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Older virgins

Ask Trixie: Is it morally wrong for me to have sex with a married woman so I can lose my virginity?

Trixie - I am a 38 year old male virgin. I've had life long issues with shyness, social anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder. It has been a long, weird road. I've never had a relationship or even a fling. The most I've done is kissed. I am socially awkward and it is just really difficult for me to connect with women.

I got tired and decided to (finally!) take action to try to avoid become a 40 year old V-bomb. So I posted an ad to Craigslist (before they shut down the personals forever) explaining my situation. I got mostly bots, but one real reply. We chatted for a bit. She is understanding, doesn't mind my situation, is patient, we click conversationally, in terms of humor and more. The only hang up.......she is married. She says she is in a now-unphysical marriage, and has made a clear decision to seek out something to fulfill this part of herself before the idea finally passes over based on age and all. If not with me, it will be with someone else, that has been made clear, not that that excuses me from potential moral hang ups.

So basically I have before me someone who is patient and understanding about my quite late virginity, desirous to 'teach me', and I click with on several personality points. But there is a hang up. I don't really want to be involved with a married woman. I feel like I'm crossing a line of morality. But maybe it's overactive 'moral' lines that have got me into this predicament to begin with. Maybe I just finally have to let go of socially implanted hangups. Or maybe I have to not think of someone else's wife as a random girl to get off with.

I am lost. I want to move past this eternal hump and have sex and love, so I can get some experience and confidence and thereafter have a normal dating life and try to find something real. But I don't want to, after waiting 38 years, just flippantly be an absolute a-hole and spit on 3 separate hearts. Am I overmoralizing by not going for it, or being selfish by going for it. I feel I know your answer ahead of time, but is that based on socially implanted constructs, or real lines that should be respected?

I feel on some levels that, at 38, this might really be my final chance to get some confidence that I can then bring to the world.  –Lost.

Hi Lost! 

It's taken me a bit of time to respond, and perhaps you've made a decision since you wrote me, but if you haven't I'll weigh in with my two cents. Which is...I can't really tell you what to do. I can maybe give you a few things to consider, though.

Some marriages are not monogamous, and the partners have worked out a mutually agreed upon set of rules or guidelines about how and with whom they can have sex. So, you might want to ask her what the understanding is with her husband, considering she's telling you her marriage is sexless. 

Now, If she is doing this without his knowledge, it is totally her choice and she may well find another partner to have sex with if it doesn't work with you. I think you may give yourself too much power in this scenario to 'spit on hearts' and be a homewrecker. So, take a step back. You would not be the first person to have sex with a married person, and certainly not the last. In fact, I think you have a lot of company. Not that it excuses it, but it's also not that rare.

Finally, becoming a sexual person is NOT about one night with one woman. It's about a lifetime of learning and discovery, getting more comfortable with yourself and your partners, creating relationships (short of long term). So that one night might be great an help you get over the hump, so to speak. But then again, it might not.

If it personally bothers you to be in a relationship with a married woman, keep looking for another partner. If you think it will truly help get you on the road to having a healthy relationship with someone who is single and available, it might be worth it for you to do it. Just make sure you are both going into it with the same understanding and expectations of the situation. The really crappy thing would be for you two to have different expectations of what this means and what you want to get out of it. Be on the same page.

So, I can't tell you what to do, but hopefully this gives you a path to think about it. Good luck, and let me know what you decide.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Lucy "Even though I've been masturbating since my early teens, I've never actually orgasmed. Am I missing much?"

Writing from: The USA

Age: Late teens

How I define Virginity: Never engaging in physically intimate and consensual contact with a trusted individual(s)

My definition of virginity has changed so much recently. I used to think a person could do everything but PiV and still consider themselves virgins, but that's kind of changing.

I'm 19, 86%-hetero-female, and I've been with my (first) boyfriend for almost 2 months. I never dated in High School and honestly didn't expect to find someone even here at college. Although I consider myself an outgoing person and I've reached bro-status with many of my guy friends, I've always been awkward around/about boys I like.

My boyfriend was my first kiss and he is a really great guy. He's had a little more relationship experience than me, but we're both still "virgins" (in the widely accepted penis-in-vagina sense of the word). Recently we've done more hands stuff and its been great. We're both inexperienced, but learning together. I've gotten him off a few times now; however, he's "failed" to do the same. Even though I've been masturbating since my early teens, I've never actually orgasmed. Am I missing much? Am I abnormal for not "getting there?" I don't really care if I don't get there, but should I?

Note from Trixie: One of the main reasons people have any kind of sex is because it gives them pleasure–and orgasm is certainly high on the list of pleasurable sensations. So, yes, you might be missing much if you've never orgasmed! If you're near a lady-friendly sex shop like Good Vibrations, Babeland or Early To Bed, we'd suggest you drop by and talk to them about a toy or technique that might help, either for you to try alone or with your boyfriend. I realize that may be mortifyingly embarrassing, but they are orgasm professionals and would love to help : ) There are also lots of websites that can help, like Betty Dodson, the queen of masturbation. Good luck!

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Find The V-Card Diaries here on most Wednesdays.

V-Card Diaries: Sarah "I always thought I'd save my first time for my wedding night. I also always thought I'd get married in my early twenties"

Writing from: Knoxville, TN

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: For straight people, a virgin is someone who has never has penetrative penile-vaginal sex.

I always thought I'd save my first time for my wedding night. I also always thought I'd get married in my early twenties. I was engaged once to a guy (with whom I fooled around A LOT and did pretty much everything other than P in the V with) but he couldn't keep up with me and I decided to break up with him.

Now I feel like a totally different person. I'm very career-oriented now, and I consider myself a feminist (I used to think that was a dirty word). I'm only interested in casual relationships because I don't want anyone to slow me down. But now that so much has changed, I'm finding my attitudes toward sex are changing, too.

I'm 23, and I feel like I'm in virginity limbo. I'm dating a nice guy right now who is fairly experienced. I feel comfortable with him, and I like his sweetness and his sense of humor. I think I want to lose my virginity to him, but I'm a little nervous. I think it's time. I don't want to turn 24 still a virgin.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Find The V-Card Diaries here on most Wednesdays.

V-Card Diaries: Emily Dickingson "Is there anyone that could love me for me enough that my extreme involuntary virgin status wouldn't turn him off?"

Writing from: Cleveland, Ohio

Age: Late 30s

How I define virginity: My definition seems to align w/society's definition: not having engaged in sexual intercourse of the baby-making variety.

But really, MY definition of virginity for myself is MUCH broader and encompasses many more issues. I read an article in Psychology Today that was a review of research on involuntary sexual virgins, and I very closely identified with what the research describes: adults who are virgins not of their own choosing.

The research studies showed that for involuntary virgins, there were often signs of this fate far back in childhood. Here, the author of the article highlights some of the "tells" of eventual involuntary adult virgins: children who are isolated, have a hard time making friends, are made fun of by their peers, children who feel strongly socially awkward and therefore prefer to play alone.

All of these descriptors applied to me. As such, I never was asked to a school dance, or asked to dance, or asked out on a date. I've never been on a date. I have never been kissed. Forget rounding the bases, I've never even been invited to the game. I have zip-zero-nada experience with anything related to love or romance or flirting or dating or sex.

I am very lonely, and I crave companionship. I yearn for a sexual partner, but only if we are in love with each other. Sex with strangers just for the sex frightens me; I'm scared of all the ways it would go wrong because of my lack of knowledge or experience. On the other hand, sex with someone I love and who loves me is also scary because of all the pressure that would be put on both of us. Is there anyone that could love me for me? Love me enough that my extreme involuntary virgin status wouldn't turn him off?

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Find The V-Card Diaries here on most Wednesdays.

V-Card Diaries: Felicity "I'm carrying a very heavy weight on my shoulders. Being a virgin at 21 is a very hard job"

Writing from: Yola, Nigeria

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: A state whereby one has not had any sexual intercourse

I grew up as the only girl at home so when i saw boys i thought of them as my friends or my brothers. on my final year at high school i met this really hot guy and i fell in love with him so we dated for six months then he cheated on me. i felt so stupid and i kept asking my myself how could i not see that this guy was just looking for a rebound coz he was very hot and definitely out of my league.

so enough about him. after that big heartbreak i never wanted to trust guys anymore and now i'm doing my second year in college and there is this guy i like very much. i feel like i'm carrying a very heavy weight on my shoulders and i don't know how to handle it anymore. being a virgin at 21 is a very hard job and i ain't enjoying it. everytime my peers talk about sex i just feel uncomfortable and its only a few of them who know my state.

i tell myself that i'm still a virgin because i wanna meet my Mr right and get married first but i'm not sure if that's really the case. i don't even date anymore because i'm afraid that i won't be sexually available to the guy and i know that most guys are just about sex.

i really don't know what to do and i don't have anyone to talk to. will i be single for the rest of my life? that scares the crap out of me. But all in all I choose God before anyone else, and i know He won't let me down.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Find The V-Card Diaries here on most Wednesdays.

Ask Trixie: I find myself wanting to have sex but I don't want to sleep with the first guy that I meet just to relieve myself

I'm so glad I ran into your blog. First, I should start this by saying I am a feminist. I believe in a woman's agency ranging from her wanting to be a prostitute or a lawyer. Because of my cultural background (being Haitian), when I came to the US, I was very secluded from the American culture. My parents were over protective and in many ways this caused me to be a late bloomer. I've never been in a relationship and it wasn't until I turned 21 that I had my first kiss/sexual experience. At that point, I was tired of waiting for this "man" that was supposed to be the one and decided to be pro-active in my sexual life.

Now two years later, I find myself wanting to have sex. My dilemma is, I was always taught that my first time should be "special"- with a man I am in a relationship with and that I am in love with. Yet that is not the case for me. I've thought about this and I don't believe in waiting for this man but I don't want to go sleep with the first guy that I meet on the street just to relieve myself. So, I feel confused. What do I do?

I recently found this person that I'm really attracted to at work. He is definitely interested in me sexually but I'm nervous to tell him my situation. Let's not even add my reservation with being involved with someone from work!

I should add that I do NOT want a relationship with him. I just want to explore myself sexually but I worry that I am just so far in with losing my virginity that I am not seeing the risks in pursuing this relationship with this co-worker. Another worry is that I will not be able to handle this type of relationship with this young man if we o engage in sexual intercourse as he has no idea I'm a virgin.

I do feel as if I'm over analyzing this but I really need a fresh feminist perspective on this. Please, PLEASE offer me some advice. –Anne

Hi Anne!

First of all, congratulations on deciding to be pro-active with your sexual life, and that this is coming from what you yourself want and need. It sounds like you're ready for sex and want to have sex and are trying to figure out the best way to do it in the near future. So I'm here to help you with that goal.

First, let's demystify sex a bit. You write that at 21 you had your first sexual experience, so congratulations, you've already had sex! Does that take the pressure off? No? OK, I'm going to assume that what you haven't done–and at 23 are ready to do–is intercourse.

I was in exactly the same situation as you at 23 and the weight of waiting was overwhelming. I ended up having sex for the first time with a guy I had dated a couple of times. He made his moves, assuming I was an experienced woman-about-town, then figured out his mistake as soon as he discovered my utter lack of skills. We did it anyway, and you won't be surprised to hear that it was very anti-climactic and super-duper awkward. It was very helpful for me, though, because it blew away the mystique and stigma, and that was very liberating.

So, if you're raring to be liberated as well, it's on to the next challenge: Where do you find a lucky gentleman?

I won't lie. If all a woman wants to do is have sex, it's not that hard to find it. But I agree a random dude on the street isn't a good idea for so many reasons. The thing is, doing it with a co-worker may not be a really great idea, either. Are you in a big corporation where you'd hardly see him, or is it an intimate office where you'll keep bumping into each other by the Nespresso machine? Are you cool with him talking about you in intimate detail with other co-workers or hearing about his other liaisons? If none of that bothers you, go for it. Otherwise, wait for someone else to come along at a party, on a trip, or after some casual dating. All safety rules and common sense apply, naturally, so please don't do anything that feels unsafe or that makes you really uncomfortable. Trust me, there are lots of options out there.

You can also take it slower and not dive in all at once. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that if the first time is a little awkward, messy or otherwise not what you always dreamed of, that's pretty par for the course. Far more important is the long sexual life you will likely have. The beauty of it is the more sex you have the better it will be–and the better you will be at it. Go forth and start somewhere and let us know how it goes.

You might also want to read how other women handled a similar situation: MMRelena and Ferrette, and also you can use our search filters to find a lot of similar stories on our The V-Card Diaries site.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Flowah Bomb "My story is more of a series of questions because I feel lost"

My definition of virginity:  

Something you hold on to and don't want to let got but if and when you hold in to it for too long you don't know how to let go

Here's my story:

My story is more of a series of questions because I feel lost. I considered myself a virgin since I never had vaginal intercourse, but what about oral sex and does masturbation count? Does that count on the virgin not to do list?

I am 24 going on 25 and I have come close to losing my virginity once but I stopped it because I felt it was not my time yet, like a fruit not ready to be picked just yet, so I stopped the events. Now I feel as thought I did lose my virginity that night. As he has a part of me that I can never get back.

Most people do tie their identities with their virginity and I, unfortunately am one of them. I don't know how to be with someone and my fear is that I won't ever get it. I fear I won't know how to define myself if I lose my virginity. Everyone around me has "lost it" but I am terrified of losing it and wanting it back. Thank you for your time.

Hopefully I will get some answer to these questions and all the others I have one way or another.


Note from Therese: We talk a lot about how to (and if to) define virginity on this blog. If anyone has any thoughts or answers for Flowah Bomb, please leave them in the comments below. 

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

 

 

 

Our valentine's gift to you: a month of quotes & graphics from the V-Card Diaries on sex & virginity

Every year, we do an outreach project around Valentine's Day inspired by our documentary How To Lose Your Virginity. This year, in keeping with the themes of the film, we're pushing back against standard narratives about sex, virginity and relationships (with their implied judgement of anyone who's not conforming) to show how diverse experiences around sexuality and relationships can be. 

All through the month of February (V-Month!), we're posting a graphic a day created by Trixie Films interns Bree and Sally. Incorporating quotes from stories submitted to our interactive project The V-Card Diaries, they've created 29 striking graphics. The quotes are about having sex, not having sex, being queer, being asexual, rejecting the virginity construct, and more.

You can see the full set on Tumblr, and they're also showing up on Facebook and Twitter throughout the month of February. 

Here are some ways you can be a part of this project:

See the full and growing set of graphics here along with selected V-Card Diaries stories.

Submit your own graphics and quotes on tumblr or email them to us and we'll post them.

Share your own anonymous story at The V-Card Diaries.

Read all The V-Card Diaries stories here.

Repost and amplify this project, especially if your work speaks to young women and men.  

In case you're not familiar with The V-Card Diaries, it's our crowd-sourced interactive story-sharing site where everyone can access and share diverse stories about sexuality and virginity in total anonymity. With almost 400 stories and counting, the project tells a collective story about becoming sexual–and the radical act of speaking honestly about it. The project, which as exhibited at the Kinsey Institute, is a companion piece to our documentary How To Lose Your Virginity, which examines how our sexual culture affects young people's lives.

If you'd like to write about this project, our V-Month graphics project, contact us!

Only Connect...

The other day I was re-reading our V-Card Diaries stories, and I was reminded that people who have never had sex are sometimes dealing with personal issues that go beyond the lack of physical experience. So I was struck by this excerpt from Vivian Gornick's New York Times essay on British author E. M. Forster, author of Howards End, as well as A Room With A View, A Passage to India, and Maurice:

Forster was 31 years old when “Howards End” appeared, at which time he was a closeted homosexual and a virgin who knew nothing of how erotic relations worked — with any combination of partners. His ignorance weighed on him, and in his imagination sex achieved a mythical power that became symbolic of all in human existence that one could feel but not express, imagine but not realize. His fearfulness was such that until now he had known neither passion nor love; what he did know was yearning. This yearning energized his work but also limited it. In time he lost his virginity, but sex alone did not provide experience. Anxiety — that frozen sea within — still made it impossible for him to dive deep into the kind of desire that leads to self-knowledge; and without self-knowledge all remains murk and isolation.

V-Card Diaries: Allison "I started developing a positive body image, but my boost in strength and confidence has spilled over into every part of my life"

Age range: Late 20s
Location: United States of America
My definition of virginity: A concept used to describe the fact that someone has not granted sexual contact to someone else

This is actually my second time submitting to the V-Card Diaries. I sent in my story four years ago but wanted to come back and tell you about how I "lost" my virginity because I am having thoughts and this seemed a good place to share them.

I made it to age 28 without ever having sex with anyone (and to 27 without kissing anyone, for good measure). My virginity wasn't "kept" or "guarded," I put no effort into maintaining it, nor did I put any effort into finding someone to eradicate it, so to speak. As I explained to one potential suitor who was making sure I wasn't a secret fundamentalist, I just hadn't found a dude that I liked and trusted enough to which he responded, "fair enough, most of us are pretty terrible." And to be honest, getting laid for the first time didn't take a tremendous amount of effort. What DID take a lot of effort, almost two years of it, was changing my relationship with my body enough to get to the point where I wanted to share it with someone else.

And that's where my virginity story really starts - with the fact that I didn't have any kind of understanding of or respect for my own body for a lot of my life. Some of that is due to some wacky physiology, a larger-than-average amount of my childhood spent in medical waiting rooms, but most of it was bound up in being obese and subconsciously believing myself to be less valuable and beautiful because of it. I didn't date in high school, in college, in grad school because I couldn't imagine anyone (any man) finding me attractive. I was afraid of being rejected and humiliated by dating partners because of my size so I didn't have any dating partners. 

I admitted that I needed help. I started developing a positive body image (in the main, I still have my insecurities). I knew that I would be healthier because of this attitude adjustment, but my boost in strength and confidence has spilled over into every part of my life. And I decided to start dating because the whole process showed me how futile it is to assume that I'll be bad at something or won't find it enjoyable when I've never tried it. 

I fell in love with someone who was never going to love me back. We didn't even date, we were just "hanging out." He would come over sometimes in the evenings and he was the first person to grab me by the waist and bring his face to mine and spend the night in my bed and his attention felt like a drug in my bloodstream. I asked him if my virginity mattered and he asked if it mattered to me and I said it didn't so he also said it didn't and it made me so happy. But I think it did. It mattered enough for him to break my heart mere days after he slept over. He just knew enough to know not to say it freaked him out. He was so very serious every time we were alone together; I think because he knew that everything we did was a milestone for me, he wanted it to all be perfect. He is not the first man I had sex with.

I am not in love with the first man I had sex with, but I am in love with how I had sex for the first time and I'm glad it was with him. He made it easy to have sex with him. It's not that he wasn't surprised by my revelation, and he didn't say it didn't matter (I didn't ask him), but he just didn't act like he particularly cared. He was thoughtful and communicative and made sure I was okay during and after, which are all things I would require of any partner whether it was our first time or our fiftieth or our five-hundreth. I don't mean to make it sound like a fairy tale -- it wasn't all that romantic or passionate and he snored -- but it was fun and light-hearted and the sun was shining and I felt good about it. I don't know what else I could ask for from a first time, especially one that was such a long time coming (pun unintended.)

Having sex, positive experience though it was, hasn't made me a different person, it hasn't changed anything about my relationship with this guy or my feelings about him. It's just a thing that has happened now, it's just one of several new ways I have learned to use and appreciate my body. I know not every woman gets to say that and that I am very lucky, but maybe if people keep making films like "How to Lose Your Virginity" it can be that simple for future generations.

Read more tales of sexual debuts and deferrals at The V-Card Diaries

V-Card Diaries: David "if you're constantly the new kid, being accepted and making friends was like pissing in the wind"

A little about myself: 

I'm a 20-year-old college student living in the United States. I grew up in a military family, so I spent majority of my life as a nomad, moving around from place to place. I'm majoring in political science.

How I define virginity: 

Someone who has had no sexual contact, whether it be with the opposite or same sex

Here's my story: 

Well, growing up in a military family, I moved around a ton. Every 1-2 years I was somewhere else. This has been a fact of life for me since the cradle.

However, it has made making and keeping friends damn near impossible, let alone finding an intimate partner, This was especially true in high school, if you're constantly the new kid, being accepted and making friends was like pissing in the wind. This didn't really become a problem until I entered college. Everyone had already laid down the foundations of forming relationships, whether they be friendships or more intimate or serious ones.

The loneliness is starting to become a burden and a problem and I'd really like it to end. I'm 20 years old and have yet to have any intimate or affectionate contact with a female. It's depressing and makes me feel as if there's something wrong with me and as if nobody wants me. I haven't spoken to anyone about it, mostly because it's embarrassing and because nobody would really understand anyways because they've never been in my shoes.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

V-Card Diaries: Sharon "I was (and am) very attractive and it makes me a little sad that I didn't get out there and find out"

A little about myself:

I'm British, was born in Germany, live in Scotland. I'm 51 and a speech and language therapist

How I define virginity:

I used to think it was penetrative sex, but recent reading makes me think it is a series of states, the first time you are touched, the first time you touch etc

Here's my story:

I was a very shy girl. My sisters were and are gorgeous and I felt eclipsed. I was plump and I was convinced that nobody would be interested, so I stayed at home........I used to iron my sister's clothes for her nights out!

But i was sexual, I had strong sexual feelings, I yearned, I fantasied, I masturbated and I stayed at home, totally convinced of my lack of attraction.

When I was 20 I was a very bad au pair in Germany, I lost my job and went to stay with family friends. I had an almighty crush on the husband and this resulted in having my very first kiss and sexual experience. We got naked a couple of times, he went down on me, (I nearly had a heart attack......but it felt fantastic). I was terrified, but very excited.............such an unsuitable man and situation.

I then yearned and replayed all of this for about 18 years, no sexual contact with anybody, nothing at all.

I'm now in my very late 30's, working in the Hebrides. I meet a man at a Ceilidh dance, he is interesting and funny and I fancy him. My friend and I go back to his house, I make it really clear that I fancy him............we end up kissing and I send the night, we do lots of extremely enjoyable things, but we don't have sex. I have a major crush on him, we hang out a lot, but no fun as he wants to be friends.

I go to Moscow on holiday, meet a sweet Scottish guy, who makes it very clear he fancies me, The attraction is mutual and we go back to his hotel room where we ALMOST have sex...............another enjoyable experience.

Still in the Hebrides, I'm at a dance, a man (Alec) crosses the dance floor to chat me up. Initially I'm not interested, but he is quirky and sexy and makes it clear that he finds me attractive. We have a kiss outside the dance..............I really like him.

I send flirty texts, which he responds to. I get an invitation to his house, he is high, funny, sexy and horny. We do lots of lovely things, (the man REALLY enjoys giving oral sex), but he is unavailable and taken. 

Now I'm 40, nearly 41 and I decide that I CAN NOT end the year as a virgin. I get back in touch with Alec, arrange to see him at his house. We sit at the kitchen table and drink tea, I am shaking when I kiss him and ask if we can go to bed. We go to bed, get naked and this is when I say i'm a virgin, Alec asks me why I took so long. We have sex twice, he was funny, kind , gentle and takes his time. It's all a bit of a blur, I remember it hurting, (I bled like a Scilian bride, which pleased me inordinately), but the touching kissing, oral etc was lovely.

As I said, Alec was unavailable, so it was a one night thing, but I got to choose who was the first based on mutual attraction and my steely determination that this was going to happen.
It didn't kick start sustained sexual exploration.................when I turned 50 I decided to pursue a decent sex life, because I do like having sex, my experiences have been uneven and I still feel unfufilled. 

I want to have fun finding out about it before it's all too late. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, looking back I can see that I was, (and am) very attractive and it makes me a little sad that I didn't get out there and find out.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

"How To Lose Your Virginity" Is Now Streaming On Demand In The US & Canada + More Breaking News From Trixie Films

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You can now stream "How To Lose Your Virginity" in the US, Canada and beyond

Want to watch the film tonight? Now you can stream the film on your computer or other device with the magic of the internet. Let us know where you're watching from and we'll take you to the right Video On Demand page.
 
US & Canada
International
Psst: You can also stream I Was A Teenage Feminist (outside the US & Canada) and How I Learned to Speak Turkish (everywhere!).
Please respect our copyright. Streaming is licensed for personal home viewing with family and friends only. You need a different license to screen, loan or broadcast for educational or commercial purposes. Find resources for educators here. Or use this form and we'll help you get exactly what you need.
Get a first look at our new and improved "V-Card Diaries" project

The V-Card Diaries is our popular crowd-sourced interactive story-sharing site where anyone can anonymously access and share stories about becoming sexual. Working with fabulous developer Roopa Vasudevan, we've updated it, making it easier to use and easier to search. We have almost 400 stories (and counting) on the site. Please check it out and add your own!

We're so proud of The V-Card Diaries, which was on exhibit at The Kinsey Institute, and has been used as ethnographic data in college Human Sexuality courses. 

New Project: "Second Puberty," a Sex Ed film about HRT for the Trans Community

I'm very excited to announce that I'll be directing the film Second Puberty, an important and unique project that can really use your support for its Kickstarter campaign.

Created by producer Lux Alptraum, Second Puberty will be an informative, hilarious and accessible health education resource for trans people and their families. Inspired by the awkward (yet instructive) sex ed films we were subjected to in Junior High, it's geared specifically to people in the trans community going through the changes of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

This project will also be creating media jobs for trans people. It will have an all-trans cast and as many trans people as possible behind the scenes. Second Puberty will be distributed for free, so we need to raise all the production money through fundraising.

Join us for the Chicago Premiere of "How To Lose Your Virginity" on Nov 2nd (woo!)

We can't wait to premiere the film in Chicago, which was my hometown for almost 10 years. It's Monday November 2nd at 7:30 at the AMC River East, just off Michigan Avenue.

As with our West Coast screenings, we'll need to sell enough advance tickets for the screening to happen. Please click here to be notified as soon as tickets are available Sept 29th–and then buy them! And please share with your Chicagoland pals.

Are you with a Chicago organizations that wants to spark healthy conversations around sexuality and relationships? We'd love to make you a part of this event. Contact us for more info.


In addition to the screening, I'm honored to be a part of the American Public Health Association Conference as a panelist for "Let's Talk about Sex. Shame. Power. Violence."  
 
Upcoming Events Digest:
 

Tuesday, October 27, New York, Anthology Film Archive
Vinnie: I Break For Cycles screening
I'm doing a Q&A following the screening hosted by New York Women In Film and Television
Get notified when tickets are available 

Monday, November 2, Chicago
How To Lose Your Virginity Chicago Premiere
I'm doing a Q&A following the screening (with special guests)

Get notified when tickets are available 

Tuesday, November 3, Chicago
American Public Health Association Annual Conference
I will be on the Panel "Let's talk about Sex. Shame. Power. Violence" Plus: How To Lose Your Virginity screening (excerpts) 

Sunday, November 8, New York
BinderCon 2015 
I'm presenting the Workshop "Interactive Storytelling: A non-techie's introduction to immersing and engaging your online audiences"

Want to invite me to your event? There's more info here.
Are you an educator? We have free resources for you.

Thanks for all your support!
–Therese & Team Trixie Films

Ask Trixie: My future husband is a 40-year-old virgin and I'm worried he won't have a high-enough sex drive

I'm a divorced 37-yr-old woman dating a 40-yr-old virgin man. I am the first woman he has kissed, the first real relationship he has had. He's a little shy, but incredibly kind and treats me better than any man I've ever dated. We both attend a "wait until marriage" church, so my only sexual experience is with my ex-husband. My problem in that marriage was our desire levels did not match. I wanted far more than he did. My concern in dating a 40-yr-old virgin is that if we marry and become intimate, I will have the same problem I did before. Is it possible for a man to stay a virgin so long and still have a high sex drive?? Or am I dooming myself to the same fate I had before if I stay with him??

First of all, it's awesome that you've found such an amazing guy. And I also think it's great to hear that your boyfriend has found a woman who obviously has such strong feelings for him (we get so many comments from older virgin guys who can't imagine any woman being interested in someone with little to no sexual experience). 

Having said that, your question raises questions for me. Like, what does a "wait until marriage" church ask you to wait for? Intercourse? Any kind of intimate activity? Because you don't have to be putting penises into vaginas to have some pretty intense sex (and get a good feel for how often each partner wants said intensity). 

The most important question is: Have you asked your fiance about his sex drive? Because many 'older' guys who have never had partnered sex do have strong libidos. Does your fiancee masturbate? Does he have sexual fantasies? Does the very sight of you make him horny, even if he knows he can't act on it just yet?

Aside from that, though, having un-equal libidos is not that unusual in long-term relationships. And those libidos can fluctuate and change over time as well (after all, there's no normal, only what works for each relationship) I'm reminded of a post on Em & Lo asking how men feel when a woman has a stronger libido than her male partner. The men's answers were fair to lame, in my opinion, but here is one good comment that all their other readers especially liked. This is an excerpt:

I am married and I think it is safe to say my sex drive is much higher than my husbands. Our sex life is great, the two of us have a very open communication of what feels good and what feels great. However we both also know when the other is too tired for sex. More than not its me knowing when my other needs a break. Having sex is not a chore my husband has to check off his list, but an experience we both enjoy, a lot.

I must tell the truth he looks forward to that week of cramps and menstruation because sex is the furthest thing from my mind and he gets a “break” but sure enough after only four days he’s still pawing at me. Sure there are at times a feeling for him to preform, but it comes with the awareness of his current needs and my libido. It would be outrageous to think that every time I wanted sex I would get it, much like it is outrageous to think that every time a man wants sex the woman *must* put out. And I think that outrageous statement is what is behind these “advice answers.”

There needs to be room in a relationship for a woman to say, “No” just as much as there needs to be room in a relationship for a man to say, “I’m too tired.” And in my relationship there’s plenty of room for that, along with acceptance, commitment, and consent.

I'd also strongly recommend reading Scarleteen's Getting Married When We (May) Want Different Things From Sex. In this case it's the female partner who hasn't had sex and frankly isn't all that interested, but it gives a lot to think about in terms of how to negotiate the problems that situation might bring.

What do you the rest of you think? Can couples negotiate a big gap in libido? Does it make sense to ask mature adults to wait until marriage to become sexually intimate? Let us know what you think! Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Kageashi "Despite routinely seeing naked women at work, I still haven't had intercourse"

A little about myself:

I was born in Alexandria VA, but I raised in Western Pennsylvania. I moved to Washington DC for college...and still haven't left 14 years later. My sex is male, but my gender is interchangeable.

How I define virginity:

In heterosexual and male homosexual dynamics, I see virginity as penis penetration of the vagina or anus. For lesbian sex...I have no idea.

Here's my story:

I was reading through the blog and noticed a sad dearth of stories from older individuals (Oh gods, don't make me the old one).  I'm 32 years old, and I still have my V-card, depending on your outlook.  The fact that I still have my V-card probably qualifies as irony, however.

For almost two years I worked for a kink venue.  That is to say, a venue where people came to party (legally) on various pieces of kinky apparatus. The day I realized I had become jaded to the whole situation was when I was speaking with the venue owner in our office and two women were naked and having sex on the floor just inside the doorway.  Open door policy indeed.

Despite routinely seeing naked women running around during those two years, I never had intercourse.  The opportunity only came up once, and I only found out afterwards.

It's not that I'm waiting for marriage–just for something a little deeper than a one-night-stand.  I've had a few near-misses–right time, wrong place, etcetera.  But as a man gets older, the expectation is that he is either really experienced (and should have papers proving he's disease free and routinely checked) or a lame duck.

We'll see if it happens anytime soon.  But for all the guys out there thinking you're the oldest male virgin around outside of the priesthood?

Odds are you aren't.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here

Just The Tip: Teaching Sex Ed to 4-yr-olds, Duggar grossness, Your Number, V-Myths and more...

Our weekly collection of interesting links from around the internets. Click on the titles to link. (Or, why wait? Get up-to-the minute news on our Facebook page)

Bill Nye explains The Sex

Not super informative, but how can you resist? Bill Nye's at the Museum of Sex in New York to explain the evolutionary purpose of sex. Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts STARTALK (MONDAYS 11/10c on NatGeo).


Jaclyn Friedman on Caitlyn Jenner and the complicated definitions of womanhood:

"Trans people are not magical gender warriors. We may politicize their bodies, but they are not obligated to play along. As with all of us, some may decide to become activists, but most won’t, and either way, none of them will exclusively do the most politically expedient thing every time they’re faced with a choice. Because they’re human. They don’t owe the world a revolution, or even an explanation. And they’re certainly not obligated to live up to the arbitrary standards of one random cis woman."


Inside the Duggars' Dark World

Young women are not only robbed of any sexual agency, this culture also teaches that "Women are objects, controlled and exchanged by men to create and affirm the men’s identities...Women. Are. Not. People." And it has implications for all of us. An essay by one of our fave virginity geeks, Jaime Hough.


I was interviewed for this piece (along with our How To Lose Your Virginity expert Hanne Blank) about busting virginity myths. Loved contributing thoughts along with lots of screen grabs from the film:

"Male virginity wasn't even discussed as a thing until the 20th century," Therese Shechter, creator of the documentary How to Lose Your Virginity, told Mic. "Whether a man was sexual or not had little bearing on his character or value."
"The concept of virginity is all too often tied to how we talk about women's morality and sexual choices," Shechter said. "I think people should define virginity however they want, or dismiss the concept it altogether if it's not useful to them."

Is You Sexual History As Impressive As You Think?

In other words, am I a slut or a loser? So lemme just go get a pencil. But first...What exactly does 'slept with' mean? And if our definitions are different based on which parts touched other parts, then what exactly are we comparing and tallying? And what constitutes a lot? I know, I know...this is just a dumb internet game, but can we all agree 'the number' makes no sense? Instead, why not ponder the first milestone of your sexual history with our own quiz.


In the Netherlands, sex education starts in Kindergarten

We North Americans do such a lousy job of teaching our young about sexuality. The Dutch are miles ahead of us:

“People often think we are starting right away to talk about sexual intercourse [with kindergartners],” van der Vlugt says. “Sexuality is so much more than that. It’s also about self image, developing your own identity, gender roles, and it’s about learning to express yourself, your wishes and your boundaries.”

That means the kindergartners are also learning how to communicate when they don’t want to be touched. The goal is that by age 11, students are comfortable enough to navigate pointed discussions about reproduction, safe sex, and sexual abuse.

 

Be a VirginSpotter! Got a story you think we should talk about? Contact us or tweet at us here.

V-Card Diaries: Audrey "I was bombarded with judgments of being a 'virgin' and misinformation about sex. It scared me."

A little about myself:

I'm 21 as of June 3rd 2015, Park City Utah, female, I'm a baker and environmentalist, I've never had sexual experience beyond kissing and massages between my kind ex. from high school and I.

How I define virginity:

A concept that's overrated, outdated, used to scare people into not having sex (sex can be healthy for you). People should define virginity for themselves, but it's abused by businesses, religion, and media.

Here's my story:

I don't like the word "virginity." It's abused and overrated. I'm 21 and I've never had sexual experience beyond kissing, snuggling, and massages between my nice ex from high school and I. Neither of us were emotionally or intellectually prepared. In college I did not trust the guy I was dating to respect my sexual boundaries. He was trying too hard to get me to have sex with him, so we broke up.

I was born and raised Utah, but my parents are Midwesterners. The culture here strictly practices abstinence only education, but I'm not a Mormon. I went to the Unitarian Universalist Church which has a nation wide liberal and informative sex education program known as OWL. I attended OWL in 8th grade and 11th grade. There are 4 stages of it each designed for a different age group starting with 10 & 11 year olds. Unfortunately I didn't retain much of what I had learned. 

In college, in Oregon, I was bombarded with judgments of being a "virgin," myths and misinformation about sex, and stories of other peoples' sex in the dorms. It scared me.

I'm now a baker at Deer Valley Resort. Just a week ago I started watching Sex + by Laci Green and it was amazing, re-informing, liberating and so great with the positive look on sex. I binge watched for hours. All I have to say is Thank You Laci. I look forward to having a sexual experience that is safe, informed, and not dreaded. I live with my parents and I'm looking for a place to buy closer to down town Park City. Whether It's masturbation, intercourse, or another for of sex, I don't feel comfortable having sex in my parents' home, and I'm happy to wait for the right place, person, and time. Not that I expect it to be perfect.

If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here

Ever considered a one-night stand to get it over with, virginity-wise? "Keeping It Casual" explores the possibilities

"Keep It Casual" is part of a series of short narrative films by Michael Sasso called Swipe Click Bang which looks at people who use hookup apps like Tinder, and the one-night stands that follow. We were especially intrigued by 'Keep It Casual' because it explores a scenario that several of our V-Card Diaries contributors have contemplated or actually done: Setting up a one night stand to 'get it over-with' sex-wise.

I asked the Michael and his co-producer Michael Vitale what interested them about this scenario and how it influenced their approach. Vitale, who wrote the script had this to say:

"I've always been fascinated with the weight we as a culture put on losing one's virginity, so when we came up with the series Swipe Click Bang, I knew we had a good opportunity to explore it here. I also knew I wanted the person losing their virginity to be a woman.

As far as television and film is concerned, we're very used to the male virgin archetype: the bumbling nerd who can't get out of his own way, too awkward for anyone to find him sexy until someone does, and then, upon doing the deed, he's freed of an unsavory virgin label.

The female virgin is much more interesting. For one, we don't really see them in film outside Christian stereotypes or high school melodramas, but beyond that, there's also, fair or not, a mystery surrounding them, at least from a male perspective.

With Keep it Casual, we wanted to play with that mystery, which is why we chose to never explain Rachel's reasoning for not having had sex before using a dating app to do so. We also purposely cast someone attractive (Elisabeth Hower) to further challenge the audience's expectations of who a virgin is or should be.

But more than just the female virgin stereotype, this episode tries to explore how men deal with them. This wasn't obvious at first, but as the story evolved, we realized much of the cultural importance associated with virginity is determined by men. That's not to say one's virginity isn't or can't be important, but there's a double-standard in the expectations men put on women and their sexuality. To many of us, women should be "pure" yet experienced, a nearly impossible standard to meet.

In the episode, we tried to use Nick (the male character) to capture this absurdity, especially in how he responds to Rachel's admission of having never had sex. Beyond being dumbfounded, he takes an almost paternal stance in the way he tries to protect her and the preciousness of her virginity. His almost hero-like syndrome makes it all the more satisfying when Rachel challenges him to recall the importance of his first time and he can't.

And yet, beyond the layers we tried to squeeze into it, Keep it Casual is ultimately a story about someone trying to get what they want and not feeling like they have to explain themselves for it, something I think we can all relate to."

Ask Trixie: My family is shaming me because I'm still a virgin at the age of 21

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking? Ask Trixie here.

My family is shaming me because I am still a virgin at the age of 21. A bit of background: In high school I had a girlfriend for all of four months. We didn't do anything besides make out and in the end I was glad to leave that relationship. When I turned 18, my friend said to me "Guess what the difference is between me at 18 and you?" He then said "I got laid, you haven't." I can take a joke of course but this has caused internal trouble for me.

Just a few weeks ago, my grandparents were in town. Because the car didn't have enough room, I had to sit in the middle with my little sister on my lap. Grandma asked if I had a girlfriend and then my mom said "This is the first time J. has had a girl sit on his lap." Laughter was had but I still tried to shrug it off with no avail.

For me, I personally don't want a one night stand in part because of the possible regretfulness. I'd rather wait till it's someone I've gotten to know well. I know deep down that I can't wait to have sex but the opportunity has not presented itself yet. I also know that I am a sexual person with a fairly high libido, masturbating every other day or so.

I guess what I'm asking is does it get better? Should I let it weigh me down? –J

Hi J -

Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry to hear you're getting so much grief on this. It especially stings when it comes from people who should be supporting you, not putting you down. I've personally gotten shit for the shape of my body, my feminism, and other things. Teasing really sucks.

I don't want to diminish how frustrating and hurtful your experience has been, but people who have had sex are just as likely to get teased about what they have or haven't done.  Either way it's really none of your family's business what you're doing in your intimate life. You owe them no explanations or excuses, and unless you're going into gory detail about what you're done or haven't done, they really have no idea what your experience is. On a side note: I think it's kind of weird for your mom to compare your little sister to a potential girlfriend, but maybe I'm over-thinking this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you've internalize their comments and allowed them to define who you think you are. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not really the teasing that's getting you down, it's the feeling that you've somehow missed your chance at sex, that the ship has sailed and you're left standing on the dock. So here's some very important information: There are lots of 21-year-olds who haven't had a lot of (or any) sexual experience, and you are in better company than you think.

Becoming a sexual person is a long process, not one magical moment when you 'get laid' that changes you forever. Whatever you did with your girlfriend was one milestone in that process and there will be more. So, yes it does get better and you will have more and better experiences. But you have to do a bit of work as well to make opportunities happen, like getting out and meeting people, taking a chance and talking to someone you find interesting, and making your goal to develop a relationship, not to get laid.  Most of all, please don't let it weigh you down...21 is way too young to give up.

Check out a post from contributor MHiggo on how to deal with being ridiculed about your virginity. We also really like this V-Card Diaries story from someone who challenges the idea that it's unmanly not to be sexually active.  You can also read more stories under the 'It Gets Better' section of The V-Card Diaries. Hang in there and let us know how things go.

Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Ariel "I'm a spiteful virgin. I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction of sex."

Today we're highlighting Ariel from Jersey City, NJ, who wonders how special virginity could be if it only takes a second to lose it. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.A little about myself:

I am 23, female from Jersey City.

How I define virginity:

I do not really have a definitive view on virginity, it is not really a thing more so than it is just a state of being. Either you have had sex or you did not. It doesn't really matter much to me, it is whatever.

Here's my story:

Well I did not want to be a virgin at my age, I am 23 and it was not much of a thought. I had a plan to lose my virginity at 16 to my first love and then that would be it. However, I did not factor in that I would not have much luck with guys and that in high school I would be a laughing stock and teased constantly. I did get boyfriends but it was long distances and the first fizzled and the second guy did not want my virginity.

When I got to college, I want to give guys a shot again but again it fizzled and I pretty much gave up in the idea of having sex let alone dating. Now I guess what I am is a spiteful virgin as even if I did meet a guy who I really cared about, I just would not have sex with him. It has nothing to do with religion or waiting for the right guy, it is just that I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction.

I never thought virginity was special or anything, I went through the pledges at my Catholic school but I never took it seriously and I thought people who held it up to high esteem were being silly. I just thought people either had sex or did not. Being fair, I saw it in a matter that all living things have sex and when humans had sex, it was no different from when animals had sex. Even though humans supposedly possess some high mental processes, sex is just sex and virginity is something that most if not all creatures have until it is then ended by the first sexual act. Also I figured if virginity was so special, it would not be so easy to get rid off. To be fair it only takes a second to lose it so how special can something like that be?