Today we're highlighting 21-year-old RG. She shares for the first time her story of sexual molestation at the age of 12, and her struggle to reconcile her past sexual experiences, her faith and what she wants out of life. We're grateful for her honesty and courage. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Tell us about yourself: I am 21 years old, ethnically Latina, culturally mostly American with some very traditional family values. I am currently in my senior year of college, and superbly confused about how to do what I want with my life. I grew up the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor (yeah, I know I should be Catholic) and I currently attend a nondenominational church where I have strengthened my faith in God, and simultaneously lowered my moral standards. Contradictory eh?
How do you define virginity? I guess for most people that would be vaginal sex. If I was normal, I think that would be my answer anyway. The way I define my virginity is by who I want to remember having sex with for the first time. Therefore, I have decided that I am a virgin.
Why did you decide to stay a virgin? I guess in the technical sense of the word, I’m not one. I was molested when I was 12 and 13 by a man who was like my grandfather. I was obviously terrified of the whole experience, and while I knew what he was doing to me was wrong, I didn’t know what to do or how to tell. Everything sort of escalated to the night he raped me, and that was my breaking point. I broke down and told my mom, yet I have never ever told anyone that I was raped, not until now anyways. I was so ashamed that I allowed it to continue, even though I was of an age that I should have known better. I obviously don’t blame myself now, but I did then. After that I went on a downward spiral of alcohol and oral sex with older boys until I was about 16.
I obviously was raised pretty conservatively, and so I made a True Love Waits commitment when I was 16, and I sort of straightened myself out. I really stuck to my commitment until recently, as I realized that at 21, I have no intentions of getting married anytime soon, and I simply don’t think I can wait that long to have sex. I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that I’ll have sex when I want to. I’m not sure I believe in all this “the right person” business, but I just think that if I’ve been dating someone and I want to, I will. The last few guys I’ve dated weren’t the greatest, and I couldn’t imagine myself having sex with them. (No joke, the last one had the most obnoxious country accent ever. The way he said my name made me wince.)
How have your partners reacted? Well, the only guy I ever tried to have sex with was when I was 15, pre-True Love Waits commitment. He was 19 and quite possibly the hottest guy I’ve ever dated or come close to dating. Our relationship lasted about 5 months, and we did every sort of sexual activity imaginable until it built up to actual sex. I thought I was ready, but once I was down to my underwear I just started crying uncontrollably. I was so upset with myself, but he was really nice about it. He held me until I stopped crying and I think he sort of guessed what had happened although he never said anything. We broke up after that, not because I didn’t have sex with him, but because I was sort of embarrassed not only about what happened, but that he also knew my secret essentially.
The other guys I dated were post-True Love Waits, and so I purposefully chose guys who had made the same commitment, so it wouldn’t be so awkward. Not until college did I date another non-Christian boy, and so it was a little awkward having to bring it up. Most guys didn’t seem to care as they were fairly inexperienced as well. Only one guy seemed surprised, mostly because we had engaged in oral sex (a LOT of oral sex) before we even started dating. He figured I was waiting to have sex until we became official, not until I was married.
The next partner I have I would like to not really say anything. I feel like I’m lying a little bit, and unless we actually get to the sex part I don’t think its really all that necessary.
Any general thoughts on virginity in our society? I feel like virginity is so overemphasized in Christianity that it’s annoying. Who really thinks that in an age where people are getting married later, and later that anyone will actually wait until they’re 25, 35, 40? That is just unfair and biologically contradicting. If I was getting married now it would be no problem, but I can’t see myself turning 22 without giving in to temptation. I’m over the religious guilt because it’s not realistic.
Overall in society I think virginity isn’t seen as a good thing. For the most part I was the odd one out of having sex. Out of my 6 closest friends, only 2 have not had sex and its only because they have never had the opportunity. (Neither one has had a boyfriend.) I think we should as a society teach how to make the best decision for yourself, not an end all be all for everyone. At the end of the day its your body and your life – do what you want.