Throughout high school, I dreamed that I'd go away to college and lose my virginity to someone I was in love with.
When I hadn't had sex by the time I was 19-going-on-20-years-old, I was all too eager to give my virginity away
as if it were some sort of ball and chain -- a source of deep shame, a marker of immaturity, a character flaw
that separated me from every other member of the human race. [It amazes me... so many people look upon virginity -- something that was once regarded as sacred
in our society -- as a toxic, embarrassing burden to be shed
I just wanted to be part of the club
. In turn, I ended up having sex for the first time
in a rent-by-the-hour motel room with some vacuous, undeserving Barney I'd known for under 48 hours.
The sex was horrendous
. [Now that I'm in a position where all of this is vaguely comical, I half-jokingly compare losing my virginity to binging on a whole, overcooked turkey. Yes, the bone-dry bird carcass was the only food item in my fridge. Yes, I was starving
and therefore, desperate for any form of nourishment. But the whole time I was stuffing my face, I felt as though I was choking
It certainly didn't taste good. In fact, I barely tasted it at all. Afterwards, I was sick to my stomach; all I could do was lay around like a torpid, remorseful mess and ask myself, "What the
hell possessed me to eat that whole f*&^ing turkey?!"
As far as mechanics were concerned, the cad could've used some serious schooling (I pray to God that between then and now, *SOMEONE* introduced him to a diagram of the female anatomy). But beyond that, I didn't know
him. I didn't trust
him. I didn't feel safe
Like many women -- if I'm not comfortable with a sexual partner, the juices simply don't/won't flow
. (I recently came across a spectacular, all-too-apt Simone de Beauvior quote: "Sex pleasure in women is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon; if words or movements oppose the magic of caresses, the spell is broken." *Cheers
My bottom line, ladies n' gents: I lost my virginity in a way that was unnatural to me.
I pried open my proverbial daylily in the dark of the night. Why? a)
I was feeling the debilitating effects of advertising and, not irrelevantly, peer pressure. -Ew.- b)
I was convinced that I was the last remaining virgin on Earth. c)
I was *also* convinced that my intact hymen reflected a sort of fundamental "unlovability" (so *DEEPLY* untrue!).
If I could do it all over again, I don't know if I would handle matters differently. No doubt, we're a product of everything we experience
; if my decision, however reckless and damaging it was at the time, led me to become the badass young woman I am today, then I suppose I accept it.
Life has educated me over the past five years; I've learned more than I could've imagined. I'm infinitely grateful for the insights I've gleaned from every gnarly, ridiculous catastrophe I've found myself tangled up in. That said, maybe I can offer you the benefit of my experience so that you can avoid similar trappings. Maybe you can learn from one or two of my mistakes instead of making your own.
I so wish that I could rewind five years into the past and give my 19-year-old self a hug, a message of consolation & reassurance, and a sandwich/ice cream cone (I kept myself WAY too skinny -- an additional byproduct of low self esteem). But since I haven't quite figured out a way to time-travel, this is my message to you, dear comrade: If you feel self-conscious about the fact that you haven't had sex yet... *DON'T
Please don't waste hour upon precious hour of your life smacking your forehead against a cement wall.
I promise you:1) You're not abnormal!
2) You're going to have sex!
3) Unless you truly want to become a 40-year-old virgin, you won't!
4) You're going to have sex!5) You're going to have sex!!6) You're going to have sex!!! (!!!)
Everyone's sexual trajectory is different. I know people who lost their virginity at 13. I know 28-year-olds who have made the decision to wait until they're in deeply in love, or even married. Any which way, the choice is personal, individual, and yours
Please recognize how blessed you are to have that degree of power and agency over your own body.
Please don't let some arbitrary cultural timeline/expectation inform your choice to have sex or not have sex.
As my high school photography teacher once said: "You can't rush a process."
I'm not going to tell you to wait until you're in love. I wouldn't presume to tell you to do
or not do
anything. I will, however, challenge you to tune into what your heart, body, and gut have to say.
And please -- don't confuse fear/pressure/anxiety
. You have nothing to prove.
Your body is yours and yours alone.No one else can feel pain or pleasure for you. In the end, *you're* the one and only person who resides in your skin. In the end, *you're* the person who has to live with your decisions every day.
So please -- honor yourself. Did you lose your virginity before you were ready? What were the circumstances surrounding your first time? If you're a virgin and you're comfortable speaking up, is there anything you'd like to add or share?