Why Losing Your Virginity Doesn't Have To Be About Love
More than permits, more than periods, more than graduations and college acceptance letters, we anticipate the moment we shed our adolescent skins and cross over into the real world. We wait for the moment we lose our virginity.
Your virginity is a big deal. It's the one thing in this world that's more yours than anything you've ever owned before.
It's intimate and personal, worth more than any Limited Edition Barbie or latest iThing on the market. Losing it should be as selfish as an experience as owning it.
For all of us, it's a rite of passage into the adults-only pool, a plunge into the deep end – the beginning of everything.
And while there's no set schedule for when it will happen to you, the unpredictability of our virginity is something that both charms and alarms us throughout adolescence.
Cookie-cutter media and conventions teach us to believe that virginity is something that happens between two people who are deeply in love.
We're taught that our virginity is the pinnacle of everything, something we should reserve and hug tightly until we find someone that's worthy of taking it from us.
We never, ever explore the possibility that losing our virginity for the very first time is more about us, as individuals, than it is about the other person.
We never pay any mind to the idea that maybe it's fine to like that person a little bit. Maybe it's fine to like that person a lot. Or maybe you don't have to love the person you give yourself to at all.
For those who've waited until they've found their one true loves (or even their right-now loves), there's nothing wrong with waiting for right person. It's your virginity. Do with it, do to it and do it with whomever and however you please.
You shouldn't give anyone the power to dictate your choices or to tell you that the way you wrote your own story was wrong.
But just because you chose to give yourself to someone you loved, doesn't mean that in doing so you've solidified the idea that this is what's best for everyone. (It's not.)
In high school, I was never the girl with a boyfriend. My friends were making up, breaking up and getting it on and it was all one big conversation I was never a part of.
And I wasn't alone; I know dozens of girls who experienced the same circumstances. We waited patiently for Prince Charmings that would never come (at least not then), ready to step off the deep end of love and lust and passion, but instead, stayed tethered to the belief that we had to wait for love before satisfying our most basic human urge. Learning that we didn't was liberating.
It wasn't that we wanted to pick a partner unworthy of our sexualities and our bodies to share and explore ourselves with (we didn't), or that we were just so eager to get rid of it (we weren't).
For the girls who didn't wait for love, we know that we weren't mindlessly giving ourselves away. We were consciously writing our stories, very much the same way that those in love first penned their Virgin Diaries.
It didn't go to the highest bidder, it didn't go to whomever was standing in closest proximity at the end of the night. It was our choice, made carefully and with consideration. It was ours to lose.
Your virginity is your choice. When you lose it, how you lose it, with whom you lose it – it's all about you. It's as conscious a choice as choosing what you want off the menu or what you're going to wear to work.
You don't wait for the perfect outfit to show itself, or the perfect meal to present itself. You choose it. And by taking that choice back, we were learning how to fight for ourselves and for our bodies.
You don't have to wait for love to do what you want with your body. If that's your choice, that's your choice. No one can argue with you or tell you that you did it wrong.
The traditional ideal that you should wait for the right person is just that, traditional. But being traditional doesn't mean you're wrong.
But when you break away from the notion that you've got to wait for love, you open yourself up to possibilities.
That doesn't mean you should give it away to any guy on the street, but knowing it's okay to do it the way you want is just as important as knowing what your virginity is. It's a powerful thing. You shouldn't go into it without knowing both sides.
Maybe it's the guy from the gym that you've been seeing for four months. Maybe it's your best friend from high school. Maybe it's your first college boyfriend, or maybe it's your last high school boyfriend. Maybe it is the guy from the bar.
When something belongs to you, you choose what and whom you share it with.
Photo credit: American Pie
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