’d argue in the last 8 years, some significant increases. There’s the $1.5 billion worth of inaccurate, sexist shaming  from Abstinence-Until Marriage programs, and the near constant stream of slut-shamingrape cases dismissed or hushed up, and legislative attacks on women’s reproductive rights and resources. Young women are also facing more pressure to have sex (call it prude-shaming?) and then get a steaming pile of mixed messages like the always-popular ‘be sexy but don’t have sex.”

Even comprehensive sex classes don’t talk much about how both women and men can get pleasure from sex, or how to ask for and respect consent. A woman having pre-marital sex may be more acceptable than in the past, but so is having your own bank account and keeping your last name.

One thing that continues to be frustrating is using intercourse as the sexual benchmark for these studies. Why are we measuring the start of sexuality by a penis going into a vagina? First,  it’s a heterosexual framework, leaving out a chunk of the sex-having population. But also, our V-Card Diaries story collection is full of young women writing that everything they did pre-intercourse was pleasurable, but intercourse itself was a let down.

No surprise: that’s not how most women orgasm, especially when they’re first starting to have sex. But the study insists on measuring women’s pleasure by how much they enjoyed intercourse, and then they’re actually surprised that it’s so low. Please let’s stop selling intercourse the big sexual prize for women and recognize there are lots of ways to have sex that don’t involve a penis in a vagina. 

The progress is great, but we need to keep working to change the conversation about women, virginity and sex to one that’s not only non-judgmental, but also recognizes diverse sexual experiences, and puts consent and pleasure at the top of the must-have list.

MagicWand

[Get more graphics and gifs here]

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“Jane The Virgin” is coming this Fall

The new comedy series Jane The Virgin, based on a Venezuelan telenovela  Juana la Virgen, is debuting on the CW. I’ve never seen the orginal, but from the clips on the site, it seems to be the story of a teenage girl who is accidentally artificially inseminated, and hilarity and slut-shaming ensue.

The vibe is very Ugly Betty, another telenovela remake that I really liked*, so that’s promising. Bonus points for the clip above, in which they seem to be making fun of the offensive abstinence parlor games that equate dirty pieces of tape, chewed up gum and dirty toothbrushes with a young lady’s destroyed virtue (even though, weirdly, the actress who plays the grandmother does not seem to be in on the joke). Here’s hoping they bust a bunch of virginity myths and it’s not all just one long virgin/whore joke.

h/t to virginspotter Myra Batchelder

*What’s the amazing America Ferrara up to these days? I loved her in one of my favorite films Real Women Have Curves, which has hilarious and awesome virginity loss and body image story lines.

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V-Card Diaries: Young Lover V-Card Diaries: Young Lover “When I imagine sex, I think of a 120 mph iron train aiming at a mouse hole.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Young Lover in New Jersey. She is terrified of having sex and fears it might be due to vaginismus. Read more about that condition hereIf you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 16-year-old high school junior from New Jersey. I’m really involved in leadership and tutoring programs, and I box in my free time. College applications are starting to become the domineering force in my life, but I’m much more focused on some of my friends and their personal issues considering 2014 has not treated them kindly.

How I define virginity:

I’d define virginity as one who’s never had penile-vaginal sex. I understand this can’t include lesbian couples but I would say you can have that sort of sex without “making love” so to speak. When I define virginity, I’m thinking in completely physical terms.

Here’s my story:

I know in the mindsets of most people, 16 is way too young to even consider having sex and to others it’s the perfect age. I can remember naively discussing it with some of my friends. “I’ll never do it until I’m 20 at least!” I said at the age where boys still had cooties.

I guess my issue is some of my most “virginal” friends have started losing their V-Cards, and it’s made me realize that sex is not this enormous deal as it’s portrayed in pop culture. Rather, it’s natural, awkward, and–as I’m afraid–will probably hurt.

My mom decided it was time I visited the gyno a few months back, and I was terrified. Most of my friends have trouble believing me, but I’ve still never masturbated because I don’t like the feeling of anything near my vagina. I had no idea what to expect when I spread my legs for the first time in my gynecologist’s office, and when I heard her clanking through METAL, I instantly tightened all my muscles in full panic.

It seemed she didn’t even know the meaning of consent. When she found the right tool, she dove immediately inside my funhouse, and I began to scream because of the pain. I begged her to take it out, which she did not do for several agonizing seconds. I was crying, and she still had the audacity to ask if she could do the same thing with a gloved finger. I was left alone in there for an hour to de-stress myself, and my vaginal muscles refused to unclamp during that entire time. Even thinking back on it now, it still causes me to clench.

After research, I believe I have vaginismus. The exercises to “cure” it terrify me still, as they involve stretches and inserting objects. Of course this is a self-diagnosis, so who really knows what’s going on down there? My friend (17) recently lost hers to a 23-year-old–her old XC assistant coach. It sounds quite messed up, but she’s in all the top classes and maintains an excellent GPA, so she hasn’t been “misguided” in any way.

I guess the point of this is, I’m afraid. I’m very much afraid to have sex. About a week ago, my boyfriend brought it up (he’d never force anything of course), and was wondering if it was something I’d want to try, as we’ve done most everything else. I backed off immediately, remembering that experience at the gyno and my inability to even handle a tampon.

I’m definitely not asexual, but I truly can’t imagine anyone being pleasured by having a penis inside you. Or how a vagina can even stretch that far for that matter (considering the size of an erect penis). When I imagine sex, I think of a 120 mph iron train aiming at a mouse hole. I don’t know what to do, but I don’t want him to know how afraid I am.

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V-Card Diaries: OwlShroomGirly “My boyfriend would annoy me until I agreed to have sex with him.”

*Trigger Warning for sexual assault* Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from OwlShroomGirly in Florida, who knows she deserves someone who loves her for who she is, regardless of her past. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am 20 years old. I have a Pentecostal/Baptist background, thoughIi see myself as spiritual. I am currently in college (a Florida university). Being only 5’2” I don’t really stand out. I consider myself multi-ethnic (I have a medium brown pigmentation). I have a boyfriend who is multi-ethnic, though he is caucasian in complexion.

How I define virginity:

I honestly believe that the idea of virginity depends on the individual. There can even be spiritual virginities, if you want to go that far. I do.

Here’s my story:

My first time was with a friend of mine. I was curious on my sexual orientation so, we experimented. It ended with both of us just wanting to be friends. That was my first consenting sexual experience. I had been sexually abused my a family member when I was a little girl and it still has a tendency to haunt me even with me being 20 years old. I had a boyfriend(first boyfriend), it was a terrible experience, he was forceful and would annoy me until I agreed to have sex with him. It took me years to figure out that I deserve someone who loves me just for me, regardless of what happened in my past. My current boyfriend has been understanding and accepting of all my past. I am confident in own life and what makes me, me is not my virginity but my personality and my principles.

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Some depressing thoughts about evangelical men and purity pledges:

“The church, and the men that I interviewed, don’t believe that women would need a space to talk through these issues. They believe that men are highly sexual beings and they have “natural urges” that need to be controlled, but they don’t believe that women have that natural desire to be sexually active. Women are the providers of sexual activity for their husbands.”

From “What Happens When Evangelical Virgin Men Get Married? This Secular Female Sociologist Found Out,” and interview with sociologist Sarah Diefendorf at The New Republic.

While some evangelical churches encourage a pleasurable sex life for both partners, this one apparently does not. What a sad way to start a marriage, thinking your wife’s duty is to become a sexual vessel to satisfy you and keep your beastly urges in check. Equally sad, Diefendorf reports that while the men have support groups of peers to deal with issues around masturbation, porn and masculinity prior to marriage, this support stops dead on their wedding day.

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V-Card Diaries: Rosie ‘My boyfriend didn’t have a problem when I said “no” in the middle of sex”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Rosie in New York. Since her first experience was so painful and there was hardly penetration, she assumed she and her boyfriend were still virgins. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am an 18-year-old female from New York.

How I define virginity:

I define virginity as any limit that will make you feel emotionally and sexually fulfilled.

Here’s my story:

As a teen in high school I was not popular, especially with boys. I craved for my first boyfriend and our first mind-blowing kiss. But all that I got was teasing and ridicule. Hell, my first kiss with my first “boyfriend” was at 17 and it was barely a peck on the lips. It was lacking luster, to say the least. 

Enter college. Two weeks into classes I met my first real and current boyfriend. We hit it off the moment we exchanged names and we jumped right into dating. With this all being brand spanking new to me, I questioned my sexuality a lot and whether or not I was going too fast with this boy I just met. Then I asked myself the real question: who decided for me what was going too fast? There was no written rule saying what you could and couldn’t do with your first boyfriend. There was no timeline of how fast or slow to take things. There was me and him and no one else. And we were both horny as fuck. So a month after we met for the first time, we did the deed. And I hated it. I have never been in so much pain. It was so painful that in the middle of the act I pushed him out because the penetration hurt me so much (and he stayed out without a single complaint about how crazy I was for saying “no” in the middle of sex). The part that hurt and confused me the most was the day after when we were walking and he said in passing, “We’re not virgins anymore.”

“But wait,” I said. “You didn’t enter me all the way. And we didn’t even finish. We’re still virgins.” This sparked the question, what makes someone lose their virginity officially? I didn’t feel any different so I figured we did something wrong and next time would be better. Next time wasn’t better. It took so long for it to not hurt. But when it stopped it felt so good. I fell even more in love with my first of practically everything and we’re still experimenting and talking and loving each other. I could never ask for a better partner or first boyfriend.

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V-Card Diaries: Paola “I want to enjoy my sexual life without having to worry about being labeled a slut, bitch, whore or thirsty.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Paola in the US who does not want to be a virgin anymore. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 17-year-old female in the US.

How I define virginity:

I define virginity as a three element process in which your sexual life is started:

1-Physical

   Where your body is being adjusted to the physical feelings of having any kind of sexual contact with another human. Most societies value this physical quality as the only element to being a virgin, especially the act of breaking the hymen.

2-Mental

   Mental virginity deals with the view of innocence. You may think you are not innocent if you already lost your physical virginity, but there is still mental virginity. It consists of being at the peak of innocence because of the presence of love…that desire to be connected with the one we love will make our innocence reach its peak in a sexual encounter, first one or not.

3- Moral

   The morals that a human is taught often do define virginity. But whether you’re Christian, married, single, a millionaire, famous, or even the best person in the world, we all have sexual need. Our moral virginity is lost when we understand this: we have sexual needs, we need to satisfy them, and it  is a natural process that will never change. Society has tried to change our nature as humans by defining virginity, promoting innocence towards sexual topics, and pressuring women to satisfy this need.

Here’s my story:

I am a “virgin.” I don’t want to be a virgin anymore. I want to enjoy the physical pleasure of sex. I want to find that special person that will make my innocence peak to its maximum. I want to enjoy my sexual life without having to worry about being labeled a “slut,” “bitch,” “whore,” “thirsty,” etc.

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V-Card Diaries: Megs “We laughed when it fell out, and at the squelching noises and queefs.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Megs from Australia, who wore a purity ring to reminder her to wait until she was 100% ready.  If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:
I’m an 18-year-old female from Australia, currently studying abroad.

How I define virginity:
I understand that everyone defines virginity in different ways, but for me it would be vaginal intercourse.

Here’s my story:
My mum gave me her purity ring when I was thirteen, and because I never wanted to wait until marriage, I wore it as a reminder to wait until I was 100% ready. While my friends slowly started to have sex, it never bothered me that I hadn’t. I never saw sex as some be-all and end-all defining moment in my life (probably due to my older brother’s influence, who introduced me to feminism). I just knew that I wanted it to be with someone I liked, and who I knew liked me too.

My semester abroad has been a time for firsts. A friend of someone studying here visited for two weeks, and we hung out a lot and got to know each other quite well. I’d spent a few nights with him in his bed and him in mine–just making out and cuddling, then oral sex. He knew when he met me that I was a virgin, and was careful the entire time to make sure that I was comfortable. He asked my permission before doing anything, and was big on communication. He told me to let him know if I wasn’t comfortable or if it didn’t feel right, but reminded me to let him know if something felt good, too.

When we finally did have penetrative sex it hurt quite a bit, but the pain stopped after the first initial few thrusts and it was great. I didn’t bleed (which was a relief), even though everyone had always told me I would. It was never awkward, and he walked me through everything. We even laughed when it wouldn’t go in the first few times or it fell out, and at the squelching noises and queefs.

I wouldn’t have wanted to lose my virginity any other way, and I’m glad it was with him.

 

Posted in college life, International Affairs, Losing It, Random Feminism, V-Card Diaries, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Megan “Sex is precious. My body is precious. It is only for THE one other person that will earn my trust.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Megan in Texas, whose Catholicism impacts how she things about sex and relationships. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 26-year-old female from Texas. I was born Catholic and still practice Catholicism. Naturally, this has a huge impact on how I was raised and how I see sex and relationships. But I also agree that people have different views, none of which I condone. I stick to my values, and I respect those who have different values and stick to them just as tightly. It’s what makes them who they are.

How I define virginity:

I have my own personal definition of virginity: It simply means not being sexually intimate (all forms of sex; if it has the word “sex” behind it, it is indeed considered “sex” in my book; even being naked with a potential sex partner is close to the edge. But I’m a very private person anyway). Many people have different definitions of virginity, so it is my belief that they should stick to their morals when it comes to deciding whether or not they’ve lost “it.” The term has become so muddled, it’s impossible to come to a consensus on a definition.

Here’s my story:

I’m single, and still a virgin at 26. I have felt shame at times, especially when I was younger, but as I have grown up and matured, I feel at peace with my decision to remain celibate until marriage. None of my friends care and none have asked me if I’ve ever “lost it”, and I have never asked them. I feel that is out of respect for each other, and because it really doesn’t matter in our friendships. Sex is a private matter, between two individuals who care deeply for each other. I’ve discovered a great deal about myself since leaving high school 8 years ago, and I know that I will be ready to let someone into my life when the time comes.

Indeed, religion has played a role in my decision, but I also never have felt like I was ready for an intimate relationship. I have to find the right person, and only then will I know I can let him intimately into my life, and we can share an experience that is the practice leading to the creation of new life as husband and wife. Sex is precious, my body is precious. My body is amazing, and it is only for THE one other person that will earn my trust and love me enough to be with me for the rest of my life. And I’m totally okay with our first time being messy and awkward, but that will give us a chance to grow and learn with each other throughout our lives.

Remaining a virgin has led me to realize that I have respected my body AND my emotions, because no one knows me better than me. Of course I’ve had sexual desires (I am human), and I definitely relish the thought of being intimate with a man. I have had opportunities, but remaining true to myself means more to me than giving myself away before I’m ready.

Posted in abstinence, Older virgins, Religion, V-Card Diaries, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Sara “I was 16 and I wanted to lose my virginity to any guy who had long hair and was decently cute.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Sara in Michigan. She feels confident in her sexuality and refuses to let society discourage her. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 19-year-old female from Michigan

How I define virginity:

I define virginity as never having had a penis inside of you.

Here’s my story:

I was 16 and I wanted to lose my virginity to any guy who had long hair and was decently cute. I guess I lived up to my 16-year-old standards. We lost our virginity together on our 2-month anniversary. We lost it at his sister’s 13th birthday party. Out in the woods. It was awkward but it felt good in the end so who cares. I have no shame cause it was what I wanted at the time and I live life with no regrets. I’ve had 2 other sexual partners since, but having sex is what makes me happy so I don’t let people make me feel bad about my choices. Simple as that.

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V-Card Diaries: Imogen “As it turns out, when you post an ad as a 22-year-old redheaded virgin, people get interested really quickly.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Imogen in New Zealand. Although she grew up in a conservative home, in her 20s she made a conscious effort to lose her virginity with someone she met on Craigslist. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 23-year-old woman and a biological female who grew up in a very conservative home. I lived in Canada for many years and then moved over to New Zealand.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a tricky word to define. I would define it loosely as a state of innocence. It is an ignorance towards sexuality and sexual preferences.

Here’s my story:

I grew up in an exceedingly conservative home. Sure, we watched mainstream TV and went to public schools, but we were taught at home and at church that sex was a dirty secret meant for marriage. While I never adhered to the ‘premarital sex is dirty’ mantra, I personally chose not to engage in any partnered sexual activity while I was a teenager. The year I turned 22, I decided I was ready. The only problem was, everyone I knew was super religious, in a relationship, or not at all attractive to me.

I turned to the anonymous classifieds site Craigslist to help get me started. As it turns out, when you post an ad as a 22-year-old redheaded virgin, people get interested really quickly. I received 1800 responses in 3 hours. My criteria became the following:

-Under 30
-Didn’t attach explicit photographs
-Wrote in full sentences

This whittled my responses down to just under 20. Of those 20, only a handful wrote back to me a second time. Of that handful, only two were willing to share personal details such as a name, phone number, and photo. I picked one and we made plans to meet.

The actual experience itself seemed fairly natural, although it had been arranged in such a manufactured way. Nothing was too uncomfortable and a lot of the ‘what will he think of me’ nerves were eliminated; he was a total stranger and his opinion didn’t mean as much. He took the lead because he had far more experience, and it was all quite straightforward.

The benefit, I think, of having waited until I was 22 was that I knew my own body well and I had consciously decided I was ready. I had allowed myself space to be partner-less and therefore felt no rush to get anywhere, sexually.

Many people look at my first experience and tell me it was silly or unsafe or risky, and I know it could have been very different. Fortunately, however, I had a very pleasant experience with a friendly partner who was very understanding. It’s led me to a very colourful and interesting sex life that I still don’t believe is a dirty little secret.

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Losing It, Older virgins, Religion, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Adelaide “The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Adelaide in Canada, who considers herself pansexual. Her sexual response is dulled by anti-depressants, so she’s decided not to enter into another relationship until she feels eager about the other person. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m 33 years old, from Canada. Female.

How I define virginity:

It’s strange how often this has changed in my mind. I like to think it’s “evolved.” As I’ve grown, and learnt more, it went from “penis + vagina” to “physical act of sex, no matter the gender of those involved” (oral sex included- otherwise there would be a LOT of gay virgins!!) to something I can’t explain completely yet. As one can have an orgasm without touching, could you possibly not be a virgin and a full-fledged sexual being by the contents of your thoughts? Just like how it is possible to not “technically” be a virgin, yet have no sense or feeling in the sexual act (if it’s just seen as a technicality of a relationship, not that “little death”)? What about people who don’t have physical sex, but have the master/slave, mistress/slave relationship, where the only thing that passes between them is command? Many look upon these relationships as intense and loving, but is it sex? To them, it might be, since the emotions are.

Here’ my story:

My story is… I have no story. Technically, I suppose, I’m still a virgin. Never allowed myself to be touched in this way, never been kissed or allowed myself to be kissed. It’s not as if I haven’t had offers for it. One boyfriend was so passionate and insistent it alarmed me, but nothing happened because I was completely uninterested. It may have just been the hormones, I don’t know: Once sex crowded into the room, I stopped listening. He treated it as an area of “finding out.” If my lips flushed, he KNEW I was aroused. Sadly, he always got it wrong. My disinterested nature didn’t help, of course. It does play against my passionate nature.

I think it’s an area of personal space I’m very sensitive about, and dislike it being invaded. The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me. So, I think the person I would want would have to be something special- otherwise I could never go through with it.

Not that I wish this ideology on anyone else. We all have appetites, begun in our minds when we are quite young. I think everyone should experience sex, to whatever state it might be in… that’s my ideal, so long as it’s consensual. Sex is a healthy part of life – it should be, it’s supposed to be. Yet, I don’t consider myself to be “unhealthy”… just not wanting to cross that boundary since I haven’t met someone yet I’m comfortable crossing it with. I don’t like the idea of having sex with someone I feel absolutely nothing for – or when they touch me, I feel nothing, even revulsion (At myself or at their touch? I’m uncertain). I also lived a rather isolated high school life, where I was one of the outcasts and although sex was probably happening around me in earnest, it was not an area I was welcomed or even gestured towards. One profession of love turned into a group joke, so I guess something inside me closed off from being vulnerable. Also: People talked. During my 8th grade year, when my grandfather died, some were convinced I had taken time off school to have a baby. That’s the kind of people I had surrounding me, so you can imagine my reluctance to take part in their “games”.

The strange part is, I’m a very sexual person when my brain isn’t doped with antidepressants. When I’m off them, I need “release” all the time through masturbation. If I don’t, I have intense dreams. I can’t masturbate when I’m on these kind of meds (though I need them, and accept this loss for the benefit they give me), because it’s a fight with the blockers/excessives in my brain. I have absolutely no sex drive.

Strangely, I think I define myself as “pansexual”. The beauty of both sexes overwhelm me. Where beauty is concerned, I’m not picky over the sex of the person.

I’ve had no negative experiences with sex: Physical experiences, I mean. I’ve never been abused, or forced to do anything.

I guess you could call me a virgin. Some of my friends would categorize me as such – but they may also categorize me as a failure, or “the strange one” because I haven’t married, sprung offspring, bought a house, gotten a full-time job, or done all the hetero-normal things people my age are supposed to do. Other friends feel differently, and love me as I am. The previously mentioned friends love me, too, but since I don’t do things as they do, they get alarmed. (I think it’s more of a reflection of themselves than of me).

I have the automatic instinct to not do things “normally.” Normal is boring.

I also decided (after a relationship where I feel I really hurt someone by my disinterest) not to enter into another until I was ready, eager, and willing to enjoy each other. Hasn’t happened yet. But I think I am happier for it. No messing around, and no hurting people. Yet, if I end up having sex for the first time in a gas station restroom with someone I just met, if I feel comfortable with them touching me… I’d be fine with that. Whatever happens will happen.

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Women feel less guilty about losing their virginity, but is that the conversation we need to be having?

 

Image via Rise, Rebel, Resist tumblr

As someone who’s been working for years to bust mythologies and change the conversation around virginity, I give a serious hooray for reducing guilt around first intercourse for women. Writing about a new study,  Salon reports in “Science: Losing your virginity isn’t as awkward as it was 20 years ago”:

“According to a study from the University of Illinois, young adults have felt better and better about their first-time sexual experiences for the past 23 years, with the difference between men’s and women’s emotional responses to early sexual intercourse decreasing over time.”

And this:

“The researchers discovered that gender differences in response to virginity loss diminished greatly over time, which they suspect might be “because of a reduction, in general, of social regulation of female sexuality and in the double standard” of sexual expression for each gender.”

It’s no surprise that women are feeling less guilt and shame around becoming sexual. They have more agency to choose how, when and why they’ll become sexual. (Thank you, Feminism) Women know more than they ever did about their bodies and how to get pleasure from the experience (Thank you Scarleteen and the other fantastic online resources). And maybe, just maybe, the guys are paying more attention to women’s pleasure as well. (Thank you again, Feminism).

But, as writer Jenny Kutner points out:

“It’s important to note, though, that men do still exhibit more positive responses and experience more pleasure than women — also because of the “reduction” in the policing of women’s bodies and not its complete obliteration.”

Reduction, not obliteration, and I’d argue in the last 8 years, some significant increases. There’s the $1.5 billion worth of inaccurate, sexist shaming  from Abstinence-Until Marriage programs, and the near constant stream of slut-shamingrape cases dismissed or hushed up, and legislative attacks on women’s reproductive rights and resources. Young women are also facing more pressure to have sex (call it prude-shaming?) and then get a steaming pile of mixed messages like the always-popular ‘be sexy but don’t have sex.”

Even comprehensive sex classes don’t talk much about how both women and men can get pleasure from sex, or how to ask for and respect consent. A woman having pre-marital sex may be more acceptable than in the past, but so is having your own bank account and keeping your last name.

One thing that continues to be frustrating is using intercourse as the sexual benchmark for these studies. Why are we measuring the start of sexuality by a penis going into a vagina? First,  it’s a heterosexual framework, leaving out a chunk of the sex-having population. But also, our V-Card Diaries story collection is full of young women writing that everything they did pre-intercourse was pleasurable, but intercourse itself was a let down.

No surprise: that’s not how most women orgasm, especially when they’re first starting to have sex. But the study insists on measuring women’s pleasure by how much they enjoyed intercourse, and then they’re actually surprised that it’s so low. Please let’s stop selling intercourse the big sexual prize for women and recognize there are lots of ways to have sex that don’t involve a penis in a vagina. 

The progress is great, but we need to keep working to change the conversation about women, virginity and sex to one that’s not only non-judgmental, but also recognizes diverse sexual experiences, and puts consent and pleasure at the top of the must-have list.

MagicWand

[Get more graphics and gifs here]

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, Losing It, male virginity, Queer, Random Feminism, Sex education, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Distracted Dragon “I’m offended by responses to my vaginismus, when coupled with my “virginity” and queerness.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Distracted Dragon in New York, NY, writes that our society slut shames and virgin shames at the same time, speaking out of both sides of our mouth. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about yourself:

25. Queer cisgendered woman. New York, NY

How I define virginity:

I dislike “virginity” and “losing one’s virginity” as terms because they are vague and carry negative, gendered connotations. I prefer “making one’s sexual debut” over “losing one’s virginity” because you aren’t losing anything when you have sex, you are gaining an experience, be it a wonderful experience, a terrible experience, or a ridiculous experience. I feel what equates sex, and thus, virginity, is self-determined. Healthy communication between partners should not begin and end at “I’m a virgin”, but should be a discussion of what you have/have not done, what you do/do not want to do with another person.

Here’s my story:

I’ve never had sex because the opportunity has yet to present itself. I have no qualms about engaging in sex, should I find a mutually interested, respectful partner. I resent that our society both condemns sexual debut that occurs “too young,” but also “too old.” God forbid any teenager engage in consensual sex but as soon as you’ve hit 18 and graduated from high school, genital exploration between you and another (preferably heterosexual) partner must ensue, pronto. We slut shame and virgin shame at the same time, speaking out of both sides of our mouth.

I discovered, via my first attempt at a pelvic exam at age 21, that I have primary vaginismus, an involuntary muscle contraction of the pelvic muscles that makes penetration painful. I’m working with dilators and Kegel exercises to treat this but I’ve been frustrated and offended by responses to my vaginismus, when coupled with my “virginity” and queerness.

I have been made to feel, by self-help sites, online forums, and members of the medical profession:

a) I shouldn’t still be a virgin at 25. That in and of itself is indicative of “emotional trauma.” I acknowledge emotional and sexual trauma can be a factor in vaginismus but it isn’t always. I have not avoided sex because of my vaginismus, although it will be a discussion to have with future sex partners.

b) Women who desire sex with women don’t have vaginismus. Because apparently painful penetration is only supposed to happen to heterosexual women? I shouldn’t know penetration hurts if my vagina has never made intimate acquaintance with a penis? Right, because the inability to accommodate a speculum or my ob/gyn’s fingers is not indicative of a problem. I don’t need penetration to have sex and even if I did I don’t need a penis for penetration. But I do need regular health exams, so can we please get past narrow views on sexual mechanics and how they relate to my preferences?

As a culture, we need to acknowledge that there are a range of behaviors that constitute sex for a range of sexual identities just as there are a range of medical problems that we encounter relating to our sexuality. Our nerve endings and our attractions do not line up in pre-scripted ways. Sex is a fascinating topic because it is so complex – our desires, our bodies, our motivations, and our practices compel myriad conversations, personally and on a national level. Sexuality will play a part in our lives, whether or not we engage in sex itself, and it is part of our human story. The sharing of stories is the transmission of culture, so let’s talk about sex, baby.

Posted in Defining virginity, Older virgins, Queer, Random Feminism, Sex education, V-Card Diaries, Virgin/Whore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

V-Card Diaries: Fourth Time’s The Charm “Fresh out of high school at 17, I met a guy at a sword fighting club.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Fourth Time’s The Charm in the US. After the three painful attempts, the fourth time was amazing thanks to the guy she’s still dating.  If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a twenty-year-old female and a junior in college.

How I virginity:

Virginity to me is someone who has never had vaginal intercourse. Doesn’t matter if their hymen broke before then due to sports or something, if a penis has not entered the vagina she’s a virgin. Though I don’t really like the term, I just like to think of it as ‘have I or haven’t I done this sexual act’.

Here’s my story:

When I was fresh out of high school at seventeen I met a guy at a sword fighting club on the college campus I was a part of and he was pursuing his PhD at. He was really handsome, and always making me laugh. He knew I was underage though, so he said he wanted to be friends with me before we even considered dating. Six months of Friday and Saturday night hanging out, helping me with homework from my freshmen classes, hours upon hours of phone calls, and hundred thousands of texts later he officially asked me out on a date. About two weeks after that he kissed me, about darn time in my opinion!

A week after my birthday, I told him I didn’t want to wait anymore. He told me that he didn’t want to rush it or push me, and when it was right ‘it’ would happen. A week later we were making out on his couch and he gave me this sweet kiss before pulling me up and leading me to the bedroom. My heart was in my throat, all I had heard from my friends was ‘it hurts, and it’s not gonna be that great’.

He made it all about me, what made me feel good and not hurting me. He tried to gently push in, got decently far, and then it started to hurt. So he pulled out, and we satisfied ourselves in other sexual ways. I admit I was a bit disappointed he’d stopped, but he said he didn’t want it to hurt. This happened two more times over the space of a month.

Finally, the fourth time, he slid in all the way with no pain at all and it was amazing. And still it was all about making it as wonderful for me as possible. I never regretted it, it was more exciting than awkward, and he did his best to show he cared (can’t say we were in love at that point) for me.

Three years later, I’m still happily dating him. :)

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V-Card Diaries: Tom “I’m waiting for the right woman while broadcasting on web cam sex sites.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Tom in Michigan, who was told he was still at virgin at 27 because he was too picky. Now he meets women by broadcasting on web cam sex sites. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 27 year old hetero male, and I live in Michigan.

How I define virginity:

Having not had vaginal intercourse with a consenting partner.

Here’s my story:

So I am a 27-year-old virgin and I think it is best to break down the reason why into key points of my life.

Upbringing:
I was raised by a single unwed mother who had 2 children by a man who was a convicted felon and abandoned us. Then we attended Church religiously, pardon the pun.

Early Teens:
I attended Church functions at least 2 times a week, and was unpopular in school due to being poor and having poor social skills. Mother married a wonderful man that adopted me and added needed stability to my life. I went through sex ed in public school, received a basic understanding of sex, and signed a contract with God to remain pure and virtuous at a Youth Group Event at Church.

Late Teens/High school:
I attended a few major Christian Youth Rallies telling me that if I was virtuous and if I waited, I would be rewarded with a bride and a fulfilling love life. I always had at least one major crush on a different girl, all of whom I was close friends with. I assumed they knew how I felt. I refused to actually try dating even after I got my license because I asked myself, “why even try having a girl friend if you cant have sex?” For some reason I thought dating and sex had to go together. Stupid, I know. I signed another contract with God to wait until marriage. All my peers that signed it broke the contract. I was asked by a girl I liked if I ever masturbated, and I told her I didn’t know what that was. At 17 I masturbated for the first time after looking up instructions on how to do it online. Seriously.

College:
I bought my first pornography to “research” the female form so I wouldn’t be to surprised if I got married (basically an excuse to look without as much guilt).  I figured out I can date and not have sex. Still socially awkward. I made advances to a few women I found alluring but was rebuffed and told that I “am a good friend and there is a great girl out there” for me. I then graduated college and started my career.

Early Career 21-24:
I was still relatively open about my virginity thinking it was a point of pride. The sense of loneliness and despair that I couldn’t find mutual attraction was getting tougher though. In high school I told myself when I graduated I would get a girlfriend. Then it was when I got a college job. Then it was when I graduated college. Now it was when I started my career… Still nothing but false hope, rejection, and some women that wanted me but I didn’t want back. I was told to put myself out there or fuck an ugly/fat girl. I still clung to the idea that waiting until marriage would make it all ok. I got uninhibited home internet access at 23 and discovered web camming.

Age 24-present:
Porn wasn’t cutting it and I felt starved for intimacy. This is when I started getting comments from many people that I am to picky. That I need to just go out with girls I don’t like right away to see if they grow on me. I decided to never bring up my sexual history with anyone new I met. Life got better. I got fired from my first career job unfairly and adopted a “fuck the world” attitude. Then I decided that I would keep my options open and the waiting for marriage commitment would subside if I felt like I was with the right girl. In the mean time I started broadcasting on a web cam sex site to get women to mutually masturbate online with me. After much trial and error I found success and met several women of different ages and backgrounds. One in particular I talked to for 3 years and decided to meet. She has a boyfriend. We did not have sex. The chemistry and intimacy we did share (noting sexual besides spooning) was amazing. I have realized that my depression and loneliness wasn’t a lack of sex but really just not being with someone. I realized that I am ok being a virgin until I meet someone that accepts me for who I am. All of me. Now I wait. Alone.

I still have never done more than hold hands with a woman. I really believe I am still a virgin now because of my respect for women and desire for a relationship before sex, lack of women in my rural setting that find me attractive and vice versa, and just pure luck. Plus you can add my crippling fear of rejection that I had in my teens to early adult years.

Posted in abstinence, college life, male virginity, Older virgins, Porn, Religion, V-Card Diaries, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Victoria “I folded up a note and passed it to him, asking if he wanted to makeout after school.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Victoria in Atlanta, Georgia who made sure she got permission from her best friend before making moves on a boy her friend used to like. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 15-year-old female from Atlanta, GA.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a name for an experience. It’s not a physical thing or something you can “lose.” It’s nothing important or sacred. All it is is the term for someone who’s never had P-to-V sex before. Everyone uses it their own way of course, like if I received or gave oral more than like ten times, I wouldn’t still call myself a virgin.

Here’s my story:

I was in French class and I was really bored. I leaned over on my desk and asked my best friend if she was over this guy who she’d liked for like ever. She said she was over him and gave me permission to do whatever. He sits a few seats behind us, so I folded up a note and passed it to him, asking if he wanted to makeout after school. When the final bell rang we walked together to our school gym and into one of the locker rooms. I’d never even kissed a guy (tons of girls though) so I was kinda nervous. We made out, and he took off my shirt and my bra, and we kept making out. I had like ten minutes left before I had to go and he was being super sweet and I was hella horny, so I gave him a blowjob. He said I was really good at it, which was nice because, again, I was pretty nervous. We did it again yesterday, and this whole time he’s been super sweet. We aren’t telling people though I told him I didn’t mind of he did. We just act like nothing happened and it’s pretty nice.

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V-Card Diaries: Cheeky Charmer “I thought I had tempted my rapist by showing skin. I was eleven years old.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Cheeky Charmer in Pennsylvania. She blamed herself for a rape that happened at a young age based on teachings from a week-long Christian purity seminar. She now knows that her choice to have sex or not does not define her worth. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 22-year-old female from Pennsylvania.

How I define virginity:

 It’s a life long journey of finding identity through new experiences.

Here’s my story:

I was raped. I don’t say that to be pitied; save your flowers and sympathy for someone who needs them.  I say it so that you understand my story. When I was eleven I was innocently lying in bed and someone I trusted and loved dearly took away the part of me that I valued.

The week after it happened I attended a retreat called Pure Freedom; a seminar to help Christian girls seek out God through pledging abstinence. We were given assessments, books, and tests to measure how “modest” we were. The whole weekend was devoted to the new transformative meaning of that word “modesty.” We were informed how our clothing would appear to men. They told us that men cannot help themselves because they have the fight or flight system in their bodies that causes arousal by a woman who bears skin or wears tight clothing. The whole day was spent learning techniques on how to wear modest, God-approved clothing. We took tests on what we watch, what we say to men, and how we dress, and we were given clothing tricks to assist men in their journey to Godliness. We were responsible for men’s relationship with God based on how we carried ourselves.

The speaker stood in front of an audience of five hundred girls and told us that modesty wasn’t just about what you wear but how you carry yourself, how you talk to other men, and what you do with other men. We were told that God wanted us to wait until we were married based on what the Bible said. We were told not to be the “hoe of the universe” by engaging in sex before marriage.

The whole week I couldn’t help but think that I was what caused my rapist to attack me. This Pure Freedom was actually what felt like a prison; guilt swelled like a balloon about to burst. I realized that I had tempted my rapist. I was wearing only a bra and underwear that night and it was my fault. I remember thinking that God was punishing me for showing skin that night.  It was only natural for a man to see my skin and be aroused. The rape was entirely my fault, and God was punishing me for what I had done. I was eleven years old and I was carrying this burden for a decade.

After ten years of believing this myth, I made the conscious effort to take ownership of my sexuality; it never belonged to this organization that brainwashed me into thinking that my value was in my virginity, my clothing, and my future husband. My value does not have a scale that is virgin or slut. God loves me whether I have sex or not. I am not an object: I am a woman with the right to choose when, where, and who I have sex with. My sexuality cannot be bought by people who make young girls feel inadequate to sell a book and a T-shirt. I was raped and that doesn’t define who will love me. My virginity is mine and I define what it means; it does not define my value.

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, Religion, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries, Virgin/Whore, Virginity Pledge, virgnity testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Cherry-Jill “I asked my ObGyn to break my hymen for me so I would technically not be a virgin.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from 36-year-old Cherry-Jill in Capetown, South Africa who whose experienced kissing, dry humping, and sexting, but nothing else. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 36-year-old bi caucasian female from Cape Town, South Africa, and I’m a self-employed Graphic Designer.

How I define virginity:

I define it by having sex – but not necessarily with the opposite sex. I have had no sexual experiences other than kissing, ‘dry-humping’ and sexting (in my youth mainly).

Here’s my story:

Due to various emotional baggage, namely my father having an affair when I was 18 and my parents’ divorce, I find myself still a virgin at 36. I’m attractive and have had a lot of interest over the years, but now it has become an issue… and the longer I leave it the worse it gets.

I have considered losing my virginity with another woman, as it may be gentler and somehow easier, less risk of getting hurt?

I have considered hiring a male escort just to get it done, or breaking my hymen myself with a vibrator – to technically not be a virgin. I even asked my OBGYN to do it, she said no.

I wouldn’t want my partner to know I was a virgin. Commitment scares me, but rejection even more so. I’d like my first time not to happen in my first serious relationship – too much pressure and risk of getting hurt.

Posted in Hymenology, International Affairs, Older virgins, sex toys, Sex Work, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Astarte “I’ve literally been getting a degree in Sexuality but I don’t think I’ll ever have sex.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Astarte in Arizona. She feels she doesn’t have the social skills to jump start a sexual life, and isn’t sure if she even wants to bother trying. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 22-year-old woman, in Arizona. I still have my good old v-card by all standards.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is what you make it out to be, its not rooted in anything concretely physical and biological or permeate and eternal, but something that is socially constructed. It has the meaning and power people choose to give it.

Here’s my story:

At this point in my life a part of me honestly feels that that I will never have sex and I really don’t know if I even want to. It’s weird because I never set out to “protect” my virginity or lose it the way a lot of my friends did. Frankly I had to many problems and worries in my life as a teen to ever care about sex (“that silly huffing and puffing! I don’t have time for that, I have real problems!”). Ironically I have spent the past four years getting a degree in Sex and Sexuality as part of Gender and Women’s Studies, I have literally been studying sex and sexuality in all its historical and social developments, expressions, abuses and joys, and it as left me suspecting that all this hoopla is for then a bit overblown.

Plus I’m at an age where most of my peers have experience with sex and flirting (if still rather badly) and there is this unspoken assumption that everyone has some idea of what they are doing at this life stage. I feel like I don’t have any of the social skills needed to jump start a sexual life, I’m not sure if I really want to bother trying. I feel very ambivalent about the whole thing.

Posted in college life, Defining virginity, Older virgins, Random Feminism, Sex education, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: The Shadow “She was much older than I was. It was a Mrs Robinson situation.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from The Shadow in the San Francisco Bay Area. There was a lot of pressure not to be a virgin at his all boys’ school, so he was glad to lose his virginity at a pool party. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I am a 48-year-old straight male living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

How I define virginity:

I would define losing one’s virginity as vaginal or anal penetration.

Here’s my story:

I was 16 years old, and went to a pool party at a friend of my father’s in Palo Alto, CA. I drank there, and ended up spending the night with her. She was much older than I was; it was a Mrs Robinson situation…like from the movie The Graduate, but I was relieved and glad that it was finally over. I went to all boys’ school, and there was a lot of pressure to not be a virgin.

Posted in Losing It, male virginity, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Jayme “I had sex with the first boy I kissed. A Scottish guy in a kilt I met in Rome.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Jayme in the Bay Area in California, who lost her virginity in a ‘pathetic but memorable’ way while studying abroad in Rome. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

A 22-year-old female originally from rural New York who now lives out on the West Coast in the Bay Area.

How I define virginity:

Penetrative sex.

Here’s my story:

I had sex with the first boy I kissed. I was a twenty-year-old studying abroad with absolutely zero sexual experience. I had never so much touched a boy with any intent, nonetheless gotten naked with one.

I never talked about sex; the idea of revealing my lack of experience made me debilitatingly self-conscious. Whenever friends volunteered information about their boyfriends/girlfriends/ sexual histories, I would do my best to keep the attention on them lest anyone want to ask me a question.

I met a Scottish guy in a cobbled plaza in Rome. He wasn’t astoundingly beautiful or particularly suave, but he was wearing a kilt and didn’t laugh too hard when I pretended to know more about European football than I really did. He was staying mere steps from where we met. I pulled him up against a wall and kissed him, shocked by how easy it was. I kept saying, “I’m leaving tomorrow,” as if that meant anything (to me, it did).

We had to walk past a group of his friends in the common area of their suite to make it to the bedroom. I didn’t have time to get nervous; we were naked too quickly. Most of what happened should embarrass me, but remarkably I think it’s all pretty funny – he had been drinking all day for a “rugby team initiation,” so he could hardly get it up; his friends kept screaming from the other room; my phone kept ringing, a friend looking for me.

He was scared of my breasts. It was best when he used his fingers. After fifteen minutes, someone right outside the door yelled something and we both jumped up and out of bed. I said I had to go. Neither of us finished.

It wasn’t particularly special; looking back, it was actually pretty pathetic. But it was memorable, and I don’t have any qualms about how it happened.

Posted in college life, International Affairs, Losing It, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Suzie-Q “As a president of a sorority I hide away the fact that I haven’t yet had sex”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Suzie-Q from the US Pacific Northwest in the US, who feels out of control because she hasn’t been able to get romantically involved with someone. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We’d love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I’m a 21, female, from the Pacific Northwest in the United States. I am the president of a national sorority and have never had sex.

How I define virginity:

A virgin is a man or woman who has not engaged in sexual intercourse with another person. Penetration of the sex organs.

Here’s my story:

I’ve never been on a real date and have never kissed a boy while sober. I feel the need to have sex with someone before I leave college in order to be able to have real relationships with men without wondering about that first time. I feel the need to get it over with but I want a close relationship with him and not just a random hookup. But never being romantically involved with someone makes me SO scared that I am out of control of this situation.

As a president of a sorority I hear the stories of so many that have had sex, and I really hide the fact away that I haven’t because it seems like something I should be ashamed of.

Posted in college life, Older virgins, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Was A Dress Code Harlot

dresscode

[Poster via thecatsmeow90]

Ah, dress codes. A week doesn’t go by without news about sixth graders being condemned for wearing shorts or female reporters being kicked out of court rooms for going sleeveless or nursing students being told to cover up so as not to distract from the learning environment. Even though I’m already a rising junior at an art school and don’t really have to worry about a specific dress code (except to look ~*~super fly~*~ of course), it’s still something I think about when I hear stories from my younger sister and her friends.

Looking back at my high school’s dress code, it’s clear how sexist the rules were. Even though there was no specific reference to “female students,” the focus on cleavage, skirt lengths, and cami width was obviously gendered. Trans* girls had it even rougher; their dress code violations were for performing an “act that shocks social conscience,” or in other words, wearing skirts or dresses (exact phrase from the old handbook…sad, but true). Appallingly, my school’s handbook considered  repeat dress code violations of the same caliber as dealing drugs, bullying, and committing arson.

Photos of my "slutty" high school self

One of the biggest enforcers of this policy when I was in high school was my chemistry teacher. (Hi, Ms. Esselman!) Her favorite phrase: “modest is hottest.” I think she spent more time scouting for teen cleavage than bullying or drug use. Unfortunately, I was one of those teen cleavage offenders. Above are of some of the outfits that got me in trouble. It wasn’t always intentional, though; as a girl who, um, filled out at a pretty early age, sometimes the most basic boatneck t-shirt became slutty.

Throughout my time in high school I was forced to swap my shorts for sweatpants from the lost-and-found box, wear a sweatshirt to cover my shoulders and cleavage on a hot day, and adjust my bra straps so they weren’t showing. It was incredibly humiliating to be called out for dress code, particularly because it demonstrated that your teachers were looking at you “that way,” and so each day I crossed my fingers before class that I would go unnoticed. Kind of hard when you’re trying to actively participate in the classroom, though.

Speaking up is an important way to be involved, demonstrate that you’re smart, and interact with the class material, but it’s also a good way for a teacher to notice that you’re wearing shorts because of the 90 degree weather outside. A lot of women in my class were forced to choose between speaking up in class and being called out for “immodest dress” or staying silent and potentially avoiding reprimand. Many people may wonder, “So why not fully cover yourself and avoid getting in trouble?” Well, we could always wear burqas, but then our scandalous ankles might show!

But here’s the real issue with this line of thinking: It forces women to address a situation they are not in control of–namely, the way other people perceive and interact with their bodies–instead of addressing the origin of the issue itself. Female bodies are neither inherently sexual nor exist for guys to look at, exposed shoulders do not warrant disrespect, and the female body is not shameful.

Fortunately for my harlot self’s sake, Ms. Esselman took it easier on me once I finally wedged my way into her heart. I worked hard in class and stayed afterward to ask questions and participated often despite the threat of being sent to the office to change. Instead of shouting at me like she did with most of the other young women in the class, she just made a very excessive gesture at me to cover up. Still incredibly awkward, but much more bearable. She never learned that what she was doing was sexist, though; I think she allowed herself to see me as a person rather than as a sexual object, which made it easier to interact with me like like a human being. Some might think that was an improvement, but it still didn’t alter the current system in place.

There has been more backlash against school dress codes recently, but most schools aren’t interested in altering their policies anytime soon. Going back to visit old teachers is still stressful. As I walk through my old halls, occasionally I’ll get a questioning up-and-down glance from an administrator, and I’ll attempt to telepathically convey, “Hello, yes, I am a grown-ass woman and no longer attend this school. Please do not stop me because I am having none of it.”

Think your dress code might be sexist? Here’s a handy dandy guide to help you out.

Moriah is a student at RISD and a summer intern at Trixie Films. You can read more about her here.

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