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pressure to have sex

V-Card Diaries: Emily Dickingson "Is there anyone that could love me for me enough that my extreme involuntary virgin status wouldn't turn him off?"

Writing from: Cleveland, Ohio

Age: Late 30s

How I define virginity: My definition seems to align w/society's definition: not having engaged in sexual intercourse of the baby-making variety.

But really, MY definition of virginity for myself is MUCH broader and encompasses many more issues. I read an article in Psychology Today that was a review of research on involuntary sexual virgins, and I very closely identified with what the research describes: adults who are virgins not of their own choosing.

The research studies showed that for involuntary virgins, there were often signs of this fate far back in childhood. Here, the author of the article highlights some of the "tells" of eventual involuntary adult virgins: children who are isolated, have a hard time making friends, are made fun of by their peers, children who feel strongly socially awkward and therefore prefer to play alone.

All of these descriptors applied to me. As such, I never was asked to a school dance, or asked to dance, or asked out on a date. I've never been on a date. I have never been kissed. Forget rounding the bases, I've never even been invited to the game. I have zip-zero-nada experience with anything related to love or romance or flirting or dating or sex.

I am very lonely, and I crave companionship. I yearn for a sexual partner, but only if we are in love with each other. Sex with strangers just for the sex frightens me; I'm scared of all the ways it would go wrong because of my lack of knowledge or experience. On the other hand, sex with someone I love and who loves me is also scary because of all the pressure that would be put on both of us. Is there anyone that could love me for me? Love me enough that my extreme involuntary virgin status wouldn't turn him off?

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V-Card Diaries: Noodlegirl "I was so clueless, I had to Google what I had felt to see if I'd had an orgasm."

Today we're highlighting Noodlegirl from a US East Coast city whose most positive feeling about her breakup was relief she didn't have sex with her boyfriend.  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 22-year-old woman who recently graduated from college and is (hopefully) nearing the end of a search for a job near the east coast city where I attended college. I have always wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

How I define virginity:

I define virginity as penis in vagina penetration.

Here's my story:

I was raised in a Christian home and went to a conservative Christian school until I was 13. Sex wasn’t discussed very much in my home or at the Christian school, but I remember being told more than once that I should wait to have sex until marriage.

I believe as a result of this conservative upbringing, I arrived at the dating/sex scene much later than many of my friends did. I started experimenting with non-penetrative masturbation when I was 18 or 19 and had my first orgasm at age 19. I was so clueless about everything that I wasn’t even sure that I had had an orgasm. I had to google what I had ‘felt’ just to see if I had actually had one. Although I have always wanted a boyfriend, I have pretty high standards and wholeheartedly believe in waiting for someone who I feel I am truly compatible with personality and value-wise. So, I waited. Then, in the fall of my senior year, at age 21, I met a guy who lived on my floor in my dorm. We got along very well and became good friends and eventually started dating. Our relationship recently ended and lasted 10 months.

Very early on in the relationship, I was honest about my desire to not have sex. He was a virgin as well, raised in a religious family, and agreed to wait. However, later on I found out that he had misunderstood me. He was willing to wait for a commitment, but he was not willing to wait for marriage. Regardless, while we were together, he respected my desire not to have penetrative sex. The more ‘bases we rounded’, though, the more he expressed a desire to have sex. We had countless discussions and arguments about why we weren’t having sex, and though he broke it off for other reasons, I can’t help but think that the issue of sex factored in. One of the most positive feelings I have had about this break-up is the relief that I didn’t have sex with him.

While I do agree with the religious reasons for not having sex, I also believe that sex connects you to someone emotionally, whether you feel like it does or not. It is so intimate of an act that I believe that you give a little part of yourself to anyone you have sex with. It’s not that you can’t get that part back or fill that void again, but I believe that you must go through a lot of pain and subsequent healing to get it back. I also believe that if you have trouble reconciling what you’ve ‘given away,’ it can affect your future sexual and relationship experiences. Thus, I only want to have sex with one person, and I want it to be on my wedding night with my husband. I want to preserve that intimacy and make it as special as it should be for both of us.