It was in a shopping mall bathroom.
Two girls, about 16 or 17, fixing their makeup in the bathroom mirror. One of them stops mid mascara-swipe and says excitedly to the other, “We did it last night.”
The other girl stops, lip gloss wand still in the air. “You had sex with him?”
With a nod, the girls begin to hug, smearing their makeup. But in the moment, it doesn’t matter. They are both celebrating something special, a milestone into the magical world of love.
At 19, I have only had two steady boyfriends – one of which I had never even kissed while we were together. In many ways, I could be called reserved, demure, and conservative my rituals with a boy. Hand holding first. Short hugs. Then long hugs. Pecks on the cheek, arms around the waist, and maybe, when the time is right, a first kiss. A long kiss. On the lips.
But going beyond that was something that I had never thought of, at least not yet. Having sex with another teenager didn’t seem right to me. During my relationships, I had nothing against the boys I was with, but I wasn’t ready to give myself – all of myself – to him just yet.
Society has become a loud voice in everyone’s heads. You have to look a certain way, eat certain foods, do certain activities, and by a certain age, your virginity should already be taken.
Why does our virginity even have to be “taken”?
I am the owner and master of my own body. My virginity should not be taken, it should be given, and given freely to someone who loves and respects me and my body.
I feel that in the present age we are being force-fed this lie that if you haven’t had sex yet, there must be something wrong with you. But why is that? What is so wrong with waiting for the right person to come along?
Why are we being pushed to say “I love you” before we truly know the person that we’re dating? Why do friends tease and taunt others to have sex in the empty bedroom? Why is it so difficult to admit that yes, I am a virgin?
I don’t want to be an outcast, strange, or different. I want to fit in. I want to be like everyone else. But let me tell you that pretending to be someone you’re not is exhausting. You begin to run out of lies and excuses, and pretty soon you are left with someone who is not you. Be true to yourself.
If you’re a virgin and you have been spending your time hiding from or avoiding the question, I want you to be confident in yourself and proudly say that you are. There are so many reasons why a person might be a virgin, and all of them are valid.
If someone loves you, they will not pressure you into doing anything you’re not comfortable with. In addition to appreciating the amazing qualities you have to offer, they will accept your limitations.
Two summers ago, I had a summer fling with a boy my age. He was incredibly smart and handsome and was very chivalrous in many ways. But one place he fell short was the issue of sex.
The first time he had asked me to do it with him, I told him that I was waiting for marriage. He respected me, or so I thought, and the topic didn’t come up again until we were at a party. Having consumed a lot of alcohol, the question came up again, but reasoning with a drunk guy is virtually impossible. So when I declined, again, I found myself getting ridiculed, pushed around and yelled at by him. He vilified me, making it sound like the virgin was depriving him of sex.
That, as you could probably figure out, was the end of that relationship.
Ladies, remember that you don’t owe any guy sex. Gentlemen, remember that you don’t owe any girl sex. No one owes it to anyone. Your virginity is yours and yours alone. And if the people that “love” you can’t see that, then clearly they aren’t ready for the responsibility that comes with a mature relationship.
Be comfortable in your own skin and be proud of who you are, and when the right person comes along, you will know.