Thursday, 09 August 2012
I'm 24-years-old. I have a few friends around my age who, for varying reasons, either haven't had sex yet, or lost their virginity very recently (i.e. within the past year or so). I don't believe that they're cultural anomalies. In fact, I believe that there are many undercover 20-something virgins floating around -- they simply don't go around broadcasting their virginity.
If you're one such 20-something, I swear to you -- you're not alone.
I often hear people chat about sex with a grating air of flippancy (think Angela Hayes, Mena Suvari's character in American Beauty), apparently under the assumption that no one in the room is a virgin (ever play a game of Never Have I Ever at a college party? *OY*) -- treating virginity like some sort of big, public joke that everyone is in on.
Firstly, please be aware that for some -- much like Angela Hayes -- this is not an indicator of sexual ease/comfortability/liberation, but, to the contrary, a defense mechanism/evidence of extreme insecurity. Yep... Psych 101. Sometimes, the bigger the talk, the smaller the confidence/range of actual experience.
Don't get me wrong. I talk about sex ALL. THE. TIME. [I mean, I'm a datingish contributor. Come now...] My friends can attest to the fact that this is a huge part of my personality/sense of humor. I'm quite obviously no prude. I won't deny that, and I wouldn't want to.
I think that it's important to be open, honest, and conversational about sex, but I *also* think that it's important to tailor your tone to your audience.
In the appropriate company (i.e. friends who I've known for a long, long time -- B. & T., I *know* you're out there reading this! Hi!), I'm often as crude and raunchy as can be. That said, I believe that we should *all* take responsibility for what we say and to whom we say it.
Maybe I'm speaking from a place of protectiveness towards my friends who haven't had sex or even towards my 19-year-old self (please see Part 1 -- Some Real Talk On Virginity...), but whenever I hear people discuss virginity with such blatant disrespect, it makes my insides bristle.
It's *THIS* sort of dialogue that made me feel so isolated, unattractive, and depressed as a teenager. It's *THIS* sort of dialogue that warped my attitude towards my virginity and prompted me to seek out an unhealthy, inorganic "first time" five years ago.
For some, although sex may be fun and pleasurable, it ultimately doesn't mean much. For others, sex is a BIG deal -- maybe the BIGGEST. It's CHARGED with emotion and LAYERED with meaning -- anything but casual. And that's FINE. In fact, that's *BEAUTIFUL.*
If you're reading this, I implore you to speak mindfully, especially when it comes to topics as sensitive as sex & sexuality. Consider what you're saying. Consider how it might be received.
You never know what the people around you are thinking, feeling, or experiencing. You don't know where they come from, what they've been through, or what they're currently struggling with.
Your words -- no matter how benign your intent -- can *REALLY* rattle/injure people.
Your words hold power. So please -- select them with care.
Has anyone ever made a comment about sex/sexuality/virginity that really rubbed you the wrong way? Once again, if you're a virgin and you're comfortable speaking up, is there anything you'd like to add or share?