From Our Readers
September 11, 2015 11:13 am

When I was young, I always thought about the moment when I would lose my virginity. I expected it to be romantic, memorable and painless—and with a sweet and caring person. I also knew it could be awkward, weird, or painful. My mom was open about sex, but she never talked to me about any of those things, so I just learned all I could by myself, hoping that the more I read, the more I knew when the time came. But I wasn’t waiting for the perfect circumstances, to be honest. “Virginity” can seem like such a huge obstacle, such a stigma. I just wanted to get rid of it and move on with my life so I could get better at it.

When I was 12 years old, I fell totally head over heels for a guy. I spent the next six years of my life crushing on him like crazy. He never seemed like me, although I thought we were meant to get together at some point. I had a very tough time trying to like other guys because I couldn’t get over him. My friends used to talk about how many people they’d kissed and I would remain silent because I hadn’t. So when I had my first kiss with someone else, I thought I had finally broken the curse that attached me to his stupid-but-cute face.

Because I had a long history of running away from boys, skipping parties and avoiding dating conversations, I had my first kiss when I was 18. Everyone moves at their own pace, and that’s OK. But I was worried that because I had waited 18 years to have my first kiss, losing my virginity might take another 18.

My whole life I’ve struggled with my looks and my weight. It was hard to consider myself sexy in the first place. But then it happened: my first time, with my longtime crush. It was unplanned, and messy. It happened so fast that I didn’t feel like I had time to process what I was doing. It wasn’t a magical, sweet experience. It was kind of painful and awkward, and over quickly. And afterwards, my crush didn’t sweep me off my feet into a land of rainbows and sunshine.

Partially, that was better. There wasn’t that slow anticipation of weeks and months, it was all at once, and so I didn’t have time to psych myself out about it. For a while I felt embarrassed about it, sure that everyone knew what happened and was talking about it. I kept my distance from people. It didn’t end up working out with my crush, and eventually I had to let him go. Part of me wishes I hadn’t rushed into it, and part of me was glad I got it over with.

Because actually, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Society builds up this wall between virginity and everything after and, of course, you need to honor your body and your feelings. But I was still the same person after I lost my virginity. And more importantly, the person I was going in was worthy of sexual attention and love and all the rest of it. The body I was in and the person I was and am is every bit as good as any of those fantasies.

The relationship with my crush might not have worked out, but I’m glad I gave it a shot. Now I’m free to be with someone who’s better for me, who’s more of a real person than a fantasy.

The whole concept of virginity and how much importance culture places on it is so lame. What’s important isn’t what age you decide you’re ready to have sex. What’s important is being comfortable with your own body, trusting your partner and being aware of the situation you are in. I’m happy with my choices. Don’t let anyone pressure you into making some choices you’re less happy with.

The author of the post has requested to be anonymous

[Image via iStock]

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