Updated: Jul 23, 2018
Yes, you read that title correctly. While celebrities are making it a point to encourage and advise people to stop "slut shaming" women (a point that I 100% agree with), some of us deal with the very opposite every day. It's called "Virgin Shaming" ( I know, so original right?) If I had a dollar for every time someone laughed at me or made a joke out of my being a virgin, I would be completely out of debt by now. People whisper "the V word" like it's profanity or something. We cover it up with code words, nod and blink combinations, and eye signals. We worry of hearing the ever so original "oh my gosh you're still a virgin?!" Ohhh the infamous V card. Listen to me *clears throat* Virgin... VIRgin.... VIRGIN. Ok? Relax. If having sex didn't kill you, not having sex surely isn't killing us.
When I tell people about my decision not to have sex, the very first thing they assume is that it is for religious reasons. To be honest it's not. Yes, I am a Christian, and maybe in some way God planned for it to be so, but initially when I made the decision... no. I was very young when I made this decision. I was introduced to the concept of sex at a very young age. My first time watching porn I was in a house, doing my homework while hiding under a table (because I am weird like that), a group of guys came in, didn't realize I was there, popped in a VHS cassette and started watching it. I poked my head out from under the table to see what was going on and BAM MY INNOCENT EYES! I stayed under the table silent and afraid to be found and waited till they left. And I left soon after.
I'd have run ins with the topic time and time again for a while after that (as most children do). When I was 11 I was put in a position where my virginity was at the mercy of an adult man, and had it not been for the intervening of the Holy Spirit who came in and protected me in the that moment, my story would be a very different story. The man, despite his intentions when he entered the room, left without completing his mission. By the time I turned 12 I had survived a rather difficult childhood, and thus had learned a lot from life and had a strong knowledge of self inappropriate for my age. I was 12 years old when I made the decision: I was not going to have sex until I was married. I was not introduced to the concept of abstinence or the biblical context until years later at a Silver Ring Thing conference. So as much as I want to say that this is a faith based decision it is only strengthened by faith.
In my 25 years of living I have encountered various responses to my decision:
The assumption that you are still a virgin because nobody wants you, or something is wrong with you: ... I'm not even gonna address this one, it's just stupid.
The assumption that we're "No fun" : THERE'S SO MANY THINGS YOU CAN... never mind. I'm skipping this one too.
Those who take your virginity as a challenge : -_-Ya'll clearly don't get it. And you're not going to (budum psht!)
The assumption that you know nothing about sex... At all: Just because we're not doing it, doesn't mean we know nothing about it. We know more than we probably should to be honest. And what we don't know, we'll learn in due time
Doctors who don't believe you: Doctors are so use to people being sexually active, they are ALWAYS shocked when they find out otherwise. I've had 2 doctor actually give me a pregnancy test even though I told them there was no way I could be pregnant.
The assumption that we're all waiting for marriage: Nope. All virgins have their own time line; for some it's marriage, some it's the "right" person, some it's never (dead serious), and a whole lot of other reasons and time frames.
The assumption that we're judging everyone who is having sex: We're Not. And sometimes, we enjoy your stories because we get to live vicariously through you.
"I couldn't marry a virgin" -_- : You're an idiot.
"You don't look like a virgin": ... WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE?! What the heck does a virgin look like? We're not out here curve-less and rocking turtle necks and maxi skirts year round. We look like everybody else. We're humans, a seemingly endangered sector, but humans nonetheless.
Virgin is not synonymous with ugly, unwanted, naive, or un-fun. AND being a virgin is not easy, especially living in this society where everything is saturated in sex (shout out to Black Panther for not falling under that category). We have to endure cat calls and come on's just like everyone else. We have to flex our will power muscle every day. We have to commit to relationships with people we care deeply for, and choose every day to have the strength not to give in to the flesh calling us into submission to our physical desires. We have to figure out when the right time to divulge that information is, because we know that we may have to encounter rejection when someone we care for decides that we're not worth the wait, and that somehow our decision makes us undesirable. We have to listen to guys say "yyea, she's cute and she’s pretty cool, but she's a virgin though". We have to listen to our friends tell stories about their wild and fun nights and still agree with ourselves that we're making the right decision. We have to deal with knowing that deep inside, a lot of people still don't believe us, and that they're all secretly waiting for the day we say "SIKE!" We have to deal with people believing that we're just secretly gay/lesbian. We have to brush off being called lame, corny, or being counted out of invitations becomes somehow our being virgins makes us lame to hang with. We have to endure being the butt of every joke and subject to the same tired comeback "You get no ass/D/P"( Well sorry I'm not down with O.P.P. ).
Despite all of that, it's all worth it ... at least to me. Why? Because we get to keep a huge portion of our sanity that we've watched a lot of our peers lose to the giving of their bodies to men/women who didn't deserve a second look. We get to walk away from relationships without that particular regret of having given ourselves to them. We get to explore all other parts of our significant others being, resulting in deeper connections. We get to know that they're not in it for the sex, and that we are valued beyond our bodies. We get to strengthen our self control, discipline and willpower muscles which then extends into other parts of our lives. We get to never worry that we might be pregnant (or got someone pregnant) when our lady time starts acting funny. We get to offer our wives/husbands a gift that no one on this planet can ever lay claims to.
I have had a many accountability partners (my age) on this journey with me. Some of them are still going strong, some of them are happily married with a victory stamp on their hearts, and some of them didn't quiet make it to their personal end goal. It's hard, and that's ok. However, what has helped me is having had accountability partners who were much older than me. People who've been at it for much longer than I have. It also helps to be honest with yourself. Don't set yours self up and then ask "how'd I get here?" you knew! Don't lie to yourself. It helps to clarify your boundaries. Define Virgin to you, and then figure out what the perimeters are for you to protect that.
I say all this for many different reasons. You don't have to agree with my decision nor my reasoning, but just respect the fact that it is the choice that is reserved for each individual. While judging people based on their choice to be sexually active is ridiculous, judging people for their choice not to partake in an activity that you choose to indulge in is equally as ridiculous. We are not Unicorns and there's nothing wrong with us. We would just rather wait.
Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time