Today we're highlighting 22-year-old Julie, who talks to us about LDS sex, life 'outside intercourse,' and what to do if at first you don't succeed. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.
Tell us a little about yourself I'm going on 22 years old. I'm studying Physics and French. I was raised LDS (Mormon), and I still live in Utah. I fall somewhere along the Jack Mormon to agnostic to liberal Christian spectrum. I've had a serious boyfriend since I was 18.
How do you define virginity? My first reaction would be to think of penetrative sex as being the line, but I see good arguments for the line being elsewhere.
Why did you decide to stay a virgin? Well, here in "Zion," sometimes that choice is made for you! (Har har.) In high school, I had absolutely no physical contact with the opposite sex: this came from a combination of studious nerdiness, pre-pubescence, and strict standards for myself. I mean, I hadn't even held hands!
When I went down to Brigham Young University, I hit adolescence (I'm a late bloomer) and went boy-crazy. I made out with my first boyfriend a lot, but with the proscriptions against being in bedrooms and such, we always kept our clothes on. A different boyfriend I was very crazy about had insane amounts of self-control: we would only kiss. The third guy I dated/was engaged to, we went as far as oral sex, but held out a surprisingly long time (a couple of years). The more disaffected I became with the Church, the more I would do.
And, though it's a bit embarrassing, I attempted to lose my virginity completely with the fiancé. Well, truth be told, he is now my ex-fiancé. We had a very sexual relationship, but no, I did not lose my virginity, as I would define that. We attempted to do so, but literally were not successful. (I think there’s definitely a myth out there that once you know the mechanics of sex, it will somehow be easy or a no-brainer in practice! I’m not stupid: I know how to have intercourse in theory: but it simply didn’t happen on the first try.)
That experience was perhaps somewhat disappointing, but not terribly scarring–I was perfectly willing to just “have at it” again. But then we broke up (over completely non-sexual reasons), so I don’t know if I will “wait till marriage” now. I think once you’re engaged to someone, obviously you picture having sex with them and no one else. So, I highly doubt it will “live up to my expectations;” at this point, though, I’m more concerned with the loss of emotional intimacy.
My sexual life outside intercourse per se has been perfectly satisfying. Let’s just say that I have a hard time comprehending these women that have never experienced an orgasm! But I think that comes down to society’s bias against other forms of sexuality.
How have your partners reacted? All of my partners thus far have been LDS, and thus did not want to have sex before marriage. They were just as much virgins as me!
Any general thoughts on virginity in our society? I have a very high sex drive, and I think it's silly that even secularists act like women aren't sensual, are too "tired" all the time, etc., etc. Also, even though I no longer believe in a Prophet telling me when to say "no," that doesn't mean I'm just going to jump in bed with any schmuck, you know? I still believe in standards, just those that are more self-determined at this point.
As far as virginity in the LDS society, I still do think that you should wait to have sex with a person you truly know and love, but that it is a pretty weak/unreliable determiner of your "righteousness." If you constantly tell someone that something is bad, then they'll develop unhealthy complexes, male or female.