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College Life

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

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

Hi N! Thank you so much for writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

V-Card Diaries: Lexie "He told me how many girls’ virginities he had taken as if that was supposed to make me feel better. It did not."

Writing from: Washington

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: To me losing your virginity does not mean it is going to change your life

Growing up I was always told sex was to be something that happened once you were married. Even in sex education, the idea of waiting until you were married was drilled into my head. There was no actual education about sex, no one told me what to do, what happens during sex or how I might feel, once it was all over.

What I did learn was how to fear sex. I was scared of sex because I did not actually know what to expect when it happened. I was scared that if I did end up having sex with a guy he would not like me because I did not know what I was doing. So I kept my distance from guys and never let any of them get too close until one night at a party.

I lost my “virginity” when I was 19 years old. Instead of my first time being with someone I loved and cared about, it was with a complete stranger. We met at a college party; he was visiting my school for the weekend. We instantly clicked, talking to him was not like talking to other guys, it was easy and the conversation just flowed. I ended up leaving the party with him and his friends to go to a different party at the apartment building he was staying at that weekend. I knew leaving the party that I was going to have sex with him, not because he had said anything about it but because something just felt right.

When we got to the party, we quickly decided to leave and go to the place where he was staying and that is when it all went to hell. I was a 19-year-old girl who had never actually kissed a boy before and I was about to let myself have sex; to say I was freaking out is an understatement. He went in for a kiss and I started having a panic attack and started to pace around the room.

I told him I was a virgin and that I had never done anything with a boy before. He then told me how many girls’ virginities he had taken as if that was supposed to make me feel better, it did not, but I still decided to have sex with him. I honestly just wanted to get it over with at that point. It was bad; it hurt much more than I thought it would, like a knife being stabbed into my vagina. I had no idea what I was doing so I just kept apologizing for everything.

The sex finally stopped when someone walked in on us. It was painful and I bled, a lot. It was not what I expected losing my virginity to be like at all. But I was even less prepared for how I would emotionally feel after. It has been over a year and I cannot move on from the guy who took my “virginity.”  

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: 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: Taj "India is so conservative they would kill u if they come to know u had sex before marriage"

Writing from: India

Age: Early 20s

How I define virginity: losing yourself to some both emotionally and physically

i am a girl from india where virginity is a big deal. the place is so conservative that they would even kill u if they come to know u had sex before marriage

i had no idea of sex during my school days only just girls talk. guys try to approach girls with the idea of sex sooner or later. so i decided to choose when i should lose it. entering into college i met a guy whom i fell for. both were in a relationship sooner. he was also a virgin.  we kissed, touched and we got close day by day..we shared our thoughts.and i decided that losing it with him would be good.it happened when i was 18

that time both were nervous but it  went well . and we used condoms. there was nothing much the first time except little pain. now after 2 years its good and still with the same guy!! he is such a nice guy to b with..

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.

 

Just the Tip! Featuring Virgin Classified Ads, Better Sex Ed in Cali, Virginity Scholarships in S. Africa & Feminist 'Hamilton'

Can you feel it in the air? Spring is just around the corner! Here are this week's top stories from the world of virginity, ladyparts and sex. For up to the minute news, follow our Facebook Page, where we post every day!


Dad Advertises His ‘Virgin’ Daughter for Marriage in Christian Magazine

At least 'virgin' was at the end of a long list of her attributes. The daughter in question responded “it’s appropriate they placed it in the Employment Opportunities section because putting up with this father-in-law's shenanigans is a full time job, without any paid vacation.” It's interesting that his daughter's reaction (on a now-deleted blog post) was basically an 'Oh Dad' eye roll. h/t Paul Freelend


On one hand...
Radford University Holds “Men Can Stop Rape” Presentation For Greeks, Only Requires Sorority Women To Go

This is Rape Culture: "Sororities were required to send every single member to this speaker. And the fraternity requirement? Eight." The Panhellenic community was outraged and wrote the perfect angry letter. h/t Soraya Chemaly

On the other hand...
California Becomes First State To Make Sexual Consent Lessons Mandatory In High Schools Beginning Next Year

The new law mandates all school districts that have made health a graduation requirement to lecture students about sexual violence prevention and affirmative consent starting next year. Plus, Governor Brown signed a new law mandating all school districts to offer comprehensive sex education courses twice for grades 7 through 12. "The measure did not receive any opposition in the Legislature, and even nearly received a unanimous bipartisan backing." Huzzah.


Video: When You First Time Literally Feels Like Poop

From Refinery 29: Two very honest and sweet people talk about embarrassing first times.


‘My virginity will change my future’, vows South African student

A group of South African 'maidens' get their college fees paid on the condition that they remain 'virgins,' with regular 'virginity tests' by a group of older women. Despite the fact that there's not such thing as a virginity test, it's sexist to make abstinence a condition of women getting scholarships, and these efforts aren't actually curbing pregnancies or HIV, the recipients think it's great. Oh, and they're going to offer it to guys as well, but won't be 'testing' them. h/t Paul Freelend


Indigenous languages recognize gender states not even named in English

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network is talking about how Canada's First Nation languages treat gender. Incredibly cool : In Cree, for example, “aayahkwew” means “neither man or woman.” In Inuktitut, “sipiniq” means “infant whose sex changes at birth.” In Kanien’keha, or Mohawk language, “onón:wat” means “I have the pattern of two spirits inside my body.” h/t Andrea Plaid


schuylersistershamilton

And finally...in honor of Women's History Month, the Schuyler Sisters

Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who play the Schuyler sisters in the Broadway musical Hamilton raps to feminist quotes and it's awesome. As the constant joke goes, this may be as close as anyone gets to seeing the musical. Or do like the New Yorkers do every morning and  try your luck in the lottery!

Just The Tip runs most Fridays. Send us your virginity stories here or on Twitter.

Congratulations! You've won a grant shaped like a chastity belt.

Where, oh where, to begin with this story about a South African grant just for girls who remain virgins:

 

“The bursaries are for young girls who are still virgins,” said a municipality spokesman, Jabulani Mkhonza.
“It’s a new category which the mayor has introduced this year,” he said, adding that the goal was to encourage “young girls to keep themselves pure and inactive from sexual activity and focus on their studies”. Beneficiaries of the grant would be subjected to regular virginity tests, he added. 
“Those children who have been awarded bursaries will be checked whenever they come back for holidays. The bursary will be taken away if they lose their virginity,” said Mkhonza.

Let's see...
That tying poor girls' educational prospects to a grant shaped like a chastity belt is inhumane? 
That virginity tests are bogus and a gross invasion of privacy? 
That keeping girls safe and in school is better accomplished with sex ed?
That young women should get educational support regardless of sexual history?
That some of them have probably been raped and shamed over that? 
That there's no comment on the value of boys staying celibate?
Ugh. 

The good news: Women's groups are attacking the plan.

V-Card Diaries: Shakti "We were two deeply geeky kids who loved science and did a lot of research"

A little about myself: 

American, female, 51, been with the same guy since we were 28. I started out doing neuroscience, but switched careers in the 90's, and now I'm a strategic planner for a large organization. I also write a blog [moderntantra.blogspot.com] about tantric sex from a practical and scientific perspective, not a religious or spiritual point of view. What interests me is helping couples have incredible sex, and figuring out just what it is about tantra that makes it so incredible.

How I define virginity: 

I usually use the normal definition (never a penis in a vagina) even though it's stupid.

Here's my story: 

My first time ever was actually with someone I would describe as a close friend, but not a lover. We were lab partners, study buddies, and best friends, and we'd both just finished a human biology course. We were 20-year-old virgins and curious, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. We did some actual research first - this was the early 80s, so there was no Internet to make it easy! - and we kind of worked up to handjobs, oral, and finally the real thing.

During my research I had found some advice on preparing for the first time and I followed it carefully. When we decided we were ready to try out the main event, my friend helped me come orally and then I got on top, cowgirl style, and eased onto him very slowly. Perhaps as a result, there wasn't any pain and I didn't bleed at all.

(For more about what I did to get ready, read "Aunt Shakti's Action Plan for Proactive Modern Virgins". I wrote it for my nieces when they got to the right age to be curious about such things, and recently revised it and put it online.)

I thought the actual sex was a bit of an anticlimax, but he seemed to enjoy it a lot, so we did it some more, trying out many variations. It was fascinating, because we could talk about everything in a completely frank and natural way that would have been very hard if we were deep in a romantic fog and really trying to impress and please each other. So we could laugh ourselves silly when things didn't work, and try different things until we found out what did work, and why. After we got over being shy about nudity, kissing was actually the most awkward thing about it!

Maybe it only works well for two deeply geeky kids who love science more than anything else, but it was fascinating, educational, and fun, and I suspect that it would be a great way for many people to learn about sex, without the urgency and the anxiety and all the fumbling around in the dark.

So if you're a curious virgin and you have a willing friend of the appropriate gender, I'd say go ahead and give it a shot. It doesn't have the magical intensity that sex can have when you're both head over heels in love, but it can definitely have its own rewards.

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

Just The Tip: News from the World of Virginity and Beyond featuring vatican gynecology, wedding night tips, books for teens and Tennessee is the worst

Happy Hanukah to all those that celebrate! Here's are this week's top stories from the world of virginity, ladyparts and sex. For up to the minute news, follow our Facebook Page, where we post every day!

 

100-Year-Old Wedding Night Advice for Newlyweds

On one hand they're pretty clear about the hymen not being an indicator of virginity. On the other hand here's what they think is: 
"The one true and only test which any man should look for is modesty in demeanor before marriage, absence of both assumed ignorance and a disagreeable familiarity, and a pure and religious frame of mind. When these are present, he need not doubt that he has a faithful and chaste wife."

Tennessee school wins right to ban gays and women who’ve had sex: ‘This is who we are’

From the story, which I can't believe is not parody:
'The waiver allows the school to ban pregnant students, women who have had an abortion, single mothers, LGBT students and anyone else who does not fit their religious ideology.
“This is who we are as a Christian university,” O’Brien opined. “These are our religious principles. And in a changing world, we would like to reaffirm that this is who we are and who we intend to be.” '

Daniel Holtzclaw's Victims, In Their Own Words

Former Oklahoma City Police Department Officer Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. These are the testimonies of his victims:
"According to prosecutors, Holtzclaw targeted these women because they had records and lived in a high-crime neighborhood. He allegedly chose them because they didn’t want any trouble and because they feared the police — because they likely wouldn’t report their assaults to the police. He was the police."

Twenty-three more books every teenager should read

Did you know this?
Every teenage in Sweden is being given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists? Here's a good and useful list of other great books for teens, with the bonus of shoutouts to our friends Rachel Hills and Scarleteen's Heather Corinna.

Is Technology Making Us Sluttier?

Well, probably not:
"In the same way that mid-century antibiotics and contraception helped kick off the sexual revolution, better HIV treatments (as well as Gardasil, more advanced contraception, and that old standby, the condom) might encourage more libertine behavior by making sex feel safer than it did during the panic of the 1990s—but granted, that doesn’t really make for the most compelling of Vanity Fair screeds."

He Called Her a Slut. He Got Fired

...And then a bunch of trolls blamed her for it.
"A culture of sexist tolerance undermines entire industries, let alone individual people’s daily lives. This tolerance continues because we’ve created cultures were targets of awful behavior are expected to just take it."

...and finally, you can't make this stuff up:

Catholic university overseen by the Church to host conference about the secrets of the female body

From the story:
"Topics covered at the landmark conference are said to include the lifting, tightening and bleaching of female genitals. Delegates will also discuss the amplification of the G-spot and the O-spot, a point behind the surface which experts claim is more sensitive to pleasure than the G-spot. The delegates will also be greeted to an audience with Pope Francis and a walk with in the Vatican gardens, the Times reported. They will then take part in a 'hands on course' which features operations on '14 live cases'."

Be a virginspotter! Send us stories for our weekly round up here, or tweet at us with our @virginitymovie handle. 

'Everyone is having sex but you' and other myths busted: Coffee with 'The Sex Myth' author Rachel Hills

I've been a fan of Rachel Hills' work for a long time so I'm thrilled that her book The Sex Myth is now out. It's loaded with things I love: first-person stories from a diverse group of people, sexual myth-busting, and pop culture analysis. I recently had a virtual coffee with Rachel to talk about the book, and how the messages we get about sexuality often have little to do with the actual sex we're having (or not having). Here's our conversation:

Therese Shechter: First of all, congratulations! I love that you initially thought it would take you 6 months to finish, and here you are, what, 7 years later?

Rachel Hills: Thank you! And yes, it's crazy, isn't it? I never anticipated it would take me this long to do, but I wrote a (very long) blog post about the process for a friend's blog over the weekend, and when I lay it all out step by step, it all makes sense. I imagine that's something you can relate to, with How To Lose Your Virginity.

TS: As someone who just spent 6 years making a documentary, I totally understand. One thing I appreciated about how long it took for me was that it gave me time to really think through what the film should be about and how to approach it. I really learned from my subjects, and from the audience we were growing while we were in production. Did your understanding of your subject change as you worked on it?

RH I agree with this completely. I feel like if you're going to take on a complicated subject matter–and the social expectations around sexuality are certainly complex–you need to take the time to understand your subject deeply. And that means sitting with it, learning from people, reworking your ideas until they make sense. Even if you would have liked it to happen more quickly! I think in my case, the initial vision I had for the book was pretty similar to the final product. But in the earliest stages it was just a sketch–a kind of gut feeling that I hadn't yet found the right words to explain to anyone else. The process of making the book was really the process of trying to find the words to explain what I was thinking.

TS: I should give full disclosure and mention that you were one of the first people to write about How To Lose Your Virginity back in 2010 and you've been very supportive all along. One reason for that, I think, is that we're both on this noble quest to undo a lot of mythology around sexuality. 

RH: Absolutely.

TS: And part of that is how our sexual history defines us, from when we start to become sexual through the rest of our lives.

RH: And as I've told you, when I first watched the film, my husband overheard some of the audio on my laptop and commented that it was the closest thing he'd ever heard to my book.

TS: Having read your book, I'm very flattered. So let's talk about myths...

RH: Sure!

TS: "Everyone is having sex but me" 

RH: That is certainly the myth–and my realization that it was a myth–that started me on the journey of writing the book.

TS: And in fact a lot of young people aren't having sex. You talk about the fact that not taking a stranger home after a party is far more common than picking someone up.  And the number of high school students who aren't sexual. Which sort of leads into a feeling that you don't want to ask any questions about sex because you assume everyone knows more about sex than you do. Because you'll be socially shamed if you show any ignorance.

RH: Exactly. We're sold this idea that sex is omnipresent: That it's like this all-you-can-eat buffet that everyone is dining at at their leisure. It's a message you see in newspaper articles about "out of control" youth, in magazine stories where the readers share their most embarrassing sex experiences, and even in the banter you share between friends. We're told that to be having sex is the norm, and not to be having it–whether you're a virgin, a single person going through a dry spell, or a couple whose libido has declined recently–is strange. But most people's lives involve periods of time when we're not having sex–even quite extensive periods of time, in many people's cases.

TS: I feel like millions of cases of Axe Body Spray have been sold on that one myth.

RH: Or that Axe is the key to getting access to that sexual perma-party everyone is having but you, at least.

TS: That message goes both ways, though, right? Your personal worth depends on you dining at that same buffet. Or, depending on who you're talking to, that buffet will give you deadly food poisoning so stay away. Sorry, this metaphor is running away from me...

RH: Ha! I like that metaphor. I remember one of the guys I spoke to talking about that. Not Axe specifically, but the assumption he had growing up that being an adult would mean having unlimited access to sex with other hot guys. And when that didn't happen for him–and in his case, he was sexually active, he just wasn't having *unlimited* sex–his first assumption was that it was because he wasn't good looking enough. Even though he later realized that it was just that NO ONE's sex life really looks like that.

And yes, that dichotomy you refer to is kind of that root of my argument in The Sex Myth in some ways. That our culture that talks about how sex is dirty and dangerous and our culture that talks about how fantastic it is and how it will make you happy and whole aren't actually opposites; they are one and the same. At the root of both is this idea that sex is an incredibly powerful force that defines us; which can make us attractive and interesting and grown up, but which can also destroy us. 

TS: And no one calls it out at the risk of being labeled not normal?

RH: Well, I think that we have a pretty healthy critical discourse around sex in a lot of ways. Feminism, in particular, has been great at articulating what's wrong with the idea that sex is dangerous, or that good women shouldn't be sexual. And queer theorists and activists have been great at critiquing the marginalization of LGBT people. But one of the questions that drove me was, well, what if we interrogated heterosexuality in the same way that we've interrogated the gay and lesbian experience? And what if the way we experience sex was political in ways that go beyond gender?

TS: For example?

RH: I think that sex is one of the most social interactions we have. (Or, as discussed above, don't have.) It's not just a gut animal instinct that we do or don't engage in. Everything we do when it comes to sex is shaped by social rules and expectations, right down to what we consider sex to be. For example, why is it PIV [penis-in-vagina] intercourse that most people count when they talk about when they "lost their virginity?" Obviously, PIV intercourse can have some pretty real physical ramification, but why is it that act over all others that we talk about when it comes to the question of when we started being sexual? And when I talk about sex being political, I guess what I mean is that the ways in which we expect to be sexual, and the standards by which we evaluate our own sexual histories, don't just come from within. So it's worthwhile to me to examine what those standards are, and where they come from. 

TS: My theory is men invented all of our laws, religions and political structures–and they got to define what sex was as well. Namely whatever their penis wanted. So....intercourse. If women had invented our definitions of sex, what would it look like?

RH: That may be true, but I also think that the risk of pregnancy is a big part of it. And I think that desire to control parentage and reproduction is central to our ongoing paranoia about sex, even if it's not as relevant to the world we live in today as the one we lived in several hundred years ago. Or you know, 100 years ago. And not just if women got to define sex, either. What if queer people got to define sex?

TS: I really like talking to queer-identified people about virginity because they don't use the PIV model at all. Their ideas about becoming sexual are more nuanced. 

RH: I remember many years ago, when I was working on a women's magazine article on older virgins, one of my queer friends told me he thought of himself as having had multiple virginities. I really liked that, and it certainly resonated with my experiences of becoming sexual more than the idea of this One Defining Moment That Would Change Everything Forever.

TS: The one moment that the magical penis enters the vagina for the first time and EVERYTHING CHANGES

RH: Which is bullshit. As I write in the final chapter of the book, I was sexual before "I had sex" and I wasn't a suddenly experienced person immediately after.

TS: My own life's work seems to be to get people to think of becoming sexual as a long process. Not a magical moment. And you can pick whatever you want as your first important milestone. 

RH: And to turn the tables on you for a moment, I'm interested to know why that shift is so important to you.

TS: My first time having PIV sex was so underwhelming physically and emotionally, but it was definitely important socially. Now I was no longer 'a virgin.' But it was later that I had my first actual orgasm with a sexual partner. That was such a bigger deal for me. I remember it viscerally, who I was with, where it was, what color that carpet was... 

RH: I think it was a bigger deal for me, as well. Although in my case, that came before I "lost my virginity."

TS: I was thinking of your interviews with Evan and Greta and that dividing line that doesn't really exist. 

RH: Yes, I loved those quotes, especially Greta's. "When it happened, I was just like 'oh, it feels like there is something in my vagina.'"

TS: Interestingly, when I've talked to women about it for The Experience Engine, an online project I'm working on, a big milestone was being with a partner and feeling comfortable with your body for the first time.

RH: That makes sense.

TS: Another myth you talk about is that idea that men are unable to control their desires and it's a woman's job to manage that. (Men are the gas and women are the brakes, as one radio interviewer quoted to me in all seriousness.) I was really struck by the guy you spoke to who was relieved that his girlfriend wanted to take things slow. And the study of men who preferred relationships to hookups.  

RH: Yes. Which is not to say that there's anything wrong with having hookups, but I do think that our perceptions of men's sexuality can be really destructive. Men are assumed to be constantly up for sex, and conventional masculinity doesn’t really give them room not to be.

TS: So, who manufactures 'the sex myth?' I go back to the idea that we don't exist in a vacuum. So we're getting our cues from somewhere. Is it advertising? Religion? I liked the analogy with so-called female sexual dysfunction as a way of selling drugs for a malady that doesn't actually exist. 

RH: I tend not to believe in top-down ways of looking at power–ie, it's all religion, or it's all porn, or it's all women's magazines. I mean, all of these things are part of it. But I don't think any of them are solely to blame. I think it's about the repetition of the same ideas over and over until they're normalized, and then them being repeated over and over again some more because we've all accepted them to be true. I mean, most of these ideas are buried pretty deeply in our culture. So their earliest origins might be religion and patriarchy - and pregnancy, as I mentioned above. And today, they definitely appear frequently in movie and TV scripts, in advertising, and in lifestyle journalism.

TS: You write about the 'liberal' and 'conservative' ways of understanding and talking about sexuality (or the giant buffet). So the ideas are coming at us from different points of view.

RH: But what's most interesting to me is the way they crop up in our own conversations. In the stories we tell about our own sex lives, and the way we unconsciously manipulate our own stories to fit what we think is the ideal.

TS: What we leave out, what we embellish. 

RH: Yes, exactly. On the conservative side, we're being told that sex is sacred, that it must be cherished and protected, and that if we do sex in the wrong way, all hell will rain down on us. (Sometimes literally.) On the "progressive" side–or what we often think of being progressive, because I would argue it's not really–we're told to figuratively screw the people who told us that sex is bad, because sex is great. Sex is the key to our liberation! It's what all the cool kids are doing. And I think that in different ways, I was pretty screwed up by both of those ideas.

TS: How did that happen?

RH: I think that part of the reason I put off having "sex" was because I had internalized the idea that it was something that needed to be "saved." Not for God, or for marriage, but for the "right person"–which may have been true for me emotionally, but which also, let's face it, is a pretty strong feminine ideal. But I also felt pretty bad about waiting, because I felt like the lack of opportunities that I wanted to take up–and if I'd had the right opportunity I would have taken it–meant that I was hideous or secretly socially incompetent. Standard virgin anxiety. And I also resented the idea that if only I was more "liberated" I would have been having a lot more sex. Liberation means being able to make a free choice, not subscribing to a particular set of choices that work fine for some people, but don't work for everyone.

TS: I so relate to all of that! I laughed out loud reading about your own memories of keeping quiet when sexual banter turned to specifics so no one would know you had little sexual experience. As someone who didn't have sex until I was 23, I did the same thing right through college. I worked part time in a pharmacy and knew EVERYTHING about birth control pills, so I gave out a lot of learned advice on that.

RH: Exactly. And because I write about sex, I think a lot of people assume I'm more sexually experienced (or at least have had more partners) than I am even now. Or at least until the book comes out, anyway!

TS: What finally got to me was graduating from art school. I thought that any self-respecting artist should be having an interesting sexual life. That's what tipped me into 'getting it over with' mode. And I'm glad it did. But everyone's mileage may vary, as they say. 

RH: That's a pretty toxic stereotype all of its own, though isn't it ? That a self-respecting artist should have an exciting sex life. (Totally feel you, though.)

TS: I’m getting a t-shirt that says #vanilla on it. Want one?

RH: I'm making badges that say Fuck Prude-Shaming. And also badges that say Fuck Slut-Shaming. But the first badge really appeals to my sense of humor, because it's so incongruous.

TS: That's excellent. I wish I had thought of it! One last thing: I love the updates with some of your subjects, which really show how nuanced and changeable our sexual lives really are. (spoilers) Like Henry, who went from frustrated self-described virgin to the king of the BDSM Japanese bondage scene. Or Monica, who the book is dedicated to, who went from celibate to romantically (and exotically) coupled to celibate again. That's so important to understand, how our sexual experiences change over our lifetimes. We should be playing the long game.

RH: Exactly. And I think it flies in the face of the idea that our sexual histories are some deep-seated reflection of who we really are: of how attractive we are, how liberal we are, or of how valued we are by other people. So much of our sexual experiences are shaped by circumstance. If I'd met someone great when I was 17, I probably would have had sex then. But I didn't.

TS: Let's wrap up with that great quote in your book about getting laid being about opportunity and not attractiveness.

RH: It's from Jezebel. "Getting laid is mostly a matter of luck, opportunity and sex drive, not desirability." I think it's really well said. And quotes like that are one of the reasons I love the internet. It's such a great hive mind.

TS: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Rachel! 

RH: Thank you for the chat.

You can purchase the Sex Myth at the following outlets: 
North America: AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleBooks-a-Million, or Indiebound (for your local independent bookstore).  Australia /New Zealand: ReadingsBooktopia or Bookworld.  UK: Amazon or Book Depository.

 

V-Card Diaries: Susie-Q "As a president of a sorority I hide away the fact that I haven't yet had sex"

A little about myself:

I'm a 21, female, from the Pacific Northwest in the United States. I am the president of a national sorority and have never had sex.

How I define virginity:

No penetration of the sex organs.

Here's my story:

I've never been on a real date and have never kissed a boy while sober. I feel the need to have sex with someone before I leave college in order to be able to have real relationships with men without wondering about that first time. I feel the need to get it over with but I want a close relationship with him and not just a random hookup. But never being romantically involved with someone makes me SO scared that I am out of control of this situation.

As a president of a sorority I hear the stories of so many that have had sex, and I really hide the fact away that I haven't because it seems like something I should be ashamed of.

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

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

A little about myself:

I'm 21 as of June 3rd 2015, Park City Utah, female, I'm a baker and environmentalist, I've never had sexual experience beyond kissing and massages between my kind ex. from high school and I.

How I define virginity:

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

Here's my story:

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

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

In college, in Oregon, I was bombarded with judgments of being a "virgin," myths and misinformation about sex, and stories of other peoples' sex in the dorms. It scared me.

I'm now a baker at Deer Valley Resort. Just a week ago I started watching Sex + by Laci Green and it was amazing, re-informing, liberating and so great with the positive look on sex. I binge watched for hours. All I have to say is Thank You Laci. I look forward to having a sexual experience that is safe, informed, and not dreaded. I live with my parents and I'm looking for a place to buy closer to down town Park City. Whether It's masturbation, intercourse, or another for of sex, I don't feel comfortable having sex in my parents' home, and I'm happy to wait for the right place, person, and time. Not that I expect it to be perfect.

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

V-Card Diaries: Ariel "I'm a spiteful virgin. I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction of sex."

Today we're highlighting Ariel from Jersey City, NJ, who wonders how special virginity could be if it only takes a second to lose it. 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 23, female from Jersey City.

How I define virginity:

I do not really have a definitive view on virginity, it is not really a thing more so than it is just a state of being. Either you have had sex or you did not. It doesn't really matter much to me, it is whatever.

Here's my story:

Well I did not want to be a virgin at my age, I am 23 and it was not much of a thought. I had a plan to lose my virginity at 16 to my first love and then that would be it. However, I did not factor in that I would not have much luck with guys and that in high school I would be a laughing stock and teased constantly. I did get boyfriends but it was long distances and the first fizzled and the second guy did not want my virginity.

When I got to college, I want to give guys a shot again but again it fizzled and I pretty much gave up in the idea of having sex let alone dating. Now I guess what I am is a spiteful virgin as even if I did meet a guy who I really cared about, I just would not have sex with him. It has nothing to do with religion or waiting for the right guy, it is just that I am so angry with men that I would not give them the satisfaction.

I never thought virginity was special or anything, I went through the pledges at my Catholic school but I never took it seriously and I thought people who held it up to high esteem were being silly. I just thought people either had sex or did not. Being fair, I saw it in a matter that all living things have sex and when humans had sex, it was no different from when animals had sex. Even though humans supposedly possess some high mental processes, sex is just sex and virginity is something that most if not all creatures have until it is then ended by the first sexual act. Also I figured if virginity was so special, it would not be so easy to get rid off. To be fair it only takes a second to lose it so how special can something like that be?

V-Card Diaries: Megan "I met him in a network on tumblr. It was pretty unconventional, but it was right for me"

Today we're highlighting Megan in Cambridge MA who clicked with her guy instantly. 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:

18, female, Jewish, currently in college at Harvard, bisexual, sexually fluid, heteroromantic, happily taken (by a different boy)

How I define virginity:

When you feel like you've engaged in an activity you feel is sex, then you've lost your virginity

Here's my story:

I met him in a network on tumblr, and we seemed to click instantly. My parents found out and didn't want me talking to him, but as a rebellious 18-year-old, I naturally continued. I met up with him clandestinely in my hotel room during an arts program in LA. The second night we'd officially met, we had sex for the first time and he slept over. We dated for a month and a half afterwards. I know it was pretty unconventional, but I loved my first time. It was right for me.

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: SarahD "I felt awkward, and uncouth, and the braces didn't make oral any more graceful"

Today we're highlighting SarahD in Albany, New York, who expected the first time she had sex to be a one night stand, but instead it turned out to be the beginning of a relationship she is still in today. 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 female, who currently lives near Albany, but I've lived all over New York State.

How I define virginity:

I don't, to be honest. I would say there are many types of virginity, if I had to say anything definitive at all.

Here's my story:

I was seventeen, and had just started college. I had gone on one date in high school, which fizzled awkwardly into nothing. A guy sat down with me and a mutual friend at dinner, and we started talking. He invited me back to his room to watch a movie, and I said sure. On the way there, we reconfirmed each others names. Once we got to his room, I sat on the floor to watch, and he suggested we sit or lay on the bed instead. That was when I first realized this might be more than friendship developing. Yes, I was genuinely that clueless.

We cuddled on the bed for a while, and his hands started to roam. I didn't protest, and was rather glad he was taking the lead. Once the movie ended, I invited him back to my room, since I was currently without a roommate. I figured that it might be a one night stand, but at that point I didn't care. I just wanted to figure out why the whole sex thing was so great. I went up to my room first, and waited for him. He took way longer than I thought he would, and I had basically given up, and was calling him an idiot in my head when he finally showed. It turns out he had trouble with his razor, and he had to shave for class the next day.

Despite copious research into the subject of sex, I was still dry mouthed with uncertainty any time I stopped to consider my next move. I felt awkward, and uncouth, and the braces sure didn't make oral any more graceful when I attempted it. The actual penetration was anticlimactic and quite uncomfortable. I now believe I have a mild allergy to something in the condoms the school gave out. I'm glad I did it though. I did honestly enjoy myself, and the gentleman involved has since assured me I didn't seem nearly as awkward as I felt. I still think he's being nice about that though.

All in all, it was a good experience. I don't know if I'd do it again, being much more aware of the risks I took, but hey, it turned out all right the first time. Despite my belief that this was probably a one night stand, it wasn't. I think I'd have been fine if it was, but as it turns out, that was the beginning of a relationship I'm still in today. I may even wear a white dress at the wedding.

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.

V-Card Diaries: Alessia "He reminded me of Christian Grey, but the way he kissed alone made my knees weak."

Today we're highlighting Alessia in Long Island, NY whose first-time experience, after a month of texting, was "romantic, sexy, gentle, passionate, and rough all at the same time." 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 21-year-old woman living in Long Island, New York and going to grad school in Manhattan.

How I define virginity:

I don't really define it. I think it's completely up to an individual to decide what their virginity is/isn't.

Here's my story:

Over this past summer, when I was 20, I had gone up to my friend's college house to celebrate her roommate's 21st birthday. After spending the day drinking and partying at their house, we hit the most popular, hipster dive bars there and that's where I saw him. He was almost the exact physical definition of my dream guy: a beard, brown hair, green eyes, just so fucking sexy. We couldn't keep our eyes off of each other while he was playing pool and finally he approached me and we got to talking.

All of my friends wanted to head back to the house at that point but he asked if I would wait with him until he finished his game of pool and then we'd go back together. Normally, I'd be a little apprehensive about this but since some of the girls we were with knew him, I said ok. On the way back we did some making out, hung out at the house a little, and then I walked him back to his car and we made out some more and made plans to see each other the following weekend despite the 3 hour difference between us.

That didn't work out, unfortunately, and I left for Italy for 2 weeks the following week. He texted me once while I was there, but since my texting was limited we weren't able to talk a lot.

Eventually, things between us died down and we didn't speak for over a month. I met a different guy and we dated for a little bit but on my 21st birthday he dumped me. Feeling down, I texted the guy from the bar and we started talking again.

We began talking everyday for over a month and a lot of it involved intense sexting and describing in detail what we'd do to each other in person. Well, today, we finally got the chance to see each other in person cause he made the trek down to where I live cause we couldn't take the waiting and frustration any longer.

So, first we got lunch but the sexual tension was so strong that we rushed back to my place and went straight for my room. He reminded me of Christian Grey, by the things he said and the way he looks, but the way he kissed alone made my knees weak. We both stripped down and did some foreplay, (he had the biggest dick I had ever seen in my entire life so I was terrified of how painful it was going to be). When it was finally time to have sex, I told him the truth that that's the only thing I had never done before.

He was super nice, gentle, and understanding about the whole thing. Even though it was painful, it did eventually feel good enough that I had multiple orgasms. Even when I started to bleed a little and got so embarrassed I almost left the room to go wash myself, he kissed me and told me it was perfectly natural and not even slightly embarrassing and continued on.

It was just so romantic, sexy, gentle, passionate, and rough all at the same time and I seriously hope I can have sex with him again.

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.

 

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"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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

V-Card Diaries: Jenny "Within twenty minutes he was asking if I'd like to go home with him. I immediately agreed."

Today we're highlighting Jenny in London, who feels that that if you're willing to put your nervousness to rest and let your impulses take over, you'll probably have a lot more fun. 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 Jenny, I'm 20, female, from London.

How I define virginity:

To me virginity isn't as much made up of a particular sexual act or series of acts, it's more about giving yourself physically to another person for the first time. Emotionally too, maybe, but that's a whole different story. As a bisexual woman, I would not consider penetration to be necessary to lose one's virginity, but that's how it went with me.

Here's my story:

So I lost my virginity a little over a month ago, and I felt it was a story worth sharing as I think it may be a little way off the norm.

I'm in my second year of university and I live with three good friends. One day I came home from work late and had forgotten my keys, and they were all headed into town to go to a club. In the spur of the moment I decided to go along though I was very tired. I had a few drinks, danced with my friends, but (as per usual) I was feeling horny as it had been a while since I had even kissed anyone, so I went searching for someone to, erm, fulfil my needs. I was a little drunk and went upstairs where I was introduced to a friend of a friend who was also a little tipsy and looking for someone to kiss. Impulsive as I was that night, I kissed him there and then and within twenty minutes he was asking if I'd like to go home with him. At this point I was so ready for sex I immediately agreed and we left. What followed was fun.

There was no awkwardness , no mishaps, and no pain.We did a little bit of everything, fucked in several positions, I gave my first blowjob and got head for the first time, and had 3 glorious orgasms. Exhausted after 2 hours of antics, he spent the night. We woke in the morning, had sex again, I gave him his bus fare, and he left. I didn't give him my number and we haven't been in touch.

All I can say is that if you're willing to put your nervousness to rest and let your impulses take over, you'll probably have a lot more fun. Also, finding someone who is attentive to your needs just as much as to their own is a big plus. Maybe I should have given him my number after all–now I have to go and find someone else for a repeat performance :/

V-Card Diaries: James "My valedictorian medal had a big V on it, which could have also stood for virgin"

Today we're highlighting James in Canada, whose romantic encounter with a woman at a bonfire ended in disappointment, but also reassurance that someone found him attractive. 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 19 year-old boy from Canada who is a second year university student. I was also my high school's Valedictorian and was given a medal with a big "V" on it. It's funny how the "V" could also stand for "Virgin."

How I define virginity:

Never having consensually caused an orgasm though physical contact with another person. Also a patriarchal construct used as a reference to self-value, commodifying women and stratifying men; engrained into consciousness so well that it has become a dominant part in some people's lives. Heck, even I have trouble letting go of the idea that it something special.

Here's my story:

All throughout middle school and high school I have never had a girlfriend, due mostly to my lack of social skills. I remember feeling different and slightly alienated from my peers as it seemed everyone else I knew was able to easily acquire a boyfriend or girlfriend. Me being a guy, I rarely got asked out. I remember the first time I was asked out was in grade 7. I was really nervous being young and less familiar to the whole "dating game" and ended up saying neither "yes" nor "no" to her. I now regret that.

The farthest I have ever gone with anyone was with this girl I met at a late night bonfire beach party. She was a year young than I was and I remember how she would frequently come to talk with me and seemed interested with everything I said, which I thought was just her being freindly. She started getting cuddly with me and I cuddled her back since I thought she was cute. The party ended when the tide came in and the fire was put out. We were the last to leave and we ended up getting lost while walking; to where, I don't remember. It was dark and we were alone so we went back to my car, which was parked by the beach. When we got to my car I remember us standing there and staring at each other when it just happened, we kissed!

We then ended up cuddling and making out in my car and talked to each other about various things. She told me that she had had a crush on me for a while and even viewed my Facebook profile a few times. She even told me that she was attracted by my social awkwardness. I eventually addmitted to her that I was a virgin and that I never really had a girlfriend before and she told me she too was a virgin, which was nice to know. I found out we had quite a few things in common and we ended up crashing for the night in my car. I remember asking her jokingly if this meant we slept together.

Thinking I had a new girlfriend, I messaged her a few days later. She responded by telling me how drunk she was that night and how she didn't really want a relationship with anyone and how sorry she was. I was deeply saddened and disappointed but got over it after a solitary walk through town. I am still a virgin who has never been in a relationship but it is nice to know that there are others in my situation. It is also reassuring to know that there is at least one person out there who finds me attractive.