Why the hell are we so obsessed with virgins? First it was “Underage and Engaged” then it was “16 & Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, and now we’ve moved onto the virgins. Doesn’t that seem backwards? More to the point: Doesn’t it seem completely irrelevant?
I sat on the couch and I honestly want to reach through the television and punch these people in the face. Once upon a time, virginity was something to be proud of. When the hell did it turn into something that we had to ‘get rid of’? When did it become a race to have sex? I just heard a lad admitting to having a “race” with friends to see who would have sex first, and whoever had sex first got paid $50 from each of the other friends in the group. All I can really say is holy hell and fight the urge to punch someone or something. Some of these kids are as young as fourteen.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m a perfect little angel though. I was fourteen when I was introduced to the idea of sex. My boyfriend (at the time) said “I love you” in hopes that we would jump into bed together. Or that’s my understanding of his reasoning behind saying it. After that “I love you” boyfriend, I was more than a little curious about sex. (I may or may not have said it back and I may or may not have ended up sleeping with him years later.) Ha. Adulthood.
I didn’t end up “losing it” until I was almost seventeen years old. Do I regret it? Well, no. However, it did lead to a weird obsession with sex and the “validation” that it could give to a girl. It became my way of knowing that I was wanted…even if it was just for a night. That ended up spiralling out of control really quickly. I almost got shipped off to my father’s house and sent to an all girl school. Imagine the horror that went through my little teenage brain. Does that mean that every teenager will go through the same thing that I have? Well, probably not.
So how does this relate to the programmes that are popping up on television lately? I was them. I was the girl who thought she had found someone she wanted to “lose it” to…and we broke up before that could happen. I was the girl who just wanted to get rid of it. I was the girl who thought she was ready. I was a teenager in high school who was surrounded by people having sex.
However, I wasn’t faced with any peer pressure to finally lose it. I probably acted like I had done it over and over if I’m being completely honest. I have been called a “tease” more times than I can count. I can understand friends talking about sex and everything leading up to that moment. We’re young. We’re supposed to be able to talk about that stuff in complete safety and comfort. The part that gets me is when we (the media industry) thought that putting a person and their virginity (and occasional lack of) on display for the whole world to see is okay. When did it transition from something personal to ‘entertainment’ for everyone to see?
The two shows (that I’m aware of and have watched) I’m complaining about are called Virgin Territory and Diary of a Teen Virgin; one of them is produced by MTV and another one aired in Britain first (I’m assuming) before being released globally. Both of these programmes show boys and girls with ages ranging from fourteen to twenty as they make the decision to lose their virginity or not. I couldn’t help but think “no, no, no” as I watched the British based Diary of a Teen Virgin on Thursday night. They were so young, only babies (in my eyes) when the show was made. A lot of them thought that they were “ready” for it, but none of them actually took the plunge whilst the show was being recorded. Thank goodness. Virgin Territory is another story though. I have watched the show more than once (to my horror) and there always seems to be one person out of four who does the deed. I don’t know about y’all, but I wouldn’t want the whole world to watch me make such a decision. Ever.
I’m not trying to hate on people young people in particular who think that they are ready to have sex…because 90% of the time (if you’re thirteen or fourteen) you aren’t. I’m aware that we live in a world where people grow up before their time, and I’m still young enough to be called a ‘twelvie’ or someone who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. If any of y’all had read my old blog then you would know that I flipped between feelings of why did I do that to hell yeah, sex is awesome.
So, how do I feel about it now?
I think I’m sticking with my hell yeah, sex is awesome theory for the moment. Do I want to punch my sixteen-year-old self in the face sometimes? Well, yes. Do I regret what she did? Well, no, not entirely. All I can say is that I have had one night stands, I have slept with people I don’t care about, I have had a “friend with benefits” and I have slept with someone who (I think) I loved. All of them were entirely different experiences in themselves.
I can’t tell you to wait for someone you love or to hold off just a little longer without being a hypocrite. I didn’t wait for someone I loved, but I knew that I was ready. I wasn’t going to have that moment of regret in the morning. I wasn’t going to blame myself for days afterwards. I’m all for living in the moment and doing whoever whatever makes you feel good, but I do have a few requests. Kill joy, I know.
Be emotionally ready for it. The physical act is nothing compared to the emotions that can emerge after the fact.
Be safe. Use protection. All kinds of protection. They’re there to be used. You don’t know where they have been…and it’s probably best not to know in some cases.
Know that you owe your partner nothing. Never think that you have to have sex with someone because you owe them something. I had this feeling for a little while. You don’t owe them anything. Trust me.
Let someone know where you are. It seems weird, but I always tell people where I’m going…just in case I need to make a quick getaway.
Know your limits. I have done some things that are bordering on my “not okay” scale just so I could make my partner happy. If you think something will make you uncomfortable, then don’t do it.
I know this post can be slightly touchy to some people (especially the younger readers) who might be dealing with this very thing right now. In fact, ‘dealing with’ is the wrong phrase to use. Being a virgin isn’t something you have to ‘deal with’, it isn’t something you have to ‘get rid of’ and certainly isn’t something that you should be ashamed of. The timing is all up to you. Listen to your gut and you’ll know if it’s right or not.
Good or bad, it will be something that you are going to carry with you for the rest of your life…and remember that it is always your choice.