Advice: Virgin Guilt
Hi everyone! It’s been a while and a very, VERY busy few months. There will be a startling announcement coming out sometime in June (hopefully), so I hope you guys are ready for that!
In the mean time, we have our first user-submitted advice column! If you have questions or need advice of your own, you can always email us at email@example.com. In the mean time, let us commence!
Q: “I know virginity is a social construct, but I lost mine to someone I regret losing it to. It’s been years but it still bothers me. How do I move past this experience?”
RB: First of all, let me begin with this – in life, there are always going to be things people tell you are right and wrong. The thing is, what is right for someone, may be wrong for someone else. Furthermore, virginity is absolutely a social construct. Although we make it seem like the person you lose your virginity to is incredibly important and you shouldn’t do it unless you are madly in love and dedicated to that person, quite honestly, not only is that not true or fair, but frankly, it’s not healthy. I’m not saying that you should start sleeping around the second you hit puberty, but if you feel like you want to have sex and you are comfortable with the person you’re doing it with, then by all means, you should. I know plenty of people who have waited until their mid to late 20s and I know an equal amount of people who lost their virginity in high school. Society has this weird rule that the second you turn 18, you should lose your virginity, but that’s not true. Those who waited until their late 20s, some of them mutually lost their virginity to their spouses while others were so overcome by the desire to just get the process over with, that they not only weren’t mature as adults, but also regretted the choice they made. The same thing can be said of those who lost their virginity in high school. In the end, these same people, years after the experience all agreed that it really didn’t matter who they lost their virginity to; it was just another aspect of life to move past.
Now let me tell you a personal story that exhibits this perfectly. My best friend lost her virginity when she was 19 to the first guy she was in a serious relationship with. This guy was significantly older than her, but also a virgin and pressured her into having sex. She conceded, but the relationship became toxic to the point that I remember her crying everyday because of some sort of emotional or mental abuse. In the end, they broke up but she kept telling me that she wished she hadn’t made such a stupid decision and had thought it out more. However, what was done was done, and although I told her to move past it and just look forward to a wonderful future with someone amazing she would find one day, that advice is easier said than done. Fast forward several years and she finally was stable(ish) enough to start dating again. She met this guy who was absolutely amazing and perfect for her. It turns out, he had the EXACT same baggage that she did and also had regret. This mutually terrible experience for both of them ended up turning into a huge bonding experience. They were able to relate to and support each other unlike most people around them. Today, this couple is engaged and soon to be married, and they tell me that their life experiences that were terrible at the time, actually turned into positives because they may not have ended up together without those experiences.
TLDR; I’m a strong believer in karma. If you’re a good person, and something bad happens to you, it might turn into a great lesson and experience in the end. It might just take some time to realize that. Once you do, you’ll be able to look forward to the future, knowing that something good will happen out of a terrible experience.
alwaysinspyred: If it weren’t for the staggering societal implications of virginity, moving past ‘losing your virginity’ wouldn’t be any harder to ‘move past’ than outgrowing your favorite pair of underwear or graduating high school; unfortunately, due to the great taboo of sexuality in U.S. culture (assuming you’re from the United States), virginity is drilled into the social consciousness as being this extremely significant thing (like the myth that female genitalia have some physical distinction between virgin and non-virgin). The truth is, once you break away from the idea that virginity is an essential aspect of your sexual identity or integrity, there’s really nothing holding it up anymore. Your sexual experience (or lack thereof) doesn’t EVER need to be discretely marked or placed on any kind of ‘experience’ or ‘purity’ scale. Sexuality is one of the most intensely personal and unique aspects of the human experience.
Having said all of that, as social creatures, we humans naturally use others (usually close friends/family) as reference points for judging whether or not we are making the right choices, especially for new experiences, which is why guilt about one’s sexual past is, in my experience, VERY common, in no small part because of the aforementioned stigmas. I can’t really offer advice any more unique to your situation, I do hope that this advice has helped. I firmly believe that anyone whose image of you is negatively affected by the way you lost your virginity simply has an immature sense of sexuality. I hope you can find peace from your experience and use it to help you grow.