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V-Card Diaries: Aura "My Indian mother thinks pre-marital sex should be made compulsory"

A little about myself:

I am a 20-year-old Indian girl, currently attending University in the north of England.

How I define virginity:

For me, a person loses his/her virginity when he/she has sex for the first time. What one considers as one's first, proper first time depends on him/her, and only he/she has the right to decide what it means to him/her and when he/she will lose it. I consider the day I had penetrative vaginal sex with a man for the first time as the day I lost mine.

People tend to think of Indians as quite narrow-minded and backward. What they do not understand is that it is a big country and there are many different kinds of people and cultures in it. In some areas, virginity is a huge deal, so much so that people actually use the blood stained sheet used on the wedding night to prove to neighbours the virtues of their wives or daughters. In some areas, nobody really talks about it - because it is very personal, but girls are expected to be virgins until they get married. In most areas, nobody cares, and it is a girl's personal choice - unless of course she is married and cheating on her husband/wife. The region where I am from (Bengal) falls largely into the last category. Nobody talks about your sexuality, since its private, personal and well... just very weird for family members to discuss your sex life over coffee

But my mom is my best friend, and I talk to her about everything. In my teens, I asked her for her opinion on pre-marital sex, and I was quite shocked when she told me she thought it should be made compulsory before a wedding, to make sure two people are sexually compatible! Furthermore, she said that men are like clothes. When you walk into a store, you like a few, try some on, and then look at other factors such as prices, colours, and if you are actually going to be wearing them. Similarly, you like men, date some of them, sleep with some, and then decide based on everything which one of them (if any) is right for you. Of course, she said unlike clothes, you only buy (marry) one at a time, and if you have major problems, you return (divorce) him and pick another one. I am so happy my father was perfect for her and she didn't need to 'return' him.

Here's my story:

Such a happy day it was - to finally get rid of the thing that made all men patronise me and see me as some sort of a prize. I hated the fact that my 'first' man would feel a sick chauvinistic kind of triumph, and I didn't want any man to have that pleasure, that satisfaction of knowing that he had somehow 'taken' my virginity, innocence, and what not. So, when I met a man who was extremely good looking and sexy, and also seemed like a nice, sensible person, I went home with him (to London), had sex with him, took the train back home the next morning, and was finally relieved of that sexist burden. The best part is, he doesn't know my full name, or where I live, and I will probably never see him again. Problem solved–lost virginity, but didn't give any subsequent boyfriend the satisfaction of being my first.

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

V-Card Diaries: Lauren "There were 3 boys and a girl and I slept with all of them."

Today we're highlighting Lauren in England, who doesn't have regrets about having her sexual debut with multiple people she barely knew because they made her feel safe and secure. 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:

18, female, England

How I define virginity:

The first penetration of the vagina with the penis, or, for men, the first time they penetrate someone else, other than oral. But maybe oral is a different virginity. Huh.

Here's my story:

I was at a party, I was fairly drunk, there were 3 boys and a girl and I slept with all of them. They had experience. They wore protection. I've always been very open to sexual experiences but had never had any previous advances or met anyone interested in me - it was liberating. I thought I wanted to be in a safe, secure and comfortable relationship, to slowly build up to sex, tick off all the bases, but these people that I barely knew made me feel safe and secure, for this reason I have no regrets.

I realised that I have placed a lot of significance on my virginity: Sex is a basic instinct, it's almost as though there is a sense of shame or loss in the act. I'd touched myself and masturbated, and I personally found sex to be merely a glorified, easier, warmer, more pleasurable, more emotional form of masturbation. I felt confident and alive, attractive and relaxed. It was freeing.

I am now in a relationship, not one of those boys, not even the girl (but I am certain of my bisexuality), but another guy, a good friend. He thought I was very innocent and was surprised (as I was) when he learnt of my rampant sex drive. I felt needy, but not vulnerable. I felt like I had been unleashed, awakened - my fears were gone - so when he was ready, I was ready. It was easy and natural and sober. I found myself even more aroused and excited, despite my inexperience.

I enjoy sex and am not ashamed about that, but I wish the subject of virginity, sex, and masturbation was socially acceptable, so that I could discuss them comfortably. It felt right. I'm not hurt or afraid. Trust your instincts and to do what is right for yourself. You can say no. You can say yes. Don't be ashamed of your wants, revel in the fact that you are human and can feel, share that feeling, let it grow, be yourself, if it isn't right it isn't right. If it is right, enjoy it.

V-Card Diaries: Harriet "This makes me sound like a brainless, heartless monster, but someone ought to know the whole story"

Today we’re highlighting Harriet in England, who feels like she lost her innocence by cheating on her boyfriend, not performing an act for the first time. 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'm a 19 year old female student from England.

How I define virginity:

For general purpose in conversation I'd have to say the historic "penis in vagina" definition is the one I'd use, but in my own case I think I stopped considering myself a virgin when I discovered I had the power to make a guy cum. The way it was the popular girls at school, who lost their virginity first, made me assume it was all about power, I suppose. I still think it's about power, but power of the self, to direct yourself to the voices you should be regarding and no longer define your own experience in someone else's terms because that's all you have.

Here's my story:

In the physical sense, I lost my virginity when I was 17 to my still-boyfriend, who I'd been with for about a month at the time. He wasn't a virgin, and, I didn't realize until afterwards, assumed that I wasn't either, and while I've not actually lied about it, I never got around to setting him straight about that. I do think occasionally that I ought to tell him, but that first time makes up such a small part of our experience together now, and the longer it goes on the more difficult it would be to explain why I didn't just say so in the first place.

It definitely isn't as simple as "now you are, now you aren't", though. Every new sexual experience is another apple taken from the tree.

I've read quite a few of the posts on here and am surprised that no one seems to talk about cheating on their partners, because surely this is one of the few places you could freely admit to it, try to contextualise it, and I think peoples' ideas of what's important to a relationship, what's important to themselves as part of that relationship, and what's important to the self they have that isn't a part of the relationship.

I have done it and feel all the shame and self-loathing that health class teachers seem to want us to associate with sex. On more than one occasion, what happened sounded exactly like stories other people have called rape, but I didn't define it that way. Once I'd (been as drunk as you possibly can be without being unconscious and) had consenting sex with someone that wasn't my boyfriend, something I thought I'd never ever do, I had a crisis of confidence in my own judgement in all aspects of life; if my boundaries weren't where I'd left them, then where were they? And how did they get there?

These experiences with other guys have imprinted on my mind as losses of virginity much more than any of the first times I'd performed this or that act. In this context, loss of virginity is in a rather traditional, austere sense as "loss of innocence". I don't think I'll ever find a way to reconcile having done these things, but it has highlighted to me how different sex can be in different situations; within a loving relationship, with your flatmate who turns out to have a huge, un-reciprocated crush on you, with your attractive friend you always knew it was risky to get drunk with, with the achingly arrogant singer in some band who play the London circuit, and with his best friend who takes it upon himself to turn things into a threesome. All of this makes me sound like a brainless, heartless monster, but someone ought to know the whole story.