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

A little about myself:

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

How I define virginity:

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

Here's my story:

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

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

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

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

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

Odds are you aren't.

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

I Watched 50 Shades of Grey So You Don't Have To

I saw 50 Shades of Grey at a free preview screening Tuesday night, several days before its day-before-Valentine's-Day premiere, and I wish I'd been given a safe word to make the movie stop. Because 50 Shades of Grey is bad. Not 'so bad it's good,' but just bad. And it's boring. Especially the sex. I mean, if you thought the books were totally hot and you'd love nothing more than to watch it all play out on screen, have at it. Chacun à son Grey, and all that. But me, I'm a hater. And haters gonna hate.

Carly, my date and bartender for the evening, is also a hater. We laughed (and cringed and groaned) through the entire film, and then for a long time afterwards, and not just because Carly smuggled a flask of excellent whiskey into the theater.

Here's the tl;dr analysis of the film, in which you get three fairy tales for the price of one: Sleeping Beauty and the Beast with a side order of Cinderella.

a) Monster awakens young woman's sexuality so she can fix him

b) This is because a woman can't be sexual on her own but instead requires it unleashed within her by the application of a penis to her vagina, and a silk necktie about the wrists.

c) It's the young woman's job to put up with the monster's abuse in order to change him

d) Because monsters make exemplary boyfriends if they are rich enough and they take you on romantic helicopter rides over Seattle.

I never read EL James' trilogy, which started out as Twilight fan fic, but I had a pretty good idea of what to expect going in given the nonstop publicity and analysis since the first one came out. Anastasia Steele, an awkward innocent is sent to interview the fabulously wealthy Christian Grey at his minimalist-designed and boring offices. She arrives in a frumpy shirt and blue sweater combo, and after she's led into Grey's office by a succession of ex Robert Palmer backup models, Grey holds forth on her sweater and the history of Cerulean Blue. Actually, no it doesn't happen like that at all, but IF ONLY the Dom was played by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, what a superior film this would have been! Unfortunately we're stuck with Jamie Dornan, who plays a cyborg with an excellent fitness regimen.

So, one thing leads to another and after buying her a new computer, a new car and (thankfully) new clothes, Grey presents her with a sex contract (as wealthy and powerful businessmen do) and then tells her to look up 'submission' on the internet. Some Capitalist Foreplay ensues as they negotiate the terms of the contract, but it's clear that Ana has not done much of her homework when she asks Grey “What's a butt plug?' Honey. Do you know what a butt is? Do you know what a plug is. OK, do the math.

The contract turns out to be a irrelevant because they go at it anyway, unprotected by the law or a thin layer of latex. You see, he's found out she's never had The Sex and wastes no time doing his manly duty of de-virginizing her in the most boring and, frankly, depressing way possible. Save for a fleeting kiss below the navel, there's no foreplay, no condoms, no lube, no attending to her needs, before doing it in the Missionary position for a minute or two. Her roommate even tells her she looks 'different' when she comes home. It makes Red Shoe Diaries look edgy and sophisticated.

And it's not just that this sex is incredibly boring, it's enraging. If you do the kind of work I do, you're extra sensitive about how female sexuality is depicted onscreen. This film pushes a totally false myth of what 'romantic' sex is supposed to look like to the gazillions of people who have no doubt already bought tickets to see it. It also reinforces the idea that women are supposed to do whatever they can to please (and fix) their men, whether they want to or not, because that's what female sexuality is all about. If you're lucky he might please you back, but it's not actually part of the contract. As someone who hears from young people all the time, it's depressing to read the emails and answer the questions they ask about how confused and ashamed they are because their sex lives don't look like what's on screen (or if it does, they can't understand why it isn't making them happy)

On the bright side, there were a few things, okay two things, that I liked about the film.

First, Dakota Johnson (who plays Ana) was really, really funny in the comedic scenes. There are moments in the film where she seems as annoyed/repulsed/bored by this dude as we are. I think someone should cast her in an intentionally comedic film stat, because she'd be great. Jamie Dornan should really stick to serial killer roles–and his own accent. I wouldn't be averse (as a friend of mine suggested) to having Gillian Anderson's The Fall character tie him up to work out their issues together.

Second, I loved the look of the 'Playroom,' Grey's tasteful den of  domination, which must have been a production designer's dream come true. It's what I think Williams Sonoma (or maybe Restoration Hardware) would look like if they sold fetish gear. Racks and racks of gleaming metal and leather devices, perfectly displayed and lit. I would snap up those leather handcuffs like they were large pastry cream whisks–and don't even get me started on the gorgeous knots of red rope.

As far as the actual BDSM stuff goes, and considering it was all most people are talking about anyway, there just isn't that much to write home about. Aside from the fact that the Dom/Sub relationship was totally inaccurate according to just about everyone in the the actual community, it was...boring. And cheesy. I kid you not, he brushed her thigh with a peacock feather while light jazz played on the soundtrack. And the one scene that was meant to represent the most intense BDSM play (and the kind of thing Grey told Ana would help 'fix' him) looked a lot more like domestic violence to me. Dude, she's got to be into it! Otherwise you're just beating her up.

If 50 Shades was written as a creepy thriller, with this same wealthy controlling weirdo stalking and manipulating an impressionable young woman, it would have made more sense. Or even as a satire of romance films. But as a sexy love story? Painful.

Please don't spend any of your hard-earned money on this film. We sure didn't. The creators are rich enough already, and there are other mainstream-ish films about BDSM out there with a lot more wit, heat and joy. Try Secretary with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, or the documentary Sick by one of my favorite filmmakers Kirby Dick. They're also a bit hard to watch at times, but for the right reasons.

Update: For an extra treat, listen to Jaclyn Friedman interview author Jenny Trout about the trilogy, and then, read her brilliant recaps. If you do want to spend money on something 50-Shades-related, donate to one of the groups on Jenny's link of DV and anti-rape orgs.

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

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

V-Card and Feminist Ryan Gosling

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




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

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




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

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

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




Turkish textbooks remove diagrams of genitals

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




We got vibrators

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

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

On the plus side, we got vibrators.


V-Card Diaries: Adelaide "The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me."

Our latest V-Card Diaries comes from Adelaide in Canada, who considers herself pansexual. Her sexual response is dulled by anti-depressants, so she's decided not to enter into another relationship until she feels eager about the other person. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. We'd love to run it in this blog.

A little about myself:

I'm 33 years old, from Canada. Female.

How I define virginity:

It's strange how often this has changed in my mind. I like to think it's "evolved." As I've grown, and learnt more, it went from "penis + vagina" to "physical act of sex, no matter the gender of those involved" (oral sex included- otherwise there would be a LOT of gay virgins!!) to something I can't explain completely yet. As one can have an orgasm without touching, could you possibly not be a virgin and a full-fledged sexual being by the contents of your thoughts? Just like how it is possible to not "technically" be a virgin, yet have no sense or feeling in the sexual act (if it's just seen as a technicality of a relationship, not that "little death")? What about people who don't have physical sex, but have the master/slave, mistress/slave relationship, where the only thing that passes between them is command? Many look upon these relationships as intense and loving, but is it sex? To them, it might be, since the emotions are.

Here' my story:

My story is... I have no story. Technically, I suppose, I'm still a virgin. Never allowed myself to be touched in this way, never been kissed or allowed myself to be kissed. It's not as if I haven't had offers for it. One boyfriend was so passionate and insistent it alarmed me, but nothing happened because I was completely uninterested. It may have just been the hormones, I don't know: Once sex crowded into the room, I stopped listening. He treated it as an area of "finding out." If my lips flushed, he KNEW I was aroused. Sadly, he always got it wrong. My disinterested nature didn't help, of course. It does play against my passionate nature.

I think it's an area of personal space I'm very sensitive about, and dislike it being invaded. The physical act of being that intimate with someone is horrifying for me. So, I think the person I would want would have to be something special- otherwise I could never go through with it.

Not that I wish this ideology on anyone else. We all have appetites, begun in our minds when we are quite young. I think everyone should experience sex, to whatever state it might be in... that's my ideal, so long as it's consensual. Sex is a healthy part of life - it should be, it's supposed to be. Yet, I don't consider myself to be "unhealthy"... just not wanting to cross that boundary since I haven't met someone yet I'm comfortable crossing it with. I don't like the idea of having sex with someone I feel absolutely nothing for - or when they touch me, I feel nothing, even revulsion (At myself or at their touch? I'm uncertain). I also lived a rather isolated high school life, where I was one of the outcasts and although sex was probably happening around me in earnest, it was not an area I was welcomed or even gestured towards. One profession of love turned into a group joke, so I guess something inside me closed off from being vulnerable. Also: People talked. During my 8th grade year, when my grandfather died, some were convinced I had taken time off school to have a baby. That's the kind of people I had surrounding me, so you can imagine my reluctance to take part in their "games".

The strange part is, I'm a very sexual person when my brain isn't doped with antidepressants. When I'm off them, I need "release" all the time through masturbation. If I don't, I have intense dreams. I can't masturbate when I'm on these kind of meds (though I need them, and accept this loss for the benefit they give me), because it's a fight with the blockers/excessives in my brain. I have absolutely no sex drive.

Strangely, I think I define myself as "pansexual". The beauty of both sexes overwhelm me. Where beauty is concerned, I'm not picky over the sex of the person.

I've had no negative experiences with sex: Physical experiences, I mean. I've never been abused, or forced to do anything.

I guess you could call me a virgin. Some of my friends would categorize me as such - but they may also categorize me as a failure, or "the strange one" because I haven't married, sprung offspring, bought a house, gotten a full-time job, or done all the hetero-normal things people my age are supposed to do. Other friends feel differently, and love me as I am. The previously mentioned friends love me, too, but since I don't do things as they do, they get alarmed. (I think it's more of a reflection of themselves than of me).

I have the automatic instinct to not do things "normally." Normal is boring.

I also decided (after a relationship where I feel I really hurt someone by my disinterest) not to enter into another until I was ready, eager, and willing to enjoy each other. Hasn't happened yet. But I think I am happier for it. No messing around, and no hurting people. Yet, if I end up having sex for the first time in a gas station restroom with someone I just met, if I feel comfortable with them touching me... I'd be fine with that. Whatever happens will happen.

On Anti-Rape Wear and Chastity Belts

Chastity belt locked AR Wear is a collection of undergarments that the creators say will give women and girls "more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault" "when something goes wrong" using specially designed webbing and straps the make the garments impossible to remove. They're crowd-funding the project and about halfway to their goal, and their site is full of positive comments, including making a disco shorts version. The creators have their hearts in the right place, but they've understandably come under a fair deal of criticism.

Things like the insinuation that it's the potential victim's job to keep from getting herself raped, to the fact that most rapes are committed by people victims know and trust, to the risk of violence from an otherwise frustrated rapist, to the fact that $50K could go a long way to programs that teach young people about consent and rape culture. And then there's my personal observation that the models in the photos are super slim and this product requires an actual waist that's smaller than your hips to keep them on (bringing up those heinous comments about how fat girls should feel lucky to be raped. Ugh.)

Aside from all those issues, the undies keep getting compared to Chastity Belts, including in Amanda Hess's scathing take-down, which is worth a read. Seeing as our blog is about all things virgin, let's have a little teaching moment about that comparison and the devices themselves. The purpose of chastity belts was to assure exclusive access by the holder of the key, usually the wearer's husband/owner. You could compare this to an even worse owner-operated chastity system: a hideous brand of FGM, where a young woman's labia is sewn shut and then opened by the husband on their wedding night. In the case of AR Wear, it's a totally different story: The wearer has the 'key' and they're in control of access.

One of the few existing belts can be found, rightly so, in the Museum of Torture in Italy. However, many historians think chastity belts were largely a myth. There's very little record of chastity belt use, and since we have tons of other historical record on sexual practices, the lack of anything on chastity belts indicates they must have been very rare. When I interviewed the curator of the Museum of Sex in NYC, she said that she only knew of the one in Italy. On the other hand, there are loads of metal anti-masturbatory devices like this one at the Museum of Sex that they used to put on boys to keep them from touching themselves, and they're plentiful in museums and as awful as you can imagine. There are modern-day BDSM versions as well, but that's a whole other NSFW story.

Which brings me to a suggestion I've heard from several people: That it would be better to make constraining underwear for would-be rapists, except that we know you can rape someone without using a penis and without access to a vagina.

V-Card Diaries: R "There were kinks involved: I was tied up, spanked, blindfolded and we role played."

Today we're highlighting R in the UK, who questions her intentions and method, but definitely doesn't regret her kinky first time. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Tell us about yourself:

I'm eighteen, female, a lesbian and from the UK.

How do you define virginity?

Virginity is a very personal concept. It can vary between ages, genders, beliefs, orientations and locations. When I first started considering myself a lesbian, I debated the concept even more, and thought to myself that my first sexual experience with another girl would be what I would define as "losing my virginity." As it turned out, it didn't quite happen that way.

Tell us your story

I was 17 when I lost mine - not that the people I was with knew that! I'd met them on the internet, doing all the things everyone's parents warned them about. I had signed up to this particular site, lied about my age in order to do so and, when I replied to a discussion they had started, we started talking.

When I say they, there were two of them. They were a couple, both in their early forties, and into BDSM. Meanwhile, I was open about my inexperience on the site, but also with an open mind and keen to learn, having been curious about "the scene" since I started reading erotica a few years earlier.

We established the fact that all three of us shared a number of kinks. They also later brought up that they themselves had a "virginity kink" as such–a fantasy of being with someone inexperienced and teaching them, showing them all the things you could do. I was keen to learn.

I decided to take up their offer for a number of reasons: I wanted the chance to explore and experiment. I wasn't going to rule out anything before I'd tried it, including having sex with a man. Having a woman there as well made it the perfect compromise. They would get a rare chance to explore one of their kinks they'd never been able to before. They themselves were some of the loveliest and funniest people I'd ever met, and, more than anything, they made me feel desirable.

And it ended up happening. We met up and had sex. There were kinks involved; I was tied up, spanked and blindfolded; we role played. We hit many different forms of sex in the space of just a few hours–manual, oral, vaginal, anal, giving and receiving, male and female. There was one point where I was even double-penetrated! We laughed and we joked and we had fun. Afterwards, we cuddled, and I was held between them and I felt wanted. It seemed like the biggest deal in the world, yet it also seemed like nothing.

Part of me looks back on the whole experience and wonders whether I did it for the right reasons. At the time we had begun talking, I felt undesirable and had not long before come to terms with my sexuality. The only "out" person in my school year group of 100 or so girls, I felt like finding someone was a distant prospect. However, I still don't regret it. As I was taking the train back home, I felt like I was glowing. I felt empowered.

Either way, it's a good story I can tell at parties later.

Editor's note: We're really happy things worked out for R, but the big sister in us needs to say that meeting strangers in private places can be an extremely risky thing to do. You should always meet someone you don't know in a public place and then see how you feel about them, and be sure to tell friends exactly where you are going beforehand. It doesn't matter what they want to do–this is all about your safety. Read this very useful post from the Yes Means Yes blog about SafeCalls.