Friday, September 19, 2014

Like a Virgin

I start out every blog post by mentioning how I'm going to update it more. I need to update this more. So, now that that's out of the way. A lot of my friends/readers tell me that they would like my blog if I posted more personal stuff. I suppose I could write some stories but I'm really not sure which to start with yet. In the meantime, I did find an article that I have an opinion on. Before you continue to read this, I want you to take the 3-5 minutes it would take to read this: It Happened To Me: I Waited Until My Wedding Night To Lose My Virginity And Wish I Hadn't.

Writer Samantha Pugsley attended a Baptist Church at the age of 10 and took a pledge to remain pure until her wedding day, along with a group of other girls. Long story short, she married young and had a very hard time losing her virginity. She suffered extreme anxiety and guilt, and it caused intimacy problems in her marriage. She felt that sex was wrong and something she shouldn't be doing, even if she was married. My favorite line in her post was as follows:

"Let's take a look at who I was as a 10-year-old: I was in fourth grade. I played with Barbie dolls and had tea parties with imaginary friends. I pretended I was a mermaid every time I took a bath. I still thought boys were icky and I had no idea I liked girls, too. I wouldn't get my period for another four years. And most importantly, I didn't have a clue about sex."

Here's a fun fact about me--I wanted to remain a virgin until marriage. As far as high school girls go, I was one of the most ignorant about all things sexual. I was the first of my friends to enter into puberty but the last to lose my virginity. I didn't come from a religious family. My parents took us to church one or two times but it never became a consistent thing. Unfortunately, I was born riddled with anxiety problems, and the guilt factor that organized religion offered me was stronger than I could ignore. I started reading the Bible and joining churches on my own, even joining the Bible Group at school.  All of the girls in my group were very religious and committed to their morals. Everything I heard told me that sex was wrong and dirty and was only for married couples who were committed under God.

Almost all of the girls I was with in my Bible group are married now, and most have been for a bit. We are in our early 20's. Now, not that there is anything wrong with that. It is a lifestyle choice like anything else. I respect it for what it is, but I do now question it, and I started to as soon as I began dating my first boyfriend in high school. Let me tell you young kids...it's much easier to make virginity pledges when you're not being faced with the possibility of losing it.

So, let's go back to age 16, when I was all about church and saving myself and being 'pure.' My morals were my own, and I had a group of supportive people to help me hold them in place. Not only was I against sex before marriage for religious reasons, but also just out of fear of the physical, emotional, and spiritual ramifications. I thought it would change my whole life. Sex had been played up so much that I really thought I would be a different person once I experienced it.

My first boyfriend had the opposite views. We actually broke up shortly after dating when we realized we had different views on physical intimacy. That was when I started to question my views. You might think that I shouldn't have questioned MY morals just because of a high school boyfriend. But I'm really glad that I did, because I started to wonder why I felt that certain things were wrong, whereas others weren't. We would kiss, and he would put his tongue in my mouth. Why wasn't that wrong? Why were people acting like my vagina was a huge special thing?

Long story short, we got back together. I tried to set dates in my head of when I would lose my virginity, trying to get myself into some mindset. I have no idea what mindset I was looking for, I just thought I should have one. I kept changing 'the big day,' and my friends laughed at me. Turns out, it happened one day when I didn't plan for it. I just decided to go for it. Afterwards, I thought our relationship would change. It did. We were much closer and I felt we had more of a connection. I thought I would change. I did. I realized I had been wrong. I didn't feel like I had done anything wrong. I didn't feel guilty, and I didn't feel like a different person. Physically, I kind of hurt, but mentally and emotionally...I felt exactly as I had the hour before.

I'm not with that person anymore. I've learned that a lot of the time when you meet someone as a teenager, you probably won't stay with them. And it's because as you age, you grow as a person--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The person I was when I was 16 is about 80% different from the person I am today. It's important to know that I am not a 'slut,' nor do I go around sleeping with every guy I have an interest in. Having sex made me want to have it again, yes, but I don't want it with everyone all the time. I am still extremely choosy and specific about the people I decide to give myself to. I may think sex is less than I used to think it was, but it's still something I hold precious to myself.

I couldn't imagine marrying someone before engaging in sexual acts with them. Have you ever hung out with someone you were mildly interested in and then when you went to kiss for the first time realized the spark wasn't there? That's how sex is, too. Sometimes people have tons of similar interests and hobbies but they just aren't a good match physically. I have learned so much about myself since high school. Going on a vacation across the country was eye-opening, living alone was sobering, trying new things was exhilarating. I learned early on about my sexual condition, that likely would have worsened would I have waited to learn about it. And having sex with other people was thrilling. People are as different in bed as they are in every other way of their lives. People have their own individual habits and likes and preferences. One partner may love something another hates.

Now, I'm not saying everyone should go out and have sex. I'm just saying, if you believe in holding on to your virginity to first of all question what virginity means to you and then second, determine why. If it is because someone else told you to, reevaluate and try again. I am truly glad that I didn't hold on to my virginity. I personally don't believe that it is a 'prize' that you can hold onto or 'lose.' I don't really even know where else to go, honestly, I'm kind of tired. I just figured I'd bang out a quick opinion piece. I'm really trying to get some reader responses here, so comment your opinion or what losing your virginity or keeping it means to you.