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V-Card Diaries: James "My valedictorian medal had a big V on it, which could have also stood for virgin"

Today we're highlighting James in Canada, whose romantic encounter with a woman at a bonfire ended in disappointment, but also reassurance that someone found him attractive. 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 boy from Canada who is a second year university student. I was also my high school's Valedictorian and was given a medal with a big "V" on it. It's funny how the "V" could also stand for "Virgin."

How I define virginity:

Never having consensually caused an orgasm though physical contact with another person. Also a patriarchal construct used as a reference to self-value, commodifying women and stratifying men; engrained into consciousness so well that it has become a dominant part in some people's lives. Heck, even I have trouble letting go of the idea that it something special.

Here's my story:

All throughout middle school and high school I have never had a girlfriend, due mostly to my lack of social skills. I remember feeling different and slightly alienated from my peers as it seemed everyone else I knew was able to easily acquire a boyfriend or girlfriend. Me being a guy, I rarely got asked out. I remember the first time I was asked out was in grade 7. I was really nervous being young and less familiar to the whole "dating game" and ended up saying neither "yes" nor "no" to her. I now regret that.

The farthest I have ever gone with anyone was with this girl I met at a late night bonfire beach party. She was a year young than I was and I remember how she would frequently come to talk with me and seemed interested with everything I said, which I thought was just her being freindly. She started getting cuddly with me and I cuddled her back since I thought she was cute. The party ended when the tide came in and the fire was put out. We were the last to leave and we ended up getting lost while walking; to where, I don't remember. It was dark and we were alone so we went back to my car, which was parked by the beach. When we got to my car I remember us standing there and staring at each other when it just happened, we kissed!

We then ended up cuddling and making out in my car and talked to each other about various things. She told me that she had had a crush on me for a while and even viewed my Facebook profile a few times. She even told me that she was attracted by my social awkwardness. I eventually addmitted to her that I was a virgin and that I never really had a girlfriend before and she told me she too was a virgin, which was nice to know. I found out we had quite a few things in common and we ended up crashing for the night in my car. I remember asking her jokingly if this meant we slept together.

Thinking I had a new girlfriend, I messaged her a few days later. She responded by telling me how drunk she was that night and how she didn't really want a relationship with anyone and how sorry she was. I was deeply saddened and disappointed but got over it after a solitary walk through town. I am still a virgin who has never been in a relationship but it is nice to know that there are others in my situation. It is also reassuring to know that there is at least one person out there who finds me attractive.

V-Card Diaries: Imogen "As it turns out, when you post an ad as a 22-year-old redheaded virgin, people get interested really quickly."

Today we're highlighting Imogen in New Zealand. Although she grew up in a conservative home, in her 20s she made a conscious effort to lose her virginity with someone she met on Craigslist. 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 23-year-old woman and a biological female who grew up in a very conservative home. I lived in Canada for many years and then moved over to New Zealand.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a tricky word to define. I would define it loosely as a state of innocence. It is an ignorance towards sexuality and sexual preferences.

Here's my story:

I grew up in an exceedingly conservative home. Sure, we watched mainstream TV and went to public schools, but we were taught at home and at church that sex was a dirty secret meant for marriage. While I never adhered to the 'premarital sex is dirty' mantra, I personally chose not to engage in any partnered sexual activity while I was a teenager. The year I turned 22, I decided I was ready. The only problem was, everyone I knew was super religious, in a relationship, or not at all attractive to me.

I turned to the anonymous classifieds site Craigslist to help get me started. As it turns out, when you post an ad as a 22-year-old redheaded virgin, people get interested really quickly. I received 1800 responses in 3 hours. My criteria became the following:

-Under 30
-Didn't attach explicit photographs
-Wrote in full sentences

This whittled my responses down to just under 20. Of those 20, only a handful wrote back to me a second time. Of that handful, only two were willing to share personal details such as a name, phone number, and photo. I picked one and we made plans to meet.

The actual experience itself seemed fairly natural, although it had been arranged in such a manufactured way. Nothing was too uncomfortable and a lot of the 'what will he think of me' nerves were eliminated; he was a total stranger and his opinion didn't mean as much. He took the lead because he had far more experience, and it was all quite straightforward.

The benefit, I think, of having waited until I was 22 was that I knew my own body well and I had consciously decided I was ready. I had allowed myself space to be partner-less and therefore felt no rush to get anywhere, sexually.

Many people look at my first experience and tell me it was silly or unsafe or risky, and I know it could have been very different. Fortunately, however, I had a very pleasant experience with a friendly partner who was very understanding. It's led me to a very colourful and interesting sex life that I still don't believe is a dirty little secret.

V-Card Diaries: Adelaide "The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me."

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Adelaide in Canada, who considers herself pansexual. Her sexual response is dulled by anti-depressants, so she's decided not to enter into another relationship until she feels eager about the other person. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We'd love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I'm 33 years old, from Canada. Female.

How I define virginity:

It's strange how often this has changed in my mind. I like to think it's "evolved." As I've grown, and learnt more, it went from "penis + vagina" to "physical act of sex, no matter the gender of those involved" (oral sex included- otherwise there would be a LOT of gay virgins!!) to something I can't explain completely yet. As one can have an orgasm without touching, could you possibly not be a virgin and a full-fledged sexual being by the contents of your thoughts? Just like how it is possible to not "technically" be a virgin, yet have no sense or feeling in the sexual act (if it's just seen as a technicality of a relationship, not that "little death")? What about people who don't have physical sex, but have the master/slave, mistress/slave relationship, where the only thing that passes between them is command? Many look upon these relationships as intense and loving, but is it sex? To them, it might be, since the emotions are.

Here' my story:

My story is... I have no story. Technically, I suppose, I'm still a virgin. Never allowed myself to be touched in this way, never been kissed or allowed myself to be kissed. It's not as if I haven't had offers for it. One boyfriend was so passionate and insistent it alarmed me, but nothing happened because I was completely uninterested. It may have just been the hormones, I don't know: Once sex crowded into the room, I stopped listening. He treated it as an area of "finding out." If my lips flushed, he KNEW I was aroused. Sadly, he always got it wrong. My disinterested nature didn't help, of course. It does play against my passionate nature.

I think it's an area of personal space I'm very sensitive about, and dislike it being invaded. The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me. So, I think the person I would want would have to be something special- otherwise I could never go through with it.

Not that I wish this ideology on anyone else. We all have appetites, begun in our minds when we are quite young. I think everyone should experience sex, to whatever state it might be in... that's my ideal, so long as it's consensual. Sex is a healthy part of life - it should be, it's supposed to be. Yet, I don't consider myself to be "unhealthy"... just not wanting to cross that boundary since I haven't met someone yet I'm comfortable crossing it with. I don't like the idea of having sex with someone I feel absolutely nothing for - or when they touch me, I feel nothing, even revulsion (At myself or at their touch? I'm uncertain). I also lived a rather isolated high school life, where I was one of the outcasts and although sex was probably happening around me in earnest, it was not an area I was welcomed or even gestured towards. One profession of love turned into a group joke, so I guess something inside me closed off from being vulnerable. Also: People talked. During my 8th grade year, when my grandfather died, some were convinced I had taken time off school to have a baby. That's the kind of people I had surrounding me, so you can imagine my reluctance to take part in their "games".

The strange part is, I'm a very sexual person when my brain isn't doped with antidepressants. When I'm off them, I need "release" all the time through masturbation. If I don't, I have intense dreams. I can't masturbate when I'm on these kind of meds (though I need them, and accept this loss for the benefit they give me), because it's a fight with the blockers/excessives in my brain. I have absolutely no sex drive.

Strangely, I think I define myself as "pansexual". The beauty of both sexes overwhelm me. Where beauty is concerned, I'm not picky over the sex of the person.

I've had no negative experiences with sex: Physical experiences, I mean. I've never been abused, or forced to do anything.

I guess you could call me a virgin. Some of my friends would categorize me as such - but they may also categorize me as a failure, or "the strange one" because I haven't married, sprung offspring, bought a house, gotten a full-time job, or done all the hetero-normal things people my age are supposed to do. Other friends feel differently, and love me as I am. The previously mentioned friends love me, too, but since I don't do things as they do, they get alarmed. (I think it's more of a reflection of themselves than of me).

I have the automatic instinct to not do things "normally." Normal is boring.

I also decided (after a relationship where I feel I really hurt someone by my disinterest) not to enter into another until I was ready, eager, and willing to enjoy each other. Hasn't happened yet. But I think I am happier for it. No messing around, and no hurting people. Yet, if I end up having sex for the first time in a gas station restroom with someone I just met, if I feel comfortable with them touching me... I'd be fine with that. Whatever happens will happen.

V-Card Diaries: Cas "I was abused, sometimes in front of the teacher, with no intervention."

**Trigger warning for sexual assault and self-harm** Today we're highlighting Cas in Edmonton, Canada, who was sexually abused at age six and raped at age twelve. Now, at fifteen, Cas is no longer afraid. 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 fifteen-year-old genderqueer individual residing in Edmonton, Alberta. I'm currently supporting myself and working a full time job.

How I define virginity:

Virginity is a social concept reaching back into the ages where women were property and 'virgins' worth more than those who were 'tainted.'

Here's my story:

At age six I was sexually abused. This was my first introduction into sexual intercourse. I know it involved oral rape. That is all I care to remember.

I moved from my home town to Texas when I was ten.

At age twelve I was raped by the boys in my school. I was grabbed, I was abused, sometimes in front of the teacher, with no intervention. I was told I deserved it. No one deserves that torture. Due to intense bullying and a complete lack of social support, I attempted suicide. I was sent to a mental facility for ten days, and outpatient therapy for three months. I did not divulge the information regarding my sexual abuse, largely due to the fact that I had repressed many of the memories. Later that year I moved back.

I was not raped again, but my social skills were destroyed, my trust in masculine figures nonexistent. And my parents were on the edge of divorce as I dealt with kids throwing apples, rocks, pine cones, and pens at me. They also grabbed my breasts and backside, and told me I was oversensitive when I screamed at them never to touch me. I attempted suicide twice that year, both failed.

Fourteen, first consensual kiss. Back to school. School is not bad, but I am suffering from flashbacks and nightmares, and severe depression. Fifteen, November, I attempt suicide a final time. I am in the hospital for a week for potential liver failure. Then, I leave.

This is all essential to my sexual history. A month after I move out, I have my first orgasm. My sexual début was with a nineteen year old girl, and a dildo. It was very nice. Three months later, a man and I engage in sexual intercourse. And I am no longer afraid.

V-Card Diaries: Naren "My 5 kisses were on stage in front of 500 people. I was 13, playing Liesl; the guy was 19, playing Rolf."

Today we're highlighting Naren from Canada, who is in a relationship with a really caring guy who respects her boundaries. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. About me:

I'm 19, and live somewhere different every 2-3 months. So far, it's always in Canada.

How I define virginity:

I'm not sure. I think it's different for every person. In regards to my own, it's definitely PIV sex, because this is what terrifies me the most. Not because of religious or other views; physical intimacy of any kind has always scared me, for no reason that I can discern.

My story:

My 5 kisses were on stage in front of 500 people. I was 13, playing Liesl; the guy was 19, playing Rolf. They meant nothing.

Throughout high school, people questioned my sexuality because of my short hair, lack of make-up, and "boy" clothes. I didn't know what my sexuality was. I still don't know how I identify. And I don't care. I suppose I'm close to demisexual or grey-A, but really, I'm just a person; sometimes I'm attracted to other people. We may do intimate stuff - or not. It doesn't matter, so long as everything is consensual, and both sides are open and caring.

Currently, I'm in my first relationship; we've been dating nearly 8 months. It's long distance, and we've only spent about 3 in-person weeks together. Neither of us had any experience to start. Mine was largely due to a huge fear of intimacy. It means the world to me how caring he is; he will never push for contact, and always asks where my boundaries are and then has absolute respect for them. He says he would enjoy going further than we do, but is happy to stay at whatever level I'm comfortable at.

I love him, and he loves me. Different kinds of sex might happen, but it doesn't define our relationship. Personally, I couldn't have it any other way, but our brand of chemistry is just one of an infinite number. People should do whatever's right for them; the important part is being in relationships that are sensitive to the needs of all sides.