Today we're highlighting S.O. from Boston, MA, who discusses a relationship she describes as abusive and manipulative. We thank her for sharing this difficult story. 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 30-year-old female raised in a fairly hick town by fairly Irish-Catholic parents. This upbringing most definitely impacted my experience with sex and sexuality.
How do you define virginity?
I think virginity is a dying concept that will hopefully one day be obsolete. Virginity can't be based solely on penile-vaginal intercourse. There is no way anyone could argue to me that two lesbians in a sexual relationship are virgins. The concept of virginity has been used in damaging ways for way too long. However, at the time that I "lost" (where did it go!?) my virginity in the "male-penetrating-my-genitalia-with-his-genitalia" kind of way, I did think of it as the moment I was no longer a virgin.
Tell us your story:
I was in a (seemingly) fairly healthy and communicative long-term relationship with a boy the end of my junior year of high school and through the first semester of college.
He was the first boy I had any sexual contact with beyond kissing. In a lot of ways, he taught me everything I know about sex, and our experiences inform my sex life even now—in healthy and unhealthy ways. I wasn't interested in him romantically the first time that we kissed. He was a friend and I had a crush on his best friend. However, all of our friends had left for college and I figured, why not, we have to entertain ourselves somehow. Even though I was tentative on many levels, kissing him was fine and compelling. That first day he kissed me, he also fingered me for a minute. It was dry and straight all the way in, all the way out. There was nothing even remotely stimulating about it and I was terrified.
Eventually, we ended up in a comfortable sexual relationship. He took it slow, helped me figure out what I liked, bought me a vibrator (terrifying!), taught me how to use my hands too when I was going down on him. Overall it was fun and interesting and exploratory. I trusted him because he was more experienced and I thought he was in love with me. I don't know if I was ever in love with him.
I didn't have penile-vaginal intercourse with him for about a year. I did "everything else" with him and thought it was fun and playful. But there was always the nagging. He really wanted me to have sex with him. By this time, he was 19 years old and I was 17. He had already had intercourse (apparently with 19 women, I later found out). To him, when you loved someone and you were in a sexual relationship with him or her, there was no reason not to cross that line. To me, it was terrifying. I was raised to believe you would go to hell if you had sex before you were married, not to mention STDs or pregnancy. Already what I was doing was questionable in the eyes of God, my parents and my religious teachers. None of my close peers were having intercourse, so they weren't helpful in providing guidance. My parents would have been horrified if they knew I was even making out with him, so I was incredibly secretive about the entire relationship. I had no one to comfortably talk to about sex except my boyfriend. And all he was saying was "Get over it, let's do it!" from day one.
A year into dating him, on the night of my graduation from high school, it finally happened. I didn't agree to it. We didn't talk about it. I wasn't even sure what was going on. We were just making out one minute, and the next minute, we were having sex. No lube. No condom. No desire. No conversation. The next minute, I was sobbing uncontrollably. He hugged me and held me and told me it was okay. The problem was that once it happened, it became an expectation. The fun and playfulness of other aspects of our sexuality were cut short because it was assumed as soon as we started kissing that we would move on to "real sex." I never once consented to this happening but felt trapped by the situation. There were times I would be lying on my stomach crying and he wouldn't stop. It took looking back and reflecting years later for me to know just how abusive and manipulative the relationship was.
Any thoughts on virginity in our society?
I think virginity is still unnecessarily glorified. Here is the thing: teenagers are having sexual relationships. If I wasn't made to believe it was such a huge deal, I would have been empowered to make better decisions about it, had more people to talk to, and felt comfortable with the entire concept. The idea of waiting until you are married is silly and outdated. What an awkward and unpleasant honeymoon. Virginity is a way to control women's sexuality and desires through societal norms. You can't give it away. You can't lose it. It doesn't matter. You just need to do what is right for you and take care of yourself. Everything else is nonsense.
Want to tell your story? Go to our submission page.