“How To Lose Your Virginity” is now 65% off for schools, organizations and libraries!

Until Dec 31, 2014, our distributor Women Make Movies is having an amazing sale on their DVDs for schools, organizations and libraries.

Just buy five of their titles (except new releases) and you get 65% off on your order. That includes How To Lose Your Virginity, as well as our previous film I Was A Teenage Feminist. Join the hundreds of institutions that have made these films part of their collections. Here are just a couple of educators using the film:

“This film is an engaging, entertaining documentary about the conflicting meanings of female virginity and sexuality in North American culture. My students loved every minute of it, and were very excited to have an opportunity to talk with Therese about the process of making the film”
–Elizabeth A. Kissling, Ph.D, Professor, Eastern Washington University

“The teen Peer Leaders from the TORCH Program were grateful to have the opportunity to screen the film with Therese and discuss their reactions with her after they watched it. It was eye-opening for them to see the parallels Therese makes in the film between the historical context of virginity to some of the current cultural practices we accept as the norm. Great film!”
-Kathryn Albergate, TORCH Program,
The National Institute for Reproductive Health & NARAL Pro-Choice New York

Click here for more info about the titles.
Bring Therese to your school or organization
If you are ordering from outside the US or Canada, click here

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Posted in archival films, college life, Defining virginity, Random Feminism, Sex education, This Film, video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: IP “I really understood sex the first time I ‘took’ someone’s virginity.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from IP in Toronto, Canada, who whose relationship ended when she told her partner she’d made out with other guys before him. 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:

17, Female, Toronto

How I define virginity:

I used to define virginity as penis in vagina penetration however that mentality has changed drastically. It wasn’t until I had had sex with a number of different people that I began to see how complex it really was.

Here’s my story:

The first time I had sex was with another “virgin” and it was special, I feel 100% comfortable with how it happened and I wouldn’t change it for the world. However, I really understood sex the first time I “took someone’s virginity.” I hate using that phrase but I feel like it encompasses what I’m about to say.

I first met this guy at an end of exams party in June. I was instantly attracted to his charisma and confidence. I immediately thought that he was this incredibly experienced, smooth talking, sex god but it turns out he wasn’t. I spent almost the entire party talking to him and afterwards he added me on Facebook, however our communication seemed to stop there. He never made the effort to message me and his name would pop up in my news feed and taunt me every so often. We met again by chance at a concert but this time he asked me out as soon as he got home. Our romance progressed very quickly and after two weeks it felt like we had been talking for months. I soon discovered that he was a virgin which took me by surprise, he insisted he had “fooled around” before but something in his voice told me he hadn’t.

One night I slept over at his house and making out soon turned into more, we ended up rolling around on his bed naked while he fumbled around trying to figure me out. He didn’t have a condom so we couldn’t “have sex” and at the time I still thought we hadn’t. The week afterwards I had a party and he slept over. We would steal away every so often to make out in my basement and finally when everyone was gone we went upstairs. It felt like things happened in the blink of an eye. I asked if he wanted to, he practically cut me off with a yes, we figured out the condom situation and bam. It happened. Afterwards we lay in bed and started talking.

I mistakingly thought we were not dating at this point but he clearly did. He asked me if I had made out with anyone else and I said yes which warranted a painful silent treatment, followed by a lot of drama. We basically ended the second I told him about the other guy. Now, I think of our first time together as the night I was at his house instead of the night we were at mine. I feel as though that was the time we were the most intimate, which is how I currently define sex.

Having sex with someone encompasses so much more then just penetration, it deals with so much more. Anytime you feel intimately connected with your partner you are having sex, regardless of what anyone else defines it as.

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, Losing It, male virginity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Trixie: What is a “cherry” and does every female have one?

From time to time we get letters with questions about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking, and we answer them here. Got a question of your own? Ask Trixie here.

Odd question, and yes I’m female. What is a “cherry” and does every female have one?? –A.

Hi A–

There are no odd questions, Anonymous, just odd slang terms! Aside from being a deliciously sweet small red fruit, cherry can also be a somewhat vulgar slang* term for:

a) a hymen
b) the blood you allegedly see when the hymen is ‘broken’
c) a vagina or vulva
d) the concept of virginity itself

In fact, it’s so widely used that we picked cherries as the logo for our film How To Lose Your Virginity (see above!). So when someone tells you they ‘popped her cherry’ they usually mean they ‘broke’ someone’s hymen, often followed by the other gross and meaningless phrase ‘I took her virginity’

The slang is pretty useless since:

a) the state–or existence–of someone’s hymen has nothing whatsoever to do with their sexual status. Or whether there has ever been a penis near it.
b) not all females have vaginas or hymens, either because they are trans or they have a medical condition.
c) not all females bleed when they have any kind of penetrative vaginal sex
d) virginity is a just concept for you to define or reject, so it can’t be taken, created or destroyed.

We still like our logo because it lets us set the stage for the thorough myth-busting we do during the film. There’s so much more to say about hymens, and you can read more about that at our Hymenology category.

*There are more definitions in the Urban Dictionary, and I’m so happy that the top two totally challenge virginity myths. 

Posted in Ask Trixie, Defining virginity, Hymenology, Losing It, Queer, Sex education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Young Men: Don’t get hung up on the V-Word

Two great articles speaking directly to men about virginity and sexuality. We ladies cover this topic a lot on the blog, and I also enjoyed sharing similar ideas in an interview for an upcoming documentary on male virginity. Unfortunately, we ladies sometimes get a bit of pushback when we weigh in on this topic, but luckily, here’s the same straight dope from a couple of actual dudes. So listen up and seriously, read the whole stories at the links. They are both super smart.

From “Dear young men: The old stereotypes of what it is to be a ‘man’ are a load of rubbish” in The Independent

At about age 14, boys feel like they have to start bullshitting about their sexual exploits in order to survive. The pressure on these kids is just too great for them to speak frankly about it. Ignore what everyone says about their sex lives. They are lying, all of them, at least a little.

Forget the word “virgin” as a descriptor for both yourself and others. It’s an archaic, irrelevant word, meant to stigmatise and shame people. It oversells a person’s first sex act as some grand, transformational experience, which supposedly vindicates a young man and spoils a young woman. It’s an obsolete, religious, judgmental word. Let’s leave  it behind.

From “The Problem With Male Virginity” in Paging Dr. Nerdlove

Your value doesn’t come from who you have or haven’t slept with. It doesn’t come from where you fall on the bell-curve of starting sexual activity, whether you were precocious or a late bloomer. Your value as a person comes from how you act and how you make others feel. It’s about what you bring to the table as a whole person, not how many vaginas you’ve managed to talk your way into.

Don’t spend your time focused on getting laid for the first time, spend your time on becoming a better person. Cultivate an amazing life. Learn to connect with people, to build relationships. Don’t throw your hands in the air and just assume you’re uniquely cursed, work to fix things. Practice your social skills – getting good with women, getting good with people, is a skill that you can learn. Yes, you may have problems. You may have circumstances in your life that make things harder for you. But harder isn’t impossible, no matter how daunting it may seem.

h/t to our virginspotters @OliveMercies and @j_aallan !

Posted in college life, Defining virginity, Double standard, Losing It, male virginity, Older virgins | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Lijola “I lost my virginity with a guy I met over the internet and I know how that sounds.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Lijola in The Netherlands who believes you should celebrate your body, but also make sure it’s in trusted hands. 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 20 years old straight woman. I’m Polish, living and studying in the Netherlands.

How I define virginity:

Well it’s not an easy one to answer. Technically it’s sexual intercourse but morally? What if you got sexually abused? I believe it’s when you first time decide
to have sex and by that moment consider yourself no longer being a virgin. When it comes out of your own free will and not forced out on you.

Here’s my story:

I have always seen virginity as something very important. Partly it must have been cause of my religious backgrounds which at some point conflicted with my inner feelings about sex. I thought it makes you special since it’s so easily given away nowadays. I decided to give it to someone special. But what’s most important, someone I will fully trust and feel comfortable with.

I lost my virginity when I was 19. I met this guy over the internet, I know how it sounds. We fell for each other so much he decided to leave everything behind in his country and come to me so we can be together. He wasn’t a virgin anymore himself and had been quite sexually active before me so
it was hard for him to understand why wouldn’t I want to have sex with him.  It took him around half a year to sort everything out and move here so I took my time to figure out what do I want to do about this matter. Although he wasn’t very understanding and maybe even slightly pushing, I understood his point of view. And he just felt right in every way so i began to trust him and feel more open to it.

We decided to meet halfway and went on holidays together. It happened the first day we met. He wasn’t pushing me to it, he gave me all the space, love and attention that made it a moment I couldn’t regret. I couldn’t ever agree that being pushed to anything is a good thing and nobody should do that but in my case it helped me open myself to it.

I’d say, make it your own decision no matter what circumstances. If you will feel good with yourself doing it then it’s up to you and you only. It’s your body and you should celebrate it but also give it it’s respect and make sure you give it in trusted hands.

PS. We’re living together for a year now. We plan on keeping it so for next many years :)

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

V-Card Diaries: Haley “Virginity is a gift. Whether finding one or being one.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Haley who really wants to date a nice guy so her first time is special and not something she’ll regret. 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-year-old girl from Ohio. I like to read, I’m fun and outgoing, I drink but don’t like to go out and party and at times a little crazy.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a gift. Whether finding one or being one.

Here’s my story:

When I was younger my parents didn’t allow me to date and now that I’m old enough to I still haven’t lost my v-card. I’m not wanting to wait until marriage or anything. I just don’t want it to be a one night stand or with some jerk. Which is all I seem to meet… I’ve never even had a boyfriend yet cause none of the ones i meet aren’t even worth it. Where’s the nice guy!? I just wanna date a nice guy that I can lose my virginity to so its special and not something I’ll regret in the future.

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

V-Card Diaries: Gwen “I wasn’t raised in a sexually repressive atmosphere. Quite the opposite.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Gwen in Sweden whose first sexual partner was an Eminem wannabe she met at a Bartles and James wine cooler 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:

39-year-old dual American-Swedish citizen living in Sweden. After two unhappy long term relationships (one of which was mostly sexless) I am engaged to the man of my dreams.

How I define virginity:

Having never done anything sexual before, and this includes masturbation. By this definition, I lost my virginity at the age of four, since that’s when I started masturbating.

Here’s my story:

I’ve always been a very sexual woman. I was a very horny little girl and began masturbating when I was about four years old. Thankfully, I wasn’t raised in a sexually repressive atmosphere. Quite the opposite, really. My mother put me on the pill when I was sixteen, although I had already lost my virginity by then.

When I was fifteen I went on a date with a guy that I met through a friend. He was a white rapper, kind of an Eminem wannabe type. We went to a party where everyone was drinking Bartles and James wine coolers with Sweet Child of Mine playing in the background. Someone handed me a Fuzzy Navel cooler, but I could only drink a few sips of this overly sweet alcopop. I didn’t know I was going to have sex for the first time that night, but after making out on a sofa for about an hour, I decided I was ready. I asked him if he had protection and he said yes.

We ventured outside for a little privacy. He laid his jacket on the ground and he proceeded to remove my jeans. The make out session left me nice and lubed up, but it still hurt like hell when he penetrated me. The pain was surprising, and I remember telling him to stop. He stopped thrusting so I could relax a little, and then we continued. After a few minutes it stopped hurting and I started to enjoy it, although I certainly didn’t come.

Afterwards, we got dressed and he took me home. That was the only time I ever went out with him and I never saw him again, although I did talk to him once or twice afterwards.

After that, I didn’t have sex again for almost a year.

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

V-Card Diaries: Violet “I know that I will probably be a virgin forever. I’ve never even kissed a guy.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Violet who internalized a lot of shame about female sexuality, and it’s made her feel she’ll never have a relationship with a man. 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 30-year-old virgin who lives in Oklahoma.

How I define virginity:

Participating in a consensual sexual act with another person.

Here’s my story:

I always knew as a child that I would have a difficult time ever finding a boyfriend. I would look in the mirror and try to convince myself that I was decent looking, but no boys paid attention to me unless to insult me by calling me masculine or ugly. In my teens, I exaggerated my flaws (& still do) to the point where I couldn’t even imagine someone getting close to me. Today, as I age, and become even more aware of my worthlessness in mens’ eyes, I know that I will probably be a virgin forever. I’ve never even kissed a guy. Once, a guy tried kissing me, but I couldn’t relax, so I walked away.

A lot of my issues have to do with the shame my mother taught me about female sexuality. Virgins were worth something while non-virgins were whores. This rhetoric was repeated by other family members too. I heard this all from a young age, probably starting at 5 or 6. For me, I thought I wouldn’t have any worth to a man if I lost my virginity because I had nothing else to offer.

Another problem I have is that I can’t filter out the negative comments I hear men say about women in general and about their former gfs/wives. How can they date someone and say they were in love, but say such mean statements about the woman’s appearance and even insult her sexuality and genitals? I think I’ve heard too much now to ever really trust a man at all.

At 30, no one wants to have patience with an inexperienced person. Even if I could overcome the issues regarding the shame I was taught and work on improving my self-image, it’s still unlikely that I could find a good man. I don’t sit at home crying about it, but there is a deep frustration that I will probably never be able to love another person. I’m damaged goods.

Editor note: Many women and men feel the way Violet does, and we want to recommend spending a bit of time at You’re Not Alone, a really wonderful community of adults who haven’t been able to form intimate relationships. They offer support and advice on changing that situation.

Posted in Older virgins, Virgin/Whore | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Molly “My Christian ethics class taught me that virginity was more valuable than my weight in gold”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Molly who was told losing her v-card would be like losing her soul, but she doesn’t feel bad or different. 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:

So, I’m 19, almost 20. I live in the prairies, (800 people in town and 4 active churches) I grew up going to church, sunday school, opting for the Christian ethics class instead of sex ed in high school. I always was taught that virginity was more valuable than your weight in gold, that if you have sex outside of marriage “you’re not special anymore” “its a sin.” I agree to a point but it was kind of brainwashing.

How I define virginity:

I don’t know how I would define it. I started dating a boy and just had sex there was none of that “technical virgin” stuff. The act of sex has got more… cluttered for some people

Here’s my story:

I guess what I really wanted to share was how its affected my identity. My v card story is I met a boy I really liked and trusted and respected and had sex with him, and he respected me by being considerate to me and not going too hard or fast and hurting me, and it was a good night. But all my life I thought that whether a person was a virgin or not had a hold on who they are. I’ve listened to countless hours of youth pastors conference speakers an alike. For a long time I thought that losing your v-card was like losing a piece of your soul and telling kids that is wrong. I am not a different person, I’m not a bad person. I’m a person without a hymen.

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

Painful first intercourse is not a given, it’s a sign that something is wrong

TrainVirginity

We hear a lot from people terrified that first intercourse is going to be incredibly painful, and the image above has come up over and over again on virginity tweets (anyone know where it’s from?).

That might be because sometimes first intercourse can be painful, but more likely because that idea has been reinforced in our culture and there’s not nearly enough conversation about what people with vaginas (and their partners) can do to lessen or eliminate the pain.

Because, guess what, it doesn’t necessarily have to hurt! It’s just that most people are scared, or tense, or unprepared, or don’t take generous amounts of time to relax the pelvic muscles through other kinds of sexual activity. And if it does really hurt, they might have a physical problem that needs to be addressed by a gynecologist. Either way, living with pain is not the answer.

So I was really happy that two stories crossed my radar recently about intercourse and pain:

The first story is from a woman who was diagnosed with vaginismus, a condition that makes intercourse painful or often impossible (you can find other stories about it on our blog herehere, here and here).

It broke up her marriage and caused her a lot of physical and emotional pain, but in this excerpt from  xoJane’s It Happened To Me: My Husband Divorced Me After Four Years Because I Was Still A Virgin, she describes how she dealt with it and eventually overcame it.

“I kept at it with the dilators, more determined than ever. I did kegels. I did meditation. I did everything. About a year after the divorce was final, I had sex for the first time. I had been dating a wonderful guy…with a smaller than average penis. I didn’t tell him I was a virgin, but I did tell him sex was difficult for me sometimes.

One night after several bottles of red wine and a lot of lube, it happened. In the two years since that first time, I’ve had sex on a regular basis. I fell in love with the guy with a below average penis and married him three-and-a-half months ago. He loves me for me. It still hurts at the beginning of sex almost every time. We still have to use lube almost every time. But, I guess we are doing it right because I’m five months pregnant.”

The second story is from our friend Sa Belle Femme, about how she and her husband-to-be prepared for intercourse without pain. Here’s an excerpt from  Virgin Myths: Popping Her Cherry:

“If I hadn’t spent so much time reading up on virginity and first-time coitus, I would have just accepted the cultural narrative that my wedding day sex would be painful. Instead, I was able to prepare for the first time Beau and I had coitus, to guarantee that our married sex would be awesome (or at least pain-free) the first time. Long story short, we used lots of lube, and I was on top so I could control both the angle and speed of entry.”

She’ll be writing in detail about her methods on her blog, including some info about a set of nifty dilators that worked wonders. They also talk about it in our film How To Lose Your Virginity .

You can see the film and an interview with her (and me) about her dilator experiences on TV on September 14th on Fusion.

Posted in Hymenology, Losing It, Sex education, sex toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

V-Card Diaries: Janelle “The first time I masturbated, I had no idea what I’d just done (which was orgasm)”

*Trigger warning for sexual assault* Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Janelle who overcame her confusion and fear by educating herself ‘of the sexual realms.’ 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 Janelle and I fair from Pennsylvania. Currently, I am 22 years old and preparing to graduate college as a graphic designer! Yay!

How I define virginity:

As I look back at my life, I see my virginity as levels. Not so much as something I shouldn’t lose, but something I haven’t experienced yet hoped to achieve. Unfortunately, a lot of my virginity losses were negative, though I like to think they give me strength and wiser views.

Here’s my story:

I started to lose my virginity at a young age. My first sexual thoughts were when I was exposed to my father’s porn magazines when I was five years old. The first time I had been sexually touched was two years later when I was attacked by my neighbor (fortunately, the guy only got to “second base” and my friend caught him in the act before he could steal third). It was a year later, when I was in 3rd grade, that I was first penetrated by a 5th grade girl who forced me to allow her to finger me on
the school bus ride home.

The first time I masturbated, I was 13 years old, had no idea what I’d just done (which was orgasm) and became terrified something was wrong with me (though I never told anyone). My high school SCREAMED abstinence, so I had no idea of my own body. I was 17 when I had my first (and current) boyfriend, which spurred me to educate myself of the sexual realms. Less than a year later, we had sex for the first time and it was the first time I truly enjoyed being sexual.

Posted in abstinence, Losing It, Porn, Queer, Religion, Sex education, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Stephanie “Abstinence-only sex ed made me feel worthless and used up, but when I initiated sex with my (now) husband, I felt like I had claimed my sexuality.”

*Trigger warning for sexual assault* Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Stephanie in upstate New York, who never felt like she’d had a chance to have a virginity. 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:

26, Female, Married, Upstate NY

How I define virginity:

The church I went to defined it as any sexual contact. I don’t like the term. I prefer sexual awakening, more spiritual than physical.

Here’s my story:

I was digitally penetrated as a very young child and raped at age 13. I felt like I never had a virginity. The church and abstinence-only sex ed. made me feel worthless and used up. I never had a chance. I grudgingly gave into sex at 16 with a boyfriend, but it wasn’t until a few years later when I initiated sex with my best friend (now husband) that I felt like I had claimed my sexuality.

Posted in abstinence, Double standard, Losing It, Religion, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries, Virgin/Whore, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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]

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

“Jane The Virgin” is coming this Fall

[Update: The show premieres Oct 13th, 2014 on the CW]

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.

Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, International Affairs, Religion, Virgin/Whore, virgnity testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in college life, Losing It, Religion, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in abstinence, Double standard, Losing It, male virginity, Religion, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Defining virginity, Kink, Older virgins, Queer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment