Women Who Wait

purity_ringpic                                                                           Photo: hercampus.com

Hello lovers and friends! Happy 2015! How the heck are ya?

Ah, the first post of the new year. It feels magical right? The first few weeks of January have already been life changing and it’s only the beginning. I’ve been desire mapping, practicing yoga/meditation, calming my spirit, and doing all of the things that bring me joy. Of course, writing is at the top of the list, and now it’s time to start the new year right on anopensecret!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about virginity, and what it means.

When it comes to sex, it feels like everybody and their mother is getting some. Or at least, that’s what it seems like. When you’re a single girl out in the world, it appears that everyone is either in monogamous relationships or is getting some and living up their single existence, and casual sex is no thing. But in actuality, not everyone is having sex. Some are choosing to wait, whether it is for marriage, or are waiting for the right one. Whatever the reason, women are waiting. I thought it was worth it to have a conversation about virginity.

Wikipedia defines virginity as follows:

‘Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth.’

This is a textbook definition of virginity, however, being a virgin means different things to different women. I thought it would be interesting to talk to women who have chosen to wait.

Let’s start with my home girl, Julie. Julie is 27, and has recently lost her virginity. I asked her a million questions about virginity, and she gave me some amazing feedback. Here’s a little bit from her interview:

Where/ when did you first learn about sex? When did you begin to form your own ideas about sex? 

I vaguely remember seeing stuff on TV and being too scared to ask my parents so I asked my brother and when he told me I was shocked and asked my mom and she confirmed. I remember being scared about what sex was, I really had to let a penis go in my vagina?!?!? Shit I used to think sex was people laying in bed naked and kissing ha-ha.                                                              What made you decide to wait?

There was never a decision that I made with myself. I always pictured it to just happen but I never said “I am going to wait until I’m 27 to lose my virginity!” I never had a serious boyfriend in high school like my other friends did and they all lost their virginity to their high school boyfriends. It’s also not like I was a loser, I mean I was prom queen, when have you ever heard of a virgin prom queen? LOL typical. When it didn’t happen in high school I was certain I was going to go away to college and have my first serious boyfriend and have sex then. Although I met boys and kissed a lot of them, none of them were right. It’s not like I had high standards I just wanted to feel safe and loved and no boy ever made me feel that way. As college came to an end I knew that I was in a position where I waited this long, no sense in losing it in one drunken night out to some random I will never talk to again. I was also scared of STD’s and getting pregnant and to be honest even though I kissed a lot of boys I really didn’t go past third base and 3rd base for girls. I can count how many penises I have touched because it was rare for me ha-ha. For me it has always been about feel comfortable and cared about by someone to be able to be intimate with them.

How did you feel after your first time?

To be honest, after we were done and we were talking, he said “well you’re officially not a virgin anymore” and after he said it I was like ‘hm, that’s kind of odd.’ I wasn’t even fully naked! it just kind of happened and was in the moment.  I didn’t really feel anything. I didn’t feel sad, I wasn’t extremely happy because it did kind of hurt, I guess it all happened so fast that I was almost shocked but definitely not in a bad way. 27 years of being a virgin, you feel like it is part of your identity, just taken away in one second. After we were done we snuggled up and he continued to ask if I was ok, we didn’t even have sex until he came because it hurt too much. We ate cupcakes and then I asked him if he wanted to go again. We ended up having sex 4 times that day, the last time we had sex that day I even put on sexy lingerie. I even got on top and we tried different position. Not bad for a virgin eh?
What advice would you give to other women who are considering waiting? 

There is no regret in my mind that I waited. I feel like I have been ready to have sex for a few years now but was just waiting for the right person and I am glad I did. Usually after sexual experiences I felt guilty and used and the farthest thing from loved you could be. I didn’t like being looked at as a sexual object for a one night thing, I like to feel like someone actually cares about me and my body and the boy I lost my virginity to did. He made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world and never once pushed us to have sex. I was in complete control of the situation, he never even brought it up. I was the one who said, I think I am ready to start that conversation about us having sex. He even told me beforehand that even if we start to have sex and I change my mind in the middle please ask him to stop because the last thing he would want is for me to feel pressured or uncomfortable. He of course wanted to have sex with me but only when I wanted to have sex with him. Looking back on all the times I almost gave in I am SO HAPPY I waited and if I never met the boy I lost my virginity too I know I would still be waiting. I never thought I would meet someone who would be so patient but they are out there I promise! And they are worth the wait!!

What does being a virgin/ losing your virginity mean to you?

I remember when I knew I was probably going to lose my virginity soon, I started having second thoughts, was I really ready? Is he the right one, what if this and what if that? Then I remember thinking, if the world ended tomorrow would I want to sleep with him. The answer was yes, yes I 100% would and I realized I really wanted to. I am still me and being a virgin did not identify who I was but I am glad I held onto it for as long as I did. Your virginity is a gift and when you give it to someone they should take it with respect and realize how lucky they are that you chose them. Every girl deserves to feel loved and cared for. Having sex is one of the most intimate things, if not the most intimate thing you can do with someone, you can’t physically be closer because you are actually connected! I would advise to wait for someone that you know you won’t ever regret losing it to. I know that even if my boyfriend and I don’t work out, I will never regret losing it to him because I know he loves me.

Shout out to Julie for sharing such honest thoughts about losing her virginity. I think we can all agree that we definitely want the person we’re intimate with to treat us with love and respect. Am I right?!

But what we never talk about today, is what it’s like to be a virgin, waiting for marriage. Like, do women like this still exist? Where day at doe? My home girl from grad school, Shina, had this to say about what it’s like to wait:

Where/ when did you first learn about sex?

I was initially introduced to sex around age 8 through movies I had no business watching and through the whispers of friends relaying their notion of what S E X (at the age we didn’t dare say the word, but spelt the word out) was. Outside of movies and the whispers of friends I formally learned about sex in my 8th grade sex education class. That is when I learned the technical names of body parts, that there was a reason two people would hump one another and this is the act that produced me.

When did you begin to form your own ideas about sex?

I began to form my own ideas about sex in high school. That is when I consciously developed reasons as to why I had decided to wait until marriage to have sex. My peers continuously informed me of the great pleasures of sex, but it was the knowledge that I learned from health classes that perpetuated my decision to wait. Though sex seemed pleasurable, it also seemed like a very risky activity to engage in. With sex came the risk of diseases, viruses, teen pregnancy and (deep) emotional attachment. All the risks attached to sex were never talked about as must as the excitement and pleasure. Sex was an experience that many shared so nonchalantly, but to me sex never resonated as something as simple as a nonchalant activity, but something so much deeper.

What made you decide to wait?

The furthest memory pertaining to my abstinence decision goes back to eighth grade. I remember sitting in computer class and a male classmate of mine asked “do you have sex?” I responded with pride “no, I’m waiting until I get married.” I wish when asked “why did you decide to wait” I had a profound answer. Maybe one that included a scripture from the bible, or an insightful statistic, but truth is I cannot remember what initially influenced my decision to wait. However, as I have grown, I realized the reason(s) why I decided to wait is not nearly as important as why I continue to wait. I continue to wait for reasons such as: I believe sex is a sacred act, a gift to the person(s) you choose to share it with. When having sex I believe you expose not only your body to that individual, but a piece of your soul. You give that person(s) a piece of you that he or she will always have and you can never get back. I will only allow one piece of me to be taken and by a person deserving: A person who is intended to become one with me for a lifetime (Matthew 19:6 “So they are no longer two, but one”), not a moment. The man that will vow to cherish and love me– in sickness and health, for richer and poorer, until death do us part. Additionally, by doing so I am honoring my father Gods request to keep sex within the context of marriage.

What does being a virgin/ losing your virginity mean to you?

To me my virginity means that I am a person of leadership, discipline, and self-worth. I have decided to not follow the masses and engage in a sacred activity that has been diluted to something of casualty. I have learned to discipline myself and put those urges under control. However, I don’t proclaim that being disciplined is easy; I have urges and am placed in tempting positions just like other people. Furthermore, I am a young lady who has decided that I will not gauge my self-worth by how many men would like to have sex with me, but instead by all that I have to offer outside of sex. Losing my virginity (assuming that it will be with my husband) will mean that I have found the man who respects, accepts and cherishes me; not because of the pleasures I have brought him through sex, but the pleasures I have brought him outside of sex. He will be the man that I will take a vow before God with and allow him to be gifted the present I have held on so long to, my virginity.

I think both of these women are dope for staying true to themselves, and not letting society tell them how they should feel about their virginity. As I said, being a virgin feels differently for every woman. Society definitely puts more pressure on females to stay ‘pure.’ However, I think the conversation surrounding what it means to be a virgin should be more open-ended. There’s a lot of talk about why one should not have sex, but not enough conversation on what happens if you do decide that you are ready. What are safe ways to have sex? How can you prevent STDs or STIs? Many people have been boning for years and still don’t know the difference. What are the different types of birth control? Does your significant other/partner know what you’re on? Have you and your partner been tested, and have you had that conversation? What about oral sex? Lots of questions. Let’s start having honest discussions about sex and virginity.

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