Virgin Or Not: Why Your ‘Number’ Doesn’t Define You

Tonight I was walking home from work, texting my friend Lisa,* and I realized I didn’t know whether or not she was a virgin. Until about 3 years ago, I had tabs on all my friends’ sexual activity – I knew that Kate had been only ever had sex with her boyfriend, that Caroline lost her virginity at sixteen, but hadn’t slept with anyone in a while, and that Rebecca liked sleeping with anyone who made her feel special. I kept tabs because I truly thought it mattered. Somehow, virginity and sexual experience seemed to define people. So in my mind, my lack of experience meant that I was naive, inexperienced, and unknowledgeable.

What I realized today was that none of it matters. I don’t know whether Lisa is still a virgin or not, and I don’t care. She might be, she might not be, but who gives a damn? Virginity does not define you – it doesn’t make you a good or bad person, it doesn’t make you smart or stupid, it doesn’t make you beautiful or ugly. Your participation in a specific sexual encounter says nothing about who you are. Nothing.

For a long time I thought losing my virginity would be a big deal – that it would somehow change me. News flash: it didn’t. I woke up the next day feeling exactly the same as I had the day before (maybe just a tiny bit more sore). The world didn’t stop spinning, I didn’t get invited to join some special club, and I didn’t feel “mature” all of a sudden. Want to know why? Because I was already the person that I am, with or without the intangible concept of “virginity.” Sex is a big step for a couple and you need to trust, respect, and be comfortable with the people you sleep with – but sex doesn’t need to be a big deal. It’s just another step in a sexual relationship. And it doesn’t need to involve anyone outside of the people who are participating in it. Because honestly? It’s just sex.

*All names have been changed.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and comment, however I think you missed the point of the piece, which is that virginity shouldn’t define people. If you look at women solely based on their virginity, that’s not taking personality into account and is, quite frankly, misogynistic and disgusting.

  2. Well, I like the piece and the writing and the concept and idea of all you’ve said. Well said. People are not defined by one thing, certainly not whether or not they have had sex.

    But…what century are we living in again? Is it really an issue for girls to remain a virgin? And do men now define women by their virginity? And is it really misogyny, and/or disgusting, for a man to want a woman who is or who isn’t a virgin? I actually don’t understand the point here (beyond the idea that it shouldn’t make a difference, which for most people, it hasn’t since…like, the 60’s). And I’m guessing awesome dude had his tongue in his cheek, no?

    • Badfish, thanks for reading and thanks for your comment. I guess for some people, a woman’s virginity does still matter – and if it’s only women’s virginity that people care about, then yes, it is misogynistic.

  3. I’m intrigued. And at the expense of sounding like a dolt…are you saying that where you live, men (or some people?) want women who are not virgins? Or are you saying they want women who are virgins?

    Could it be a cultural thing as opposed to mere misogny? Of course, in countries where this would be a cultural issue, it might very well be misogny, but in most Western countries…not so much. Who are these people who judge a woman based “only” on virginity (whether it’s virgin or not virgin)?

    Most articles you read about today’s youth say something like girls and boys are becoming sexually active too early, like at 12 or 13. You’re saying: ain’t no big thing. And I agree, no big thing. A really great and fun thing, but yeah, not an issue. Unless you have a 12-year-old daughter.

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