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V-Card Diaries: Brianna "I look forward to having more sex in the future. I don't know if that takes away my C-card (Christian card). I hope not"

Writing from: Fairfield CA

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: A made-up patriarchal idea created to monitor the behavior and actions of women and create a culture of control and oppression.

I grew up in a very conservative, Christian household. I thought purity was the highest goal to attain and I bought into the Silver Ring Thing, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and When God Writes Your Love Story courting culture up until I was a sophomore in college.

As my worldview broadened, I continued to think that I would save my virginity (at that time I defines as penile-vaginal intercourse) for marriage. I was dating my current boyfriend for 6 months when I decided to have intercourse with him. I was prepared for the worst case scenario, but I just really wanted to do it. I'd been told sex hurts for women, you'll feel  like a dirty, used bag if you do it outside of marriage, it'll ruin your relationship, etc.

When it happened, it wasn't painful at all. I didn't feel like a dirty, used rag. I honestly didn't feel any type of way about it except that it was enjoyable. For me it definitely wasn't the big deal that everyone made it out to be. I was in a committed relationship, with a loving and safe partner and I look forward to having more sex in the future. I don't know if that takes away my C-card (Christian card). I hope not.

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: Does just the tip count as sex?

I was hooking up with a guy and we were both drunk. He had whiskey dick so he wasn't fully hard so when we tried to have sex it wasn't working... But I'm pretty sure the tip went in a little... Possibly even up to half way... But I'm thinking it was more just the tip of anything.... Does that count as sex? I thought it didn't... But since I can't fully remember what really happened it worries me. I don't want to have to count it. But I'm not sure if it really does or not. Thanks. –P

Hi P and thanks for writing! I'm reading two issues here so let's start with the first one. Some people ask a 'does this count' question because they want to know if they've lost their virginity. Others want to know how to talk about what happened with a particular person. I'm not sure which you're asking about, but I've answered a similar question before, so I'm going to incorporate part of what I wrote then.

Firstly, based on my own encounters with a 'whiskey dick,' it doesn't usually go up anywhere. But your question has more to do with what 'counts' as sex, and this kind of question is always tough to answer because different people have very different ideas about that. Is it a penis in a vagina? Is it getting naked with someone? Is it thinking impure thoughts? Is it masturbation? Based on definitions of virginity that people have sent us, sex means very different things to different people. 

The question I want to ask you is why is it important to know whether you’re you've had sex or not? Is someone making you feel bad about having (or not having) sex? Do you think it changes your value in some way, depending on what the answer is? (If you’re living in a community where the answer to your question can have serious consequences, I’m so sorry. All I can say is you need to do what you can to keep yourself safe until you’re away from that community and have more freedom.)

You've probably been told different things about what having sex might mean. Please know that it doesn't make anyone clean or dirty, pure or used, hot or not. So maybe you had a penis tip inside you, or maybe you didn't, and if you feel it doesn't count as sex...it doesn't. There's actually no rule book, and furthermore it's nobody's business but your own. Personally, I don’t believe there’s one specific magic sex moment that suddenly changes us. It's just part of a long series of moments, some good, and maybe some we wish hadn't happened.

Which brings me to the other issue I want to mention (putting on my concerned Aunt Trixie hat) which is the fact that you and your partner were so drunk you're having trouble remembering what happened. That means you were probably too drunk to give each other proper consent for what you ended up doing, too drunk to think about safe sex of any kind, and too drunk to remember anything else that might have happened, sexual or not. Believe me, I've been there, and we both know that it makes any situation riskier, no matter what you're doing.

I hope this helps put things into a bit of perspective, and please write back if you have any follow-up questions! 

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

Ask Trixie: How do I impress my girlfriend to allow me to take her virginity?

How do I impress my girlfriend to allow me to take her virginity from her since I'm also a virgin and kinda on the short side and I don't know what to do during sex – Smoke198

Having sex for the first time shouldn’t be about impressing anyone. And virginity is not an object sitting in someone’s pocket, which means it can’t be taken or given or anything like that.  So, can I change the question to: How do my girlfriend and I decide we are both comfortable and enthusiastic about having sex for the first time?

Only you and your girlfriend will know when you’re ready to have sex, and you’ll only figure that out by talking about it. Take your time, make sure you can trust each other, can talk to each other, feel comfortable with each other. This might take a while, but keep in mind it’s not a race to the finish line. It’s a long process and intercourse is just one part of it. Go slow. 

If you’re thinking about having intercourse, I’d definitely suggest trying some something else first that might feel less intense or intimate. And when you’re comfortable with that, try the next thing. (A lot of women say that manual or oral sex (you giving and her receiving!) is more fun than intercourse. And it’s often a better way for her to have orgasms, so bonus points for doing more of that. 

Another reason to take things slow is that your girlfriend might be nervous that penetration/intercourse is going to hurt. For some people, it does, but often it’s because they’re not relaxed or lubricated enough. I wrote about that here.

Check out a great article from our friends at Scarleteen that has advice for how to talk to your partner about sex. You and your girlfriend should also check out Scarleteen’s Am I Ready For Sex checklist.

You also mentioned you don’t know what to do during sex. Well, no one is born a good lover. It takes some practice, good information, and good communication with your partner to know what each of you think feels good. 

And finally, if she really doesn’t feel ready to have sex with you, that’s totally her choice and you need to respect it. 

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

V-Card Diaries: Jenny "Within twenty minutes he was asking if I'd like to go home with him. I immediately agreed."

Today we're highlighting Jenny in London, who feels that that if you're willing to put your nervousness to rest and let your impulses take over, you'll probably have a lot more fun. 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 Jenny, I'm 20, female, from London.

How I define virginity:

To me virginity isn't as much made up of a particular sexual act or series of acts, it's more about giving yourself physically to another person for the first time. Emotionally too, maybe, but that's a whole different story. As a bisexual woman, I would not consider penetration to be necessary to lose one's virginity, but that's how it went with me.

Here's my story:

So I lost my virginity a little over a month ago, and I felt it was a story worth sharing as I think it may be a little way off the norm.

I'm in my second year of university and I live with three good friends. One day I came home from work late and had forgotten my keys, and they were all headed into town to go to a club. In the spur of the moment I decided to go along though I was very tired. I had a few drinks, danced with my friends, but (as per usual) I was feeling horny as it had been a while since I had even kissed anyone, so I went searching for someone to, erm, fulfil my needs. I was a little drunk and went upstairs where I was introduced to a friend of a friend who was also a little tipsy and looking for someone to kiss. Impulsive as I was that night, I kissed him there and then and within twenty minutes he was asking if I'd like to go home with him. At this point I was so ready for sex I immediately agreed and we left. What followed was fun.

There was no awkwardness , no mishaps, and no pain.We did a little bit of everything, fucked in several positions, I gave my first blowjob and got head for the first time, and had 3 glorious orgasms. Exhausted after 2 hours of antics, he spent the night. We woke in the morning, had sex again, I gave him his bus fare, and he left. I didn't give him my number and we haven't been in touch.

All I can say is that if you're willing to put your nervousness to rest and let your impulses take over, you'll probably have a lot more fun. Also, finding someone who is attentive to your needs just as much as to their own is a big plus. Maybe I should have given him my number after all–now I have to go and find someone else for a repeat performance :/

V-Card Diaries: IP "I really understood sex the first time I 'took' someone's virginity."

Today we're highlighting IP in Toronto, Canada, who whose relationship ended when she told her partner she'd made out with other guys before him. 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:

17, Female, Toronto

How I define virginity:

I used to define virginity as penis in vagina penetration however that mentality has changed drastically. It wasn't until I had had sex with a number of different people that I began to see how complex it really was.

Here's my story:

The first time I had sex was with another "virgin" and it was special, I feel 100% comfortable with how it happened and I wouldn't change it for the world. However, I really understood sex the first time I "took someone's virginity." I hate using that phrase but I feel like it encompasses what I'm about to say.

I first met this guy at an end of exams party in June. I was instantly attracted to his charisma and confidence. I immediately thought that he was this incredibly experienced, smooth talking, sex god but it turns out he wasn't. I spent almost the entire party talking to him and afterwards he added me on Facebook, however our communication seemed to stop there. He never made the effort to message me and his name would pop up in my news feed and taunt me every so often. We met again by chance at a concert but this time he asked me out as soon as he got home. Our romance progressed very quickly and after two weeks it felt like we had been talking for months. I soon discovered that he was a virgin which took me by surprise, he insisted he had "fooled around" before but something in his voice told me he hadn't.

One night I slept over at his house and making out soon turned into more, we ended up rolling around on his bed naked while he fumbled around trying to figure me out. He didn't have a condom so we couldn't "have sex" and at the time I still thought we hadn't. The week afterwards I had a party and he slept over. We would steal away every so often to make out in my basement and finally when everyone was gone we went upstairs. It felt like things happened in the blink of an eye. I asked if he wanted to, he practically cut me off with a yes, we figured out the condom situation and bam. It happened. Afterwards we lay in bed and started talking.

I mistakingly thought we were not dating at this point but he clearly did. He asked me if I had made out with anyone else and I said yes which warranted a painful silent treatment, followed by a lot of drama. We basically ended the second I told him about the other guy. Now, I think of our first time together as the night I was at his house instead of the night we were at mine. I feel as though that was the time we were the most intimate, which is how I currently define sex.

Having sex with someone encompasses so much more then just penetration, it deals with so much more. Anytime you feel intimately connected with your partner you are having sex, regardless of what anyone else defines it as.

Another answer to the question: How many college students are virgins?

Cory Silverberg at AboutSexuality recently tackled a question that we get asked pretty often: How many college students are virgins? Usually the safest answer is 'More than you think' Having said that, I wanted to share some stats that Cory pulled together in his column. The data comes with disclaimers to consider: Virginity means different things to different people beyond vaginal intercourse which Cory talks about here and we talk about a lot here, having intercourse once is different from being sexually active, every peer group is different in terms of sexual experience, the age of college students varies greatly, and statistics only mean as much as you let them mean.

Here's what he reports:

Every study comes up with slightly different numbers, but a recent large scale study using a nationally representative sample of just under 14,000 US adolescents found that by the age of 18:

75% of people reported having had vaginal intercourse 67% had engaged in oral sex 11% had engaged in anal intercourse

A much smaller study which also used a nationally representative sample reported the following

31% of 16-17 year olds reported having vaginal intercourse 63% of 18-19 year olds reported having vaginal intercourse

In that study, if you consider sex to include oral sex, sexual touching, vaginal or anal intercourse, then 45% of people report having had some kind of sex by the time they are 17.

For a much more tongue-in-cheek analysis, check out Virginity by College Major.