Confession: Although I think of myself as an intentional virgin, that description is only partly true. While I am currently a virgin by choice, in the past, my virginity remained intact solely by lucky circumstance. But what do I even mean by “virgin(ity)” anyway?
At this point in my life, I have decided to save penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex for marriage, but I am exceedingly comfortable enjoying a full range of other sexual activities with my boyfriend. I realize not everyone might classify me as a virgin, but frankly, I really don't care what they think. I'm a technical virgin, I'm fine with that, my boyfriend is fine with that, and our non-sex sex life is hot. I've always believed that sex is a personal choice and that abstinence is as well. So what am I doing blogging about what happens behind closed doors?
Since graduating high school, it has become less and less “cool” or even “respectable” to be a virgin. Especially after I finished university (and subsequently moved out of the South), I've been surprised to discover the stereotypes that continue to persist regarding virgins.
Confession: I'm not a freak of nature. Shocking, I know.
I am complicated, though, (a walking paradigm, if you will) and the whole “waiting for marriage” thing is part of that.
I do not believe that premarital sex is a sin, and I have not believed that ever since I took Feminist Biblical Interpretation to fulfill the final requirement for my concentration in Women's and Gender Studies.
Yet, when I think of making love for the first time, scripture is the first thought that comes to mind.
'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10: 7-9, New Revised Standard Version.
(And, yeah, I get that this is totally heteronormative, but since I'm currently a woman in love with a man, it works for me, okay?)
I do believe that sexual chemistry is a necessary aspect of a healthy relationship, hence my decision to be intimate with my boyfriend. But for me, physical intimacy comes with emotional intimacy. Yes, I've made out with more than my fair share of people, sometimes even nameless men in Parisian nightclubs. But for me to be comfortable revealing my body to a man, to allow him to see me completely unclothed, to be flushed with arousal at his touch—it's a whole new experience for me, one that I have only shared with my boyfriend. I opened myself up to him; I expressed a new level of vulnerability I didn't even know I had within me.
He's responded with both tenderness and passion, respect and desire, every step of the way. I was comfortable revealing my body to him early on, but it took months of loving patience and gentle persuasion on his behalf before I was ready to see him unclothed. He's the first—and only—man I've seen naked. (Aside from a few arty French films, of course).
I've taken this risk of vulnerability because we love each other and we're committed to a future together. The future is this wondrous, unpredictable place where anything can happen... But “anything” is not always as we imagine it to be. The future still holds some pretty big unknown variables, and we're both logical enough to realize our paths might diverge.
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
I want this. I desire my boyfriend more than I have ever desired any man before. For the first time in my life, I fervently want to have him inside me, to gift my boyfriend with my virginity, to make love for the first time.
My sexual desire is strong, but my emotional one is stronger. I desire to share that experience with only one man in my life, my husband. And as much as I want and hope that life carries my boyfriend and me along that path, I can only be certain of marital unity once we say “I do.”
Until that day arrives, I will satiate my passion on my own terms, while still remaining a proud and intentional virgin.
Belle Vierge is a post-grad francophone southern sorority girl au pairing in the Northeast for a year, falling in love over and over every day with her long-distance boyfriend, fighting sexism one chauvinist at a time, figuring out her relationship with God and tweeting/blogging incessantly @bellevierge and Confessions of a Virgin.