Once I graduated high school, I got to be quite painfully ashamed of being a virgin, mainly because I did not like what I thought being virginal would make people think about me. I have always been like I am now, kind of a smut who thinks all kinds of people are foxy, who can appreciate how just about anything could be sensual and who spends a fair bit of time sitting around thinking up things that are sexy. I have always been quite attached to these elements of my person, and was very distressed that people might discredit them because I hadn't had sex with anybody. Yes, made me cry. In particular, I didn't know how to explain or proove that I was some kind of bisexual creature, without having any evidence in the form of girl sex.
All of this led to the intensely embarrassing and regrettable state of me getting in the habit of lying about my virginity. I thought it would be pretty gross to lie and say I just wasn't a virgin at all, so I developed this compromise that I had never had sex with a boy, BUT... I had "messed around" with girls, which later blossomed into the full "I had sex with a girl." Conveniently this simultaneously established my desire to have sex with girls. At the time I thought this story established me as a virgin who had an excuse, and as a virgin without any of the stigmas I thought people would attach to me if I'd never had sex at all (despite my not applying these to virgins I knew).
I had a very practical view of the lying, that it was an easy way of making people understand what I was like, that it did reflect honest desires and traits in myself. Also, it wasn't intended so much as a lie, but rather as a preview. I figured it wouldn't be shameful to say I had had sex with girls as long as I eventually did. This hinged on the girl sex not being attached to an age number, which I think I felt was possible since to me at the time, girl sex wasn't impacting my virginity (especially since it was imaginary, eh?), and virginity was the main thing that had an age attached to it. Girl sex was more of a yes or no quantity, maybe because nobody really asks "when was the first time you were gay?" but rather, usually "are you or aren't you?" or at least "how gay?" or "what kind?." Come to think of it, it would be cool if that was the popular attitude about sexuality in general; instead of "when did you lose your virginity and how many partners have you had?", folks could ask the more relevant "how much and what kind of sexual do you think you are?," since that is what the previous questions are trying to discover anyway.
Also, this wasn't a story that I voluntarily broadcast; it was my backup story for panicky situations in which I felt I was about to be evaluated or compared. It was somewhat encouraged by the universal reaction of the people who heard it: "Wow, aren't you sexier than I thought."
This could be used to indicate all kinds of negative things about my attitude towards my own sexuality and towards homosexuality in general ("not 'real' sex"?), but it was really only about definitions. It's hard to know intuitively whether oral sex between two girls counts as sex, and if so does oral sex between a girl and a boy, or between two boys count? I explained my professed situation as "I've never been with a boy but I've slept with girls" to avoid confusion (and also some accountability). I have worked out that most people now understand oral sex between two girls as sex. Whatever :)
This is a lot about what I "count" things as. I think the various descriptions of virgin and sex and sexuality and whatnot (and gender for that matter) are only as useful as how meaningful they are for a person. I used this vagueness for my own ends to make myself more presentable, employing the fuzziness of whether or not I was talking about my virginity or just some event. I avoided calling anything by any name until I worked out what I meant by each word, and what other people were likely to think I meant.
This led to me describing myself as a virgin (with an excuse) until I had sex with a boy, even though I'd previously professed to have had sex with girls. After I slept with a boy, I found that the girl sex had gained credibility as "real" sex. By this point I had decided that the girl sex was indeed sex, but mainly the issue was that having the boy sex gave me a solid back up argument that I really wasn't a virgin, relieving any need to evaluate sexual acts for legitimacy (ability to destroy virginity). All sex acts were then equal, except that one must have come first.
This made me rather more uncomfortable about the lying than before, since now it was a rather concrete lie regarding a number, the age at which I had lost my virginity. I haven't really sorted this out yet, as anybody who has been reading this site for awhile will have noticed, but for the record the real (as in not made up, not as in valid) first sex was when I was 18.
I don't like at all that the numbers hold any interest. I purposely don't ask people when they first had sex if such a topic comes up. I don't mind if they tell me, but I don't ask. It's my leftover nerd politics. Things like sex shouldn't be cred, so I try not to make them into any. Further, having been a late-bloomer in a number of physical puberty/sexuality kinds of areas, I don't like to put ages on things, cause for me that implies a scale, a schedule, a proper rate or range of time in which to do things, that I have often felt left out of. I wouldn't want to make anybody else feel like that.
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