Screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t


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My first trip to the gynecologist was the summer before freshman year. I was tan, I was in my prized peach dress and I was all set to split off to the dorms and get — as a rough estimate — ten boyfriends (preferably all at once and preferably within the first week). 

Literally, I was searching through the sea of young men as early as freshman orientation. As a foreshadow to the rest of my college sex life, this visit to the lady doctor didn’t quite maintain my expectations. 

“Are you sexually active?” seems to be a transparent question, but I panicked. My response? 

“Well… not penis and vagina sex… but like… active? Sure.” 

Naturally, this caused a bit of confusion, not only for the doctor, but for me. What kinds of sex could I be having? How many kinds are there? 

I was terrified. After painfully clarifying my past sexual escapades, I got put on birth control. This was a precaution for college and the many boyfriends I wanted to have, and also my mother’s idea. No one seems to want me to get laid more than her, but safely, of course.  

My distasteful description of my sex life (or lack thereof) got me thinking. 

What constitutes being a virgin? More importantly, why does it matter? Am I doomed as a prude until I finally give it up? And if I do give it up, what would I actually be giving up? Is there something to be lost by indulging in sex, or a whole new perspective to gain?

Two years later and nothing about that side of me has changed. No boyfriends (officially) and no sex (also officially), but the “we’re not having sex” discussion with my suitors has gotten increasingly burdensome. 

The last time I told a man I wasn’t going to sleep with him, he conveniently wandered away without a word. He wandered so far that he actually left the party. I like to assume it was past his bedtime. 

The stigma of being a virgin has stuck with me my whole life because even when I had boyfriends in high school, I never had sex. Virginity actually became part of my identity, and hindered me from having a healthy relationship with sex. 

There’s this nagging glow deep within my chest that tells me sex will involve losing a chunk of myself. And that, my readers, is toxic. 

Being a virgin, or half a virgin, or maybe a small part virgin, or experimenting, or sexually incomplete, or sexually accomplished, or whatever, should be a non-factor. There’s no “use-by” date plastered on your genitals. 

Virginity, in a sense, isn’t actually real. What is sex to you, could be very different to me, which I learned via my substantially awkward OBGYN appointment. Remember ladies and gents, you’re screwed if you do (literally) and screwed if you don’t (not so literally), so no matter where the sex gods guide you, remember it doesn’t define you.