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V-Card Diaries: Will "I feel empowered by my virginity. I have the power to say no to sex."

Today we're highlighting Will, a 26-year-old guy who talks to us about why he ignores the stereotypes around virginity and why he's decided to wait to have intercourse. Check out his own blog here. 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 a 26 year old, white, male, heterosexual, college graduate, who is middle class and a virgin. I would say, for the most part, I am a fairly normal, well adjusted individual.

How do you define virginity? I used to believe that it applied to penetrative sex, unless the kind of sexual act was specified. However, after visiting this site, I see that that definition leaves out people of different sexual orientations. It just depends on the person and the act.

Why did you decide to stay a virgin? Through high school, it was not really a decision. I was not popular and was rather hefty, so I did not date. My mother would have preferred if I had stayed a virgin, and my father didn't really care. While I grew up in a religious household, it didn't feel like virginity was paramount. When I got to college, I dated a girl for the first time, and she was deeply religious. This impacted my view on virginity, and I decided I wanted to stay chaste until marriage.

After that relationship, I dated another girl for a year and a half. We fooled around, but, pardoning the metaphor, never went past second base. This changed after a year, and we moved to oral sex. I had been hesitant to do so, mostly because, due to my wish to wait to have sex, I didn't want to go too far too quick. Near the end of our relationship, she wanted to have penetrative sex. She said that she wanted a commitment.

We were both too young for marriage (she was 20, I was 23), and I think, due to my beliefs, she felt that us having sex would be a good commitment. I was very against this. I was uncomfortable with why she wanted to do it, using sex as a surrogate of sorts for a proposal. I also think it was a way for her to attempt to fix the relationship, which was starting to fail at this point.

I realized after a few failed relationships that marriage was kind of an arbitrary deadline. At the end of the day, I realized that my choice to stay a virgin had nothing to do with my religious beliefs, and far more to do with my self esteem. I feel that if I were to lose my virginity to someone and then the relationship end, it would eat at me. I don't think I would be able to handle the rejection after sharing such an intimate, momentous experience in my life.

As far as virginity goes, you only have one shot. I want it to be with someone with whom that act will build something. I want it to have emotional meaning, not just a chore to be completed in order to be considered an adult. When I lose my virginity, I want it to be with someone who I love, and I want it to be a good, positive experience for the both of us. It really doesn't matter if she is a virgin. It doesn't matter if we are married. It just matters if it is the right time, it is the right person, and that it is part of a lifetime partnership.

How have your partners reacted? When I tell a partner that I am a virgin, it is generally met with surprise. Because of how I look (I've lost a lot of weight since college), I think people just assume I'm sexually active. My partners have, for the most part, respected the choice, and it has not been an issue.

Any general thoughts on virginity in our society? I feel often times in our society, virgins are treated as naive, inexperienced, and religious zealots. It is as if we can't truly know what love is, or what sexual pleasure is like. Most of my good friends know about my virginity, and though it is poked fun at, it is in a positive way. But often, a virgin's opinions can be dismissed in conversations about sex because of their perceived inexperience.

I know that there are a lot of virgins that are ashamed of that aspect of themselves, and I think it's due to the label that our society places on us, and the stereotypes that are held. To quote an earlier poster, my virginity does not define me. It is an aspect of my overall self.

But, to a large degree, I feel empowered by my virginity. I have the power to say no to sex. I've heard some people regret losing their virginity, due to the circumstances of one sort or another (too young, wrong person, etc). But I have the ability to decide when, with who, and what the other circumstances are. I can make it exactly what I want it to be, and that is powerful.