I am 22-years-old and I am a virgin. I am not remotely ashamed by it and if I had wanted to change it by now, I could have several times over. I have made a conscious decision to remain a virgin until I am married for several reasons, all of which are fairly personal, but equally important to me.
I often hear about issues with slut shaming and the likes, but rarely hear anyone talk about the difficulties with being on the opposite end of the spectrum. I am not saying that it is worse or that virgins have a harder time, but there are certainly problems that need to be addressed.
I do not believe sex is wrong or bad, it is just not something that I wish to engage in at this point in my life. I think it is wonderful that women can gain a sense of liberation from the ability to sleep with whomever they choose or are able to forge a stronger connection with their significant other through physical intimacy; I sometimes wish that I could feel that, but it is simply not a way of life that is even remotely compatible with my personality.
I can honestly say that I have never met a particularly positive response when I have told a guy that I won’t sleep with him, regardless of who he is or what he is to me. I am seen as either a challenge or, on the flip side, as a dud. For some reason, if I choose not to have sex, there is something inherently wrong with me. I have been told that I must be asexual (which could not possibly be further from the truth). The bottom line is that I have a sex drive, just like any other human being. When things get hot and heavy with someone, it takes every ounce of willpower for me to try to turn it off. I definitely know my way around a showerhead, as a result, and probably indulge more than the average girl. I have been told by several guys that I am undoubtedly the most sexually frustrated human being they have ever met, and that may very well be true.
Which, of course, begs the question, why do that to myself? For me, whomever I end up married to should know that he is the only man that I have been with that intimately and the only man that I will EVER be that intimate with. From a purely practical standpoint, I don’t have to worry about STDs or taking a pill every day at the same time to prevent pregnancy. God knows that I would be horrible about that. Beyond that, I really value that part of myself and know that I can only give it away once, so why not give it to the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with?
The problem is that as much as I value my purity, there are others that see it as a deal breaker or, better yet, as a challenge. The first guy I told seemed okay with it, but kept slowly pushing for more. The second guy straight up asked me if being engaged counted. The third guy was, without a doubt, the worst. I had been talking to him for longer than I had either of the others and when he found out, he straight up told me that he did not want to be my first and then not to call him anymore. He found out I was a virgin and did not want to talk to me ever again, not even as friends. I cannot express how difficult it is to have a trait that I view as such an important part of myself seen as something detrimental to a relationship.
I fully understand wanting to test things out before marrying someone and know that the lifestyle I choose is not one that most guys are going to be completely okay with. The bottom line is that the decision to have sex or not have sex is not something that most people take lightly. It is not as though I woke up one morning and decided ‘hey, I want to deprive myself of sex until I meet the one guy I am meant to be with…..who may or may not even exist’. I gave it thought and ultimately came to the conclusion that, for the way I am and the way I handle life, this is the best way for me. It may not be for everyone else, and I respect that and, as a result, expect guys to respect my own decision. I should not have to feel guilty about not sleeping with someone.