I was raised with parents who really never talked about sex. I still don't know who placed the thought in my head of remaining a virgin until the perfect man came along. Maybe it was the church? Maybe some of my friends?
I dated a few boys in high school. Nothing of substance really. During my first year of college, I decided that I was going to leave my hometown and move to Texas. Wouldn't you know it? That's when I began dating someone seriously.
And that was the boy who took my virginity.
We weren't as serious as we could've been. I knew he wasn't "Mr. Right". I knew we wouldn't last since I was moving. But we were enjoying each other sexually and though I would never touch his penis, he wanted to put it in and I wanted to know what it felt like.
I was riddled with guilt for weeks afterwards.
Fast forward 3 years... I was friends with a girl who was 3 years younger than me and still a virgin. I was madly in love with the man I would soon marry. I couldn't tell her enough about how wonderful sex was. My boyfriend and I were trying everything. I wanted to know and do everything!!
My young girl friend was dying to experience all that was promised in the world of sex post-cherry. So, she went out determined and came back used. She wanted to learn more... she wanted to know and do everything as well. The guys in the crowd we hung out with started using her for blow-jobs because she was easy. They had horrible nicknames for her and I felt responsible.
She was depressed and still had no idea what an orgasm felt like.
I love sex and I think sex is worth loving. I don't think it is anything to feel shame or guilt over. If we weren't so prudish in this country about sex, maybe this wouldn't even be a topic of discussion. Why do we use sex to sell everything from clothes to beer but God forbid we actually go out and enjoy it?! I believe the shame some people feel from sex causes much of what is disturbing in this country... from marital problems to sexual harassment to sexual predators. I hope to raise my children to have a healthy view of sex by making discussions around the subject as comfortable as I can.
I began masturbating at an early age and my daughter is not far behind me. Though it shocked me to know that she was already enjoying herself (at age 6 no less), I knew that I began at that age as well. I was also happy that she didn't feel shame in learning how to pleasure her body.
My children know what the anatomical names of body parts are. My children know to keep their explorations private. However, we keep the discussion open. If they want to know, I will answer their questions. One of my friends said the best gift her mother ever gave her was a book about masturbation. I think masturbation is healthy. Don't you feel much more empowered knowing how to please yourself?
Now, what will I tell my daughters about virginity?
Well, I hope that they will feel comfortable making decisions that relate to their body. I am doing all that I can to teach them to respect their bodies. I would like to think that they would treat their bodies just as respectfully with sex.
I could tell them all day long to save it until you find the right man. But I would hate for them to feel the guilt that I felt should they just want to explore what it felt like.
I could also tell them that sex is amazing. But I would hate for them to go out and try it just for the sake of doing it and not put any thought into choosing someone they could trust.
Maybe that's the one thing that was missing. I trusted my first partner to experience sex with. I don't think I trusted myself. I was so terrified of getting pregnant. He didn't even come inside me. Its almost funny to think about now but I didn't know any better. No one had told me anything about sex.
And my girl friend? She felt no trust towards any of the men she was with. She was only out to "do it" and experience the wonders I had promised her. She didn't know there was more to it than just bedding any man that came along. She kept hoping the next guy would be the guy who could show her how amazing it was. I don't think she knew how to make it amazing for herself.
Maybe that's how I would handle this subject with my daughters. I would equip them with knowledge of their bodies and how to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease. I would allow them to ask the questions that needed to be asked. I would let them know what I didn't know. I would help them to trust themselves and feel empowered with knowledge.
Then I would hope that they would find someone they trusted as well. Someone that they felt comfortable exploring with... whether he be the man they marry or the boy who takes their virginity. If they felt trust, then maybe they could walk away with no regrets and feeling like it was worth it. Hopefully then they too will grow up with a healthy view of their bodies and their sexuality.
And if I could help them to trust themselves, then hopefully I could trust them too. All that we can do as parents is teach them and let them go.
So that's my job. To teach them well.
This post is part of a roundtable series on virginity as started by Honey and Lance. I will be linking to other great posts below during the week and I will bump this post so that it shows up on Wednesday as well. Feel free to chime in yourself and leave a comment over at honeyandlance.com.
Beauty of the Year: Virgin Vendetta
Hot Alpha Female: Lets Talk About Sex... Baby
Effy's 'lil Place on the Web: Why wait? An argument against saving yourself
Hammer: Why I Don't Date Virgins
Evil Woobie: Why is Virginity a Big Deal Among Filipinos?
Project Infinity: The More "Touchy" Part of Dating: Sex and Virgins
Dad's House: Virginity: Its So Overrated
Single Mom Seeking: Why I'm aspiring to be a virgin again
20-40: The Value of Virginity
20-40: Losing your V-Card: Big Deal or Big Whoop
TSB Magazine: Virgins for Sale
Work Love Life: How my mom helped me lose my v-card
The Modern Savage: The Dilemmas of Male Virgins
I Date White: The Brotha Virgin
Oh... and for a really interesting read... check this out. I'm not promoting it but boy did it make my head spin...