Today we're highlighting 26-year-old Molly, who originally wrote to this blog back in Sept of 2009. At the time she said:
"Since I've figured out that I'm bi, I would love to have sex with someone I actually like, no matter the gender. But I'm still a virgin because I'm really shy, really scared, and I have a hard time getting close to people physically, not even on a sexual level.
It's weird, but you get to the point to where you lie about sex for your friends or smile and nod at their stories, like you know where they're coming from (no pun intended) when you have no idea what's its like. It's expected that you've had sex, and if you haven't, you must be really religious...or have vagina dentata."
She just sent us this follow-up to her story, almost a year later. This may not be a road everyone goes down, but it goes to show again that there is no one right way to 'lose your virginity.'
Tell us about yourself: I am a bisexual 26-year-old female librarian in one of those really big rectangular states in the middle to western part of the United States. I grew up in a less rectangular state, and was pretty standard Christian conservative until I was about 15, with a brief moment of religiosity when I was 22. I'm currently an agnostic, leaning towards atheism, pending further research.
My parents do not discuss sex. I was home-schooled when most kids were taking sex ed in my district, so I read a book about how sex worked, shortly followed by a book on how I should "court" guys with the approval of my father. Luckily for my sister and me, our dad never really enforced courtship.
Being bi, sexual attraction was super complicated, especially in a religious household. I sort of kept all of my attractions under wraps until I hit college which means I didn't mention it or try to think about it. I hit the end of my freshman year by going to England as part of a class and making out with multiple nameless guys. And then there was the years long dry spell of no make outs, no boyfriends, no girlfriends, while I worked on school, and then grad school. That sort of brings us to today.
What is your definition of virginity? Because of my orientation, I think defining sex is the first step. I know a lot of folk are more strict about the definition of sex. For me the definition of sex is two or more people who are making an effort to get each other to orgasm in a consensual situation, and generally nudity is involved. It's maddeningly vague.
Why did you decide to stay a virgin? I signed a virginity pledge (hilariously misspelled) when I was about 13 as a precaution should I start feeling immoral thoughts about boys, because liking girls was just "weird" and not possible. All my friends sort of kept up with the whole, "I will remain a virgin" until marriage at least in theory. When I went to college, I met a group of awesome sex-positive women of all orientations, who, incidentally, all lived on my floor. While I am not in contact with many of them anymore, they were integral in my acknowledgment that I was more than a little bit gay when I was 21.
As to why I decided to stay a virgin: In short, I'm really goal oriented. In my head I had a list of priorities in my life. The priority list was as follows: 1. School. (High school, getting into college, College, Getting into grad school, Grad school) 2. Work 3. Friends 4. ??? 5. Sex So, I went through life checking off my priorities, and sex was just something that kept being put off because I was busy doing other things.
How did you 'lose your virginity?' "Lost" really isn't the right word. I chucked it with great force at the first actual opportunity I had at the ripe old age of 26. Granted, I don't recommend my methods to everyone, because the part of me that likes to be safe will point out that this was a bit of a risk. Flying to a completely different state to meet up with someone you'd never actually met is risky, no matter what. That being said, I had fun, it turned out well, and no one was an axe murderer (always a bonus).
I'm very shy and have a bit of social anxiety, so I tend to communicate with my friends on the internet and have made a few friends that way. One of these internet friends (Let's call him A) who I'd been talking to for quite awhile invited me to visit him and a polyamorous partner of his (female, and I'll call her B) in another state. After much hemming and hawing, I agreed, although to this day I'm not entirely sure why or how I decided to go.
Prior to even making the official trip plans, I had divulged my virginal status to A. I'm not really sure why, considering how much shame I felt about it at the time, but it saved me a very awkward in person conversation, which I'd have probably stuttered through or not had.
I ended up on a plane to this other state for a long weekend where I met A and B at the airport. We hung out that evening, went to museum, had dinner, and went to bed together, where nudity ensued, with yes, two people I had met that day. And thus I lost my gay virginity. It took a couple of days before I had actual penis-in-vagina sex, between false starts and me having a minor panic attack (thanks social anxiety and related to meeting lots of new people all at once) my first full day. I'll be honest, there was awkwardness on my part and occasional pain, but both were pretty temporary.
Overall, the weekend was very fun and I can't think of a better way to do it. My partners in deflowerment really couldn't have been nicer.
Any thoughts about cultural attitudes towards virginity? I feel a certain degree of envy for those who actively choose to remain virgins because in some ways, it's more empowering. There's a choice in the matter. After a while, I felt like I didn't have a choice. It was either be a cat lady or give up swearing, become a Catholic, and join a nunnery. For me, the issue became more and more about how I felt I was unattractive and that while I was willing to have sex, for whatever reason, I was not good enough, which isn't conducive to getting anyone close to your pants.
It's rough. We're all supposed to wait for that one special person to lose it to. Even if we don't stay with that individual, you're supposed to hold out for someone "special." But if you wait too long, you feel shameful about how long it's taken, because there must be something wrong with you. There's no way to win.