Sex? is a series here at Fallingfairie that explores anything sex related. Don’t forget to send us your questions so we can address issues YOU want to read about !
Virginity. Ahh an age old tale, a word that has been part of our vocabulary before even jesus was born. However, it seems to have so many different variations, definitions and interpretations.
Let’s first classify the different concepts as to what virginity really is.
According to the dictionary on my laptop, virginity is defined as two things:
- the state of never having had sexual intercourse
- the state of being naive, innocent, or inexperienced in a particular context
Now, the former is most definitely the definition that I seemed to carry with me for my life – and still do. To me being a virgin simply means you are an individual who has never committed the act of sexual intercourse. Of course this is where lines can be blurred – in a world with so many different sexualities and ways of “having sex” it is difficult to verify what actually is sexual intercourse itself. However, this is a topic for an entirely other post – so let me know if you would like to here my musings on this area.
Okay, so the latter definition can be slightly misinterpreted. I think “inexperienced” is an excellent adjective to use to describe someone who could be classified as a virgin, because quite frankly if you’ve never done it then you can’t fool anyone into saying you are experienced. However, the adjectives I do have trouble with are “naive” and “innocent”. This is where our perception of what it means to be a virgin can often be misconstrued.
There seems to be this society created stigma around what it means to have never had sex, to be a “virgin”. And what type of reaction or treatment or beliefs or expectations that you may receive are entirely determined on what gender you identify with.
For men, there is a huge pressure placed on adolescent boys to finally have sex for the first time. This can be extremely damaging on a boys perception of what sex is, and their own personal journey with sex. What if a guy isn’t ready? What if he isn’t necessarily sexually attracted to anyone in particular? What if the guy does something, puts pressure on another person, just to impress his friends? You could understand why such pressure could fuck with someones head. They can become conflicted. They want to prove that they are in fact capable of being a man, we have forgotten that being a man is not about whether you have had sex or not.
For women, society expects us to save our precious virginities. Many young women struggle with issues of feeling like they are soiled, spoilt and no longer desirable if they have in fact had sex. This can be especially hard when you have grown up in a particular circumstance, religion, household, society. Since I am a woman I will give you my own thoughts, beliefs and feelings on this concept of being a virgin.
Some backstory – I went to a christian high school, my family is sort of catholic – we go through phases of going to church, we don’t go very often anymore. My parents have never pushed religious beliefs on me, they were happy to let me believe what I wanted and do what I wanted. The only thing they did do I guess was put me through all of the normal rituals, baptism, first holy communion etc (so that I could go to a good high school and because both their parents are catholics who did the same). But I did have a best friend growing up whose family was extremely catholic – and it’s not like they pressured me to follow their beliefs but they most definitely influenced me.
As a child I believed that you could not have sex before you were married (this was an influence from my friend’s family). It’s funny, because I remember having a conversation with my mum during my first year of high school about sex. She told me that when I do eventually engage in the act that I should make sure the guy is a good one, the right one. I have this vivid image of me cringing and saying, “I’m not going to want to have sex until I’m married.” She smiled and said quietly that that would change.
And she was right. As I grew older I went through different phases of how I wanted to loose my virginity. From marriage, to serious boyfriend whom I love and have been with for at least a year, to maybe a few months, to actually we don’t have to have said “I love you” to finally I don’t even care if its a random at a party I just want it gone. There was a brief, long drawn out period where I just wanted to have sex – so I could get that first inevitably painful and embarrassing first time out of the way.
For a small amount of time, during this horrible period of just wanting to get it over with, I believed that I might actually be less desired if I was still a virgin. Who wants to have sex with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing? Am I not sexy or desirable if I haven’t had sex? Which is funny because those thoughts are literally the opposite to what women often think about “loosing their virginity”.
I don’t believe that I am spoilt and undesirable if I’ve had sex. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever believed that. But I do understand that many young people do suffer with this feeling. I can imagine that must be quite difficult to live with – because you believe that you have ruined yourself, you are no longer loveable. BUT THAT IS SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH. The reality is who cares if you have had or haven’t had sex. You are still you, having sex for the first time does not change anything about you.
I hate the phrase “loosing your virginity.” When you have sex for the first time you aren’t loosing anything at all. In fact you are gaining something – a whole new experience, and hopefully a wonderful new part of your life that you can explore. Human beings are animals – most need to be sexually satisfied and that is okay! So enjoy having or not having sex, just remember that it doesn’t make you any less or any more of a person. It just makes you a person who has sex.