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

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

A little about yourself:

25. Queer cisgendered woman. New York, NY

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

Having not had vaginal intercourse with a consenting partner.

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

Penetrative sex.

Here’s my story:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here’s my story:

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

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

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I Was A Dress Code Harlot

dresscode

[Poster via thecatsmeow90]

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

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

Photos of my "slutty" high school self

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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V-Card Diaries: Sean ” This was what I’d do: One night with a stranger and it would be over.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Sean in Australia whose sexual encouters have felt ‘irritating, dissapointing and pointless.’ 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:

23, FTM, Australia

How I define virginity:

For me it is extended genital contact with another person’s genitals. I guess that’s the closest I can come, though I don’t really believe in it.

Here’s my story:

I was 21 and a virgin. I’d been on a few dates but none of them involved sexual contact; I’d never had a partner and my first kiss was forced on me by one of those dates. I was, and remain, scared of sex, of its intimacy, the trust I was required to have in a partner, and paralysed by fear of hurting someone else by being too forward or forceful myself, well aware of my own reservations and feelings of betrayal after dates attempted to ‘make a move’ on me. My diagnosed depression was defined by anhedonia making my orgasms disappointing non-events and my sex drive almost non-existent. I felt constantly attacked by the world and its sexuality, and my status as a sexual object made me want to die.

When I was 21 I decided I was sick of being a virgin, sick of having people use that word against me and exclude me from the group as all but one of my other friends were sexually active with partners by then. I read about a celebrity I idolised who was very similar in personality to me, and who decided he wanted to stop being a virgin, went out to a club, and went home with the first person who would take him home. Hence he lost his virginity. As I didn’t want to have sex with one of my friends – and so be vulnerable to them talking about me and my sexual behaviour and inadequacies – I decided this was what I’d do. One night with a stranger and it would be over.

I took advantage of a holiday overseas to scour clubs. Shy and terrified of making a move I struck out time after time; and it cut deep that now that I was actually trying, I was rejected repeatedly. Eventually I ran into a guy who approached me. He was my age, kind, exactly my type, intelligent and interesting, and we spent hours just talking and getting drunk in his kitchen before we went to bed.

It was actually really good, though my whole body was numb from alcohol, and I was overwhelmed by how beautiful he looked at the time. When I told him he rebutted with a clichéd, porny, objectifying line and I instantly dropped into self-disgust, fear, anger, everything you don’t want in the situation. He didn’t know how to give me an orgasm even manually. I was so fed up with him I ended up getting off of him and just sucking him off. My first blowjob wasn’t that bad either, just a sore jaw and a taste like olive brine. He said thank you when I finished, and the day after I had bruises all up my thighs. We never caught up again.

I didn’t have sex again for another year. That, too, was irritating, disappointing and pointless. I don’t know why I pursue it, why I feel like I should. But it was something I just wanted to learn, you know? To be able to do and use, another way to be valued. I still think about him a lot. Now I’d go with anyone, and I still don’t feel anything from it. It’s all self-fulfilling prophecies – and pointless, pointless, pointless.

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

“DO NOT GET MY DRESS!!!!!” Facebook Prom Groups and other Stupid Things about the ‘Big Night’

Pretty-in-Pink

As high school winds down, my newsfeed is overwhelmed by pictures of everyone all dolled-up for their big prom nights. Seeing all of these (seemingly) happy couples in their matching prom attire makes me think of my own encounters with the weird “prom culture” that erupts from all of the hoo-rah surrounding the event.

Now that I’m a college junior, that prom courting ritual that seemed so dramatic and overwhelming feels absurd and even funny. Instead of seeing a crystalized moment in time where a couple looks pristine and happy, I think of all the drama that leads up to this single photo.

Prom really isn’t just one night. It is an entire process. I was a member of a private Facebook group for both my junior and senior proms called something along the lines of “PROM DRESSES 2012,” a place where high school girls posted pictures of what they planned to wear so that no two people would (god-forbid!) show up in the same dress.

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Screenshot from my friend’s Facebook prom dress group

But these groups have an underlying hostility simmering beneath each post with teens calling each other out for having the same dresses as them. On a friend’s prom dress Facebook page, one group member posted an image of her dress with the caption “DO NOT GET MY DRESS!!!!!” Another person commented on someone else’s image, “That is an easy access dress!” And some minor fights even erupted. “Just wanna let you know I have that dress in a different color i posted it on here like a month ago” one angry member of the group wrote when she saw that her classmate posted the same dress as hers.

These posts are benign compared to other Facebook prom dress groups. One group goes by the name of, “Bitch don’t steal my dress!” And in the same ilk, “If YOU steal MY prom dress, bitch I’ma cut you.”  If you google the now deleted Facebook group “steal my prom dress and i’ll knock you the fuck out” you can find abounding remnants of the threats that were once posted.

In my own group, people commented as early as the beginning of January (5 months before prom!) with what dresses they will wear. Some changed their dresses as many as 3-4 times. Most people put up all of their “maybes” (that is, what they might be wearing) so that they could lay claim to all of their potential options.

The posts are territorial, passive aggressive, and some just straight up cruel– and they reveal how prom means different things for different people. For guys it may be a last chance to lose their virginity before college, but for girls it is about the pressure to look flawless, about losing weight for their dresses, and getting the perfect tan.

Aside from the community of hostility these groups create—similar to (or perhaps a result of) the hostility created by a society that constantly pits women against each other— they also reveal a culture’s obsession with what is (typically) a heteronormative event that excludes anyone who veers from the “ideal” couple. What about queer people, trans* people, aromantic people? What someone is wearing is among the least of worries for a gay couple restricted from taking one another to prom. A trans* girl who wants to wear a dress has bigger problems to face than someone showing up in the same outfit as her.

At the end of it all, prom is really just a night of false norms and unmet expectations.

Hollywood, social media, and most importantly, 80s teen flicks, have turned prom into what is supposed to be one of the most important nights of a young person’s life. It is a rite of passage into college where we tie up all those loose ends, fit in all that awkward teen stuff before we diverge on our separate paths of adulthood. And perhaps this fixation on hooking up and “maturation” by means of the prom is why it is such a big deal for people. Perhaps this is why teens are purchasing dresses months and months in advance and assuring they are the only person on the entire face of the Earth to ever wear it. And I don’t mean to critique just the women but instead use this group as a firsthand example of all the prom drama (“proma”). We treat this night as if it will change our lives forever.

Thinking about my own dreadful junior prom experience now makes me laugh. Between my breakup at the time and fear of having no date for the prom (because how could one possibly go to the prom–gasp–alone?!), and ending up with a date who I barely spoke to the entire time, my own experiences were nothing like what the movies told me it would be. The prom itself consisted of some gross food, little dancing, and an anti-climactic (no pun-intended) after party that I did not attend. But despite all the trauma, I now realize how insignificant all of it really was.

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In one of the very first posts on my prom dress group, its creator ironically writes (after dictating a number of rules about posting dresses), “It’s going to be okay. Seriously.”  Though she meant it passive aggressively, it’s true. Prom will be okay. You will survive it even if you are wearing the same dress as someone else. You will survive it even if you go without a date.

Instead of focusing so much on the socially constructed “rules” of prom, we should be fighting against them. Next year, instead of wearing dresses, all the girls should wear tuxes. Next year, instead of caring about who is going with who, we should fight against the fact that some schools still don’t allow same-sex couples into prom. Next year, instead of worrying about the perfect prom couple photo, let’s rebel against the binaristic gender norms that underlie the event. Next year, instead of getting involved with the after party hook up gossip, let’s worry about how the fixation on  partying and “losing one’s virginity” on this big night can cultivate unsafe environments for sex.

Starting right now, let’s focus on what really matters, instead of if two people are wearing the same dress.

Alexa is a student at Emory University and a summer intern at Trixie Films. You can read more about her here.

Posted in Losing It, male virginity, Prom, Queer, Random Feminism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Ask Trixie: Will I bleed the first time I have sex?

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.

Will I bleed the first time I have sex? –A.

Hi A–

Thanks for writing. The quick answer is I don’t know if you’re going to bleed or not. Some women* will bleed the first time their vaginas are penetrated by a penis (or a dildo or fingers, for that matter) and some won’t. It depends on various factors, like whether you’re sufficiently aroused and lubricated, how rough your partner is, how elastic your hymen is, or whether you have any medical conditions that might cause bleeding. Sometimes there’s a lot of blood, sometimes there’s some spotting and just as often there’s no blood at all (which is how it went for me).

The myth that all women bleed the first time they have intercourse is so pervasive that it’s used as a standard ‘virginity’ test all over the world. In reality, the whole blood-on-the-sheet thing says absolutely nothing about whether a woman is a virgin, has previously been penetrated by a penis, or anything else except how her vaginal tissue reacted to the factors listed above. As we often point out, there is no way to test for ‘virginity.’

If you want more information on bleeding, I’d highly recommend Scarleteen’s“One Bloody Mess: Myths and Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse”, and while you’re there, consider making a small donation so they can keep doing the amazing work they do.

*This question came from a woman with a vagina planning to have PIV sex for the first time, but for any first-time penetration, make sure it’s slow, gentle and very well-lubricated. If you feel like there’s excessive blood or pain, it may be a sign that something is physically wrong, and you should definitely see your doctor about it.

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

Meet Alexa and Moriah, the newest members of Team Trixie Films!

You’ll be seeing a couple of new author names on this blog this summer: Alexa and Moriah, our newest interns here at Trixie Films. They’re both doing great work on “How to Lose Your Virginity” behind the scenes, and they’ll be popping up on the website as well. It’s really exciting to have them here and I hope you check out their posts and leave lots of comments!

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Hi there! I’m Alexa. I attend Emory University in Atlanta where I double major in English and Philosophy. My passions include poetry, avant-garde film, and fighting for social justice. In my free time I like to build abstract sculptures of vaginas and listen to death metal. I am currently learning how to play the cello and (among other things) I want to be a poet. [Alexa did research for our story on The Misunderstood History of Incel]

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I’m Moriah, and I’m a queer witch attending RISD for illustration. I like to cook, make patches, and play outdated video games. Common identifiers include: Twenty-something Titan. Reluctant southerner. Postcard enthusiast.

Do you want to write for the blog? Send us a note here.

Posted in college life, film, Random Feminism, re-virginization, This Film | Tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

V-Card Diaries: Ida. Ho. “Don’t have sex in the front seat of a car.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Ida.Ho. in Texas, who took some risks the first time she had intercourse, from having some unprotected and rough tumbles in a car, to not taking Plan B afterwards. 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 18. I’m a pan-sexual female (shh don’t tell my mother) and I’m a proud Texan, born and raised.

How I define virginity:

I was taught that vaginal penetration was the line where you lost your virginity. I’ve since re-thought it. I think losing your virginity includes oral sex. But let me tell about the first “conventional” time I had sex.

Here’s my story:

You would have thought it was a porno how many positions he tried. J was never really a boyfriend guy friend from the summer before. I met him when I was 15 and he was 19. When I was 16 I snuck out the house to go see him because he texted me that it was an emergency. We hadn’t spoken in over 6 months but he had a history of depression and suicide attempts so I was legitimately concerned. I half ran down the street in flip flops, my pajamas, and messy hair to his house. He was sitting in his car outside.When I climbed in he skipped the hello and the explanation of what was going on, he hugged me. He told me he just needed to see me. I sighed, glad he was okay.

I layed down and put my head on his lap, intent on cat napping while he warmed up to talking about what was going on. Since my eyes were closed I didn’t see the kiss coming. But one minute I was half asleep on his lap, and the next we were full on making out. I got up and straddled him, taking my top and bra off. The summer before he taught me a lot about my body. He showed me how to give a good blow job, all the great things you can do with breasts. He went down on me once. I didn’t cum and it was really awkward for both of us. So I’m comfortable with him. Suddenly he says “I wanna do it.”

Despite me asking him several times the summer before he never wanted to take my virginity. I got off him and took the rest of my clothes off. I was ready. It took me five minutes to convince him. We didn’t have a condom. I started out riding him but couldn’t really do it. Then on my back. Then doggy style. Then three other positions. By the time he was done I had a concussion, my head had been knocked around so many times. DON’T HAVE SEX IN THE FRONT SEAT OF A CAR. He handed me a handful tissues and informed me I was bleeding. I tried to clean up a little before putting my clothes back on.

Then he said “Will you do something for me?” I said “Anything. He drove me to the local drug s tore. He sent me in to buy a plan B pill. I walked in and asked how much it cost. The guy behind the counter told me $40. I went back to the car and asked him for the money. He wiped blood off my face and said “What kind of hard core car sex did we have?” I bought the pill. He dropped me off at home, quickly explained what it did and sent me on my way.

I never took the pill. I wasn’t interested in starting my period right away. I was going on vacation the next day. My brother was up when I walked in. I know I looked a wreck. He didn’t say anything. J and I haven’t spoken since.

Posted in Losing It, Queer, reproductive rights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

All the Lonely People: The conversation we should be having about men and virginity

If you read this blog, you know how important issues like identity and community are to us, including those of self-identified older virgins. In light of the killings at UCSB, and the torrent of misogynist hate speech 22-year-old Elliot Rodger left behind, I think there is an important conversation to be had that includes men and virginity right now. But it’s not the one about the poor sex-and-love-starved virgin male (And by the way, there are many 22-year-olds who haven’t become sexually active yet)

Many of his rants were made on behalf of “incels” (involuntary celibates) with whom he identified but also despised. Before this weekend, most people had never heard about the incel community, but I know there are incel-identified folks in our audience as well as contributors to The V-Card Diaries. I also know the original community is a welcoming female-inclusive space far removed from the hateful rhetoric of Rodger and his ilk. (Tracy Clark-Flory did a great story focusing on that community’s hate speech so I won’t link to them here).

I wrote a story for Nerve as a way of framing the conversation about men, virginity and shame. I think it’s important to point out that many adult virgins of all genders (who don’t want to be virgins) feel some shame or frustration about their situation. It’s how they deal with it and who they blame for it that makes all the difference. I’m grateful to the members of the You’re Not Alone incel board for their participation and assistance in this story, and to our intern Alexa Cucopulos for her amazing research.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

“In a society where sexuality is always in our faces, if you don’t have the tools or access, or aren’t comfortable establishing intimacy it’s going to isolate you from social environments,” explains Dr. Burgess. “You don’t want to talk to your family or friends for fear of being teased or ostracized, and that’s why these incel groups have become especially valuable.”

So, why did the misogynistic groups proliferate, leaving the more introspective and female-friendly groups like You’re Not Alone, and other sites like the sub-reddits Forever Alone and Forever Alone Women, feeling like outliers?

Society still defines sex by intercourse and ejaculation, and masculinity by the tally of those sexual conquests. Men who buy into this mythology end up feeling both entitled to it, and frustrated at not getting their due. When they can’t fulfill their expected masculine roles, they blame women for not giving them what they think they deserve, instead of examining themselves and the mythology they were raised with [...]

I can only speculate that these men already had misogynistic and entitled ideas about the women they felt they were owed, and began to take advantage of the growing echo chamber and megaphone of the Internet, looking for kinship in spaces that reflected their attitudes back at them”

Please read the full story and leave your comments here.

Posted in Double standard, Losing It, male virginity, Older virgins, Random Feminism, This Film | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

V-Card Diaries: Jen “When a guy said I was cute, I freaked out and couldn’t breathe.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Jen in St. Louis, MO, who believes God has a great love out there for her, and she should wait for 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:

26 years old, Female, St. Louis, MO

How I define virginity:

One who has never had a penis inside of her.

Here’s my story:

I’m scared of being in a relationship. When men show interest in me, I get anxious. I went to dinner with a guy who said I was cute. I freaked out, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow my food. Because of my fears and insecurities, I’m afraid I’ll never have a real connection with someone to have sex. I just hope and pray that there is someone out there for me. I think that God has a great love out there for me and I should wait for him, wait for love. Some think I’m naive to feel this way.

Posted in Older virgins, Religion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Marissa “He couldn’t find the ‘hole’ and I wasn’t much help.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Marissa in Boulder, CO. Her first sex was painful and bloody, but she’s happy she lost her virginity to a nice boyfriend.  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 24-year-old female who lives in Boulder, CO.

How I define virginity:

Not having vaginal intercourse.

Here’s my story:

So, I didn’t have the best self esteem at 17, and I finally had my first real boyfriend. I really wanted him to stay with me, so, within a couple of weeks, we had sex and it was interesting.

We were both virgins. He couldn’t really find the “hole” and I wasn’t much help. We had sex and it was painful for me. When we were finished he went to the bathroom and so did I. I found a huge puddle of blood and freaked out! It was everywhere.

We talked about it months afterwards and he said that he “never thought he’d have a chance to have sex with me and felt bad that I thought he wouldn’t want to stay with me because of sex.” He also noticed the blood, it was all over him too. He didn’t care though. Overall, it’s funny, sad, but overall I’m happy I lost my virginity to him.

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

Comments on the UCSB murders and older virgins: Please add yours…

We just got this comment on the post A Shout-Out to Older Virgins from Some Older Virgin, referring to the horrible murders at UCSB this weekend. Many reasons have been floated for why Elliot Rodger did what he did, including the series of quotes I posted earlier dealing with the climate of toxic masculinity and misogyny, part of the MRA and PUA movements Rodgers was so interested in. Feel free to post your own thoughts on the events or on what Some Older Virgin wrote:

“As a 44 year old virgin, who has posted on here before but haven’t recently, I can’t get over that 22 year old UC Santa Barbara Student who rent on a rampage killing people and himself. He cited the fact he was a 22 year old virgin and who couldn’t get love and sex from women. A 22 year old virgin thinking that somehow at that age he not only should be at a certain level in terms of sexual/romantic level but that he would be so depressed about it that he decided to kill people and himself?

“I mean there are some people out there like myself, that have way way more to be depressed about but would never dream of then killing people and then myself. Ya I get plenty depressed and have thought about suicide before but I would never seriously think about going on some rampage. I hope that what happened in Santa Barbara doesn’t cause people to have even more preconceived stereotypes about virgins than society already has.”

Posted in male virginity, Older virgins | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
–Margaret Atwood

“If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you”
“If we can’t solve our problems we must DESTROY our problems…One day incels* will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system. Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.”
Elliot Rodger, as quoted by The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the first to call the shooting a hate crime.

“…Whether any theoretical mental illness had anything to do with his rampage, it doesn’t negate the fact that he grew up believing in a toxic form of masculinity. That he believed he was entitled to women’s affections and to women’s bodies - and that being denied” what he thought was his due meant that the best thing he could do is go murder as many people as he could to punish them. Because that was exactly what he was doing: punishing people for the crime of not fucking him. Of forcing him to be a virgin, of making him less than a man.
Because that is exactly what the cultural narrative of masculinity says. A woman who is a virgin is a prize, holding her “special gift” for a “special person”. A male (not a man, a male) is a failure. He is a boy, not a man. He is a failure, because masculinity is rated in two axis’ – in our capacity for sex and our capacity for violence.”
Dr. Nerdlove, Paging Dr. Nerdlove on Tumblr

“Because of the misogyny he so plentifully expressed, I read the manifesto looking for examples where he would have been rejected by women.  Oddly enough, there are none, unless we count a girl who pushed and yelled at him in childhood, because he first bumped into her.  Other examples are of the type where a woman he smiled at didn’t smile at him, where a woman he said “hi” to didn’t respond.  If female rejection was what he mostly blamed for his suffering, where is that rejection in his manifesto?  Or did he expect women to flock to him, without any necessity to make an effort to meet them or talk to them?
I cannot say for certain.  But the impression I got is that he never approached women at all, that he expected women to approach him, and when they did not, he felt enormous pains of rejection.”
Echidne of the Snakes

“So what can we do to stop this? We can refuse to participate in policing other people’s sexuality. We can call it out when we see others doing it. We can petition the media to address the misogyny and sexual double standard when discussing these murders. We can talk about it- blog about it, post status updates about it, write school papers about it, talk to friends about it. When it happens online, we can report it. But we have so much work to do.”
Dr. Jill McDevitt, The Sexologist on Tumblr

“@virginitymovie: #YesAllWomen because being a man is not defined by whether you’ve put your penis into a vagina.”
One of our contributions to #YesAllWomen, many powerful ones at this thread

* Incel is short for involuntary celibacy. Not all incel groups or hubs identify with Men’s Rights or Pick Up Artist beliefs, and can be very supportive and female-inclusive. I’ll be writing about this in another post.

Posted in film, Human Rights, male virginity, Older virgins, Random Feminism, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

V-Card Diaries: Diana “I was sexually abused as a child and am still working through this.”

*Trigger warning for sexual assault* Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Diana in Europe, who is overcoming some sexual issues after a childhood trauma and a family who was very prudish about sex. 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 25 year old woman in Europe.

How I define virginity:

I don’t think it’s as simple as saying it’s vaginal sex. I think I would define it as a moment of immense, positive emotional and physical connection with another person. In relation to the physicality of it, I absolutely believe that vaginal, anal, and oral are all definitive of sex.

Here’s my story:

I have not had vaginal sex. I was sexually abused as a child and am still working through this. I am in a long term relationship with a man and we have had oral sex. We enjoy a certain amount of sexual intimacy and he is understanding of my past and is loving and patient, thankfully.

I also grew up in a very prude family in which sex was an extremely taboo subject. I grew up thinking that sexuality was dirty, forbidden and not for me. I now realize how damaging this was and am overcoming it more and more with every day that passes. I hope to one day trust my partner enough to have vaginal sex with him. I hope to transcend my fears and insecurities and achieve a new level of sexual fulfillment.

Many of my friends assume that I am having sex with my boyfriend in the vaginal sense. I don’t bother to correct them as it is an intimate issue between me and him.

Posted in International Affairs, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Too Busy to Worry “Because I have a poor body image, I seriously consider getting an escort.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Too Busy to Worry in Tampa, FL, who is looking for someone she’ll be comfortable being naked around. 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 27 years old, female, cis-gender, though I do lean towards being a tomboy and having very masculine traits. I live in Tampa, FL and have recently gone back to school by enrolling in the University of South Florida.

How I define virginity:

That a person hasn’t had sex. That’s a personal definition and I can’t truly give a detailed definition of it.

Here’s my story:

I am still a virgin for many reasons. I am no longer looking for Mr. Right but I would like to be with someone who I’m comfortable to be naked around. But that won’t matter much because I have a poor body image so I seriously consider getting an escort. But then I think to myself, well, I could probably find a one-night stand just to get it over with, but then the body image thing pops up and the cycle starts again. Not to mention that I am so busy with school at the moment that losing my virginity is not high on my priority list. Not to mention that my friends don’t bug me about it or when people do it just makes me dig my heals in more.

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

You have one more week to celebrate National Masturbation Month!

In honor of National Masturbation Month, we’re reposting this essay by our former intern Judy, which originally ran May 21, 2013. And you really can’t get too much Egon Schiele in your diet!


“Wally in Red Blouse With Raised Knees” by Egon Schiele

Judy P. is an art history student at Brown University who is interested in the intersections of art, politics, race, class, and gender. She is proud to be a woman, though she thinks it’s not always easy to be one. Check out her other posts here.

May is National Masturbation Month!

In celebration, Philadelphia’s sex-positive groups, ScrewSmart and GALEI‘s (The Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative) Pleasure Rush, have been hosting a “Masturbate-A-Thon” all month ending on May 27th. For this fundraising project, participants are asking sponsors to fund every hour spent, ahem, intimately with themselves. The proceeds will go toward ScrewSmart’s and Pleasure Rush’s efforts to support sex-positive and pleasure-based education and prevention, and to “reduce shame and stigma around sexuality, promote sexual health, [and] create a community dialogue around the importance of pleasure.”

I know that this can be an embarrassing or uncomfortable taboo topic, but that’s what this event is about. GALEI’s executive director Elica Gonzalez says: “We are hoping that by having folks participate in the Masturbate-a-Thon, that they will help to destigmatize the behavior – and reduce stress and get a glowing complexion all the while.”

Masturbation was a touchy (no pun intended) subject growing up. I discovered the sensations of self-pleasure pretty early, I’d say when I was 6 or so. I was surprised to learn that many of my friends started masturbating in early childhood as well, which goes to show that children can be sexual beings.

Coming from a religious background, however, I always felt naughty and guilty every time I did the deed. I’d imagine God looking down on me, shaking his head in disappointment, and crossing my name off of his “Heaven-bound” list. I’d even picture my dead grandparents observing me from above (creepy), and I thought I was somehow letting them down by getting to know the ins and outs of my vagina when I was taught it should be locked up and ignored forever, or at least until I got married and had to make mini-mes.

I asked my friends about their experiences with masturbation, and they shared a few similar initial feelings of shame and guilt:

“I would look at myself in the mirror and cry and then get down and pray.”

“I always felt dirty after ejaculation.”

Even though uncomfortable thoughts and images plagued my mind, I still continued to masturbate regularly. I guess nothing quite beat the thrill of an orgasm, even if it meant disobeying the Big Bearded Man-in-the-Sky. When I grew out of my religious phase, I would even masturbate openly in the presence of our family’s austere, wooden cross in my living room, mostly because it was impossible to avoid (the living room was my favorite spot because that’s where we kept our vibrating handheld massager. TMI? Sorry!). I also did it because I had the liberating feeling that I could; I wasn’t scared or full of shame and repentance anymore.

Masturbation is the only form of sexual pleasure I have at the moment. I will definitely climax from self-play, whereas partner sex usually yields not much pleasure and no orgasm. Now I know this isn’t the case for everyone (partner sex can be amazing! I’m waiting for that day, fingers crossed), but I know many women who don’t come from partner sex at all. Many women (and men) don’t even know much about the anatomy of the female body, i.e. the treasure den of the clitoris. As a friend of mine put it, “Masturbating teaches you what you like and how you like to be touched. I believe if you can’t learn to let go and make yourself come, no one can.” Just take a hint from Betty Dodson, the queen of self-love/ pleasure [video link].

Sometimes, masturbating still makes me feel a little weird, like I’m not ready to announce myself as a sexual adult yet. That’s a part of my sexuality too, those religious, social, and cultural influences that have shaped (or stunted) my sexual growth today. It’s always going to be a process for me; getting over the complications of sex, feeling comfortable in my body, being okay with feeling sexy, and discovering all the movements/ rhythms that make my body pulsate, twist, and shout.

You still have a little over a week until the end of May to take part in Masturbation Month, so get masturbating! And, of course, the fun doesn’t stop there.

So what’s your relationship with masturbation, especially for those of you who don’t have sex or have never had sex? Do you remember your first time? What are your favorite techniques? How often do you masturbate? How does masturbation play into your sexuality/sex life? What do you think about when you’re masturbating? Do you think at all? Why do you masturbate? etc. Share in the “Comments” section below.

 

Posted in Religion, Sex education, sex toys, video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Rosa “My kissing number’s already up to 50. I’ll stick to safe sexual fun.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Rosa in New Jersey. For her, kissing is a safe way to have sexual fun until she finds Mr. Right. 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:

19 years old, female, and I’m in New Jersey, United States.

How I define virginity?

My standard definition of virginity is the old fashioned PIV. But really, once there’s been penis penetration of any of the ’3 holes,’ then I personally wouldn’t consider myself to be a virgin anymore.

Here’s my story:

I’m still a virgin at 19 years. And it’s not because of social awkwardness or because I fear sex, but because I choose to be. But on the flip side, I’m not saving myself for marriage, and I’m fine with being sexual with guys just a little.

I love kissing. And being intimate with a boy, but WITHOUT taking my clothes off or the fondling/groping. I love stimulating and interacting with someone else, and just enjoying the fact that I’m touching another person, and not just using someone for an orgasm, but actually feeling all the different reactions they have over the hours… that’s the best kind of intimacy to me.

The irony about my virginity is that I don’t have any set rules for the # of guys I can kiss, cuddle, or have full on make-out sessions with. My kissing number’s already up to 50, and I’ve had dozens of make-out sessions with half as many guys…

That’s my whole point on why I feel it’s safe. I still get to have A LOT of fun with all these different guys, but don’t need to worry if I’ll catch an STD (I got cold sores when I was little, so I’m not concerned about oral herpes, and I know fingering is pretty safe, but if they’ve cuts on their hands viruses can still transmitted, and that’s not a risk I’m willing to take).

Another reason that I like keeping those boundaries is because if a boy were trying to/thinking of using me for sex, well, all he’s going to get is some kissing, not my body.

Also, I do want to find Mr.Right someday. But in the meantime, I’ll stick to safe sexual fun, so to me, being a virgin’s actually pretty awesome xD.

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Just The Tip: Virginity In The News with Pervy prom dads, more Purity TV, Sex lies for guys,and 7 penises in my soda

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You may have already seen this amazing post from a teenager named Clare popping up everywhere online. It’s powerful not just because the story she tells is so hideously sexist, but because more and more, young people are standing up and calling bullshit on Purity Police attacks on their bodies, freedom and moral value.

Fabulous home-schooled teen Clare tells the world about getting kicked out of her prom for wearing a too-short dress (at left, even though it adhered to the prom’s dress code) and dancing provocatively (even though she wasn’t even dancing). And she is pretty clear on what the problem really was.

“We were also a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves. We weren’t dancing, but swaying with the music and talking and enjoying ourselves, when Mrs. D again approached me, and gestured me off the dance floor…and told me that some of the dads who were chaperoning had complained that my dancing was too provocative, and that I was going to cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts.”

How many times have we heard this same old bullshit song: Girls are responsible for keeping guys from thinking impure thoughts. And guys are so ‘visual’ that they get driven mad by the sight of a girl’s knees and just can’t control themselves. And it’s a girl’s fault if guys are driven so mad by whatever the girl is supposedly doing or wearing, they rape them in a fit of clothing-induced sexual frenzy. We hear it every fucking day, when a woman is blamed for causing herself to get raped. Instead of policing everything women do because boys just can’t control themselves, why don’t we just blindfold the boys, or better yet lock them up at home. They’re the ones who have control issues, not the girls.

Or as Clare so succinctly puts it:

“Goddamn I’m not responsible for some perverted 45 year old dad lusting after me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager.”

Seriously, read the whole thing here!

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Ah, Abstinence-Until-Marriage programs, spreading bad logic and shame since 1996.

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Actual Craig’s List ad from this week.

Are you Pure? Are you attending a Purity Ball?

Major television company is looking for families who are attending an upcoming Purity Ball. Whether it’s your first or tenth time, we would love to hear your story and how you became involved in this powerful and life changing event.

Purity Balls certainly can be a life-changing event. At least according to the young women I meet at college screenings who are coping with being told how dirty and unlovable they are since they had sex. Ever been to a purity ball? Did it change your life?

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16 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Boys about Sex is the follow-up to Policy Mic’s post on the lies we teach girls. Both posts are good for all genders. This one covers penis size, virginity loss, circumcision, sex drives, who comes first and more.

Posted in abstinence, Double standard, Just The Tip, male virginity, Porn, Prom, Purity Ball, Sex education, Virginity in the News, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: TeddyBear “I’m rather asexual, though cuddling is nice.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from TeddyBear in New York City, who has never wanted to be sexually involved with anyone. 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:

Age 55, male, live in New York City.

How I define virginity:

Never having had sex with someone else.

Here’s my story:

I’m a 55-year-old male virgin. I’m rather asexual. While I do fantasize and masturbate, I’ve never wanted a sexual involvement with anyone, including a girlfriend with whom I lived and shared a bed (though cuddling with her was nice).

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

V-Card Diaries: Jessie ” It was not until I began to go to therapy that I reclaimed that part of my sexuality.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Jessie from California, who was molested at 6, but learned she was not dirty or a slut with the help of her therapist. 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 twenty-one-year old college woman who does not have a single clue what she wants to study. I live in California.

How I define virginity:

I define “virginity” as something spiritual. It is not something physical like a hymen. You lose your virginity when you willingly give up a part of yourself to the person you are with. Just because you are not physically a virgin, it does not mean you are not one.

Here’s my story:

I was molested by another girl at the age of 6. It was at that age that my hymen was broken, and when I learned about virginity at the age of 11 I was very ashamed of myself. For many years I never talked about what had happened to me. I shyed away from any form of sex talk, and even when I did go on dates it was extremely difficult to kiss boys without bringing up memories.

I had thought that a girl who is not a virgin is dirty and a slut, so I mentally beat myself up for that. It was not until I began to go to therapy that I reclaimed that part of my sexuality back. With the help of my therapist I drew up my won conclusions about my virginity and my sexuality.

I was not a slut because I had been abused when I was young. My virginity was something for me to give away or lose to whom I pleased. When I finally did have sex, that is when I defined myself as not a virgin anymore. I had sex with someone of my choosing. Even though I never saw that person again after we had sex, I do not regret my decision of losing my virginity to her.

Posted in Defining virginity, Hymenology, Queer, Sexual Assault, V-Card Diaries | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

V-Card Diaries: Grizzy “Social pressures were telling me that my love for women wasn’t real because I hadn’t experienced being with a man.”

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Grizzy in Los Angeles, who needed to be with a guy because of social pressures about her queer sexuality. 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:

Well, I’m 22, a cis woman of color and live in Los Angeles. I just graduated school and trying to find my passion within my career and social life. I spent most of my time on tumblr and love to meet new queer people of color whom I can laugh with.

How I define virginity:

I’m not sure. There is so many arguments about it that it shouldn’t be a big deal. But I like to think it is. It’s just the way it’s gender-ed and exploitative to women that I find a problem with. I think virginity should be something beautiful between yourself or with others. It is when you discover your body in another level. You begin to experience a self confidence in a single touch.

Here’s my story:

My virginity. Horrible. It was at the most 10 minutes. Uhm, I just did it to get it over with. Social pressures telling me that I needed to be with a guy to make sure I was ok with my sexuality. That my love for women wasn’t real because I hadn’t experienced being with a man. So I did it for that. The good thing was I did it with someone I trusted so that’s one thing I’m thankful for.

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

Want to know what’s really creepy about Purity Balls? (Hint: It’s not the photos)

PurityMagnusson

Do an internet search for the words ‘creepy photos,’ and you’ll likely be directed to Purity, Swedish photographer David Magnusson’s haunting photo essay of fathers and daughters all dressed up for their Purity Balls. A Purity Ball, if you don’t already know, is sort of a father/daughter prom, with the difference being that the girls pledge their virginity to their fathers for safekeeping, so it can be handed over to their husbands on their wedding day. They happen all over the country, although with a bit less frequency than the constant coverage might indicate.

Still, every time news of these events pop up, in photos, or on a recent episode of Nightline on ABC, the non-Purity-Ball-going readership responds with a collective shudder, most often invoking the word ‘incestuous’ in headlines and comments. Looking at Magnusson’s photos, (or my own film) I can see how people may come to that conclusion, but ask one of the dads in the photo and he’ll just tell you that you have a really dirty mind and the Balls are beautiful events. Wherever you stand on this issue, getting all weirded out by the images is just a distraction from the truly creepy aspects of events like this (and the culture behind them):

Purity Balls are an invention of the evangelical Christian movement which believes that men should have control over women’s bodies and sexual choices. Girls as young as 7 or 8 ritually invoke their father, their future husband and their God during these ceremonies–three male authorities tasked with policing her sex life.

Purity Balls are a throwback to when women were property and unmarried daughters without their virginity were damaged goods no one wanted to buy. The idea of a woman’s ‘most precious gift’ comes from the understanding that she is the gift, valuable as long as she’s still wrapped in her original packaging.

Purity Balls focus on female sexuality exclusively. There is no male equivalent of purity balls because young men are sent different messages and held to different standards. Integrity Balls, which are relatively rare, are events for mothers and sons, but the prevailing message for young men is that they shouldn’t have sex before marriage because they will ruin a girl’s value for her future husband.

Purity Balls assume everyone is heterosexual and interested in marriage. The fact that queer people exist, with their own definition of what constitutes sex or virginity, and their own ideas of who they might want to have sex with or marry, is never discussed or even acknowledged.

Purity Balls are intimately tied to Abstinence-Until-Marriage programs which provide no real sex education, but instead teach that sex before marriage will cause physiological and psychological harm, that contraception doesn’t work, and that girls are responsible for controlling boys’ sexual urges lest they be branded sluts. To stay a ‘virgin,’ a young women will often engage in far riskier activities like oral or anal sex, fulfilling the letter–if not the spirit–of their pledge. And since their abstinence classes don’t teach safer sex practices, they’re extremely vulnerable to STDs. These programs been proven ineffective by our own government, despite the fact that they are still being funded by our taxpayer dollars, at over $1.5 billion to date.

Purity Ball culture is enmeshed with political forces that oppose reproductive rights, supporting groups that are fighting to deny women birth control (or at the very least not have insurance cover it) as well as any access to safe and legal abortions. In fact, many Purity Balls are hosted by Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which use deceptive advertising and intake methods to prevent women’s access to contraception and abortion. Google recently removed CPC ads that lie about providing abortions because of that deceptive advertising.

Purity Balls have a freak-show quality that distracts us from seeing the very same issues in our own back yards. Policing and controlling women’s bodies is not limited to a bunch of evangelicals, but turn up all over the cultural landscape, from limiting reproductive rights, to telling rape victims they asked for it, to slut-shaming women (but not men) for having too many partners.

Purity Ball reporting often ignores the dilemmas these young women are face. This culture’s core values embody damaging messages about women and sexuality (see above), but there’s nothing inherently weird about having a warm relationship with your dad, or looking forward to a dress-up party with your sisters. As photographer Magnusson says:“it is clear that the girls—in many cases, young women—are independent, strong, and insightful,” but when you’re in the middle of this environment, it’s may be very hard to step out of it and call bullshit, even if you find it confusing or unfair. As one woman recently said to me:

“Some of those girls are too young to even realize what they are doing. I made a vow like this when I was only 12 and it didn’t quite go as planned. I was guilt-tripped and got really close to being hit when I broke that vow. Virginity doesn’t define your worth and I absolutely hate how many girls buy into the lie that once you’ve lost it, you’re basically used goods. I bought into it and went through some terrible times of anxiety and depression.”

At a recent university screening of my film, another young woman who grew up in this culture shared her story. She’s finally starting to get over feeling dirty and worthless because of sex, and the fact that she was ever made to feel this way is the creepiest thing of all.

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Posted in abstinence, Defining virginity, Double standard, male virginity, Purity Ball, Religion, reproductive rights, Virginity Pledge | Tagged , , , , | 1 Response