I’m surprised that I haven’t written about this yet, considering how monumental I thought it was going to be. In my mind I always thought it was the kind of event that would be life-altering. Like you would come out a different person. I wish someone had told me that it isn’t as huge an event as it’s talked up to be and that there isn’t anything wrong with waiting. What I’m talking about is losing your v-card.
I grew up in a Christian home so all my life I was taught that sex was something sacred that should be saved for marriage. You get one sexual partner and that better be your spouse or forget purgatory you’re going straight to Hell. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise that I was late to the game. I do believe that Christianity has good solid teachings and that it instills individuals with a strong moral compass. Even though I grew up with these beliefs, I also grew up with Western social norms where multiple sexual partners is accepted and “normal” if you will.
I lost my virginity last November and while I wasn’t pressured at all into losing it by a guy, I felt this indirect pressure from my friends. Although none of my friends ever made me feel bad for being a virgin, I felt left out. I wasn’t the only one in any of my friend groups but we were definitely the minority. When the topic came up it was always a little awkward because I never had anything to say or relate to. I can’t explain why, but I felt the need to lose my virginity just to not be the last virgin around and to fit in better almost.
Another major reason is being in university, alcohol is a huge part of the equation. I always had this fear that I would get so drunk that I would just decide to lose it to a random guy. Frankly, that is in my opinion, the worst way to lose it. I wanted to be in control of the situation and to be aware of what was happening and to know who I was with when it did happen. Those things were extremely important to me. You’re in a seriously vulnerable position and I wanted it to be with someone who respected me and made me feel comfortable enough that I knew I could stop at any point if I changed my mind.
When I lost my virginity, I didn’t feel anything special – no sudden burst of love, or the supposed fireworks, or anything remotely magical. I don’t regret losing my virginity but I do wish that it was under better circumstances. I wish it was with someone I actually loved and not just someone who I felt safe enough to “get it over with.”
Once you lose your virginity, sex loses some of its importance. I feel awful for saying this but casual sex doesn’t seem as big a deal anymore after. And I’m not alone on this thought, which scares me a little. I think collectively as a generation, physical intimacy isn’t something that frightens us as much as emotional intimacy. Unlike our parents, we skip over all the emotional bullshit and jump straight into the physical because it’s easier that way. I honestly believe that we use causal sex to try and fulfill this void or craving for intimacy that only an emotional connection can fill.
I find it more intimidating to be emotionally vulnerable to someone than anything else. And it’s because that’s when we actually put ourselves out there for someone to potentially hurt us. When we open up emotionally is when we start investing in someone. And I feel that committing emotionally is something my generation struggles with, with terms such as “no strings attached,” or “friends with benefits” emerging. We want what a relationship has to offer without actually committing because we’re so afraid of getting hurt. We say we’re not looking for anything serious or that we’re too busy to commit when the underlying reason is we don’t want to put ourselves back together if it ends.
We are the generation of the emotionally unavailable. And I feel that the rise in divorce rates seen in our parents is a huge factor for this. Marriage has lost much of its meaning, and its association with forever. Marriage is now “let’s be together until we don’t want to and file for divorce.” Marriage is the new dating game, but with higher stakes. People are also getting married later and later. While career opportunity or advancement and financial security are major players, I believe that we are now more hesitant and more wary of the institution of marriage.
As someone who doesn’t get into relationships easily, I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with remaining single and playing the field. Especially still being in university, individuals are in the mindset that the best is yet to come and it’s too early to settle. Personally, I rather be single than be with someone who I don’t think is the greatest compliment to myself. I don’t want to end up with someone just because I’ve already invested time and am too scared to see if there is anyone better out there.
If I could go back I honestly think I would wait. While I don’t regret losing it I do wish I could have done things differently. Being a virgin isn’t something to be ashamed of. I think who I open up with emotionally speaks greater volumes than who I go home with. Date with the mindset of if it doesn’t end up in marriage, it’s going to be a break-up. Treat the dating game as more than a game. But don’t be so emotionally unavailable or scared of being hurt that you miss out on a chance to find love. It’s all about balance.