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V-Card Diaries: Alexandra "Being a virgin makes me feel like a freak, different, inexperienced, like a child"

Today we're highlighting Alexandra from Australia, who resents the stigma of what she feels is her sexual inexperience. 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:

My name is Alexandra and I'm a (newly) 20 year old university student from Australia. I love traveling, and the thought of setting off into the great unknown with nothing but unbridled exhilaration and a backpack. I am agnostic. I have never had a boyfriend. I am a virgin.

How do you define virginity?

In keeping with the ideas of the society in which I have grown up, I would define "virginity", in a traditional sense, as penetrative (penis-in-vagina) sex. Where I live, having had sexual experience other than penetrative sex is pretty much seen as redundant if you haven't actually "done the deed". Most girls - and guys - I know probably lost their virginity at around the age of 16/17. To be any older and a virgin is seen as atypical and "weird".

Tell us your story

Until two years ago, I had never really considered my virginity, or the fact that I'd had no sexual experience other than making-out. It just hadn't bothered me. But then I turned 18 and it became a "thing", and suddenly EVERYONE had done it except for me.

Being a 20 year old who has not engaged in penetrative sex is, for me, a source of shame. I think about it constantly. I am terrified people will find out. Although I have given and received oral sex, been fingered by a guy and have generally been in touch with my own sexuality since a young age, I still feel terribly inexperienced. It's become a cycle - I'm too scared to go further with guys for fear they will realise I'm a virgin and be disgusted. It makes me feel like a freak; different from my friends, inexperienced, like a child. Especially seeing as last year I traveled Europe and STILL managed to return, to the disappointment of my friends, chaste.

I never wanted to be an older virgin, and I have had opportunities to lose it, but these were casual sex situations with people I'd only just met. I'm a deeply emotional person (with extremely low self confidence at times) and feel like I need to be with someone who I've at least met more than once. I'm getting to the stage now though that I don't really care who I lose it with/to, especially after finding out that my sister (younger by 3 years) just lost hers.

The thing that bothers me most about being a virgin is the stigma that is attached to it (specifically where I live), and how this serves to reinforce individual insecurities. To me, finding and falling in love is something I want and care about SO much more. I wish I could feel liberated by my difference; instead I feel oppressed.