I was tired of being a virgin. I had already been in college for a year, and my virginity felt like a scarlet letter affixed to my chest. Of course, I know how absurd that sounds. Scarlet letters are for adulterers or, in Emma Stone’s case, promiscuous sexually active high school age girls. I was neither of those things. Nonetheless, before I had sex I felt like a complete stranger could look at me and know that I hadn’t gone past third base. My virginity was like a dark rain cloud ceaselessly hovering over me. It was constantly on my mind. To be honest, I kind of obsessed over it.
According to nearly every teen drama, romance novel, and female friend I had I was supposed to have lost my virginity long before turning 19. And here I was a virgin on the brink of 20! Something had to be done.
Societal pressure wasn’t the only thing that triggered my pursuit of the perfect virginity slayer. There were a lot of personal factors, too. Mostly, I knew that I was ready to have sex. I had physically been ready since I was twelve and seven years later I was finally emotionally ready, too. Knowing that I was ready, but being unable to act was incredibly frustrating. This frustration was what let me to hold three very different viewpoints on virginity, and I think that my obsessive nature in analyzing them and figuring out what I wanted was what ultimately gave me the emotional preparation I needed.
For the majority of my early teenage years, I felt that sex should be saved for marriage, or at least be kept between fiancés. I maintained this opinion because, at the time, it was the only opinion that I had really been exposed to. Additionally, I didn’t have any real interest in sex. It seemed like a very far-off and grown-up decision. Then, during my senior year of high school, I fell in love.
My high school best friend was the first person I had ever loved. During that snippet of my life right between the end of high school and the beginning of college, I wanted nothing more than to show him just how much I loved him. I wanted to commit the ultimate act of trust and love. I wanted us to lose our virginities to each other. I wanted him to be the first one I let in. At this age, I still felt that virginity was something important. I felt like it was something sacred, something that should only be shared between two people who loved each other. The label of marriage no longer mattered to me, but love still did. Sex was something for people who were in love. I wanted us to experience our love for each other together.
Well, that fairytale didn’t work out. We broke up, and I was confronted once again with my virginity. Immediately after the break up, I began to experiment with other people. With every guy I kissed, my perceived value of virginity decreased. People didn’t have to be in love, just in a serious relationship. The relationship didn’t have to be serious. No relationship was necessary.
It was during this time that my virginity became a burden. Like I said, I was simply tired of being a virgin. I knew that I was ready, and I made it my goal of sophomore year to get laid. Really. Unsurprisingly, the harder I tried the more I failed. Eventually, I gave up completely. I was still mildly obsessed with my virginity, but trying to lose it was becoming a chore. I decided to focus on other things and tried to convince myself that sex wasn’t important. If there are any “older” virgins out there, you’ll know very well that this is near impossible to do when you live in a society that deems promiscuity as the golden, most desirable lifestyle a young adult could lead.
The minute I stopped trying, though, everything fell into place. Looking back, I thought that I was ready during my quest to have sex. I wasn’t ready, though, until I stopped obsessing and simply accepted that I would have sex someday and that it didn’t matter if I was married or in love or in a relationship so long as I was comfortable and safe and knew that it was what I wanted in that moment.
Waiting until marriage to have sex is fine. Waiting until you’re in love in fine. Waiting until you’re in a relationship is fine. Waiting until you’re with someone that you trust, someone to whom you aren’t married or in a relationship with or in love with is fine, too.
Waiting until you’re ready, though, is best. And, in my experience, you’re ready when losing your virginity isn’t a huge deal. Sex is a natural part of our lives, and until it comes naturally to you, you aren’t ready. The relationship, or lack thereof, does not matter. What does matter, though, is how you view losing your virginity as a whole.
Having sex for the first time shouldn’t solely be about validating a sacred bond, professing love, or curiosity. Those things can certainly factor into it, but what matters most is your relationship with yourself. Don’t lose your virginity for just one of those reasons above, and definitely don’t lose it just for the sake of losing it. Lose it for the reason of simply doing it for yourself. Don’t do it because of social pressure. Do it because you want to. Do it because you are comfortable with taking that step into maturity. Do it because you’re ready.
But most of all, do it because it isn’t a big deal. Our society is obsessed with sex and it can make you feel terrible for remaining a virgin for “too long.” Don’t be fooled, though. “Too long” doesn’t exist. Wait until you’re ready. That’s the only factor that will matter in the end. Relationship and circumstance are simply fringe details.