Whether you’re entering into a serious relationship, beginning to date someone casually, or looking for a hookup (any of which are perfectly okay), the topic of sex is going to come up. It’s unavoidable. Maybe you’re both wanting to wait, and the conversation is short; maybe you’re both ready to go, and that conversation is even shorter; maybe one of you wants to wait and the other doesn’t, in which case the conversation may be a little lengthier (and should result in the partner who wants to have sex respecting the boundaries of the other). Maybe your partner has been open to you about their previous sexual experiences, but you haven’t reciprocated…because you don’t have any. And that conversation will look a lot different than any of the other ones.
But is it a conversation that you need to have?
You are under absolutely no obligation to disclose the status of your sexual experience (or inexperience) to your partner(s). Whether or not you’ve had sex before is solely your business, and no one else’s, not even a potential sexual partner’s.
Virginity for women is a double-edged sword, and that’s why I firmly believe we should not feel pressured to disclose that information about ourselves. No matter how we answer the question “Are you a virgin?”, we’re met with negative reactions. Being a virgin means you’re prude or a tease; not being a virgin means you’re a slut or a whore.
Of course, there are certain communities that celebrate a woman’s sexuality, but those are few and far between. Much more frequently, we find those that cherish a woman’s virginity and reject any notion of her sexuality. She is innocent and pure and full of goodness, all until a man sticks his penis inside of her (not to be heteronormative, but sex and virginity within the LGBTQIA+ community is a whole other article, and one that I, a cis woman who has only been in heterosexual relationships, don’t feel informed enough to write). And once that happens, she’s dirty, soiled, ruined. (But we don’t view the man that way…again, another article for another day.)
That’s why I hate the term “losing your virginity.” You didn’t lose anything—you’re still the same, awesome person you were before you had sex for the first time. Some pure, innocent part of you has not suddenly disappeared just because you engaged in sexual activity.
Some people find comfort in disclosing to their partner the fact that they’re a virgin before having sex for the first time, and that is perfectly okay. I think this happens more in committed relationships, because it takes a type of trust to share that information with someone—as I’ve said, no matter how we answer that question, we face negative reactions. Other people find discomfort in the thought of revealing such a personal fact about themselves to someone they may not even know that well.
And there is a stigma attached to men who are virgins, as well. Since I’m not a man, I can’t speak to this fully, but I think oftentimes men aren’t perceived as “real” men if they haven’t had sex with a woman. But they should not feel any pressure to disclose whether or not they’re virgins, either.
Why are we so obsessed with whether or not people are virgins? Do we obsess over whether or not someone has tried alcohol, or gone skydiving, or traveled to Europe? No. We live in a sex-obsessed society, one that will condemn you for choosing to have sex and (at the same exact time!!) for choosing not to have sex.
For some, sex and virginity is an uncomfortable subject, one that we stress so often in our media and society. But it’s important to remember that you should not feel, under any circumstances, that you are required to talk about your sex life with anyone…except maybe your doctor.
(Image Credit: Salon.com)
This post was originally published to onMogul.com.