Virginity is like a painting in a museum; its meaning comes from the subjective mind of the viewer. Some interpret it as beautiful, empowering, or meaningful. Others look upon it with pain in their eyes. Those others are me.
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*Trigger warning: This article contains sensitive material pertaining to sexual assault. If you or someone you know is seeking help contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Some people are kept up at night by virginity's questions.
"Should I get it over with before I go to college?"
"Should I wait for someone I love?"
"Should I wait until marriage?"
"Should I ever become sexually active?"
There is only one correct answer:
Do what makes YOU the most comfortable, happy, and most imporant, safe.
Personally, I have friends who lost their virginity at fifteen, on lunch break, in shrubbery. Other friends are in their early twenties and still virgins. And guess what... Both of these scenarios are completely okay. Because you know what, it's about how YOU feel.
Me? Well, my virginity was stolen.
It was taken by my first proper boyfriend at the age of eighteen.
*I want to say beforehand that I do not regret who I lost it to or when.
Before it all happened, there were no pre-requirements for who I wanted to lose my virginity to. I just didn’t want to be drunk. Not even sober, just not drunk. Also, a bed was another condition (I got offers to lose it in a shopping trolley and a field, hard pass).
Honestly, I waited until eighteen because I didn’t believe anyone actually wanted to have sex with me. I didn’t think was genuinely sexy. I mean who does at eighteen?
Then, I found one. My first boyfriend.
First time getting head. First orgasm. First someone to be in love with me. First-person to cheat on me. First heartbreak. First job. First work night out. First time kissing a coworker.
First time getting sexually assaulted.
First rumors spread about me in the workplace. First mini getting back together. First time having sex. First irrational pregnancy scare.
All in that order.
(Image from Unsplash)
At first, I didn’t realize my co-worker sexually assaulted me. It all hit me a year later while volunteering for the local rape crisis center.
The definition was there in black and white.
sexual assault (n): sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
At first, I blamed myself for being drunk and eager to make my first ex jealous.
I thought it was my fault.
After coming to the realization of the abuse I endured, my whole world changed. I began interchanging love and sex; as if they were synonyms.
Since then I have learned that's not always the case.
Virginity, or sex of any kind, does not need to have love.
But it does need to have trust.
I needed someone else to love me as I digested what happened to me.
So I waited.
I even gave therapy a go, but I just didn't click with the therapist.
She looked at me like a victim, not a survivor.
Months went by before I felt like I had stolen my virginity back. But I hadn’t. Come to think of it, I felt more anxious about losing my second virginity than I did my first.
As more time went by, I started casually dating a new guy and we had sex.
But I didn’t love him.
I.Just. Needed. Time.
Twenty-two months to be exact.
So I trusted him and told him about my stolen virginity. When the words escaped my lips, it was as if I told him my star sign. It didn't matter much to him, but he knew it was important to me. He knew it was a part of me.
And that's all I needed.