Today we're highlighting Alexa, a 23 year old woman from Australia, who believes that choosing a partner carefully is just as important as losing your virginity. 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 23 year old University student from Australia.
How do you define virginity?
I think virginity in terms of a girl's hymen is just a thing–I probably lost mine at 8 or 9 when I started to horse ride. I think virginity in terms of sex is the moment you have sex with someone and you realise that you feel really comfortable with them and you're not being self-conscious about how you look, how much noise you're making, what he's thinking, etc. It's the divide between not knowing yourself and knowing yourself, if that makes sense.
Tell us your story:
I had been talking to my sister and realised that I didn't want to still be a virgin when I was 25, so when I finally got my first boyfriend at 21 I decided that sex was on the cards. About three months into our relationship he looked at me like I was an alien when I told him I was still a virgin.
Then, when we finally did get around to having sex, it was extremely painful for me and I asked him to stop. The relationship from then revolved around him asking for sex and me being extremely reluctant because sex with him was unpleasant and I always felt pressured to have sex with him even when I didn't necessarily want it. Eventually we had a massive argument because he thought I should just 'get over it' and, to steal a phrase from another one of your 'First Person' stories, I basically told him that it was my vagina and he could go screw himself.
So on the whole I probably should have waited a little longer and chosen my partner more carefully. I didn't think my partner would be an issue–after all, all boys have penises, right, and there's only so many things you can do with it–but I realise now that my virginity wasn't necessarily about having sexual intercourse for the first time but about having some sort of meaningful intimacy with a partner, regardless of what sort of relationship you have with them outside of that moment.
Having had a .... disappointing first sexual encounter isn't a barrier though. I am, and have always been, extremely happy to talk about sex with my friends. I am not shy with my viewpoints and I have a very active solo sex life that has definitely given me the time to find out what I want, what I like and what I don't. I haven't been hanging out for a new man waiting to sweep me up and make sweet, passionate love to me because frankly that's unrealistic (unlike other female members of my extended family who are extremely religious and are always telling me to "grab" a man because I'm not going to be young and pretty forever, you know).
I also don't necessarily believe that being in a committed relationship is the only way to have sex. I recently had the best sex of my life with someone I'd only known for a week. It's not going to develop into anything further but that doesn't lessen the fact that I had a very meaningful sexual relationship with him. And all of this is stuff I wouldn't necessarily have concluded if I hadn't had my experiences with my first boyfriend.