Hey Body Party,
This is my first year at Evergreen, it’s almost June, and I am still a virgin. I get it, I get it, virginity is a construct, but it still blows. There’s this kid I really like and while I’m not in general ashamed of never having had sex- I want to be in a relationship when I fuck someone for the first time and I stand by that choice- the combination of my crush and my virginity makes me embarrassed. I am not religious, I just don’t want my first time having sex to be casual. How do I talk about it with them?
You’re right, virginity is a construct and one that has deep roots in patriarchal structure at that- but construct or not, your feelings are real. If sex has sentimental value to you, or you want your first time to ‘mean something’, that is completely valid. Rejecting the idea of virginity should not go hand in hand with rejecting your right to make your own rules about your sexuality. Often seemingly open minded, sex positive people get finicky about virgins for the same reason drinkers & smokers get weird around people who are straightedge- because they assume that they are judging them, even if they promise that they are not.
Most importantly, keep in mind that you’re not alone. It is not uncommon for people to wait to have sex with someone they care about. Doing anything for the first time can be scary, and sex carries with it all sorts of baggage that makes it scarier than most. The nakedness, openness, and physical vulnerability that sex requires makes it complicated territory to traverse. It’s completely okay to want to wait for someone you trust and care about to guide you through the process.
Now, on to your real question: how do I talk about it with them? In almost any scenario, I’d stick with “openly and honestly”. Make your needs, both emotional and physical, clear. Voice your trepidations and be emotionally up front now so you don’t feel emotionally vulnerable later. If you want to fuck in your own bed for the first time, or light candles, or play mid 2000s Beyonce in the background while you go at it make that clear early on rather than nursing disappointment after the fact.
That is the key advice on sex me and any teen sitcom would give you- communicate openly and honestly. But considering my own experience with virginity, it would be hypocritical of me to not give you a second option: lie. You in particular sound set on being in an emotionally intimate relationship before you are sexually intimate, so let me be perfectly clear: if you are in a relationship, or want to be in a relationship with the person you are choosing to have sex with, lying about your virginity (or anything else) is not a good idea. It’s important that you establish and hold yourself to the standards you want for your relationship. However, for the other virgins out there: if that is not the case, lying can be a great solution to your virginity problem. While I am the first person to jump on the healthy communication bandwagon, this is an instance where I err towards the arena of technically bad advice. So let me give you one very shady tip: people will rarely ask if you’re a virgin, and you should not feel under any compulsion to provide that information. Your sex life is your sex life, and what you disclose to your partners is under your control. Speaking from both my own experience and the experiences of friends who have gone the same route, it is understandable if you want to have sex for the first time instead of losing your virginity. Many of the ideas that surround virginity are myths and almost exclusively apply to straight cis women in the first place. Common myths about sexual experience can make you feel out of control of your body and your own sexual experience, but remember: your virginity is not taken, it is yours. It is a construct and like any construct it is yours to mold or dispose of entirely. Much of the fear surrounding virginity’ comes from the stigma, and releasing yourself from the tyranny of virginity can make your first sexual encounter all the more pleasurable.
Stay Safe & Have Fun,