Virgin is Such a Dirty Word

I once had a friend who was a firm believer in astrology, so she was proud to inform me that I am a Virgo since I was born on the 22nd of September (which is also the fictional birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, so shout out to them); the symbol for Virgo is the maiden, or virgin, and I don’t think that she realized how accurate that is. Yes, I am a 26-year-old virgin (now the Hobbit reference makes sense, right?); I’m sure questions are running through your mind about how this could come about, and I hope to give some insight into the choices I have made throughout my life, some of which may surprise you. Don’t worry, the featured image is simply an allusion to the most famous of virgins; there won’t be any preaching in this post.

I was raised in a Catholic household, and went through all the religious schooling required to become confirmed within the church, so these values were built into the foundation of my childhood. Sex was always something that a loving, married couple did so that they could have children. It was described as something wonderful, something transcendent; something that was worth abstaining from and waiting for. I believed this and it kept me from getting into situations where any lack of inhibition may have ended with me doing something I would come to regret. It wasn’t something I really thought about until that hormone-fueled transformation that began shortly before entering high school.

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This was basically what I looked like from age 13 to 16. Yes, I’m wearing a button.

I was part of a tight-knit group of friends in high school and, as each of them lost their virginity respectively, they would regale the rest of us with details in celebration. One even went so far as to show us the scratch marks on his back from his venture into coital revelry. It wasn’t long before I was the last one in the group, but there was never any pressure to make sure I got laid, or anything like that; though, this could be chalked up to them only worrying about their own chances with girls. I must admit that, for a time, it did lead me to judge some of my friends; I was initially proud of the fact that though my friends were losing their virginity in high school, I retained mine partly because of my strong religious beliefs. I did, however, have a falling out with my faith after the death of my grandfather, and this caused me to wonder about the core pillars upon which my beliefs were founded.

I began to feel like I was being left behind by my more sexually cavalier friends and that there was something wrong with me since I couldn’t even make a relationship work, let alone get to the point where a girl would be comfortable having sex with me. I knew my inherent sense of morality and respect for women would keep me from doing anything unseemly in the pursuit of sex, and I have never come to regret this. Consent was taught to me at a young age, whether it be in terms of getting the “okay” to go to a friend’s house and confirming with my parents or in the pursuit of a drunken kiss from a girl I liked (true story: we were drunk, I asked if I could, she said no, end of story. This is still something that embarrasses me, but what’s the point of this post if not to be honest?); no means no and this is something that I have not only believed, but acted with in mind.

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I really let myself go (that’s my sister’s jacket; I was trying to be funny).

The importance of proving your manhood didn’t end in high school; I was roommates with some guys who were a couple of years younger than me in college, and the entire first year we lived together was spent trying to help one of them lose his virginity. He pursued it with such ferocity that I soon lost respect for him; he wasn’t looking for a relationship or something meaningful, he just wanted to bed someone and be able to say he had done so. I wouldn’t even have been able to follow his example if I had wanted to because I made some bad decisions regarding how I spent my time during my first semester at college, and as a result had to spend the remainder of my college career digging myself out of an academic hole of my own devising. I worked part-time, went to school full-time, and spent any other time in the library studying, so the idea of having a relationship, let alone losing my virginity, soon fell to the bottom of my list of priorities.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I started to think about life after school and decided to create an online dating profile. This served me better because I didn’t like the hookup culture of the local bar scene, and it helped me get to know people before putting the time into meeting up with them. However, as can happen, sex and sexuality sometimes come up in conversation and, having accepted the fact that I am a virgin and that I wasn’t going to go have sex just to throw off the label, I have never lied when asked. This often led to expressions of disbelief, regret at their own loss of virginity and the circumstances surrounding it, or genuine laughter.

One woman I was talking to asked me if I was serious, and when I said yes, she said,” Not even with someone you didn’t really know?!” This, right here, was what I disliked about dating in general; the idea that my worth was next to none because I wasn’t experienced in this one aspect of a relationship and there was no point in dating me because even if we did get that far, I would probably not live up to their expectations. And that’s fine; sex, clearly, isn’t the most important thing to me. When looking for a relationship, I try to think in the long-term; looks don’t last, physical sex appeal is fleeting, and though I do enjoy physicality in my relationships while I’m young, that doesn’t mean it is the core of what a relationship should be.

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A genuine screen-cap of my current dating profile.

However, I do realize that not all women feel this way, and most them fall into this group. Many of those to whom I have revealed my virginity (that sounds even dirtier than I thought) understood and asked respectful questions, but it still occurs to me that I must have some kind of explanation as to why I haven’t had sex yet. Men flaunt their sexual exploits and women are told to keep them quiet; when a man is quiet about his sex life, his sexual orientation is suspect in a negative way (which is ridiculous. Yes, people have wrongly assumed I’m gay, as if that would mean I would automatically not be a virgin if I wasn’t straight) and when a woman is open about hers, she is called a slut (or worse) and shamed. Sure, these societal expectations are slowly being supplanted, but they still exist. People expect me to have a reason ready as to why I am a virgin, so I suppose I can set the record straight here: I am not gay, I am not a virgin for religious regions (anymore), I simply haven’t had sex yet and I’m willing to wait for when it is time.

I realize this is information a lot of people would probably never want to know about me, but I have found the assumption of my lack of virginity has become so common that I felt it was worth discussing because I know I can’t be the only one. I’m not here to judge anyone who has had or is having sex; I’m not jealous of you, I’m not better than you, I am simply on a different path. This post isn’t a plea for attention or sympathy, I just know that though I feel I’m at odds with society, I’m not the only guy to reach his twenties with his V-card safely in his possession. I don’t get uncomfortable when people discuss sex with me, or around me, I just can’t really relate. Perhaps I’m a romantic that is holding onto the ideal that was taught to me as a boy, perhaps I’m a prude who just doesn’t feel comfortable with his sexuality despite being closer to 30 than 20; all I know is this is where I am right now, and that’s okay.

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38 thoughts on “Virgin is Such a Dirty Word

  1. You have the right ideas here, starting with a solid foundation of consent. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Your beliefs and understanding will lead you to exactly the right people in the right time.

    I missed being born on Tolkien’s birthday by one day. You being born on Hobbit Day… I’m jealous. lol

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Have you looked into the Purple-Red Scale of Human Attraction? While not perfect, it at least allows for variety.

    Thank you for sharing. You might not be “normal” (who is?), but you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems to me that sexuality is compulsory, so far as society is concerned. When I was a kid, heterosexuality was compulsory; now not so much, but every social group with which I’ve associated has placed great importance on sexuality, with various views about what it ‘should’ entail, from abstinence (religious groups) to something sacred without which one cannot be complete.

    If I were not so easily led as a youngster I would have discovered much more quickly that I am asexual — not attracted to anyone, not interested in sexual relationships. Not saying you’re the same, just saying I can relate.

    Good for you for understanding yourself well enough not to get dragged into something you didn’t want. Really. I find that VERY impressive. My respect for you, which has always been high, has soared. Well written article as always.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I admire your honesty and your bravery in sharing this. Society is way too quick to judge in this area – like you said, condemnation for men who haven’t, but scorn for women who have. But your understanding of consent is amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Perpetually past due, indeed. lol. Actually I envy you. It will be wonderful for you when you finally find that right person and share your body with her as an act of love. For me, as a gay man, having sex was not about peer pressure, but a way of affirming my identity. I have no regrets. But it would have been nice to have been raised in a culture where I didn’t need to hide or question my sexuality, so that I could have been raised out of the closet with nurturing from my parents and my culture, thus being allowed to explore my sexuality in a healthier way. I think it’s pretty awesome that you’ve had the strength of character to not be pressured into something you weren’t ready for. You’re a great role model and I admire your courage in posting this.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Daena May

    You’ve got the gist right. Consent is very important, whether its with regards to sex or anything else. Willing to lose your virginity is a personal question, and frankly, I dont think people not romantically involved with you should even inquire about it in the first place. And I am glad to see you’ve made it your own decision, instead of purely due to religious reasons. I have always felt a little hostility from people who create rules in their life owing to their religion. They think they are being religious, but anytime someone tells me they dont or do something due to God, I sense some bitterness and remorse. Its always nice to see people being mature online in times of tide pod pizzas and extreme bigotry online.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was with a guy who was a virgin in his 30s. Not religious. It just hadn’t happened. Like you, smart and handsome, so yes, I was surprised. But I thanked him for telling me and it really didn’t bother me. He’d had opportunities but didn’t see the point in just having sex.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that’s very kind of you to say. Thank you for sharing! I know I’m not the only one to have had this experience, but it seems like something few talk about, so I thought it was worth sharing. Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

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      1. And for what it’s worth, “experience” is over-rated. Sex with a new partner is always a learning curve. The mechanics happen naturally enough. For the rest, it’s far more important that a partner asks what you like, and listens, then is experienced.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Honestly, I think it’s a good thing to talk about as long you’re comfortable with it. Fun fact is that it’s rather likely some of your friends in high school were either exaggerating if not outright fabricating their experiences–studies show (especially right in your current age group: Late Millenials/Early Gen Y) that sex is starting later and later.

    Not that teenagers can’t or shouldn’t be doing it if they want to and consent, but that for many people, lots don’t have sex for the first time until their 20s or 30s* and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. What’s wrong is our expectation that it’s normal and expected for people to be pros at sex before college orientation. That’s a huge responsibility that should not be bestowed onto such young people.

    It’s quite a relief to read things from someone who isn’t experienced yet who is so wholly aware of consent and the complicated social expectations of various gender expressions and what’s expected of them sexually. I had my first experiences at 19 and then for most of college was hardly interested–my sex life didn’t pick up until I was done with college (at 25) really; they were few and far between in the interim and I was totally fine with it. I learned that I am both demiromantic and demisexual in the past couple years and it explained so much.

    Sex is part of our identities, and those are things that take us years and years to figure out, and nothing is ever 100% concrete. I avoid the word and concept of “virginity” because it doesn’t actually exist–there is always SOME sexual experience even the most active of participants haven’t had and is a little too heterenormative for my tastes for a number of reasons.

    *https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/millennials-waiting-sex-26/

    Like

    1. Thank you for sharing that article; I was unaware of those statistics. I think that the lack of actual, healthy conversation regarding sex in society definitely leads to the ridiculous expectations of young adults and teens. And I think that virginity does exists, but ONLY as a concept; not a physical state of being. Thank you for reading and for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Another well worded and refreshingly honest post! Thanks for being so open! Insightful too. Sex and sexuality is such a weird thing and what we’ve decided is normal and taboo is just mind blowing (like how women are often expected to be both pure and sexually experienced at the same time and also completely silent about their exploits). As many others said, it’s awesome that your reasons are your own – you’re not just doing it because God (or whoever says). It’s not the end all be all and I find it’s emphasis in relationships to be troubling at times. Haha probably I have a lot more thoughts on this all related to my own experiences, but not something I’ll share. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are always so honest in your posts! I agree there is nothing wrong with being a virgin at any age. And you are completely right about consent, it should always be given on both sides every time.

    I will argue that being sexually compatible with a partner is an element to all relationships because in the right relationship you want to make each other happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think having your virginity past a certain age can lead to people believing you won’t be good at it. As experience is what makes sex better. So I think a lot of people lose it early so that they can leave the group of inexperienced noobs and enter sexual connoisseur. Especially when you are younger it acts as a badge of honour, of seeming mature and almost worldly just because you’ve had sex once. Lacking logic but when does that ever matter to teenagers.. And some adults for that matter.
    I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 18, which is still considered relatively old. I had opportunities but whilst I don’t believe you have to be married or even in love to have sex, I wanted my first time to be with someone I liked, someone I respected. Someone who respected me and wouldn’t ‘hit it and quit it’. I don’t regret waiting until I was 18, nor do I regret who it was with (I went on to date him for 5 years). Whilst a large majority of people who lose it at an earlier age do seem to regret it.
    I don’t think age matters too much (past being like 16 of course) and I don’t think religion comes into it (for me at least). Nor love. I think you just need to know the person reasonably well, and have mutual respect for each other. I think you should be able to say that if you never saw them again you wouldn’t regret having shared your first time with them regardless.
    And with regards to how and who you have sex with after losing your virginity I say do you; just don’t hurt anyone else. (Which does include a lot of thinks like consent, safe sex, cheating, talking about it afterwards etc..) but as far as I’m concerned if you don’t want to have sex with anyone unless you are in a relationship or you want to have a one night stand every weekend; do you. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business as long as what you are doing isn’t hurting anyone.
    That’s my opinions anyways 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Not many people are comfortable talking about it, and you wrote an entire blog post, which is great! I wish people were as honest and nice as you. Some men think that their sex lives raise their worth in the dating market (I stay away from this kind), but ask about the very concept of consent, they’d be clueless! These men have been mollycoddled all their lives (especially, where I live – India) and look at women as sex objects or someone who’s supposed to be at their beck and call ALL THE TIME. I call BS!
    Similarly, as you mentioned, when women discuss their sex lives, they’re called sluts. Sadly, this is the world we live in, and it’s going to take a long, long time to change. Nevertheless, change will take place. (Well, one can hope!)
    PS: There is absolutely NO shame in being in control of your love life or sex life, or life in general! People who make fun of us are the garbage we need to throw away ASAP.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This was such a brave post to do and I really respect you for doing it. I don’t think people should have to justify their choices when it comes to sex and I wish it wasn’t treated as such a big deal in our society. It really shouldn’t be of massive concern to anyone but the individual who is making this choice. I feel like there’s been a lot of discussion of women being shamed for their sexuality- but unfortunately it isn’t uncommon for the opposite to be true nowadays as well (though perhaps not as much as it is for men- but it’s also not uncommon). Either way, it would be great if people could not shame each other for such personal choices. I don’t think it makes a person a prude to respect their body and other people’s bodies. I think there is just way too much stigma surrounding inexperience, when in reality, this doesn’t seem to matter to people if they’re truly in love and willing to listen to each other- though maybe this is the hopeless romantic in me 😉
    (I can also confirm that many, many people exaggerate their sexual exploits 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Careful with the astrology. I am a solar Virgo (August) as well but, there are other factors. I am a lunar Pisces & my ascendant is Libra. Planets, stars & asteroids in houses affect who you are, also.

    Don’t hang your hat on your solar sign. Plus, look into Chinese & Hindu/Vedic astrology. I am a Firehorse in Chinese (which also has more specifics on months, days & hours) and an Aquarian in Vedic.

    Being sexually active is pushed in our society & you are made to feel an outcast if you don’t participate. I applaud your desire for more than a fling. I wish I had as much insight at your age.

    Liked by 1 person

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