website statistics

body image

Ask Trixie: I want to have sex, but the guy says he's nervous that I'll regret it. How do I get him to understand I won't?

Hi! I've been talking to a guy & I want to have sex, but he's getting nervous. He says he doesn't want me to regret losing my virginity to him. I grew up in a catholic family that slut shamed but 75% of children in my family were born to 17 yr olds & I realized I don't care about virginity. I think of it as a way to pressure girls to save themselves for that *one lucky guy*. IDK how to get him to understand this but also how to be comfy with myself since I have gained a few pounds –fbgc

Hi fbgc!

I’m reading a few different issues in your question so let’s take them one at a time:

1. There are lots of considerations when you’re deciding to become sexual, and you’re the only one who can decide if you’re ready. Sex can be a part of our lives in different ways: maybe we experiment with different partners, or we wait until we get married and have sex with one partner. There’s no right answer to this, but it is important to think it through for yourself. It sounds like you’ve done that, but if you need a bit more to chew on, check out something I wrote called How Will I Know I’m Ready?

2. It sounds like your potential partner is genuinely concerned about your happiness, but he also sounds like he’s projecting his own ideas about virginity onto you. It would be interesting to ask him why he thinks you’ll regret it. Is it because of his own religious beliefs which you might no longer hold? Is it subtle slut-shaming on his part because you don’t buy into the ‘saving yourself’ messages? Or is it because he thinks his penis is so magical, that it has the power to irrevocably transform you simply by sticking it into your vagina? Knowing why he’s worried that you’ll ‘regret’ it, might actually affect whether or not you even want to do it with him. I mean, who wants to have sex with a guy who’s thinking you’re a slut the whole time it’s happening (if that’s the case)?

3. Let’s say you decide you want to have sex, and the guy you’ve chosen is cool enough to be worthy of you. I’m going to beg you not to get hung up on your body, and whatever pounds you feel you’ve put on. Our brains have been poisoned by toxic messages about what women’s bodies should look like, and the worst thing would be to get uncomfortable about being sexual because you feel like you don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Any guy who rejects you because of your body has done you a huge favor, saving you wasting your valuable time and energy on a total jerk. I know it sounds like a cliche, but please try to appreciate your body’s remarkable ability to give and receive pleasure, whatever size it is.

4. You might think it all through, feel great about your decisions, have sex, and then still regret it. Because life is like that: not everything works out the way we think it will. Then you need to learn from the experience, and try to make the next time better. The ‘first time’ is just that, the first of (hopefully) many sexual experiences you’ll have for the rest of your life. If you want to read some stories from people who had similar experiences, go to our V-Card Diaries project, click on ‘enter, and then click on ‘It Gets Better’ in the left-had column.  And let us know how it works out!

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

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: 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.

V-Card Diaries: Too Busy to Worry "Because I have a poor body image, I seriously consider getting an escort."

Today we're highlighting Too Busy to Worry in Tampa, FL, who is looking for someone she'll be comfortable being naked around. 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 27 years old, female, cis-gender, though I do lean towards being a tomboy and having very masculine traits. I live in Tampa, FL and have recently gone back to school by enrolling in the University of South Florida.

How I define virginity:

That a person hasn't had sex. That's a personal definition and I can't truly give a detailed definition of it.

Here's my story:

I am still a virgin for many reasons. I am no longer looking for Mr. Right but I would like to be with someone who I'm comfortable to be naked around. But that won't matter much because I have a poor body image so I seriously consider getting an escort. But then I think to myself, well, I could probably find a one-night stand just to get it over with, but then the body image thing pops up and the cycle starts again. Not to mention that I am so busy with school at the moment that losing my virginity is not high on my priority list. Not to mention that my friends don't bug me about it or when people do it just makes me dig my heals in more.