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Ask Trixie

Ask Trixie: I never felt my partner's small penis go into my vagina, so does that make me still a virgin?

Dear Trixie: Okay so I got with this guy for a bit of a one night stand. He was very good looking and I imagined a bigger penis. This was my first time too by the way. Anyways after talking for a while we decided to get it on. and it turned out that he had a very very very small penis. I never felt it go in my vagina so I was wondering does that make me still a virgin if I never even felt it?? –AP

Dear AP:

I answered a question very similar to yours a while back involving someone who had penetrative sex with just the tip of someone's penis. In your case, you were with someone with a small penis and didn't feel what you imagined you were supposed to feel to 'officially' lose your virginity. 

Either way, this kind of question is always tough to answer because different people have very different ideas about how you lose your virginity. Is it a penis in a vagina? Is it a broken hymen? Is it thinking impure thoughts? Is it feeling intimate with your partner? Is it your first orgasm, alone or with a partner? Seriously, lots of people have sent us their definitions and virginity means very different things to different people.

I'm sure you've been told different things about what it means to lose your virginity, and maybe that involved pain and bleeding (which is really just idiotic mythology instead of indicating you had intercourse before your vagina was relaxed and ready!). I don’t believe there’s one magic moment that suddenly changes us somehow. I’d like to think about our lives as a series ‘first times’ that make up our sexual history. Or maybe you could think about it in this way: you lose your virginity the first time you feel like a truly sexual person, no matter what specific thing you're doing.

The question I want to ask you is why is it important to know whether you’re a virgin or not? Why do you need an outside definition to tell you who you are? Is someone making you feel bad about being (or not being) a virgin? 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. (And write back if that's the case)

So you can decide you lost your virginity and were spared some pain or bleeding that might happen sometimes with a larger penis. Or maybe instead of using the word virgin, you can say ‘I had a penis inside me for the first time but I didn't really feel it that much.’ Maybe the next time you have a penis inside you it will feel different, and hopefully good. 

I’m sorry I can give you a definitive answer, but there really isn’t one. What I do want to say is that if and when you have sex again, whether it's intercourse or something else, I hope that it feels really good!

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

Ask Trixie: Is it morally wrong for me to have sex with a married woman so I can lose my virginity?

Trixie - I am a 38 year old male virgin. I've had life long issues with shyness, social anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder. It has been a long, weird road. I've never had a relationship or even a fling. The most I've done is kissed. I am socially awkward and it is just really difficult for me to connect with women.

I got tired and decided to (finally!) take action to try to avoid become a 40 year old V-bomb. So I posted an ad to Craigslist (before they shut down the personals forever) explaining my situation. I got mostly bots, but one real reply. We chatted for a bit. She is understanding, doesn't mind my situation, is patient, we click conversationally, in terms of humor and more. The only hang up.......she is married. She says she is in a now-unphysical marriage, and has made a clear decision to seek out something to fulfill this part of herself before the idea finally passes over based on age and all. If not with me, it will be with someone else, that has been made clear, not that that excuses me from potential moral hang ups.

So basically I have before me someone who is patient and understanding about my quite late virginity, desirous to 'teach me', and I click with on several personality points. But there is a hang up. I don't really want to be involved with a married woman. I feel like I'm crossing a line of morality. But maybe it's overactive 'moral' lines that have got me into this predicament to begin with. Maybe I just finally have to let go of socially implanted hangups. Or maybe I have to not think of someone else's wife as a random girl to get off with.

I am lost. I want to move past this eternal hump and have sex and love, so I can get some experience and confidence and thereafter have a normal dating life and try to find something real. But I don't want to, after waiting 38 years, just flippantly be an absolute a-hole and spit on 3 separate hearts. Am I overmoralizing by not going for it, or being selfish by going for it. I feel I know your answer ahead of time, but is that based on socially implanted constructs, or real lines that should be respected?

I feel on some levels that, at 38, this might really be my final chance to get some confidence that I can then bring to the world.  –Lost.

Hi Lost! 

It's taken me a bit of time to respond, and perhaps you've made a decision since you wrote me, but if you haven't I'll weigh in with my two cents. Which is...I can't really tell you what to do. I can maybe give you a few things to consider, though.

Some marriages are not monogamous, and the partners have worked out a mutually agreed upon set of rules or guidelines about how and with whom they can have sex. So, you might want to ask her what the understanding is with her husband, considering she's telling you her marriage is sexless. 

Now, If she is doing this without his knowledge, it is totally her choice and she may well find another partner to have sex with if it doesn't work with you. I think you may give yourself too much power in this scenario to 'spit on hearts' and be a homewrecker. So, take a step back. You would not be the first person to have sex with a married person, and certainly not the last. In fact, I think you have a lot of company. Not that it excuses it, but it's also not that rare.

Finally, becoming a sexual person is NOT about one night with one woman. It's about a lifetime of learning and discovery, getting more comfortable with yourself and your partners, creating relationships (short of long term). So that one night might be great an help you get over the hump, so to speak. But then again, it might not.

If it personally bothers you to be in a relationship with a married woman, keep looking for another partner. If you think it will truly help get you on the road to having a healthy relationship with someone who is single and available, it might be worth it for you to do it. Just make sure you are both going into it with the same understanding and expectations of the situation. The really crappy thing would be for you two to have different expectations of what this means and what you want to get out of it. Be on the same page.

So, I can't tell you what to do, but hopefully this gives you a path to think about it. Good luck, and let me know what you decide.

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

Ask Trixie: I'm worried i'm pregnant! How can I stop stressing over this?

Hey Trixie - I had sex on the 3rd of dec for the first time and my last period was on the 11th of nov. It's currently the 6th of dec and i'm worried i'm pregnant although i did use a condom (which didn't break) and took the morning after pill. What are my chances and how can i stop stressing over this? –June

Hi June -

Thank you for writing and I'm sorry you are so stressed! You don't mention what kind of sex you had, so I'm going to assume it was intercourse with a person with a penis. If not, let me know!

If that's the case, I can tell you I've been there. If you're not a strict 28-day person, it might be late for many reasons, and stress has a way of making them even more wonky. Since your partner's condom was intact AND you took a morning after pill, it's unlikely that you're pregnant.

BUT! The best way to stop stressing is to take a pregnancy test, which you can buy at any drugstore. You get two tests in one box so you can double-check the results, whatever they are. Just follow the instructions exactly. If you are pregnant (again, unlikely) you may have more questions so I invite you to write again.

Good luck!
Trixie

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

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.

Ask Trixie: I want to have sex, but the guy says he's nervous that I'll regret it. How do I get him to understand I won't?

Hi! I've been talking to a guy & I want to have sex, but he's getting nervous. He says he doesn't want me to regret losing my virginity to him. I grew up in a catholic family that slut shamed but 75% of children in my family were born to 17 yr olds & I realized I don't care about virginity. I think of it as a way to pressure girls to save themselves for that *one lucky guy*. IDK how to get him to understand this but also how to be comfy with myself since I have gained a few pounds –fbgc

Hi fbgc!

I’m reading a few different issues in your question so let’s take them one at a time:

1. There are lots of considerations when you’re deciding to become sexual, and you’re the only one who can decide if you’re ready. Sex can be a part of our lives in different ways: maybe we experiment with different partners, or we wait until we get married and have sex with one partner. There’s no right answer to this, but it is important to think it through for yourself. It sounds like you’ve done that, but if you need a bit more to chew on, check out something I wrote called How Will I Know I’m Ready?

2. It sounds like your potential partner is genuinely concerned about your happiness, but he also sounds like he’s projecting his own ideas about virginity onto you. It would be interesting to ask him why he thinks you’ll regret it. Is it because of his own religious beliefs which you might no longer hold? Is it subtle slut-shaming on his part because you don’t buy into the ‘saving yourself’ messages? Or is it because he thinks his penis is so magical, that it has the power to irrevocably transform you simply by sticking it into your vagina? Knowing why he’s worried that you’ll ‘regret’ it, might actually affect whether or not you even want to do it with him. I mean, who wants to have sex with a guy who’s thinking you’re a slut the whole time it’s happening (if that’s the case)?

3. Let’s say you decide you want to have sex, and the guy you’ve chosen is cool enough to be worthy of you. I’m going to beg you not to get hung up on your body, and whatever pounds you feel you’ve put on. Our brains have been poisoned by toxic messages about what women’s bodies should look like, and the worst thing would be to get uncomfortable about being sexual because you feel like you don’t look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Any guy who rejects you because of your body has done you a huge favor, saving you wasting your valuable time and energy on a total jerk. I know it sounds like a cliche, but please try to appreciate your body’s remarkable ability to give and receive pleasure, whatever size it is.

4. You might think it all through, feel great about your decisions, have sex, and then still regret it. Because life is like that: not everything works out the way we think it will. Then you need to learn from the experience, and try to make the next time better. The ‘first time’ is just that, the first of (hopefully) many sexual experiences you’ll have for the rest of your life. If you want to read some stories from people who had similar experiences, go to our V-Card Diaries project, click on ‘enter, and then click on ‘It Gets Better’ in the left-had column.  And let us know how it works out!

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

Ask Trixie: I'm really tight down there and I'm nervous about pain and blood

Hi, love your blog. I'm 19 and a virgin. I've met this guy and I really want to have sex with him (I'm a girl). I told him I was a virgin and he was so respectful about and said we won't do anything I'm not comfortable with. I'm nervous about any pain or blood. A bit TMI but I'm really tight down there and haven't been able to get a finger in. Any tips/ advice for a first timer? Thanks in advance!

Hi! I’m really glad you’re dating a nice guy who is respectful of your boundaries and comfort level. That’s important in any relationship, but especially when you’re getting ready to do something for the first time. 

It’s pretty common to be worried about pain and blood if you’ve never had penetrative sex before. Especially because all we hear so many scary stories, we assume that’s how it always has to be. So, first of all, you should know that some people don’t experience pain, and/or don’t bleed, but since our bodies are all different, there’s no one ‘normal’ way we work.

If you’re not able to put a finger in there, it could be for a lot of totally understandable reasons: you’re nervous and the muscles around your vaginal canal and pelvic floor are super tense; you don’t have enough lubrication to help something slide in comfortably; or you may have a medical condition that should be looked at by a gynecologist. 

These are all things that can be dealt with, as long as you and your partner are communicating and you take your time. Also, keep in mind that sex includes a whole lot of really pleasant things that don’t include vaginal penetration (intercourse isn’t the be all and end all). 

Because this is such a common issue, I’m going to link you to previous stories I’ve done that have lots of info and links:

Will I Bleed The First Time I Have Sex?

We’re About To Have Sex But I’m Worried About It Hurting

I hope you and your partner have some really pleasurable sex together!

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

Ask Trixie: I've never had consensual sex and was only taught abstinence. So, what should I know?

I've only been raped before so I consider myself a virgin since I've never had consensual sex or a consensual first kiss. only taught abstinence and about STDs so what should I know? –locandload

Hi locandload -

I am so incredibly sorry that you were raped. I’m also sad what’s passed for sex ed has only been about abstinence and STDs. I don’t know very much about your own story, but knowing what I know about abstinence programs I feel like the things you learned about sex were mostly based on fear and shame. I hope I can offer some help.

Your question ‘what should I know’ is so big, I can’t really do it justice in this post. Because there’s so much to know! A great start would be checking out Scarleteen, which I (and many people) think is the best sex ed site in the world. Scarleteen has really great (and very kind) info, and here are just some of the links to their topics: bodiesgendersexual identityrelationshipssex & sexualitysexual healthpregnancy & parenting and abuse & assault

Scarleteen also has Direct Services, including one-on-one answers to your questions, as well as message boards and more. I hope it’s a good start to finding all the info and support you need. 

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

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.

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.

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.

Ask Trixie: "I'm terrified to have sex because I suck at everything"

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I'm a virgin. Which kinda sucks [to me]. It's not that i don't like being a virgin, I'm just fucking terrified to have sex. That and I've never had a boyfriend. I'm bit old fashioned. I'd like to make sure I know the person before I let them stick anything inside me, you know?? Any tips? because i suck at everything. Please and thanks. – Anonymous

Hi Anonymous - After reading your letter, I'm pretty sure you don’t suck at everything! You’ve been giving this decision to have sex a whole lot of thought. And the first and most important part of becoming sexual is to know your own body, what you want and don’t want, and how you’re going to make yourself happy. 

So, it sounds like you kind of know what to do: Take your time and find someone you trust, you can talk to, and you feel comfortable with. 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. Definitely try 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 is more fun than intercourse, anyway.)

Another reason to take things slow and find someone you can talk to is the fear that penetration 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.

So take a deep breath and relax. I think you’re totally on the right track!

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

Ask Trixie: How can I pretend that it will be her first time with me?

I been seeing this girl for 5mos now, we're very open to each other. She's not a virgin but she only had sex with one guy and it was 8.5 mos ago. I am, and we plan on having sex soon, in 3mos. She never came with the first guy and she wasn't in love with him like she is with me. We both agreed that her first doesn't count because she wasn't in love and it was a stupid choice in the first place, and pretend that it'll be her first time with me. But it's really hard to pretend. Any advice? – Anonymous

Hi Anonymous – I get that there's a certain romance in being each other's 'first' but I'm feeling like you're also judging her. Why are you hung up on what she did before she met you? Do you think the fact that she had sex with someone else changed her in some way that makes her a less worthy partner for you? Have you done anything in your past you wish you hadn’t? 

Maybe you two can think about that first experience she had as a trial to see what she liked and didn't, and that experience will make sex between the two of you all that much better. Knowing what doesn't work for you can be as important as knowing what does.

You’ve got long lives ahead of you with lots of sexual experiences and (possibly) other partners. Yes, the first time can be special and important, but it's more important that the two of you have a great relationship. So, stop pretending, get over what’s in either of your pasts, and focus on the present. You love each other, which is awesome. You’re attracted to each other, which is also awesome. Enjoy being with each other and the pleasure that will bring you both.

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

Ask Trixie: "I'm scared to lose my virginity because I'm scared I will get pregnant."

I'm scared to lose my virginity because I'm scared I will get pregnant the first time I ever do it because that's the kind of luck I have – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous – I’m really glad you asked this question. Sex can be amazing, but being ready for any kind of sex is more than just making physical and emotional connections. It also means you and your partner are taking responsibility for using the right contraception and STI prevention–which I know can sometimes be confusing and awkward.

I have TOTALLY been there myself, and I’m really ashamed to say that the first time I had intercourse I used no birth control at all. So stupid and scary, and I was very lucky to not get pregnant or get an STI*. I did NOT make that mistake again. I immediately scheduled my first gynecologist appointment and decided to go on the pill (and never got pregnant). That was the right choice for me at the time, but everyone's situation is different.

One little thought: Having any kind of sex for the first time can sometimes be scary, or make us nervous. Think about whether fear of pregnancy is masking some other deeper concerns about being intimate. I'll leave that there for you to ponder and get on to the birth control info.

First of all, the best way not to get pregnant is not to have intercourse (Jane The Virgin doesn’t count) but if you do want to have intercourse, birth control should never, ever be a matter of luck. It’s about educating yourself on the best BC option for you, and then using it exactly as directed. Despite what abstinence-until-marriage programs teach, contraception is safe and effective when used correctly (and a lot safer than going through a pregnancy). 

A great place to start is with this handy guide from our friends at Scarleteen. It walks you through questions about what’s most useful and healthy for YOU and gives lots of suggestions on what to use. Planned Parenthood also has a great guide as does Bedsider.

Once you have an idea of what works best for you, go see your health care provider. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Planned Parenthood office, they’ll be happy to help you, and it will be less expensive. Stay way clear of Crisis Pregnancy Centers which advertise the same services but then give you misinformation and shame instead of contraception.

One other thing to consider: If you’re having sex within a relationship and your birth control costs a bit of cash, it’s only fair that your partner helps pay for it. Just because you’re the one who can get pregnant, it doesn’t mean it’s not his responsibility as well. 

*Don’t forget Sexually Transmitted Infections, which can be an even bigger risk than pregnancy because you don’t have to have intercourse to get infected. Condoms are the only way to protect yourself against those so have your partner keep using them. Also, because no BC is absolutely 100% effective (although many come very close), condoms can be a great backup.

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Ask Trixie: Is the G-spot a real thing?

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is the "G-spot" a real thing? –Anonymous

People continue to fiercely debate whether there’s an actual G-Spot (named for German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg). Some people have an especially sensitive spot on the inside front-ish part of their vaginal canals, and when it’s rubbed just right magical things happen. Others don’t feel that much in their vaginas at all and would always prefer the party to be happening around their clitoris. And others think that anything they feel in their vaginas is actually coming from their clitoris any way.

Wait, weren't we talking about the G-Spot? Yes, but bear with me. The clitoris, like an iceberg, takes up a lot more territory than the bit that’s visible, and therefore might be the source of physical pleasure for the whole vulval/vaginal area. So what you feel in your G-Spot area is possibly just another form of stimulation of the giant clitoral body. 

If you want to learn more about the amazing clitoris, The Huffington Post just published a pretty amazing story package on the clitoris complete with history, diagrams and swell animations.

The moral? There's really no correct location for your orgasm, despite what Dr. Freud* thought, so the important thing is to figure out what feels really good down there and do more of that, whatever you want to call it. You can read more about The G-Spot here and here as well.

*Sigmund Freud taught that clitoral orgasms were 'immature' and after puberty women should only have vaginal orgasms, which he deemed 'mature.' This was based on absolutely no scientific evidence except his belief that real sex was dictated by the penis and intercourse. Despite it being total bullshit, this myth continues to this day even though a significant percentage of women don't experience orgasms located in their vaginas.

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Ask Trixie: My family is shaming me because I'm still a virgin at the age of 21

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My family is shaming me because I am still a virgin at the age of 21. A bit of background: In high school I had a girlfriend for all of four months. We didn't do anything besides make out and in the end I was glad to leave that relationship. When I turned 18, my friend said to me "Guess what the difference is between me at 18 and you?" He then said "I got laid, you haven't." I can take a joke of course but this has caused internal trouble for me.

Just a few weeks ago, my grandparents were in town. Because the car didn't have enough room, I had to sit in the middle with my little sister on my lap. Grandma asked if I had a girlfriend and then my mom said "This is the first time J. has had a girl sit on his lap." Laughter was had but I still tried to shrug it off with no avail.

For me, I personally don't want a one night stand in part because of the possible regretfulness. I'd rather wait till it's someone I've gotten to know well. I know deep down that I can't wait to have sex but the opportunity has not presented itself yet. I also know that I am a sexual person with a fairly high libido, masturbating every other day or so.

I guess what I'm asking is does it get better? Should I let it weigh me down? –J

Hi J -

Thanks for writing. I'm so sorry to hear you're getting so much grief on this. It especially stings when it comes from people who should be supporting you, not putting you down. I've personally gotten shit for the shape of my body, my feminism, and other things. Teasing really sucks.

I don't want to diminish how frustrating and hurtful your experience has been, but people who have had sex are just as likely to get teased about what they have or haven't done.  Either way it's really none of your family's business what you're doing in your intimate life. You owe them no explanations or excuses, and unless you're going into gory detail about what you're done or haven't done, they really have no idea what your experience is. On a side note: I think it's kind of weird for your mom to compare your little sister to a potential girlfriend, but maybe I'm over-thinking this.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you've internalize their comments and allowed them to define who you think you are. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not really the teasing that's getting you down, it's the feeling that you've somehow missed your chance at sex, that the ship has sailed and you're left standing on the dock. So here's some very important information: There are lots of 21-year-olds who haven't had a lot of (or any) sexual experience, and you are in better company than you think.

Becoming a sexual person is a long process, not one magical moment when you 'get laid' that changes you forever. Whatever you did with your girlfriend was one milestone in that process and there will be more. So, yes it does get better and you will have more and better experiences. But you have to do a bit of work as well to make opportunities happen, like getting out and meeting people, taking a chance and talking to someone you find interesting, and making your goal to develop a relationship, not to get laid.  Most of all, please don't let it weigh you down...21 is way too young to give up.

Check out a post from contributor MHiggo on how to deal with being ridiculed about your virginity. We also really like this V-Card Diaries story from someone who challenges the idea that it's unmanly not to be sexually active.  You can also read more stories under the 'It Gets Better' section of The V-Card Diaries. Hang in there and let us know how things go.

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Ask Trixie: I'm a virgin and he's not. How will I know when I'm ready and what to do?

Any advice? I'm 16/legal and I've been dating my friend for 2 weeks We were getting really physical the other day and he asked "If I had a condom, would you want to?" I'm a virgin/he's not. I don't know what I want/if I'm ready/when I will be/what I'd do? –A

Hi A –

Thanks for writing. You’re the only one who can really decide if you’re ready, but here are a few things to ask yourself:

  • Do I really want to do this, or do I just want to make my partner happy?
  • Do my partner and I have the same expectations for our relationship (casual or committed, for example) or will one of us be disappointed and upset after we have sex?
  • Are there other non-penetrative things we can do that will feel just as good (or better!)?
  • Am I doing this because I think I’m too old to be a virgin (oh my god, totally no).

Being able to answer these questions means you also have to know the person you're thinking about having sex with. Has he been a friend for a long time, even though you've only dated for 2 weeks? Or do you need more time to get to know him, and build up some trust and communication.

You should definitely check out Scarleteen’s Famous "Am I Ready For Sex?" checklist which has lots more things to consider. You don’t have to answer every question, but it will really help understand what you want.

Also, go to our V-Card Diaries story collection to read about other teens’ experiences around becoming sexual. Enter the site, and then click on ‘Teens’ in the red search terms and select any of the red dots.

Write back if you have any other questions. And seriously, if you feel confused, you’ve got plenty of time to figure out if and when you want to become more sexual. There’s no rush.

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Ask Trixie: If just the tip or less went in does it still count? Am I a virgin?

If just the tip or less went in does it still count? Am I a virgin? –Anonymous

Hi Anonymous!

This kind of question is always tough to answer because different people have very different ideas about how you lose your virginity. Is it a penis in a vagina? Is it a broken hymen? Is it thinking impure thoughts? Is it feeling intimate with your partner? Seriously, lots of people have sent us their definitions and virginity means very different things to different people.

The question I want to ask you is why is it important to know whether you’re a virgin or not? Why do you need an outside definition to tell you who you are? Is someone making you feel bad about being (or not being) a virgin? 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. (And write back if that's the case)

You've probably been told different things about being a virgin. Please know that it doesn't make anyone clean or dirty, pure or used, hot or not. I don’t believe there’s one magic moment that suddenly changes us somehow. I’d rather think about a series of ‘first times’ that will make up your long sexual history. So maybe you lost your ‘just the tip’ virginity. Or maybe instead of using the word virgin, you can say ‘I’ve had a penis tip inside me but I’ve never had intercourse.’ That’s probably more accurate–if you're the one receiving the penis, anyway.

I’m sorry I can give you a definitive answer, but there really isn’t one. What I do want to say is that if you want to have more sex, I hope that it feels really good, and is with a partner you can talk to and trust.

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Ask Trixie: What is a "cherry" and does every female have one?

Odd question, and yes I'm female. What is a "cherry" and does every female have one?? –A.

Hi A–

There are no odd questions, Anonymous, just odd slang terms! Aside from being a deliciously sweet small red fruit, cherry can also be a somewhat vulgar slang* term for:

a) a hymen b) the blood you allegedly see when the hymen is 'broken' c) a vagina or vulva d) the concept of virginity itself

In fact, it's so widely used that we picked cherries as the logo for our film How To Lose Your Virginity (see above!). So when someone tells you they 'popped her cherry' they usually mean they 'broke' someone's hymen, often followed by the other gross and meaningless phrase 'I took her virginity'

The slang is pretty useless since:

a) the state–or existence–of someone's hymen has nothing whatsoever to do with their sexual status. Or whether there has ever been a penis near it. b) not all females have vaginas or hymens, either because they are trans or they have a medical condition. c) not all females bleed when they have any kind of penetrative vaginal sex d) virginity is a just concept for you to define or reject, so it can't be taken, created or destroyed.

We still like our logo because it lets us set the stage for the thorough myth-busting we do during the film. There's so much more to say about hymens, and you can read more about that at our Hymenology category.

*There are more definitions in the Urban Dictionary, and I'm so happy that the top two totally challenge virginity myths. 

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Ask Trixie: Will I bleed the first time I have sex?

Will I bleed the first time I have sex? –A.

Hi A–

Thanks for writing. The quick answer is I don’t know if you’re going to bleed or not. Some women* will bleed the first time their vaginas are penetrated by a penis (or a dildo or fingers, for that matter) and some won’t. It depends on various factors, like whether you’re sufficiently aroused and lubricated, how rough your partner is, how elastic your hymen is, or whether you have any medical conditions that might cause bleeding. Sometimes there’s a lot of blood, sometimes there’s some spotting and just as often there’s no blood at all (which is how it went for me).

The myth that all women bleed the first time they have intercourse is so pervasive that it’s used as a standard ‘virginity’ test all over the world. In reality, the whole blood-on-the-sheet thing says absolutely nothing about whether a woman is a virgin, has previously been penetrated by a penis, or anything else except how her vaginal tissue reacted to the factors listed above. As we often point out, there is no way to test for ‘virginity.’

If you want more information on bleeding, I’d highly recommend Scarleteen’s"One Bloody Mess: Myths and Realities of Bleeding with First Intercourse", and while you’re there, consider making a small donation so they can keep doing the amazing work they do.

*This question came from a woman with a vagina planning to have PIV sex for the first time, but for any first-time penetration, make sure it’s slow, gentle and very well-lubricated. If you feel like there’s excessive blood or pain, it may be a sign that something is physically wrong, and you should definitely see your doctor about it.

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Ask Trixie: How can I make my future husband believe I'm a virgin?

I had sex about 3 years ago and it was only one time and I was 15 years old. I bled a lot and it hurt like 3 days. What will I do to make my future husband to believe I'm a virgin? Do I need to see a doctor to check if I need a surgery or can I just fake blood? I cant sleep at night because I'm scared just thinking about it all the time. –W.

Hi W. –

I’m so sorry you are going through this.

The first and most important thing to know is that no one can prove or show that someone has had intercourse or is not a virgin by any definition. A doctor can’t look at you and tell anything, and many women never bleed, even the first time they have intercourse. These are the facts, no matter what you have been taught. So if a future husband is looking for some kind of proof of virginity, it doesn’t exist. It would be very possible and common to have intercourse for the very first time and never bleed at all (This is how it happened for me, and I’m sure many of the women you know). For more detailed information, you can read my post about bleeding, virginity and hymen surgery here, but I'll discuss some of it here as well.

I will assume by your questions that you live within a culture that puts a high value on virginity for women. While many people claim this kind of thinking protects you and celebrates your purity, it really is a lot more aboutcontrolling your body and telling you what you can and can’t do with it. The idea that you have less value if you’ve had sex is false, unfair and dangerous, especially because I’m betting there isn’t the same requirement for the men. Our favorite sex ed website Scarleteen has received many letters from women in your situation, and also from men who demand ways to prove virginity, and Scarleteen wrote a really good post about virginity and women's bodies.

Finally, the RFSU (the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education) is combating myths about the hymen and virginity and created a PDF book you can download. It includes information about hymen 'reconstruction' which is the surgery you are referring to. Some women are so afraid of not bleeding, that they have this done even if they have never had sex. As RSFU writes, surgery rarely solves any problems, firstly because outcomes vary, and secondly because it helps to maintain a prejudiced view of women and their sexuality.

This may not always be possible, but if there is a female relative or a doctor you can speak to, you can share with them the information I've linked to above and talk through your concerns. It helps to have someone nearby who is there to listen and help.

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