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Ask Trixie: Is losing your virginity a big deal and should I wait to lose it?

Hey Trixie, I'm 18 years old and a freshman in college. In high school, I would never do anything with a guy and it even took me 6 months to make out with my boyfriend in 10th grade. I was always afraid that everyone would judge me so I didn't want to do anything. Now that I'm in college, everyone seems to not care about sex and I'm contemplating losing it. I just broke up with my boyfriend a couple days ago and we were only together for 2 months but I regret not having sex with him. My question is, Is losing your virginity a big deal and should I wait to lose it? –N

Hi N! Thank you so much for writing.

I get asked some form of this question all the time and I'll tell you what I tell everyone else: the choice is yours to make, and I can't make it for you. It's a very personal decision that has to do with a lot of things: how comfortable you are with sex and with your body, how much you trust and communicate with your partner, the beliefs and traditions you were raised with, and so much more. 

Many questions on the Ask Trixie section of my blog have to do with first-time sex, and I've tried to provide information, support and some advice for anyone in similar situations. Two to start with are here and here, and you can also scroll through the rest for more specific information.

Also, keep in mind that the idea of 'losing virginity' means many different things to many people. I invite you to read some of the stories in our V-Card Diaries project. You can search through the stories by different themes, including ones about waiting for the right person, getting it over with, and having casual sex. I think you'll find the stories relatable, and reading how others have dealt with similar questions might help you make your own decisions.

And finally, you can check out Scarleteen’s Am I Ready For Sex checklist. It's long, but has lots of questions you can ask yourself that might help you figure out what to do. 

Keep in mind that even when we consider carefully, it doesn't always work out as well as we imagined it would. Life is often unpredictable and imperfect. If that happens, forgive yourself and keep going. You will have many more opportunities to get it right.

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

V-Card Diaries: Audrey "I was bombarded with judgments of being a 'virgin' and misinformation about sex"

A little about myself: 

I'm 21, Park City Utah, female, I'm a baker and environmentalist, I've never had sexual experience beyond kissing and massages between my kind ex. from high school and I.

How I define virginity: 

A concept that's overrated, outdated, used to scare people into not having sex (sex can be healthy for you). People should define virginity for themselves, but it's abused by businesses, religion, and media.

Here's my story: 

I don't like the word "virginity." It's abused and overrated. I'm 21 and I've never had sexual experience beyond kissing, snuggling, and massages between my nice ex from high school and I. Neither of us were emotionally or intellectually prepared. In college I did not trust the guy I was dating to respect my sexual boundaries. He was trying too hard to get me to have sex with him, so we broke up. I was born and raised Utah, but my parents are Midwesterners.

The culture here strictly practices abstinence only education, but I'm not a mormon. I went to the Unitarian Universalist Church which has a nation wide liberal and informative sex education program known as OWL. I attended OWL in 8th grade and 11th grade. There are 4 stages of it each designed for a different age group starting with 10&11 year olds. Unfortunately I didn't retain much of what I had learned. 

In college, in Oregon, I was bombarded with judgments of being a "virgin", myths and misinformation about sex, and stories of other peoples' sex in the dorms. It scared me.
I'm now a baker at Deer Valley Resort. Just a week ago I started watching Sex + by Laci Green and it was amazing, re-informing, liberating and so great with the positive look on sex. I binge watched for hours. All I have to say is Thank You Laci.

I look forward to having a sexual experience that is safe, informed, and not dreaded. I live with my parents and I'm looking for a place to buy closer to down town Park City. Whether It's masturbation, intercourse, or another for of sex, I don't feel comfortable having sex in my parents' home, and I'm happy to wait for the right place, person, and time. Not that I expect it to be perfect.

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

V-Card Diaries: Kisa "I lost my virginity while watching Star Wars on a Saturday, and it was the most perfect moment to do it."

Today we’re highlighting Kisa on the East Coast who thought her first time was perfect, but doesn't think all her friends would understand why she didn't wait. 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:

My name is Kisa and I'm female and about to be a senior in the class of 2014!!! I live on the East Coast!!

How I define virginity:

I feel like there are several virginities you can lose and each one is its own separate thing. You can lose your oral sex virginity, your vaginal sex virginity, and anal, and much more. I think that each one is its own special thing and something to look forward to. But I also believe that people put too much value on virginity.

Here's my story:

I was scared at first. My earliest sexual experiences were not done willingly. I had been penetrated with a finger in my vagina by my rapist and I was scared of doing anything sexual at all. I had decided I was going to put off sex until the latest possible moment. Then I met my boyfriend, and I told him outright I never wanted to have sex with him. While this might put off many guys he said he was willing to wait and understood why, he still did ask but respected me when I said no. He waited and waited for me to be ready and finally one day I was! I initiated the act and enjoyed it fully even though it did hurt. I lost my virginity while watching Star Wars on a Saturday at his house, and it was the most perfect moment to do it. I regret nothing. I only wish there was not such a stigma regarding virgins, and virginities. I am a little sad, not because I lost it to him, but because it's something totally new to me and I don't want people to judge me for my actions. It was perfect for me, but I don't think all of my friends would understand why I did not wait longer.