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V-Card Diaries: Anna "Because I'm sexually aware of myself, I'm not ashamed of wanting intercourse to be for marriage."

Today we're highlighting Anna from New York, a woman who has decided to abstain till marriage on her own terms. 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'm a 22-year-old female living in New York and I'm starting my senior year of college this fall. I lost my virginity at 20, and I've recently decided to abstain until marriage on my own terms.

How do you define virginity?

For me, first PIV (penis-in-vagina) sex. There are so many gray areas and exceptions that I could never define virginity for anyone else but myself.

Tell us your story:

I've always considered myself sexually aware and discovered masturbation in my early teens. In my second year of college I was brave enough to purchase a vibrator, which made me feel awesome about myself and empowered. I considered my sex life as a virgin very fulfilling and because of that I thought I was ready to have intercourse.

The young man I lost my virginity to was in the same major as me and we both worked at the TV station on campus. Over the course of two weeks I started exploring with him, and to his credit he stopped whenever I wasn't ready to go further. The night I lost my virginity, I was the one who asked to have sex. I was scared and nervous, which I didn't tell him. He thought I was mature and empowered (I was! but also scared and vulnerable) and he didn't think virginity was a big deal to me. The sex was not great or special; I was too nervous to enjoy myself and cried myself to sleep afterwards. I was devastated and was depressed for several months afterwards.

Looking back on it now, I know why I became depressed. A question kept nagging me: "If I am so comfortable with my own sexuality, why was having sex for the first time such a big deal that it broke me emotionally?" Right? I enjoyed my sexuality as a virgin so much and was so satisfied. But bringing another person into the equation was so much less enjoyable - why?

I can tell you now that I was NOT emotionally ready to be intimate with someone else. My ideal of being able to do whatever I pleased sexually fell short of the pressures that society (aka, my peer group) immediately slammed on me. "What?! You lost your virginity to some random guy?" "It wasn't even special?" "He doesn't even want you to be his girlfriend?" Not to mention that I had to hide all of this from my family and friends back home, so what I was originally excited about turned out to be a source of shame and lies. I found myself isolated and heartbroken. It was a really shitty situation.

The silver lining of this is that I learned a lot about what sex and virginity means to me. My "virginity" is long gone, and as far as I'm concerned, good riddance! The most important thing I've learned about myself is that just because I'm sexually aware of myself and feel empowered, I do NOT have to be ashamed of wanting sexual intercourse to be special and important, and reserved for marriage. I've heard a lot of mixed messages telling me otherwise. (If you're a virgin, you should be pure and innocent and non-sexual until marriage. Oh, but that means you're a prude. If you're sexually empowered, you should have sex whenever and with whoever you want. Oh, but that means you're a slut. All of these are lies and myths taught to us by society.)

I hope that my story will reach someone out there and help them feel like they're not alone, and don't have to be ashamed of what sexuality and virginity means to them!