I’m nineteen years old and a virgin. When I say virgin I don’t just mean a virgin in the conventional sense where I have never had sex, I mean full on virgin. I’ve never had oral sex, I’ve never been kissed, never been awkwardly felt up by a boy at a party…I literally mean untouched by anyone. Why is this? Well in my mind there are several contributing factors to this phenomena. Firstly I went to an all-girls secondary school, which meant I did not even have a male friend until the age of sixteen let alone anything remotely, resembling a boyfriend. Not being around boys the majority of my teenage years also made me feel like they were some sort of mythical creature that I couldn’t approach. Also as is the case with most young girls I had no self-esteem whatsoever meaning I was extremely shy and nervous in most social situations, which definitely held me back. Then came the awkward annoying monster called puberty that affects every teenager, which basically made me look like a walking Domino’s order. Finally, I am sure the many hair phases I’ve had in my teenage years definitely did not help (Bangs why did I get you? You were such a mistake).
Societies view on the concept of virginity has changed as time has gone by. In the past virginity was something to be celebrated. If you were a virgin in the Tudor era you were held in high esteem, as they were seen as paragons of virtue. These sorts of attitudes were due to the important role religion played in the past. However, in modern society, this is not the case as virgins are associated with negative characteristics. Many virgins are labelled as prudes, frigid or boring particularly by men. Just because a woman has not had sex does not mean she needs a personality transplant. These negative connotations put an emotional strain on women who have not had sex yet. You are also expected to “lose” your virginity at quite a young age, as this is what’s expected amongst teenagers. This is probably to do with how sexualised modern media has become as we are exposed to sex from an early age. Virgins are thus forced to feel ashamed because of this.
My own personal feelings towards being a virgin have been pretty negative until very recently. In my younger teenage years, my virginity was a big deal because when you’re 15 you care what boys think. I felt that being a virgin said something about me as a person, did it mean I was ugly? Undesirable? I constantly questioned why boys just weren’t interested in me in a sexual way. As more of my friends had sexual experiences (any type of experience even a kiss) I became more and more insecure. This led to worries of thinking that boys now would not want someone like me who is sexually inexperienced when they could easily find a girl who knows what they are doing. What if they think I’m a freak? Age, however, made me change my outlook. Hitting eighteen and having become a more evolved person I realised there are bigger things to worry about than being a virgin (especially in 2017 as there is so much going on). Occasionally I will have the odd thought that it’s a bit strange to be a nineteen-year-old virgin. But ultimately virginity is a societal construct, which does not really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. So who cares what anyone thinks of my sexual inexperience, as it does not take anything away from who I am as a person.