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V-Card Diaries: Chaser "When I came out, my definitions of virginity had to change. What counts if you don't have a penis involved?"

Today we’re highlighting Chaser in the US. Although she is religious and becoming a pastor, she felt never pressure from the church to abstain. 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 a 27 year old bisexual female living in the US. I'm in graduate school to become a pastor and know several other virgins at school (although most people here are not). I am both liberal and religious but have never felt pressure from my parents or church to abstain.

How I define virginity:

I think of sexual activity as a spectrum, meaning there's a difference between being sexual and "having sex." While I do believe penetration of some kind (penis, fingers, tongue, strap-on) does count as the "having sex" end of the spectrum, I also believe in the importance of each person figuring out their own definition and having conversations with their partners about what sex is/means and what they feel comfortable doing. I think that sex is more complicated than PIV, even for straight people. I also don't think that EVERYTHING sexual is "sex." There are layers and levels.

Here's my story:

For a kid who had been going to Sunday School since she was 8, I never felt the Church pressuring me not to have sex. In fact, it's given me some of the best lessons on how how to have the safest (loving, connected, well communicated, protected from disease and pregnancy) sex. The choice not to have sex was mine and always has been. As a teenager, I decided that I didn't want to have sex until marriage because, at the time, marriage symbolized unwavering commitment and sex symbolized ultimate connection. As I've gotten older, I'm unsure if marriage is really the goal (or if it's even on the table), but the reasons for not having sex have shifted. It's been about trust issues, about having waited so long that I want it to be worth it, about not being able to find anyone. Now, it's about specialness: Sex has meaning to me that hasn't been broken, and I don't want to risk breaking it.

When I came out, my definitions of virginity had to change. What counts if you don't have a penis involved? What counts on men but not on women? Women but not on men? In the end, I looked at what I felt counted for one and for the other and decided that those are the things that should count for everyone I date. It shouldn't be about gender/sex or what sexual organs someone has; what counts counts.

V-Card Diaries: Joy "During the day my parents told me only whores had sex before marriage, but at night my mom gave me "lessons"."

Today we're highlighting Joy in the US, who hopes she can find a guy who can navigate her difficult past in a dysfunctional home. 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 26-year-old woman from the States. I've lived in 10 different states and a foreign country in my life. And I'm planning on moving to my 11th state in a few months.

How I define virginity: 

I'm still trying to figure that out...if we use the traditional vaginal penetration definition I am technically a virgin though I have never felt "pure" (whatever the hell that means).

Here's my story:

I grew up in a very dysfunctional home. My mom was an alcoholic who, after I turned nine, would tell me EXACTLY how I was supposed to please a guy. I mean exactly all the things you wish your parents would pretend they didn't know or ever do, yeah, she told me about them. But at the same time my dad was an elder at the VERY conservative church I grew up in and I was sent to equally conservative christian schools.

So I grew up really confused. During the day my parents told me that only whores had sex before marriage, but at night my mom gave me "lessons."

In high school when everyone one was dating and having their first time I looked at my world and thought "I'm not even mature enough to deal with this I can't bring someone else into it." So I just avoided guys. When I got to college (also a nice conservative Christian school) I got really interested in this guy who said all the right things but deep down I was a little afraid of him. Turns out that fear was for a very good reason. One night we were making out down by the lake on campus and he sexually assaulted me. He was the first guy I ever let get close to me.

After that I swore off guys. I got a lot of good therapy and wonderful friends who've helped me sort through a lot of this baggage. So now I'm 26, finally in a stable place, and I feel good about myself, but I have no idea how to attract a guy since I've spent most of my life avoiding them. And if by some miracle a guy happens to come around I'm afraid I'll scare him off if I tell him I got sex lessons from my mother, I have church bullshit baggage about sex, and well yeah the first boyfriend I had left me with enough scars to scare anyone away. To top that all of I'm headed to seminary to become a pastor this fall. So I kind a feel like my love life is doomed. Though I'm still a Christian I'm far from a conservative. I have no problem with people having sex outside of marriage and would love to do that. But I tell a guy I'm going to seminary and its like someone through an ice bucket over him.

I really hope that there is a guy (or 2 or 3) that somehow can navigate all of that with me because I really don't want to die not experiencing the goodness of sex.