I always told myself I’d wait until I was 16 to lose my “v-card.” Sixteen-and-pregnant had a much better ring than 15 and pregnant, so when a week before my 16th birthday my almost-boyfriend proposed we have sex, I told him I wanted to wait for the sweet 16. Luckily we never got the chance because I found out he was cheating on me with his ex–other red flags included a probation officer, but he made a good impression on my parents so I was temporarily color blind. Dumping him was actually a huge relief. As much as a told myself I was ready to have sex at 16, I wasn’t.
Fast forward 3 years and here I am this summer, 19, going into my sophomore year of college, a virgin. I was dying inside. Not only was I dying to be touched by anybody, but I felt my youth wasting away and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t found anyone to bang me. Only once I realized it wasn’t about someone “banging me” but rather a mutual event was I actually ready. Then by some miracle, a friend I met at UMich set me up with her high school friend. Our first date was super stereotypically gay–a picnic in Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco. On our 4th date, we were hanging out in my backyard drinking claws and looking at the stars and ended up wandering inside to my bed where I finally had sex. It felt like a weight had been lifted off of me–finally, I wasn’t a virgin! But why was that such a relief?
My friends at home in San Francisco were supportive and amazing as expected but a lot of my friends at Michigan questioned the validity of the whole experience. I was bombarded with questions about what sex sans-dick even looked like. “Well, what does sex with a girl even mean? There wasn’t a dick involved?” I see your heteronormativity and I raise you “why is our notion of sex contingent on a penis?” The kicker was only after I came back to Michigan feeling like a badass bitch ready to bang random boys did the people around me validate my sexual experiences. After the first boy toy, a girl in my sorority congratulated me on losing my virginity so I corrected her and told her I had actually lost my virginity this summer to a girl. This prompted a response of, “okay but your first penis!” as if it was this great accomplishment, diminishing the reality of my first time. You wouldn’t tell a lesbian she hasn’t had sex if she hasn’t been with a man so why is the standard different for bi girls?
I feel so lucky that I had a great and consensual first experience because not everybody gets that chance. Sex is what each person defines it as and there are so many different definitions. We cannot simply call sex penile intercourse. This notion is outdated and non-inclusive. To all my friends who have not had sex–I know it feels like everyone around you is doing it and you’re the only virgin left on the face of the earth but I promise you’re not. I know you just want to rip the bandaid off and I’m not here to tell you what to do with your body, but I am here to tell you to try to stress about it less. Our worth is not contingent on how many people we’ve had sex with. Four months ago I know I would’ve appreciated someone telling me I wasn’t weird for being “a virgin” past the age of 16. Because news flash: virginity is a construct!
WTF Blog Writer