Professor live-tweets her son's abstinence-only sex ed class

We cannot imagine a more delightful combination of words! This is a must read if you still aren't clear about what goes on in these hideous classes that your tax dollars fund. And here's her prose version for more detail. 

I Watched 50 Shades of Grey So You Don't Have To

I saw 50 Shades of Grey at a free preview screening Tuesday night, several days before its day-before-Valentine's-Day premiere, and I wish I'd been given a safe word to make the movie stop. Because 50 Shades of Grey is bad. Not 'so bad it's good,' but just bad. And it's boring. Especially the sex. I mean, if you thought the books were totally hot and you'd love nothing more than to watch it all play out on screen, have at it. Chacun à son Grey, and all that. But me, I'm a hater. And haters gonna hate.

Carly, my date and bartender for the evening, is also a hater. We laughed (and cringed and groaned) through the entire film, and then for a long time afterwards, and not just because Carly smuggled a flask of excellent whiskey into the theater.

Here's the tl;dr analysis of the film, in which you get three fairy tales for the price of one: Sleeping Beauty and the Beast with a side order of Cinderella.

a) Monster awakens young woman's sexuality so she can fix him

b) This is because a woman can't be sexual on her own but instead requires it unleashed within her by the application of a penis to her vagina, and a silk necktie about the wrists.

c) It's the young woman's job to put up with the monster's abuse in order to change him

d) Because monsters make exemplary boyfriends if they are rich enough and they take you on romantic helicopter rides over Seattle.

I never read EL James' trilogy, which started out as Twilight fan fic, but I had a pretty good idea of what to expect going in given the nonstop publicity and analysis since the first one came out. Anastasia Steele, an awkward innocent is sent to interview the fabulously wealthy Christian Grey at his minimalist-designed and boring offices. She arrives in a frumpy shirt and blue sweater combo, and after she's led into Grey's office by a succession of ex Robert Palmer backup models, Grey holds forth on her sweater and the history of Cerulean Blue. Actually, no it doesn't happen like that at all, but IF ONLY the Dom was played by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, what a superior film this would have been! Unfortunately we're stuck with Jamie Dornan, who plays a cyborg with an excellent fitness regimen.

So, one thing leads to another and after buying her a new computer, a new car and (thankfully) new clothes, Grey presents her with a sex contract (as wealthy and powerful businessmen do) and then tells her to look up 'submission' on the internet. Some Capitalist Foreplay ensues as they negotiate the terms of the contract, but it's clear that Ana has not done much of her homework when she asks Grey “What's a butt plug?' Honey. Do you know what a butt is? Do you know what a plug is. OK, do the math.

The contract turns out to be a irrelevant because they go at it anyway, unprotected by the law or a thin layer of latex. You see, he's found out she's never had The Sex and wastes no time doing his manly duty of de-virginizing her in the most boring and, frankly, depressing way possible. Save for a fleeting kiss below the navel, there's no foreplay, no condoms, no lube, no attending to her needs, before doing it in the Missionary position for a minute or two. Her roommate even tells her she looks 'different' when she comes home. It makes Red Shoe Diaries look edgy and sophisticated.

And it's not just that this sex is incredibly boring, it's enraging. If you do the kind of work I do, you're extra sensitive about how female sexuality is depicted onscreen. This film pushes a totally false myth of what 'romantic' sex is supposed to look like to the gazillions of people who have no doubt already bought tickets to see it. It also reinforces the idea that women are supposed to do whatever they can to please (and fix) their men, whether they want to or not, because that's what female sexuality is all about. If you're lucky he might please you back, but it's not actually part of the contract. As someone who hears from young people all the time, it's depressing to read the emails and answer the questions they ask about how confused and ashamed they are because their sex lives don't look like what's on screen (or if it does, they can't understand why it isn't making them happy)

On the bright side, there were a few things, okay two things, that I liked about the film.

First, Dakota Johnson (who plays Ana) was really, really funny in the comedic scenes. There are moments in the film where she seems as annoyed/repulsed/bored by this dude as we are. I think someone should cast her in an intentionally comedic film stat, because she'd be great. Jamie Dornan should really stick to serial killer roles–and his own accent. I wouldn't be averse (as a friend of mine suggested) to having Gillian Anderson's The Fall character tie him up to work out their issues together.

Second, I loved the look of the 'Playroom,' Grey's tasteful den of  domination, which must have been a production designer's dream come true. It's what I think Williams Sonoma (or maybe Restoration Hardware) would look like if they sold fetish gear. Racks and racks of gleaming metal and leather devices, perfectly displayed and lit. I would snap up those leather handcuffs like they were large pastry cream whisks–and don't even get me started on the gorgeous knots of red rope.

As far as the actual BDSM stuff goes, and considering it was all most people are talking about anyway, there just isn't that much to write home about. Aside from the fact that the Dom/Sub relationship was totally inaccurate according to just about everyone in the the actual community, it was...boring. And cheesy. I kid you not, he brushed her thigh with a peacock feather while light jazz played on the soundtrack. And the one scene that was meant to represent the most intense BDSM play (and the kind of thing Grey told Ana would help 'fix' him) looked a lot more like domestic violence to me. Dude, she's got to be into it! Otherwise you're just beating her up.

If 50 Shades was written as a creepy thriller, with this same wealthy controlling weirdo stalking and manipulating an impressionable young woman, it would have made more sense. Or even as a satire of romance films. But as a sexy love story? Painful.

Please don't spend any of your hard-earned money on this film. We sure didn't. The creators are rich enough already, and there are other mainstream-ish films about BDSM out there with a lot more wit, heat and joy. Try Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, or the documentary Sick by one of my favorite filmmakers Kirby Dick. They're also a bit hard to watch at times, but for the right reasons.

Update: For an extra treat, listen to Jaclyn Friedman interview author Jenny Trout about the trilogy, and then, read her brilliant recaps. If you do want to spend money on something 50-Shades-related, donate to one of the groups on Jenny's link of DV and anti-rape orgs.

Virgin Mary Sighted in Pickup Truck

VirginMary in a Truck
VirginMary in a Truck

Our reports on global Virgin Mary sightings are few and far between these days, so when a new one shows up, we get excited. This video has the bonus of a recap of other famous sightings, a news anchor who really wants you to know he's a skeptic, and a lovely dog. Enjoy.

Brilliant "Meninist" Valentines from the "Nice Guys" in your life

Hey girl, I came across these yesterday at Laurenapolis' all-around great tumblr and each one is better than the last (and we really, really hope she puts them into a dedicated tumblr so we can enjoy them all in one place). NiceGuyValentines4

NiceGuyValentines5

 

h/t to @forstorelse and the-cayged-bird-sings for help find these

Nobody puts Baby in a corner...or oppresses her with patriarchal paradigms of female sexuality

We missed this video when it came out but thought it was just too tasty not to share it with you all. The Onion's film critic looks back at Dirty Dancing and along with the usual plot points we get these gems, worthy of any Introduction To Human Sexuality and Gender Studies curriculum:

It smashed not only box office records but also the mistaken assumption that adolescent girls shouldn't wait until some arbitrarily-mandated age to explore themselves sexually.

Sexuality is not some light switch that magically turns on when kids reach eighteen.

The film is commendable for modeling to girls that as long as they find a partner who's safe and respectful like Johnny, their sexual awakening can begin whenever they are ready.

The fact that these lines are uttered by a dude who looks like someone's dad makes it extra delightful, and just a little bit creepy. No one puts Baby in a corner...or oppresses her with patriarchal paradigms of female sexuality.

h/t to Documentary Doctor Fernanda for sending it our way.

Note: Headline corrected because I can't believe we messed up one of the greatest quotes in cinematic history.

Ever considered a one-night stand to get it over with, virginity-wise? "Keeping It Casual" explores the possibilities

"Keep It Casual" is part of a series of short narrative films by Michael Sasso called Swipe Click Bang which looks at people who use hookup apps like Tinder, and the one-night stands that follow. We were especially intrigued by 'Keep It Casual' because it explores a scenario that several of our V-Card Diaries contributors have contemplated or actually done: Setting up a one night stand to 'get it over-with' sex-wise.

I asked the Michael and his co-producer Michael Vitale what interested them about this scenario and how it influenced their approach. Vitale, who wrote the script had this to say:

"I've always been fascinated with the weight we as a culture put on losing one's virginity, so when we came up with the series Swipe Click Bang, I knew we had a good opportunity to explore it here. I also knew I wanted the person losing their virginity to be a woman.

As far as television and film is concerned, we're very used to the male virgin archetype: the bumbling nerd who can't get out of his own way, too awkward for anyone to find him sexy until someone does, and then, upon doing the deed, he's freed of an unsavory virgin label.

The female virgin is much more interesting. For one, we don't really see them in film outside Christian stereotypes or high school melodramas, but beyond that, there's also, fair or not, a mystery surrounding them, at least from a male perspective.

With Keep it Casual, we wanted to play with that mystery, which is why we chose to never explain Rachel's reasoning for not having had sex before using a dating app to do so. We also purposely cast someone attractive (Elisabeth Hower) to further challenge the audience's expectations of who a virgin is or should be.

But more than just the female virgin stereotype, this episode tries to explore how men deal with them. This wasn't obvious at first, but as the story evolved, we realized much of the cultural importance associated with virginity is determined by men. That's not to say one's virginity isn't or can't be important, but there's a double-standard in the expectations men put on women and their sexuality. To many of us, women should be "pure" yet experienced, a nearly impossible standard to meet.

In the episode, we tried to use Nick (the male character) to capture this absurdity, especially in how he responds to Rachel's admission of having never had sex. Beyond being dumbfounded, he takes an almost paternal stance in the way he tries to protect her and the preciousness of her virginity. His almost hero-like syndrome makes it all the more satisfying when Rachel challenges him to recall the importance of his first time and he can't.

And yet, beyond the layers we tried to squeeze into it, Keep it Casual is ultimately a story about someone trying to get what they want and not feeling like they have to explain themselves for it, something I think we can all relate to."

Ask Trixie: My family is shaming me because I'm still a virgin at the age of 21

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking? Ask Trixie here. My family is shaming me because I am still a virgin at the age of 21. A bit of background: In high school I had a girlfriend for all of four months. We didn't do anything besides make out and in the end I was glad to leave that relationship. When I turned 18, my friend said to me "Guess what the difference is between me at 18 and you?" He then said "I got laid, you haven't." I can take a joke of course but this has caused internal trouble for me.

Just a few weeks ago, my grandparents were in town. Because the car didn't have enough room, I had to sit in the middle with my little sister on my lap. Grandma asked if I had a girlfriend and then my mom said "This is the first time J. has had a girl sit on his lap." Laughter was had but I still tried to shrug it off with no avail.

For me, I personally don't want a one night stand in part because of the possible regretfulness. I'd rather wait till it's someone I've gotten to know well. I know deep down that I can't wait to have sex but the opportunity has not presented itself yet. I also know that I am a sexual person with a fairly high libido, masturbating every other day or so.

I guess what I'm asking is does it get better? Should I let it weigh me down? –J

Hi J -

Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry to hear you're getting so much grief on this. It especially stings when it comes from people who should be supporting you, not putting you down. I've personally gotten shit for the shape of my body, my feminism, and other things. Teasing really sucks.

I don't want to diminish how frustrating and hurtful your experience has been, but people who have had sex are just as likely to get teased about what they have or haven't done.  Either way it's really none of your family's business what you're doing in your intimate life. You owe them no explanations or excuses, and unless you're going into gory detail about what you're done or haven't done, they really have no idea what your experience is. On a side note: I think it's kind of weird for your mom to compare your little sister to a potential girlfriend, but maybe I'm over-thinking this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you've internalize their comments and allowed them to define who you think you are. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not really the teasing that's getting you down, it's the feeling that you've somehow missed your chance at sex, that the ship has sailed and you're left standing on the dock. So here's some very important information: There are lots of 21-year-olds who haven't had a lot of (or any) sexual experience, and you are in better company than you think.

Becoming a sexual person is a long process, not one magical moment when you 'get laid' that changes you forever. Whatever you did with your girlfriend was one milestone in that process and there will be more. So, yes it does get better and you will have more and better experiences. But you have to do a bit of work as well to make opportunities happen, like getting out and meeting people, taking a chance and talking to someone you find interesting, and making your goal to develop a relationship, not to get laid.  Most of all, please don't let it weigh you down...21 is way too young to give up.

Check out a post from contributor MHiggo on how to deal with being ridiculed about your virginity. We also really like this V-Card Diaries story from someone who challenges the idea that it's unmanly not to be sexually active.  You can also read more stories under the 'It Gets Better' section of The V-Card Diaries. Hang in there and let us know how things go.

About Lady Mary's sex book and 'The Thing' she asked Anna to hide

Mild spoilers ahead...

[Downton Abbey, above, and a 1924 conversation that could have taken place yesterday in Texas Anna: I'd like to buy one of these birth control thingies Shop Lady: Have you considered abstinence instead?

As a major sex geek and a rabid fan of Downton Abbey (check out our weekly podcast here), I've been loving the storyline around Lady Mary Crawley's Liverpool tryst and the birth control she asked Anna to buy and hide. I've also been fascinated with the Twitter conversations debating what that book was (Marie Stopes' Wise Parenthood, likely) and what Anna was asked to buy (a diaphragm or cervical cap, although someone thought it was a used condom - ewww!)

The New York Academy of Medicine has a great article about British scientist (and cat lover) Marie Stopes, whose work helping women control their reproduction and have a more enjoyable sex life, got her both lauded and banned (much like the US's Margaret Sanger).

They write (our boldface):

Stopes (1880-1958), a paleobotanist and campaigner for women’s rights, was the author of numerous books on social welfare, many concerning birth control (see Peter Eaton’s valuable checklist for a complete list). Married Love was a kind of self-help book designed to help couples understand each other’s physical and emotional needs. When it was published in March 1918, post-war women embraced the book. The initial 2,000 copy run sold out in the first fortnight. Eaton counts 28 editions, and translations into more than a dozen languages. By 1921, sales had topped 100,000 copies. An early ban of the book in America on obscenity charges was overturned in 1931, by the same judge who overturned the ban on James Joyce’s Ulysses.

In addition to lawsuits, the publication ofMarried Love prompted fan letters containing many questions. Women wanted more specific instructions on birth control methods. Stopes obliged eight months later, with the publication of Wise Parenthood in November 1918.

By the early 1920s, Stopes made advocacy of birth control for the working classes her biggest cause. In 1921, Stopes opened the first British family-planning clinic in north London. A staff comprised of both male and female nurses and doctors offered free birth control advice. By 1925, the clinic moved to central London, and instituted a mail-order birth control service (note to Anna Bates: for future reference, that mail-order service could save an awkward moment or two).

Although the mail order service would have potentially spared Anna some embarrassment, it would have deprived us of the great scene in the shop, and Anna running off without the instructions but with her consciousness seriously raised.

As we've joked on the podcast, considering that Lady Mary can't even put on a necklace by herself, how would she sort out the cervical cap insertion? Would inserting and removing birth control be just another part of a Lady's Maid's job description? And considering that Lady Mary lives in a 200,ooo sq foot house (give or take) why ask Anna to hide it in her two-room cottage? But that's a question for another blog.

Ask Trixie: I'm a virgin and he's not. How will I know when I'm ready and what to do?

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking? Ask Trixie here. Any advice? I'm 16/legal and I've been dating my friend for 2 weeks We were getting really physical the other day and he asked "If I had a condom, would you want to?" I'm a virgin/he's not. I don't know what I want/if I'm ready/when I will be/what I'd do? –A

Hi A –

Thanks for writing. You’re the only one who can really decide if you’re ready, but here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Do I really want to do this, or do I just want to make my partner happy?
  • Do my partner and I have the same expectations for our relationship (casual or committed, for example) or will one of us be disappointed and upset after we have sex?
  • Are there other non-penetrative things we can do that will feel just as good (or better!)?
  • Am I doing this because I think I’m too old to be a virgin (oh my god, totally no).

Being able to answer these questions means you also have to know the person you're thinking about having sex with. Has he been a friend for a long time, even though you've only dated for 2 weeks? Or do you need more time to get to know him, and build up some trust and communication.

You should definitely check out Scarleteen’s Famous "Am I Ready For Sex?" checklist which has lots more things to consider. You don’t have to answer every question, but it will really help understand what you want.

Also, go to our V-Card Diaries story collection to read about other teens’ experiences around becoming sexual. Enter the site, and then click on ‘Teens’ in the red search terms and select any of the red dots.

Write back if you have any other questions. And seriously, if you feel confused, you’ve got plenty of time to figure out if and when you want to become more sexual. There’s no rush.

V-Card Diaries: Ariel "I'm a spiteful virgin. I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction of sex."

Today we're highlighting Ariel from Jersey City, NJ, who wonders how special virginity could be if it only takes a second to lose it. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. A little about myself:

I am 23, female from Jersey City.

How I define virginity:

I do not really have a definitive view on virginity, it is not really a thing more so than it is just a state of being. Either you have had sex or you did not. It doesn't really matter much to me, it is whatever.

Here's my story:

Well I did not want to be a virgin at my age, I am 23 and it was not much of a thought. I had a plan to lose my virginity at 16 to my first love and then that would be it. However, I did not factor in that I would not have much luck with guys and that in high school I would be a laughing stock and teased constantly. I did get boyfriends but it was long distances and the first fizzled and the second guy did not want my virginity.

When I got to college, I want to give guys a shot again but again it fizzled and I pretty much gave up in the idea of having sex let alone dating. Now I guess what I am is a spiteful virgin as even if I did meet a guy who I really cared about, I just would not have sex with him. It has nothing to do with religion or waiting for the right guy, it is just that I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction.

I never thought virginity was special or anything, I went through the pledges at my Catholic school but I never took it seriously and I thought people who held it up to high esteem were being silly. I just thought people either had sex or did not. Being fair, I saw it in a matter that all living things have sex and when humans had sex, it was no different from when animals had sex. Even though humans supposedly possess some high mental processes, sex is just sex and virginity is something that most if not all creatures have until it is then ended by the first sexual act. Also I figured if virginity was so special, it would not be so easy to get rid off. To be fair it only takes a second to lose it so how special can something like that be?

V-Card Diaries: Megan "I met him in a network on tumblr. It was pretty unconventional, but it was right for me"

Today we're highlighting Megan in Cambridge MA who clicked with her guy instantly. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. A little about myself:

18, female, Jewish, currently in college at Harvard, bisexual, sexually fluid, heteroromantic, happily taken (by a different boy)

How I define virginity:

When you feel like you've engaged in an activity you feel is sex, then you've lost your virginity

Here's my story:

I met him in a network on tumblr, and we seemed to click instantly. My parents found out and didn't want me talking to him, but as a rebellious 18-year-old, I naturally continued. I met up with him clandestinely in my hotel room during an arts program in LA. The second night we'd officially met, we had sex for the first time and he slept over. We dated for a month and a half afterwards. I know it was pretty unconventional, but I loved my first time. It was right for me.

V-Card Diaries: Alisha "We broke up on numerous occasions to keep ourselves from sin yet ached for each other"

Today we're highlighting Alisha from Utah who was taught that virginity was key to her salvation. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. A little about myself:

I am a 22-year-old female, now married and not religious although my husband is still Christian. I was raised Mormon in Utah and therefore taught that my virginity was almost essential to my salvation.

How I define virginity:

The naive state where you are expected to simultaneously avoid things that are sexual yet also not know anything about sex in the first place.

Here's my story:

My boyfriend and I were both virgins and fighting to keep it that way. We even broke up on numerous occasions to keep ourselves from sin yet every time we found ourselves aching for each other and then going a little further. I don't know the exact moment when we went all the way but I let my boyfriend (now husband) claim it was a year after the fact.

V-Card Diaries: Victoria "I lost my virginity at 14 to my boyfriend of a year. We were young as hell and in love as hell."

Today we're highlighting Victoria from California lost her virginity at age 14 to the love of her life. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

My name is Victoria, a female. I'm 16 years old and I live in a small, small town in California. It's literally tourist spot. All year round I see different people from around the world in Hawaiian shirts and flip flops, even though where I am it gets to below freezing.

How I define virginity:

Your virginity is NOT defined by your religion, your parents, or even your boyfriend. It's defined by YOU, however you want to define it.

Here's my story:

I lost my virginity when I was fourteen, to my boyfriend of a year. We were young as hell and in love as hell. In my family no one had ever talked to me about periods, love, sex, or drugs. I had to figure it out all own my own, just like a discovered how to put a tampon in the hard way.

I had started dating my boyfriend in 8th grade, and by freshmen year, we were definitely talking about sex. It was scary, because in school we were learning about condoms and birth control and stuff. Before we decided to have sex, I went on the pill. Two words, FUCK THAT. I had forgotten to take my pill at least 3 times a week every single week, so eventually I just stopped. I lost my virginity on my fourteenth birthday, in my boyfriends tiny room.

We got to his house and I stood next to his dresser without saying anything. I know, super awk. Anyways, long story short he had bought me Victoria's Secret underwear for my birthday and I was so uncomfortable in my lacey thong I literally couldn't move. We didn't get naked, but there was a couple laughs and a couple moans, and a couple cries and it was so worth it. If I have one word of advice it's definitely to lose it to someone special to you, I will never regret losing it to him because he was the love of my life and still is. I've been with him since I was 13.

V-Card Diaries: Aura "I asked my Indian mother her opinion on pre-marital sex, and she told me she thought it should be made compulsory"

Today we're highlighting Aura from India, currently living in the north of England, whose mother explained the importance of pre-marital sex with the help of a shoe analogy. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

I am a 20-year-old Indian girl, currently attending University in north of England.

How I define virginity:

For me, a person loses his/her virginity when he/she has sex for the first time. What one considers as one's first, proper first time depends on him/her, and only he/she has the right to decide what it means to him/her and when he/she will lose it. I consider the day I had penetrative vaginal sex with a man for the first time as the day I lost mine.

People tend to think of Indians as quite narrow-minded and backward. What they do not understand is that it is a big country and there are many different kinds of people and cultures in it. In some areas, virginity is a huge deal, so much so that people actually use the blood stained sheet used on the wedding night to prove to neighbours the virtues of their wives or daughters. In some areas, nobody really talks about it - because it is very personal, but girls are expected to be virgins until they get married. In most areas, nobody cares, and it is a girl's personal choice - unless of course she is married and cheating on her husband/wife. The region where I am from (Bengal) falls largely into the last category. Nobody talks about your sexuality, since its private, personal and well... just very weird for family members to discuss your sex life over coffee

But my mom is my best friend, and I talk to her about everything. In my teens, I asked her for her opinion on pre-marital sex, and I was quite shocked when she told me she thought it should be made compulsory before a wedding, to make sure two people are sexually compatible! Furthermore, she said that men are like clothes. When you walk into a store, you like a few, try some on, and then look at other factors such as prices, colours, and if you are actually going to be wearing them. Similarly, you like men, date some of them, sleep with some, and then decide based on everything which one of them (if any) is right for you. Of course, she said unlike clothes, you only buy (marry) one at a time, and if you have major problems, you return (divorce) him and pick another one. I am so happy my father was perfect for her and she didn't need to 'return' him.

Here's my story:

Such a happy day it was - to finally get rid of the thing that made all men patronise me and see me as some sort of a prize. I hated the fact that my 'first' man would feel a sick chauvinistic kind of triumph, and I didn't want any man to have that pleasure, that satisfaction of knowing that he had somehow 'taken' my virginity, innocence, and what not. So, when I met a man who was extremely good looking and sexy, and also seemed like a nice, sensible person, I went home with him (to London), had sex with him, took the train back home the next morning, and was finally relieved of that sexist burden. The best part is, he doesn't know my full name, or where I live, and I will probably never see him again. Problem solved–lost virginity, but didn't give any subsequent boyfriend the satisfaction of being my first.

V-Card Diaries: Sully "I'm a guy, so why is it so difficult for me to remove this social stigma?"

Today we're highlighting Sully in Potsdam, NY. First he chose to wait to have sex until he is able to take care for a girl if she gets pregnant, but now he feels like virginity is an awkward cloud looming over him. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

I'm 27, male , I live in Potsdam NY... I work in a restaurant as a cook, went to college, but dropped out for financial and family reasons.

How I define virginity:

Orgasm via vaginal or anal penetration

Here's my story:

I'm a guy, I shouldn't care what I look like or if the girl really cares for me, so why is it so difficult for me to remove this social stigma...I started with noble intentions, I wanted a career first, so if I got said girl pregnant I could at least be responsible and take care of her and "seed", but then it just became this awkward cloud that loomed over me, people treat me like I'm some kind of freak, which in turn makes it only more difficult to talk or do anything about it.

V-Card Diaries: SarahD "I felt awkward, and uncouth, and the braces didn't make oral any more graceful"

Today we're highlighting SarahD in Albany, New York, who expected the first time she had sex to be a one night stand, but instead it turned out to be the beginning of a relationship she is still in today. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

I'm a 23-year-old female, who currently lives near Albany, but I've lived all over New York State.

How I define virginity:

I don't, to be honest. I would say there are many types of virginity, if I had to say anything definitive at all.

Here's my story:

I was seventeen, and had just started college. I had gone on one date in high school, which fizzled awkwardly into nothing. A guy sat down with me and a mutual friend at dinner, and we started talking. He invited me back to his room to watch a movie, and I said sure. On the way there, we reconfirmed each others names. Once we got to his room, I sat on the floor to watch, and he suggested we sit or lay on the bed instead. That was when I first realized this might be more than friendship developing. Yes, I was genuinely that clueless.

We cuddled on the bed for a while, and his hands started to roam. I didn't protest, and was rather glad he was taking the lead. Once the movie ended, I invited him back to my room, since I was currently without a roommate. I figured that it might be a one night stand, but at that point I didn't care. I just wanted to figure out why the whole sex thing was so great. I went up to my room first, and waited for him. He took way longer than I thought he would, and I had basically given up, and was calling him an idiot in my head when he finally showed. It turns out he had trouble with his razor, and he had to shave for class the next day.

Despite copious research into the subject of sex, I was still dry mouthed with uncertainty any time I stopped to consider my next move. I felt awkward, and uncouth, and the braces sure didn't make oral any more graceful when I attempted it. The actual penetration was anticlimactic and quite uncomfortable. I now believe I have a mild allergy to something in the condoms the school gave out. I'm glad I did it though. I did honestly enjoy myself, and the gentleman involved has since assured me I didn't seem nearly as awkward as I felt. I still think he's being nice about that though.

All in all, it was a good experience. I don't know if I'd do it again, being much more aware of the risks I took, but hey, it turned out all right the first time. Despite my belief that this was probably a one night stand, it wasn't. I think I'd have been fine if it was, but as it turns out, that was the beginning of a relationship I'm still in today. I may even wear a white dress at the wedding.

V-Card Diaries: MyBodyNotYours "Part of me is shut off to sex, because I was sexually molested by a relative when I was 8."

*Trigger warning for Sexual Assault*Today we're highlighting MyBodyNotYours in Austin, Texas who doesn't feel emotionally ready to have sex after being sexually molested as a child. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

Female, 21, Austin, Tx

How I define virginity:

Consented intercourse (penis in vagina, to be graphic)

Here's my story:

Virginity for me has been a struggle for most of my life. Until recently, I hadn't come to terms with what had happened to me as a child. At the age of 8, I was sexually molested by an older relative. After therapy, talking to my parents and confronting the relative, I've come to terms with what happened. A part of me wants to have sex, but another part of me has been shutoff to sex in general. I've struggled with boyfriends who don't understand why I just don't want to have sex. Someday I hope to have sex, but I'm still not quite ready emotionally from the damage that was done a long time ago.

V-Card Diaries: Katherine "I'm a Mormon and a proud virgin but I have not been able to turn off my sexual thoughts."

Today we're highlighting Katherine in Arizona, who has been exchanging sexual fantasies with an old friend but isn't planning to act on them. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. A little about myself:

I'm a 28-year-old heterosexual female, born and raised in Arizona.

How I define virginity:

There are so many varying ways to define virginity. Not only do I consider myself a virgin because I have never had vaginal intercourse, but I have also never had any sexual contact with anyone including kissing.

Here's my story:

Being raised Mormon it was always taught that you do not have sex till you were married (along with pretty much any other physical contact, even being alone with a potential partner). So I grew up more than happy to follow these rules. I have never had a strong sexual side, so it was easy. And being taught that the right thing to do was to be chaste I was always PROUD to be a virgin. I never struggled with hiding it, feeling ashamed or unwanted etc.

I'm not unattractive and I wouldn't consider myself socially awkward, however I have never really been alluring to the opposite sex and have never had a boyfriend or been on an official date. I always had crushes on guys but they were always unrequited.

It hasn't been till recently that I decided I do not even believe in marriage...so what is the point of waiting to have sex till you get married when I don't even want that? And it hasn't been till recently that I have even had any sort of desire to be physically intimate with anyone and these sexual thoughts and desires were only the result of a conversation with a guy I have known for ten years. I met him (Max) right out of high school and right up front he was more than willing to marry me even though having just met and known me for a short time. But that scared me so he and I have spent the last ten years having on and off conversations via email, online chatting and phone conversations. This year we sparked up our conversations again and one night sex was brought up. When I confessed to having a sexual fantasy about him, he in turn described how he would make love to me. A switch somewhere inside me was thrown. And ever since I have not been able to turn off these sexual thoughts.

But I have no desire to go and act on any of these newly discovered feelings. However Max and I have added an exchange of sexual fantasies to the mix of our usual conversations. None of which will be fulfilled in any near future because he is currently teaching English abroad and then moving to Australia till late next year.

I'm on my way to a new job in California starting next week. And even though I have never had any luck with guys, somewhere inside me I still hold out hope that maybe I will meet a guy whom I will share mutual feelings of love and respect with and a relationship will develop...and I guess we will just have to see if, when, and how actual physical intimacy will develop in my life.

V-Card Diaries: Noodlegirl "I was so clueless, I had to Google what I had felt to see if I'd had an orgasm."

Today we're highlighting Noodlegirl from a US East Coast city whose most positive feeling about her breakup was relief she didn't have sex with her boyfriend.  If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

A little about myself:

I am a 22-year-old woman who recently graduated from college and is (hopefully) nearing the end of a search for a job near the east coast city where I attended college. I have always wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

How I define virginity:

I define virginity as penis in vagina penetration.

Here's my story:

I was raised in a Christian home and went to a conservative Christian school until I was 13. Sex wasn’t discussed very much in my home or at the Christian school, but I remember being told more than once that I should wait to have sex until marriage.

I believe as a result of this conservative upbringing, I arrived at the dating/sex scene much later than many of my friends did. I started experimenting with non-penetrative masturbation when I was 18 or 19 and had my first orgasm at age 19. I was so clueless about everything that I wasn’t even sure that I had had an orgasm. I had to google what I had ‘felt’ just to see if I had actually had one. Although I have always wanted a boyfriend, I have pretty high standards and wholeheartedly believe in waiting for someone who I feel I am truly compatible with personality and value-wise. So, I waited. Then, in the fall of my senior year, at age 21, I met a guy who lived on my floor in my dorm. We got along very well and became good friends and eventually started dating. Our relationship recently ended and lasted 10 months.

Very early on in the relationship, I was honest about my desire to not have sex. He was a virgin as well, raised in a religious family, and agreed to wait. However, later on I found out that he had misunderstood me. He was willing to wait for a commitment, but he was not willing to wait for marriage. Regardless, while we were together, he respected my desire not to have penetrative sex. The more ‘bases we rounded’, though, the more he expressed a desire to have sex. We had countless discussions and arguments about why we weren’t having sex, and though he broke it off for other reasons, I can’t help but think that the issue of sex factored in. One of the most positive feelings I have had about this break-up is the relief that I didn’t have sex with him.

While I do agree with the religious reasons for not having sex, I also believe that sex connects you to someone emotionally, whether you feel like it does or not. It is so intimate of an act that I believe that you give a little part of yourself to anyone you have sex with. It’s not that you can’t get that part back or fill that void again, but I believe that you must go through a lot of pain and subsequent healing to get it back. I also believe that if you have trouble reconciling what you’ve ‘given away,’ it can affect your future sexual and relationship experiences. Thus, I only want to have sex with one person, and I want it to be on my wedding night with my husband. I want to preserve that intimacy and make it as special as it should be for both of us.