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V-Card Diaries

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!

A final thought for the year...

20131117_212811We had nothing less than an amazing 2013, with the premiere of How To Lose Your Virginity in festivals and and on televisions all over the world, our theater-busting New York premiere at DOC NYC (Therese and Lisa are trying to kiss our poster, left). We're totally thrilled about what's coming up in 2014: Our US TV premiere in February on Fusion, attending the Filmmor Film Festival in Istanbul in March (Therese's favorite city), and speaking at Catalyst Con about Older Virginity. Get the whole exciting update here.

Earlier this year, we launched the new home of The V-Card Diaries, and have received over 250 of your stories of 'sexual debuts and deferrals.' We have so many in fact, that we're backlogged on posting them, so one of our resolutions is to catch up in the next couple of weeks!

One of our 2014 wish is to get schools to stop hiring people like Justin Lookadoo to lie to young people, and get more teens to call #lookadoo bullshit like his audience did. Yay! Mostly, we hope you'll help us continue the conversation about the experience of becoming sexual–and the radical act of speaking honestly about it.

We'll leave you with this wise quote from Abby Rose Dalto of Evil Slutopia as part of the #mysexpositivity series at Condom Monologues:

"You can be sex positive even if you’re not having sex at all, as long as you don’t judge others for their sexual choices or try to control their sexual choices. Our society is so obsessed with what everyone else is doing in bed. So to me, sex positivity is about acknowledging that we’re all different, we all like what we like, and that’s okay."

V-Card Diaries: Shanna "I remember screaming 'I’m having an orgy!' And my boyfriend laughed: 'Not an orgy, honey. An orgasm.'

Today we're highlighting Shanna from Tel Aviv, Israel. Not only does she run a fantastic sexuality organization called You Got Choices, but she is the organizer of our Sept. 30th Tel Aviv screening. We're so excited about doing this event with her and other fantastic feminist, sexuality professionals and folks who want to talk about healthy sexuality! You'll love her story, as well as some really interesting thoughts about this whole virginity thing.  If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. When I was 16 I lost my virginity. Or should I say: that was the first time that a penis penetrated my vagina. For me, it was a romantic and joyful experience with my high school boyfriend, on a Tel Aviv beach, during my birthday. It is a good memory. I remember that I waited impatiently to talk to my girlfriends about it. I suddenly felt like a woman, not a girl. As if I entered another world, the adult world of those who understand what’s going on. I suddenly had preoccupations of women – gynecological visits, shaving, my smell. I was a real woman.

Now, more than a decade and a half after the fact, and more naughty stories in my history, I looked back and tried to understand why I considered this event to be my "loss of virginity ".  I mean, I didn’t really change at that moment. I just thought I did. Suddenly I was careful about unwanted pregnancies, but other than that, I was the same young girl: nervous, unaware, in-love, and confused. So when exactly did I lose my virginity? What exactly is virginity? And how come it is something we “lose”?

I remember in seventh grade, I sat on the sofa with my parents. We were watching a movie where someone mentioned oral sex. I innocently asked, "What is oral sex?" And the casual answer I got was: "When someone pleasures someone else with their mouth." Suddenly I got nervous.  The week prior I kissed a boy from class.  Am I not a virgin? Did I have oral sex? Back then there was no Internet and it took me some time before I could find out exactly what I did with that boy. I discovered that indeed I was still a virgin and oral sex had to do with kissing sex organs. What a relief! I'm a virgin! But my inner processes had begun. I tried to understand the limits of sexuality. Suddenly, I discovered that sex is not just penis and vagina, but the whole body is involved. If so, I asked myself, what exactly is sex?

A few years later, after fooling around here and there with the boys from class and in the scouts, I met my adolescent love. You know the one – the one to whom "I lost my virginity". Slowly, in the span of a few months, our making-out became more serious. We took our time to get to know each other's bodies, the intimacy under our clothing. Together we learned what pleasures us and makes us feel good. One particular moment is engraved in my memories. We were in his bedroom. I Hope that his parents were not home, but, back then I didn’t care. We were so in love and passionate, that the only important thing was just to be together in mutual discovery. This moment, wow - what a moment. It was then that I experienced an orgasm with him. I experienced orgasms during masturbation, but never with a partner. This orgasm was before the loss-of-virginity-penetration. It was just petting and caressing. And yet it was thrilling. I remember screaming "I’m having an orgy!" And my boyfriend laughed: "Not an orgy, honey. An orgasm. An orgy is when there are lots of people having sex together." Suddenly, I discovered the power of fantasy. His words and thoughts of something so exciting and enticing brought me to the edge, and I experienced another orgasm.

This multi orgasmic experience was an awakening moment of pure ecstasy. At that moment I learned about mutual pleasuring. If I could re-define the concept of virginity and the loss of virginity - it would be this moment. Still, defined by society, this moment wouldn’t even be considered as sex -there was no penetration. When a few months later his penis definitely penetrated my vagina, and “sex” happened, I don’t even remember if I experienced an orgasm. Probably not. Despite the romantic night, it was short lived and a bit awkward. We had no idea what to do and I remember it was with effort that he entered me. We were so focused on technique that we forgot about the ecstatic connection we had had when we just petted. Nothing really propelled us to move ahead, just a yearning to pass the social berth of losing our virginity and becoming adults. After the act of penetration we felt like “we did it!". It was exciting. But deep in my heart, I missed the intimate moments before we had intercourse; I wanted to experience the depth of discovery over and over again. Yet, now I see my "loss of virginity" to be the moment I first experienced an orgasm with a partner- twice - and found out about orgies.

Years later, I was brave with my sexual life. I chose not to invest in relationships, but rather to enjoy the sensual energy that burns within me. Because of this choice I met many opportunities to lose my virginity repeatedly in all kinds of new and delightful situations. But at the time I did not really think about my experiences as losing my virginity; I just saw myself through society eyes: I was a floozy. I did not give myself the right to think of these moments of new pleasures and discoveries as a "loss of virginity”. Many times I met self doubt and self hatred.  Just recently, I started thinking about the concept of virginity as a social concept that depresses women.  I started rethinking the concept of virginity as one in which we loss some part of our innocence as we discover some new and invigorant sensual part of ourselves. This new thought is very empowering and is it with this thought that I see my life’s experiences in a better light.

What caused the change in consciousness? Well, watching the new documentary “How to Lose Your Virginity” that dispelled the myths and misconception about women's sexuality. These myths have been around since women started having sex. Through the film I was able to piece together a deep pervasive thought – that social definitions of sexuality and virginity control women’s sexuality in a very deep and destructive way. We need to think differently. We women are the ones who should define who we are as sexual beings. We should define what sex is for us. When a man loses his virginity he usually is not defined as a new person; but, when a girl or woman loses hers, she should be careful not to turn overnight from a virgin to a whore. It is time to pass on new concepts of sexuality, defined by women, empowering women, and encouraging sexual choice.

V-Card Diaries: Rachel "I wasn't paying too much attention when something very different than a finger slid right into me."

**Trigger warning** Today we're highlighting Rachel in Israel, who who didn't want to lose her virginity, but certainly enjoyed what she was doing. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here.

Editor's note: We're grateful that Rachel shared her story, and that we can publish it on the same day as How To Lose Your Virignity's Israeli Television premiere. More info here.

Tell us about yourself:

I'm 23-year-old recently married girl from Israel.

How do you define virginity?

Long gone.

Tell us your story

I was 16 years old and at that time I used to go out and party a lot. Drinking and dancing mostly, no drugs or anything like that. I would hook up with some boys on occasion. I was usually in control and knew that I didn't want to lose my virginity quite yet but I certainly enjoyed what i was doing.

Anyway, one night I ended up hanging up with a guy and we both got pretty drunk. We went off to very obviously make out and I told him up from that I am virgin and want to stay that way just to manage his expectations.

It was out doors and we climbed this wall to find a more private location (neither of us had where to go). We made out and I gave him head during which he grabbed my head and wouldn't let me breath. And he eventually was fingering me and I wasn't paying too much attention when something very different than a finger slid right into me. I pushed him off of me and started screaming at him that I told him I didn't want that.

He just left and left me all alone to climb this wall out while I'm half-naked and drunk. I fell. The next day I started freaking out about being pregnant or having an STD and I had no access to pharmacies and all in all a very unpleasant experience. Until this day I won't let my husband touch my head while I give him oral sex.

Here's Lena Dunham's sweet (and very articulate) letter to sex advice columnist about being a virgin at 19

What I especially love about Lena Dunham's 2005 letter to Time Out's sex advice columnist Jamie Bufalino is how great her writing is. For example "Once you're 19, people seem to expect you've done it six ways to Sunday." I also love Jamie's straight-up non-senitmental response, including "All you have to do is proudly announce your status, and gauge a guy's screw-worthiness by how he reacts to the news." OK, one thing he could have added (aside from the fact that virginity is a social construct) was that she was in good company given that 1/3 of 19-year-olds consider themselves virgins. Too bad 19-year-old Lena didn't have The V-Card Diaries , where she would have found lots of kindred spirits. Click on the images below to read the originals

Lena Dunham virginity advice 1


Lena Dunham Virginity advice 2


Lena Dunham virginity advice 3