It's odd to have come back here to ask this - I used to read every post on these forums every day back when I was 17 and was concerned about my lack of desire for sex and how unready I felt. Now, at 27, I still feel that I'm not ready and don't want sex at this time in my life. I was always taught I had a duty (raised in a conservative Mormon family and all) and that I needed to submit and be a mother. I never felt like doing so. I feel like I still have issues to work out with my own sense of body ownership before I choose to have intercourse. I also feel a lot of pressure and get a lot of criticism for being what others perceive as childish or prudish or overly conservative.(Aside: I am about as far left radical liberal as they come, but there's a difference between my politics, my respect for the choices of others, and my decisions about my own body.) But for some reason, as I'm feeling so fragile here in my office tonight, I so badly near to hear someone, anyone, tell me it's okay to wait. That's it's okay to decide that this is a valid choice for my body, even at my age. Here at the university, I work to support multiplicity and variety in sexual choices. Back in the land of my family and former church, I see sex strongly advocated for procreation within marriage. No where do I see any support for women long past puberty who are waiting, not for marriage, but for it to feel right. Please, please tell me it's alright to be what I am.
Posts: 32 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Jun 2002
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It's okay to wait. No matter how old you are, and personally, I think waiting for when it's right is what matters (especially as someone who has serious political problems with marriage as an institution, especially for women). I wholeheartedly want everyone to wait until their sexual situations feel right, and support you in that.
Seriously, I hate terms like prude just as much as I hate terms like slut. Sexual choices are SO varied, and what's right for any of us varies a ton from person to person, day to day, year to year.
I'm going to ping a friend of mine who also waited until a bit later for the same reasons you have. She's working on an amazing documentary about virginity, actually, so I think you two might both get a lot out of talking to each other. I'll toss her a line and see if she's around.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 67131 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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Secondly, of course it's okay to wait. No matter what your age, it is always fine to decide that sex isn't something you want/feel ready for. It sounds like you know yourself really well, know what feels right for you - and making choices that are in tune with that is not at all something to be ashamed of. You're right, unfortunately, that there isn't much support for people of any gender who decide to hold off on sex simply because it doesn't feel right, but that absolutely does not mean that there's anything wrong with you.
As far as other people and their opinions go, it's cliche to say, but your sex life is really none of their business. Maybe it would help if you had a sort of set response you could give, something to make clear that your choices around sex aren't up for discussion or debate and you'd prefer not to talk about it.
-------------------- "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy Posts: 5661 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004
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It's OK to wait. There. Now you've heard it three times.
I'm really glad Heather invited me to chime in, not only because I waited longer than any of my peers to have sex (I thought I was the world's oldest virgin at the time) but I think a lot about virginity because of the film I'm doing. I've spoken to lots of older virgins through my blog as well, and let me say that you are so not alone in the questions you're asking yourself.
Now, I don't know if you'll find our two stories alike, but think I was having sort of a similar conversation with myself when I was in my early 20s.
In high school I wasn't waiting for marriage to have sex, but I was waiting for a serious boyfriend. I remember feeling like he had to be someone worthy of me, who deserved to have sex with me. That sounds sort of empowered, but I think it was really just me playing by a set of rules that required a very specific situation to make sex OK. Anyway, that magic boyfriend never materialized through high school or college.
By the time I was 23, the only naked guys I'd ever seen were in life drawing class – and even my most conservative girlfriends were having sex. And here's where our experiences diverge, Orchid, because even though I was no closer to finding the right guy, or being at all comfortable in my own skin, I was tired of waiting. In my gut, I just wanted to get it over with.
I had sex with a guy I was casually dating who made his moves on me one night in his apartment. He was pretty shocked and unhappy to find out I was a virgin (and he did figure it out really quickly due to my utter ineptitude and discomfort re: intercourse). I didn't see him again after that mess.
But the thing was that even though it was really clumsy and embarrassing and totally unsatisfying, I was happy I had finally crossed that magic threshold. In an instant sex had been demystified - it just wasn't that big of a deal for me any more.
It still took a long time to get comfortable with my body, my partners' bodies, and to understand how to make sex really pleasurable, but the big revelation to me was that the less importance I placed on the sex, the better it was for me. To this day, 20+ years and lots of partners later, I don't really think of sex as something precious or spiritual, but rather as something fun and exciting. I don't know if that's good or bad, but that's how it's worked for me.
Again, I really want to stress that these are just my experiences and every person's experiences around sex are different. Your gut seems to be speaking to you loud and clear about what feels right for you. You might want to check out this thread from my blog to read stories by other older virgins.
Posts: 3 | From: Brooklyn | Registered: Apr 2010
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I am really impressed by you. So often you see waiting to have sex framed solely in the context of marriage, and it's either painted as "it's wonderful that you're keeping yourself pure" or "what a prude, she must be repressed", depending on the culture. It's like the concept of people being different and making their own choices for their own reasons is still too complex to grasp, and so people fall back on dualisms.
Posts: 32 | From: Canada | Registered: Sep 2008
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