website statistics

older virginity

V-Card Diaries: Lucy "Even though I've been masturbating since my early teens, I've never actually orgasmed. Am I missing much?"

Writing from: The USA

Age: Late teens

How I define Virginity: Never engaging in physically intimate and consensual contact with a trusted individual(s)

My definition of virginity has changed so much recently. I used to think a person could do everything but PiV and still consider themselves virgins, but that's kind of changing.

I'm 19, 86%-hetero-female, and I've been with my (first) boyfriend for almost 2 months. I never dated in High School and honestly didn't expect to find someone even here at college. Although I consider myself an outgoing person and I've reached bro-status with many of my guy friends, I've always been awkward around/about boys I like.

My boyfriend was my first kiss and he is a really great guy. He's had a little more relationship experience than me, but we're both still "virgins" (in the widely accepted penis-in-vagina sense of the word). Recently we've done more hands stuff and its been great. We're both inexperienced, but learning together. I've gotten him off a few times now; however, he's "failed" to do the same. Even though I've been masturbating since my early teens, I've never actually orgasmed. Am I missing much? Am I abnormal for not "getting there?" I don't really care if I don't get there, but should I?

Note from Trixie: One of the main reasons people have any kind of sex is because it gives them pleasure–and orgasm is certainly high on the list of pleasurable sensations. So, yes, you might be missing much if you've never orgasmed! If you're near a lady-friendly sex shop like Good Vibrations, Babeland or Early To Bed, we'd suggest you drop by and talk to them about a toy or technique that might help, either for you to try alone or with your boyfriend. I realize that may be mortifyingly embarrassing, but they are orgasm professionals and would love to help : ) There are also lots of websites that can help, like Betty Dodson, the queen of masturbation. Good luck!

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.

V-Card Diaries: Sarah "I always thought I'd save my first time for my wedding night. I also always thought I'd get married in my early twenties"

Writing from: Knoxville, TN

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: For straight people, a virgin is someone who has never has penetrative penile-vaginal sex.

I always thought I'd save my first time for my wedding night. I also always thought I'd get married in my early twenties. I was engaged once to a guy (with whom I fooled around A LOT and did pretty much everything other than P in the V with) but he couldn't keep up with me and I decided to break up with him.

Now I feel like a totally different person. I'm very career-oriented now, and I consider myself a feminist (I used to think that was a dirty word). I'm only interested in casual relationships because I don't want anyone to slow me down. But now that so much has changed, I'm finding my attitudes toward sex are changing, too.

I'm 23, and I feel like I'm in virginity limbo. I'm dating a nice guy right now who is fairly experienced. I feel comfortable with him, and I like his sweetness and his sense of humor. I think I want to lose my virginity to him, but I'm a little nervous. I think it's time. I don't want to turn 24 still a virgin.

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: I find myself wanting to have sex but I don't want to sleep with the first guy that I meet just to relieve myself

I'm so glad I ran into your blog. First, I should start this by saying I am a feminist. I believe in a woman's agency ranging from her wanting to be a prostitute or a lawyer. Because of my cultural background (being Haitian), when I came to the US, I was very secluded from the American culture. My parents were over protective and in many ways this caused me to be a late bloomer. I've never been in a relationship and it wasn't until I turned 21 that I had my first kiss/sexual experience. At that point, I was tired of waiting for this "man" that was supposed to be the one and decided to be pro-active in my sexual life.

Now two years later, I find myself wanting to have sex. My dilemma is, I was always taught that my first time should be "special"- with a man I am in a relationship with and that I am in love with. Yet that is not the case for me. I've thought about this and I don't believe in waiting for this man but I don't want to go sleep with the first guy that I meet on the street just to relieve myself. So, I feel confused. What do I do?

I recently found this person that I'm really attracted to at work. He is definitely interested in me sexually but I'm nervous to tell him my situation. Let's not even add my reservation with being involved with someone from work!

I should add that I do NOT want a relationship with him. I just want to explore myself sexually but I worry that I am just so far in with losing my virginity that I am not seeing the risks in pursuing this relationship with this co-worker. Another worry is that I will not be able to handle this type of relationship with this young man if we o engage in sexual intercourse as he has no idea I'm a virgin.

I do feel as if I'm over analyzing this but I really need a fresh feminist perspective on this. Please, PLEASE offer me some advice. –Anne

Hi Anne!

First of all, congratulations on deciding to be pro-active with your sexual life, and that this is coming from what you yourself want and need. It sounds like you're ready for sex and want to have sex and are trying to figure out the best way to do it in the near future. So I'm here to help you with that goal.

First, let's demystify sex a bit. You write that at 21 you had your first sexual experience, so congratulations, you've already had sex! Does that take the pressure off? No? OK, I'm going to assume that what you haven't done–and at 23 are ready to do–is intercourse.

I was in exactly the same situation as you at 23 and the weight of waiting was overwhelming. I ended up having sex for the first time with a guy I had dated a couple of times. He made his moves, assuming I was an experienced woman-about-town, then figured out his mistake as soon as he discovered my utter lack of skills. We did it anyway, and you won't be surprised to hear that it was very anti-climactic and super-duper awkward. It was very helpful for me, though, because it blew away the mystique and stigma, and that was very liberating.

So, if you're raring to be liberated as well, it's on to the next challenge: Where do you find a lucky gentleman?

I won't lie. If all a woman wants to do is have sex, it's not that hard to find it. But I agree a random dude on the street isn't a good idea for so many reasons. The thing is, doing it with a co-worker may not be a really great idea, either. Are you in a big corporation where you'd hardly see him, or is it an intimate office where you'll keep bumping into each other by the Nespresso machine? Are you cool with him talking about you in intimate detail with other co-workers or hearing about his other liaisons? If none of that bothers you, go for it. Otherwise, wait for someone else to come along at a party, on a trip, or after some casual dating. All safety rules and common sense apply, naturally, so please don't do anything that feels unsafe or that makes you really uncomfortable. Trust me, there are lots of options out there.

You can also take it slower and not dive in all at once. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that if the first time is a little awkward, messy or otherwise not what you always dreamed of, that's pretty par for the course. Far more important is the long sexual life you will likely have. The beauty of it is the more sex you have the better it will be–and the better you will be at it. Go forth and start somewhere and let us know how it goes.

You might also want to read how other women handled a similar situation: MMRelena and Ferrette, and also you can use our search filters to find a lot of similar stories on our The V-Card Diaries site.

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

V-Card Diaries: Flowah Bomb "My story is more of a series of questions because I feel lost"

My definition of virginity:  

Something you hold on to and don't want to let got but if and when you hold in to it for too long you don't know how to let go

Here's my story:

My story is more of a series of questions because I feel lost. I considered myself a virgin since I never had vaginal intercourse, but what about oral sex and does masturbation count? Does that count on the virgin not to do list?

I am 24 going on 25 and I have come close to losing my virginity once but I stopped it because I felt it was not my time yet, like a fruit not ready to be picked just yet, so I stopped the events. Now I feel as thought I did lose my virginity that night. As he has a part of me that I can never get back.

Most people do tie their identities with their virginity and I, unfortunately am one of them. I don't know how to be with someone and my fear is that I won't ever get it. I fear I won't know how to define myself if I lose my virginity. Everyone around me has "lost it" but I am terrified of losing it and wanting it back. Thank you for your time.

Hopefully I will get some answer to these questions and all the others I have one way or another.


Note from Therese: We talk a lot about how to (and if to) define virginity on this blog. If anyone has any thoughts or answers for Flowah Bomb, please leave them in the comments below. 

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

 

 

 

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!

Only Connect...

The other day I was re-reading our V-Card Diaries stories, and I was reminded that people who have never had sex are sometimes dealing with personal issues that go beyond the lack of physical experience. So I was struck by this excerpt from Vivian Gornick's New York Times essay on British author E. M. Forster, author of Howards End, as well as A Room With A View, A Passage to India, and Maurice:

Forster was 31 years old when “Howards End” appeared, at which time he was a closeted homosexual and a virgin who knew nothing of how erotic relations worked — with any combination of partners. His ignorance weighed on him, and in his imagination sex achieved a mythical power that became symbolic of all in human existence that one could feel but not express, imagine but not realize. His fearfulness was such that until now he had known neither passion nor love; what he did know was yearning. This yearning energized his work but also limited it. In time he lost his virginity, but sex alone did not provide experience. Anxiety — that frozen sea within — still made it impossible for him to dive deep into the kind of desire that leads to self-knowledge; and without self-knowledge all remains murk and isolation.

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: David "if you're constantly the new kid, being accepted and making friends was like pissing in the wind"

A little about myself: 

I'm a 20-year-old college student living in the United States. I grew up in a military family, so I spent majority of my life as a nomad, moving around from place to place. I'm majoring in political science.

How I define virginity: 

Someone who has had no sexual contact, whether it be with the opposite or same sex

Here's my story: 

Well, growing up in a military family, I moved around a ton. Every 1-2 years I was somewhere else. This has been a fact of life for me since the cradle.

However, it has made making and keeping friends damn near impossible, let alone finding an intimate partner, This was especially true in high school, if you're constantly the new kid, being accepted and making friends was like pissing in the wind. This didn't really become a problem until I entered college. Everyone had already laid down the foundations of forming relationships, whether they be friendships or more intimate or serious ones.

The loneliness is starting to become a burden and a problem and I'd really like it to end. I'm 20 years old and have yet to have any intimate or affectionate contact with a female. It's depressing and makes me feel as if there's something wrong with me and as if nobody wants me. I haven't spoken to anyone about it, mostly because it's embarrassing and because nobody would really understand anyways because they've never been in my shoes.

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

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.

Ask Trixie: My future husband is a 40-year-old virgin and I'm worried he won't have a high-enough sex drive

I'm a divorced 37-yr-old woman dating a 40-yr-old virgin man. I am the first woman he has kissed, the first real relationship he has had. He's a little shy, but incredibly kind and treats me better than any man I've ever dated. We both attend a "wait until marriage" church, so my only sexual experience is with my ex-husband. My problem in that marriage was our desire levels did not match. I wanted far more than he did. My concern in dating a 40-yr-old virgin is that if we marry and become intimate, I will have the same problem I did before. Is it possible for a man to stay a virgin so long and still have a high sex drive?? Or am I dooming myself to the same fate I had before if I stay with him??

First of all, it's awesome that you've found such an amazing guy. And I also think it's great to hear that your boyfriend has found a woman who obviously has such strong feelings for him (we get so many comments from older virgin guys who can't imagine any woman being interested in someone with little to no sexual experience). 

Having said that, your question raises questions for me. Like, what does a "wait until marriage" church ask you to wait for? Intercourse? Any kind of intimate activity? Because you don't have to be putting penises into vaginas to have some pretty intense sex (and get a good feel for how often each partner wants said intensity). 

The most important question is: Have you asked your fiance about his sex drive? Because many 'older' guys who have never had partnered sex do have strong libidos. Does your fiancee masturbate? Does he have sexual fantasies? Does the very sight of you make him horny, even if he knows he can't act on it just yet?

Aside from that, though, having un-equal libidos is not that unusual in long-term relationships. And those libidos can fluctuate and change over time as well (after all, there's no normal, only what works for each relationship) I'm reminded of a post on Em & Lo asking how men feel when a woman has a stronger libido than her male partner. The men's answers were fair to lame, in my opinion, but here is one good comment that all their other readers especially liked. This is an excerpt:

I am married and I think it is safe to say my sex drive is much higher than my husbands. Our sex life is great, the two of us have a very open communication of what feels good and what feels great. However we both also know when the other is too tired for sex. More than not its me knowing when my other needs a break. Having sex is not a chore my husband has to check off his list, but an experience we both enjoy, a lot.

I must tell the truth he looks forward to that week of cramps and menstruation because sex is the furthest thing from my mind and he gets a “break” but sure enough after only four days he’s still pawing at me. Sure there are at times a feeling for him to preform, but it comes with the awareness of his current needs and my libido. It would be outrageous to think that every time I wanted sex I would get it, much like it is outrageous to think that every time a man wants sex the woman *must* put out. And I think that outrageous statement is what is behind these “advice answers.”

There needs to be room in a relationship for a woman to say, “No” just as much as there needs to be room in a relationship for a man to say, “I’m too tired.” And in my relationship there’s plenty of room for that, along with acceptance, commitment, and consent.

I'd also strongly recommend reading Scarleteen's Getting Married When We (May) Want Different Things From Sex. In this case it's the female partner who hasn't had sex and frankly isn't all that interested, but it gives a lot to think about in terms of how to negotiate the problems that situation might bring.

What do you the rest of you think? Can couples negotiate a big gap in libido? Does it make sense to ask mature adults to wait until marriage to become sexually intimate? Let us know what you think! Got a question about virginity, sex, relationships, feminism or filmmaking?  Ask Trixie here.

V-Card Diaries: Kageashi "Despite routinely seeing naked women at work, I still haven't had intercourse"

A little about myself:

I was born in Alexandria VA, but I raised in Western Pennsylvania. I moved to Washington DC for college...and still haven't left 14 years later. My sex is male, but my gender is interchangeable.

How I define virginity:

In heterosexual and male homosexual dynamics, I see virginity as penis penetration of the vagina or anus. For lesbian sex...I have no idea.

Here's my story:

I was reading through the blog and noticed a sad dearth of stories from older individuals (Oh gods, don't make me the old one).  I'm 32 years old, and I still have my V-card, depending on your outlook.  The fact that I still have my V-card probably qualifies as irony, however.

For almost two years I worked for a kink venue.  That is to say, a venue where people came to party (legally) on various pieces of kinky apparatus. The day I realized I had become jaded to the whole situation was when I was speaking with the venue owner in our office and two women were naked and having sex on the floor just inside the doorway.  Open door policy indeed.

Despite routinely seeing naked women running around during those two years, I never had intercourse.  The opportunity only came up once, and I only found out afterwards.

It's not that I'm waiting for marriage–just for something a little deeper than a one-night-stand.  I've had a few near-misses–right time, wrong place, etcetera.  But as a man gets older, the expectation is that he is either really experienced (and should have papers proving he's disease free and routinely checked) or a lame duck.

We'll see if it happens anytime soon.  But for all the guys out there thinking you're the oldest male virgin around outside of the priesthood?

Odds are you aren't.

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

V-Card Diaries: Sully "I'm a guy, so why is it so difficult for me to remove this social stigma?"

Today we're highlighting Sully in Potsdam, NY. First he chose to wait to have sex until he is able to take care for a girl if she gets pregnant, but now he feels like virginity is an awkward cloud looming over 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:

I'm 27, male , I live in Potsdam NY... I work in a restaurant as a cook, went to college, but dropped out for financial and family reasons.

How I define virginity:

Orgasm via vaginal or anal penetration

Here's my story:

I'm a guy, I shouldn't care what I look like or if the girl really cares for me, so why is it so difficult for me to remove this social stigma...I started with noble intentions, I wanted a career first, so if I got said girl pregnant I could at least be responsible and take care of her and "seed", but then it just became this awkward cloud that loomed over me, people treat me like I'm some kind of freak, which in turn makes it only more difficult to talk or do anything about it.

V-Card Diaries: Katherine "I'm a Mormon and a proud virgin but I have not been able to turn off my sexual thoughts."

Today we're highlighting Katherine in Arizona, who has been exchanging sexual fantasies with an old friend but isn't planning to act on them. 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 28-year-old heterosexual female, born and raised in Arizona.

How I define virginity:

There are so many varying ways to define virginity. Not only do I consider myself a virgin because I have never had vaginal intercourse, but I have also never had any sexual contact with anyone including kissing.

Here's my story:

Being raised Mormon it was always taught that you do not have sex till you were married (along with pretty much any other physical contact, even being alone with a potential partner). So I grew up more than happy to follow these rules. I have never had a strong sexual side, so it was easy. And being taught that the right thing to do was to be chaste I was always PROUD to be a virgin. I never struggled with hiding it, feeling ashamed or unwanted etc.

I'm not unattractive and I wouldn't consider myself socially awkward, however I have never really been alluring to the opposite sex and have never had a boyfriend or been on an official date. I always had crushes on guys but they were always unrequited.

It hasn't been till recently that I decided I do not even believe in marriage...so what is the point of waiting to have sex till you get married when I don't even want that? And it hasn't been till recently that I have even had any sort of desire to be physically intimate with anyone and these sexual thoughts and desires were only the result of a conversation with a guy I have known for ten years. I met him (Max) right out of high school and right up front he was more than willing to marry me even though having just met and known me for a short time. But that scared me so he and I have spent the last ten years having on and off conversations via email, online chatting and phone conversations. This year we sparked up our conversations again and one night sex was brought up. When I confessed to having a sexual fantasy about him, he in turn described how he would make love to me. A switch somewhere inside me was thrown. And ever since I have not been able to turn off these sexual thoughts.

But I have no desire to go and act on any of these newly discovered feelings. However Max and I have added an exchange of sexual fantasies to the mix of our usual conversations. None of which will be fulfilled in any near future because he is currently teaching English abroad and then moving to Australia till late next year.

I'm on my way to a new job in California starting next week. And even though I have never had any luck with guys, somewhere inside me I still hold out hope that maybe I will meet a guy whom I will share mutual feelings of love and respect with and a relationship will develop...and I guess we will just have to see if, when, and how actual physical intimacy will develop in my life.

V-Card Diaries: G "I'm not looking for a fairytale, just to meet someone to end my loneliness."

Today we're highlighting G in Canada, who is so cheerful and outgoing outwardly, she thinks people would be shocked if the knew how lonely and sad she really is. 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:

25, female, from Canada.

How I define virginity:

Having not had consensual sexual intimacy with a partner.

Here's my story:

I'm 25, I live in a big city and always have, and I'm still a virgin. Not by choice at all, I might add.

I'm not "ugly" but I'm also not strikingly beautiful. I'm quite plain. In high school I was very troubled, badly bullied and quite depressed, which didn't help. In college I was very shy and despite trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and actually go after people I was interested in, I never experienced reciprocated attraction. The rejection was and is still very painful.

Since then, I've tried online dating to no avail (I got exactly two messages, both from men in their 60s, and zero responses to anything I sent out) and gone out to parties and bars and all kinds of things in an effort to meet new people, but so far nothing has happened. A couple of times I got excited about someone promising, only to be disappointed. I'm not clingy or anything (believe me, I've asked people I know how I come off), just very unlucky.

I want desperately to meet someone. Not so much to have sex, but to help me realize I'm worthy of affection of SOME kind. Right now, I am 25 and I've never been kissed, never been on a date, never held hands, never anything. I feel so truly and desperately alone that I cry myself to sleep frequently. I'm not looking for a fairytale, just an end, however brief, to my loneliness.

I am at the point where I can't imagine what it would be like to have someone show me romantic affection. I almost don't even think it's real. I have a lot of love and care to give and no one who wants to receive it. I'm a very cheerful, smiley person outwardly, and extremely outgoing and friendly. People would be shocked if they knew how lonely and sad I am.

I hope I'll one day be able to write an update saying how I spent years overreacting and worrying for nothing and that I met someone I'm happy with, but I don't know if I can believe it'll ever happen. Maybe it'll finally be my turn one day.

Just The Tip: Virginity In The News with Jane The Virgin, The Institute of Sexology, Indonesian 'virginity' testing, victorian sex myths that won't go away, and more...

Your weekly roundup of virginity-related stories in your world. Want to hear about them right away? Follow us on Facebook where we post daily. Got a story for us to post? Let us know!  

V-Card and Feminist Ryan Gosling

So honored to have our V-Card sharing space with Feminist Ryan Gosling at Sewanee University of the South after my "How To Lose Your Virginity Myths" lecture at the Bairnwick Women's Center Pinnacle Luncheon. Want me to come to your school? More info here.

 

***

 

"There are no “but”s when it comes to women’s humanity. Not “but” you’re lonely, not “but” you’re horny, not “but” you’re nice, not “but” that’s how your grandparents met, not “but” she was naked in your bed. Women are people, and women just get to exist and set boundaries and say no. Always. Any time. Just like you."

Lindy West's essay for the Daily Dot is so powerful in the way it elegantly connects the dots between online harassment, rape culture, pick-up artists, and the way women are socialized to be 'kind' and 'receptive.' It's a must-read.

 

***

 

Among the many reasons to watch the new CW show Jane The Virgin (aside from the amazing Gina Rodriguez) is the show's sex positive and pro-choice messages, which Cosmo points out is a big step forward for the Latina community.

"A TV show can't change everything about how the Latino community talks about sex and reproductive rights, but it's heartening to see one that reflects the change that's already happening. And while Jane's decision may ultimately not have been your decision, it's a decision she was able to make — not her mother's, not her grandmother's, not her boyfriend's. The show hasn't trivialized or moralized abortion talk; it's normalized it."

I especially love the show for the way it portrays real-life abstinence choices, freely made with actual information, as well as the way it confounds the stereotypes around 'older' virginity. OK, at 23, Jane isn't at all old, but you all are sending me older virgin emails at 19. So. Also, I have a special crush on vain but hilarious Telenovela star Rogelio De La Vega played by Jaime Camil. If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch it here for free!

 

***

 

Turkish textbooks remove diagrams of genitals

Turkish news outlet The Hurriyet Daily News reports that some Turkish schoolbooks have replaced diagrams of genitalia with cute photos of mothers and baby animals. While pictures of baby polar bears definitely help SEO, they have no place in science books. It's just another disturbing instance of Turkey's increasing conservatism under Erdogan, but keep in mind these censored Turkish sex ed texts are not unlike US abstinence programs which erase information about contraception and gay people–when they're not vilifying them, that is. I hope they still have Our Bodies, Ourselves.

 

***

 

The Telegraph reports that women who are trying to join Indonesia's police force are routinely subjected to 'virginity' testing. The women report that

“My group of about 20 girls was asked to enter the hall and was asked to take off our clothes, including our bras and underpants,” a 19-year-old woman told the organisation. “It was humiliating. Only those who had menstruation can keep [wearing] underpants… A female doctor did the virginity test ... the 'two-finger' test."

The story makes a point of asking what virginity has to do with good police work, but fails to mention that any and all so-called virginity tests don't test anything except how retrograde and ignorant the testers are. Aside from that, these tests were supposed to be abolished in Indonesia in 2010–and they are a violations of human rights.

 

***

 

The UK's Wellcome Collection is doing a year-old exhibit on sexuality called “The Institute of Sexology”, which they describe as:

"a candid exploration of the most publicly discussed of private acts. Undress your mind and join us to investigate human sexuality at 'The Institute', the first of our longer exhibitions. Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography, this is the first UK exhibition to bring together the pioneers of the study of sex."

I love their NSFW video, which makes the study of sex look classy and illicit at the same time, with scads of naked bodies and naughty words. Totally worth the trip to London, in my opinion!

 

***

 

We got vibrators

From Autostraddle's Rebel Girl series, 5 Bad Theories on Gender and Sex From Way Back When That Still Impact us Today, from with the totally bogus universal theory of gender difference, making European women's bodies the 'normal,' and the ongoing pathologization (is that a word?) of female sexuality.

"The American Psychiatric Association didn’t drop the term hysteria until the 1950s, and hysterical neurosis remained there into 1980. The impacts of the mass misdiagnosis are far-reaching: women today are still labeled “crazy,” and it’s a seemingly natural part of our gender roles."

On the plus side, we got vibrators.

 

Comment of the Week: "Our imperfections make us interesting"

"My friend, I may not know what you have that causes people to laugh. Be it a birth defect (as I have one, it has gotten me looks and rudeness from people) or a unique appearance. But nobody should give up. Heck, I too am a virgin and in my late twenties. But one thing I want you to know: Our imperfections make us interesting, somebody will see you beyond the appearance and love you as you are." From Tarantula on "I Was A Middle-Aged Virgin"

V-Card Diaries: Violet "I know that I will probably be a virgin forever. I've never even kissed a guy."

Today we're highlighting Violet who internalized a lot of shame about female sexuality, and it's made her feel she'll never have a relationship with a man. 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 30-year-old virgin who lives in Oklahoma.

How I define virginity:

Participating in a consensual sexual act with another person.

Here's my story:

I always knew as a child that I would have a difficult time ever finding a boyfriend. I would look in the mirror and try to convince myself that I was decent looking, but no boys paid attention to me unless to insult me by calling me masculine or ugly. In my teens, I exaggerated my flaws (& still do) to the point where I couldn't even imagine someone getting close to me. Today, as I age, and become even more aware of my worthlessness in mens' eyes, I know that I will probably be a virgin forever. I've never even kissed a guy. Once, a guy tried kissing me, but I couldn't relax, so I walked away.

A lot of my issues have to do with the shame my mother taught me about female sexuality. Virgins were worth something while non-virgins were whores. This rhetoric was repeated by other family members too. I heard this all from a young age, probably starting at 5 or 6. For me, I thought I wouldn't have any worth to a man if I lost my virginity because I had nothing else to offer.

Another problem I have is that I can't filter out the negative comments I hear men say about women in general and about their former gfs/wives. How can they date someone and say they were in love, but say such mean statements about the woman's appearance and even insult her sexuality and genitals? I think I've heard too much now to ever really trust a man at all.

At 30, no one wants to have patience with an inexperienced person. Even if I could overcome the issues regarding the shame I was taught and work on improving my self-image, it's still unlikely that I could find a good man. I don't sit at home crying about it, but there is a deep frustration that I will probably never be able to love another person. I'm damaged goods.

Editor note: Many women and men feel the way Violet does, and we want to recommend spending a bit of time at You're Not Alone, a really wonderful community of adults who haven't been able to form intimate relationships. They offer support and advice on changing that situation.

Some depressing thoughts about evangelical men and purity pledges:

"The church, and the men that I interviewed, don’t believe that women would need a space to talk through these issues. They believe that men are highly sexual beings and they have "natural urges" that need to be controlled, but they don’t believe that women have that natural desire to be sexually active. Women are the providers of sexual activity for their husbands."

From "What Happens When Evangelical Virgin Men Get Married? This Secular Female Sociologist Found Out," and interview with sociologist Sarah Diefendorf at The New Republic.

While some evangelical churches encourage a pleasurable sex life for both partners, this one apparently does not. What a sad way to start a marriage, thinking your wife's duty is to become a sexual vessel to satisfy you and keep your beastly urges in check. Equally sad, Diefendorf reports that while the men have support groups of peers to deal with issues around masturbation, porn and masculinity prior to marriage, this support stops dead on their wedding day.

V-Card Diaries: Megan "Sex is precious. My body is precious. It is only for THE one other person that will earn my trust."

Today we're highlighting Megan in Texas, whose Catholicism impacts how she things about sex and relationships. 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 26-year-old female from Texas. I was born Catholic and still practice Catholicism. Naturally, this has a huge impact on how I was raised and how I see sex and relationships. But I also agree that people have different views, none of which I condone. I stick to my values, and I respect those who have different values and stick to them just as tightly. It's what makes them who they are.

How I define virginity:

I have my own personal definition of virginity: It simply means not being sexually intimate (all forms of sex; if it has the word "sex" behind it, it is indeed considered "sex" in my book; even being naked with a potential sex partner is close to the edge. But I'm a very private person anyway). Many people have different definitions of virginity, so it is my belief that they should stick to their morals when it comes to deciding whether or not they've lost "it." The term has become so muddled, it's impossible to come to a consensus on a definition.

Here's my story:

I'm single, and still a virgin at 26. I have felt shame at times, especially when I was younger, but as I have grown up and matured, I feel at peace with my decision to remain celibate until marriage. None of my friends care and none have asked me if I've ever "lost it", and I have never asked them. I feel that is out of respect for each other, and because it really doesn't matter in our friendships. Sex is a private matter, between two individuals who care deeply for each other. I've discovered a great deal about myself since leaving high school 8 years ago, and I know that I will be ready to let someone into my life when the time comes.

Indeed, religion has played a role in my decision, but I also never have felt like I was ready for an intimate relationship. I have to find the right person, and only then will I know I can let him intimately into my life, and we can share an experience that is the practice leading to the creation of new life as husband and wife. Sex is precious, my body is precious. My body is amazing, and it is only for THE one other person that will earn my trust and love me enough to be with me for the rest of my life. And I'm totally okay with our first time being messy and awkward, but that will give us a chance to grow and learn with each other throughout our lives.

Remaining a virgin has led me to realize that I have respected my body AND my emotions, because no one knows me better than me. Of course I've had sexual desires (I am human), and I definitely relish the thought of being intimate with a man. I have had opportunities, but remaining true to myself means more to me than giving myself away before I'm ready.

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.