Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Greater Understanding- Virginity

credit: DeviantArt

This is the latest in my "Greater Understanding" series, in which instead of taking a topic from a textbook I present real people's experiences in their own words. I had been speaking with a friend of mine about sex recently when I realized her views might be something you might find interesting...

 "I was asked to write about what it means to me to be a virgin. Barry, I guess, gave me free reins on this question. So I will attempt to not ramble on aimlessly.

  What does my virginity mean to me? It means a lot to me and yet it means nothing. It’s one of my greatest tests of will, strength and even pride, yet one of my greatest insecurities. I like to put on a show that I don’t care, that this piece of tissue that was once used to ensure that the purchase of a wife was securely made, that the semen that entered her body was his alone, and the offspring that came of that union could only be his and no others, is something I care little about. But I think I’ve been putting on a guarded exterior to keep the world from knowing that I do care and that this is a piece of myself that I have chosen not to take lightly.

  I used to hate telling people, and to be honest still sometimes do. I’m involved in several organizations that revolve around violence against women, where we talk about what it means to be sex positive. People always assume being sex positive means being kinky and pro-sex work and being accepting of all different sexual interests. But I find that they consistently forget that being sex positive also means that it’s ok to make the choice not to have sex till you’re ready. That’s where I fall, in this grey zone where I’m choosing to remain a virgin, not for religious reasons, or to conform to societal norms but because I love myself enough to not have sex before I’m ready.

  In my younger more naïve days I most definitely thought that I was saving myself for marriage. But as time passed, it no longer felt like it was enough to save myself for an imaginary man that may one day sweep me off my feet and marry me. As I developed, and learned more about my personal views about the world, being a virgin became a political symbol. I found myself getting sick of the notion of waiting for marriage, of waiting for a man; a man who would maybe possibly, hopefully, someday find me, a perfect man who’s been waiting for me to give myself to him. I’m 26 and though I am still a virgin I’m no longer waiting for a man. Why should I save myself simply because societal norms dictate such notions? What is marriage but a contract binding two people together for as long as they choose. Marriage is a symbol, just as virginity has become.

  There was a point in time where marriage was nothing more than a property transaction. Where the man bought himself a wife, to take care of the household and of course produce an heir. It was required that she was purchased as a virgin, he needed to take note of the virginal blood to ensure that he made a sound purchase. She was a piece of property, she belonged to him, her body was his and any product of that union absolutely had to belong to no other man. It was the only way he could ensure paternity of any child born within the marriage. Those were the origins of women saving themselves for marriage. As soon as that concept came to play in my mind I knew I could never save myself for another human being, whether it be a man, a woman or anything in between. (I should probably add this caveat….for those who have saved themselves for marriage I see nothing wrong with that, these are simply my views on my body).

  So what am I saving myself for? I’m saving myself for….myself. I’m saving myself for that moment in life where I go, you know what? You’re ready. Is it still about the other person? I can’t say it’s not at all about the individual I choose to sleep with but all I know I that the weight won’t be on him but on me. On feeling like I love myself enough to give away something I hold precious. The only requirement I have of him is that he has to be worthy of my body, my soul, my heart. I hope that whenever I lose my virginity that just happens organically, like I’m naturally supposed to move in that direction. I don’t hope for candles and rose petals, just myself and that other person, ready to take another step into life. Maybe this will be the person I spend the rest of my life with, maybe it won't. I don’t know, but what I do know is that it won’t matter because it won't be about forever, it will be about how I feel about that person and how I feel about myself in that moment. What I want to remember years from that day is…it just happened and it was great."

 Thanks L. for contributing. Your words, as always, are appreciated. :)


  1. hmm I wonder how old is she... of course you can wait for the right moment but sometimes you can miss a lot during this process of waiting...

  2. I don't want to wait anymore. Just to scared of being rejected again.

  3. @Mademoiselle Deva…I’m 26 and i swear i was waiting for someone to tell me i'm missing out! Sex is a great experience to have but it's not the only one. I will have sex, but when i'm ready. I respect and love my body enough to wait; and provided i live till my 90s i've still got maybe 65-70 years left to live. I'll experience it when i'm ready and no sooner. Why live up to the pressures placed by society? Womyn are stuck in a lose lose situation these strange social norms dictate that we remain virgins too long (though how long exactly that is, is undefined but expected to be understood)we're prudes or missing out, sleep with too many people, and we're sluts. Either way I feel like I win by choosing myself over anyone else. So am missing out? Sure, maybe….but unless you’ve experienced everything there is to experience sexually or otherwise so are you. ☺

  4. @ Miss Em.....I totally validate and understand where you're coming from, rejection hurts, It's not an easy emotion to deal with. I think as humans we all struggle with wanting to be wanted. I’ve definitely had those moments in life where I’ve felt like I have so much love to give and no one willing to take it. Or where I’m stuck wondering… why does everyone get a someone but me? Somehow we struggle through the pain of rejection and find new ways to move forward. I know it would sting each time i'd tell a dude i'm a virgin and he'd pull away because of it...or really any number of reasons it didnt work out, and believe me my list of “people who left” is extensive. But at the end of the day we’ll all be rejected over and over again until we’re not. Every relationship we ever have will fail until one doesn’t. Deciding not to wait because your sick of that empty feeling, of those negative, maybe even self deprecating thoughts, won’t make it go away. I can promise you that much. You only have one shot at this life, you only have this body to live in. Treat it well, learn how fantastic you are and find someone who knows it and appreciates this. That’s my 2 cents. Hope i dont sound like a hallmark card!

  5. Thanks for your reply Lelia.

    It's interesting how comfortable you seem with yourself and the choice you made. I am actually glad it was not a religious decision you have made but a personal one. I have a friend who is very religious and is the same age as me who wears her virginity with pride for all to see. However, my choice was just that i wanted to "have feelings for the person I sleep with" It was a draft idea! If only I had known then that that person would never appear.

    So I hide mine, I am ashamed. And it burns away at my confidence. Even some of my closest friends don't know. I actually lie to their faces which leaves me with some level of guilt.

    With regard to my last post about whether "There's no aphrodisiac like innocence" I personally believe this is a fallacy, I was once pushed out the door by a man I had been dating which was then slammed in my face! Another guy "didn't want to be my first" and so I now have no sexual confidence at all and try to hide it the best way I know how which is not to tell anyone who actually knows who I really am. I can't stand that "Really??" look they unwittingly put on their face when I eventually tell them.

    I turned 30 last month. I think I am damaged goods now.

  6. It took me a while to become this comfortable, and even then, ask me yesterday, ( i was at a fantasia party...a party that sells sex toys and various accessories) i didn't wanna tell a soul i'm a virgin. Ask me today, i'm cool with it. I'm usually ok with it but there are days where i get fed up too.

    As for that man who slammed the door in your face, think of how much worse it would have been, had you slept with him. I once had a bf who...oh wait no he wasn't a bf i remember clearly because we were seeing each other and he had to remind me. "Just so you know we're not dating" He felt such a strong need to remind me because i was not going to sleep with him. Since he wasnt getting laid, he had no intention of dating me. the number of times he brought it up left me feeling so insecure i didnt date for ages after him because i was so afraid of facing the same rejection.

    I dont think i've ever lied but i omit sometimes, i'll casually talk about the experiences i've had or what i know through conversation with friends and make mention of things i know, but i try not to tell people too often that i'm a virgin. You're entitled to keep that part of yourself private in order to break free from the judgement you're bound to face. There's nothing wrong with that.

    You're not broken, you're exactly where you need to be right now. I can't say i have no sexual confidence but i'm definitely shy. I'm not always sure of what i'm doing when things get sexual. But i how i get through it, is recognizing that, that's what makes me special. I'm not experienced but i'm willing to try new things and learn with that person, as long as they have the patience.

    Interestingly enough i met this woman last night. She's 41 i think now....somewhere in her 40s. She waited...not for marriage but for someone she really cared about. She lost her virginity a there are ppl out there. Dont worry about feeling broken or damaged. Everyone is entitled to their own path. You're on yours. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.