Why I’ll wait: On sex, virginity, and my choice.

There is one thing that I have found to be rare in our hyper-sexualized society. There is a type of male or female that seems to be incompatible with a culture that produces such iconic gems as Magic Mike and Fifty Shades of Grey. Most in my generation, after entering into their roaring twenties, have probably forgotten that such a thing exists.

I’m talking about being a virgin.

Now, when I say virgin, I mean virgin. I am probably the absolute least experienced person when it comes to physical intimacy than most twentysomethings you’ve met. My sexual history is a list of things I haven’t done. I’ve never even kissed a man (much to my dismay). I’ve never gone on a real date or been in a relationship, let alone spent a night of passion with a man, trading desperate embraces and soft caresses. I’m inexperienced and innocent, though my sense of humor might indicate otherwise.

There was a time in my life when I was embarrassed by this. A 20+ year old virgin is a travesty this day in age. Something must be wrong with me, right? I mean, how unfortunate that I haven’t had the experience of sex, making love, and all the emotional intimacy that comes with it. How deprived am I that the only knowledge I have about the goings-on in the bedroom is from what I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched. (Not that kind of movie, my goodness.)

The worst part was thinking that being a virgin meant I was lacking. If a guy didn’t want to sleep with me, obviously I wasn’t woman enough. Being a virgin got twisted and tangled up in my self esteem. Being a virgin meant I wasn’t pretty enough, sexy enough, exciting enough. Being a virgin became every insecurity I had rolled into one. Being a virgin, instead of being a virtue, became something I hated, something I was ashamed of, something I resented. Being a virgin meant I was unwanted, unloved, and undesirable.

It’s hard when you live in a culture that bombards you with sex while maintaining a faith that places value in being chaste. It’s hard when society mixes embracing your sexuality with engaging in casual sex. It’s hard when the lines between being an empowered woman and being an experienced sexual being have been blurred. It’s hard when being a man and an assumed sexual Adonis leaves you feeling like you are missing a vital part of yourself.

Because the truth is that being a Christian isn’t enough to prevent us from having premarital sex anymore. Being a Christian hasn’t stopped me from wanting it or thinking about it. We sit in church on Sundays, nodding when the pastor goes on about sexual purity, trying to forget the hours we spent with lovers on the nights in between. We are told to wait for our spouse. We are told of the beauty of giving ourselves to our husband or wife on our wedding night.

Yet we live in a society that says we don’t need commitment or marriage to experience sexual satisfaction. The Church says that sex outside of marriage isn’t on the same level as sex between you and your spouse. But Hollywood says otherwise. Friends say otherwise. Even our bodies say otherwise. So why wait until our wedding night when we aren’t given a good reason? Actually, that isn’t fair. We are given a reason- the Bible says so. But when that is the reason for a lot of other rules we don’t really understand, we stop hearing it. It stops having meaning.

For an entire year, I threw out the rules. I took off my purity ring, because I thought the whole idea was ridiculous. I was tired of not doing something when I could see everyone else doing it and enjoying it. I was tired of going against the norm.

Nothing happened. And I honestly believe that a part of me didn’t want anything to happen. Emotionally, I couldn’t have handled a one-night stand or a meaningful sexual encounter. Because the truth is I didn’t want sex. I just didn’t want to be a virgin. I was surprised to realize there was a difference.

I didn’t want desperate kisses, multiple orgasms, and lingering touches. I didn’t want a soulful connection or lovemaking. I didn’t want a torrid affair.

What I wanted was reassurance of my femininity and attractiveness. What I wanted was affirmation that I was desired by men. What I wanted was the power to decide whether or not to be a virgin not because of a ring and a few Bible verses, but because it was my decision, only mine. What I wanted was the experience my friends had flaunted in front of me. What I wanted was the ability to say that I had finally done it.

What I wanted was selfish and reckless, which are two things sex should never be.

And I deserve better than to have sex just for the sake of having sex. The man I’d have been with deserves more than to be some meaningless fling, to be used for what I want. My future husband deserves more than for me to treat my virginity as a burden rather than a gift for him. I deserve more than to have sex just to gain the experience that comes with it. The act of sex, of making love, deserves to be treated with respect. It shouldn’t be an afterthought, something to cross off my checklist.

It should be anticipated, savored, enjoyed. Never regretted.

So for now I’ll wait. Not because it’s fun or easy, because it’s neither of those things. But I’ll wait because I’m not ready. I’ll wait because my femininity and sexuality aren’t defined by my sexual experience. I’ll wait because of love, because of my husband, because of my heart. I’ll wait because God has called me to.

I’ll wait because having sex shouldn’t be something we do to get it over with. It shouldn’t be something we engage in because everyone else is doing it. We shouldn’t use sex to makes us feel better about ourselves, because that disregards the person we are having sex with. It is self centered, and sex is always about two people, two hearts and two bodies.

I’m not going to tell you not to have sex before you’re married. That’s a personal choice you make. And I know that many of you may have already had sex in previous relationships, perhaps because you thought they were the one, or because, like me, you were tired of your virgin status. But I will say sex is a big deal. Sex means something. Sex changes you. And it won’t erase your insecurities or eliminate self doubt. Having sex isn’t going to solve the problems in a relationship. Usually it makes things more complicated.

So if you aren’t ready for the physical and emotional ramifications that come along with giving part of yourself to another person, I want you to know it’s okay to wait. You are allowed to wait.
And I choose to wait.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts. And maybe follow me on Twitter?

10 thoughts on “Why I’ll wait: On sex, virginity, and my choice.

  1. I absolutely agree with you. I’m 34 years old and still a virgin. Waiting for my other half. A woman who is never been born.

  2. Cassi-I’ve loved reading your blog for the past month or so only because I tend to relate way to much! haha.

    I especially related to this post, except I unfortunately made some mistakes along the way to finally realizing I’m not ready. And even better I managed to meet the perfect guy to corrupt my innocence (yes sarcasm). I was out of college pretty much fed up with how much “fun” my friends were having and I wasn’t so I figured as long as not having sex was my boundary I could do pretty much anything else and that is something I’ve unfortunately succeeded in. But for awhile there was no guilt or shame in it, I only wanted more, it felt good and I felt like I fit in with the crowd, but I started to be pulled in another direction, I started to realize that physical satisfaction wasn’t enough for me, but it turns out none of the dudes were too interested in that so the hurt came on fast and heavy, but because we have an awesome God He was there as I hurt and as I healed. Through my mistakes I started searching and trying to understand the beauty of sex and the sacredness of it in the context of marriage and honestly I really only want physical intimacy with my husband and no one else, and if it all starts out awkward then all the better! I’m actually looking forward to the awkwardness and that’s something I want to treasure. So while I had to make a few mistakes to figure it all out, I’m glad to read there are others willing to buck the trend and share it with the rest of us!

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing! I hope to meet my husband someday soon as well…just hope it’s soon becuz I’ve been waiting a very long time myself:)

  4. I strongly disagree that we live in a hypersexualised society that bombards people with sex. I think society is actually still sexually repressed. Not only is the act of healthy, consensual sex censored from all visual media, but even showing genitalia is forbidden, allowing pornography to present a distorted view. If you turn the television on, you are more likely to see someone being shot than making love. For every movie like Magic Mike there are 20 Madagascars, Twilights or Hunger Games. It is extremely easy to avoid depictions of sex, and only people who actively seek out the infrequent raunchy movie will be exposed to to “hypersexuality”. Even then, “bombarded” is a stretch. Magic Mike was mostly a movie about friendship, business building and drug use with perhaps 2-3 of its 110 minutes devoted to simulated sex. Even when sex is referred to, as opposed to shown, it is almost always heterosexual and in the context of a long-term relationship. Gay and lesbian sex is only just now being acknowledged in popular movies, and other forms such as polyamoury, bisexuality and transgender sex are still deep in the closet.

    Perhaps when you talk about a hypersexualised society, you are referring to the fact that virginity until marriage isn’t portrayed as the mainstream default position anymore. This is because it isn’t. The vast majority of young people are young people are happy with their choice to have sex before marriage, and want to see movies with characters they can relate to. Certainly I don’t think Hollywood is sending a message that femininity and sexuality are defined by sexual experience. They just want to create characters that young people can relate to. I’m certainly not aware of any deliberate plot in the entertainment industry to make virgins feel bad.

    The reason I’m raising this is because when people talk about the trials of living in a hypersexualised society, it often comes across as both deeply cynical and self-aggrandising. Perhaps you don’t mean to imply we live in a dirty society, but that may be how you come across. Personally, I think we’re both very lucky to be living in a society where sexuality can be freely discussed and where we can see great works of art involving sexuality.

    • Considering what our society and culture was just fifty years ago, I would say that to call our society sexually repressed is an exaggeration. When I say hyper-sexualized, I’m referring to the fact that sex is very prominent in our visual media. Commercials sell their products by selling sex. Networks sell their shows by adding sexual content. Books become bestsellers due to the sexual nature of the story. We are a sexual society.
      Now, I’m not uncomfortable with the act of sex and making love. I recently helped write a blog post about solely about sex. And the idea that being a virgin isn’t mainstream also doesn’t bother/annoy me. To have sex is a choice, which we all make based on our personal beliefs. My choice is to wait, because I don’t want use sex in what I believe would be a self destructive manner for myself.
      The purpose of this post was simple to explain that being surrounded by sex doesn’t mean you have to have sex if you aren’t ready. If you are feeling pressured or if you think you aren’t an adult or real man or real woman until you have sex, I’m suggesting otherwise. Having sex is an important choice you have to make for yourself, not because of society has deemed is appropriate (or even inappropriate). You can wait. You can be a virgin until your wedding night if you decide.
      Thanks for reading!

      Cassi

  5. Hi Cassie,

    Outside of porn, I can’t think of any visual media where sex is very prominent. Perhaps your TV is stuck on the porno channel, because I’m not aware of any mainstream TV shows or movies that give prominent airtime to intercourse. Shows like New Girl might allude to the issues surrounding sex, but they don’t actually show sex. In fact the sex is often used as a bystander to the communication and trust issues that accompany it. Commercials usually sell products by using attractive models, who are not synonymous with sex. 50 shades of grey aside, the vast majority of books sold at bookshops do not have sex as their focus. It would be very easy to follow mainstream visual media from birth to adulthood and not have a clue what sex is actually is beyond the most basic mechanics.

    Perhaps we’re disagreeing because we haven’t established a common definition. When you say sex is prominent in networks, commercials and books, what kind of sex are you talking about? For you, what is sex?
    Thanks for replying!

    Travers

    • I’d like to add to support Cassi’s statement that I grew up with no TV, and an extremely conservative filter on the books I read and I’m glad I still do not have a TV. I’m considering giving up reading anything other than what has already been pre-read by trusted friends because the fact is: We live in a hyper-sexualized society. 98% of the TV shows I see, the movies I watch, and the books I open have intercourse between a man and woman. Just because you do not see the complete act every time doesn’t mean that it was merely suggested. When a man and woman are shown passionately kissing each other, shoving their tongues into the others’ mouth, and falling out of the view while attempting to remove clothing and they are next seen waking up together naked, that means that they had sex. And if you want more information on how the sex takes place, pick up almost any novel in the bookstore. I didn’t learn this because someone told it to me and I certainly have never subscribed to porn. I learned it from the hyper-sexualized society I live in. And I am not even 20 years old yet.

      • Hi JoannaKaye,

        I enjoyed reading your well-thought out reply.

        Like many, you believe that you live in a hyper-sexualised society, although you do not provide any examples or statistics. Let’s ask what the term hyper-sexualised means? To me, for a TV show/book/movie to be hyper-sexualised means either that sex is the single main issue in the story, or sex replaces other elements of the story such as plot or characterization, or actual sexual acts are shown, or unhealthy sexual activity is portrayed as the norm. By these standards, the vast majority of contemporary visual media is not hyper-sexualised.

        In contrast, the standard you present is that if viewers are able to deduce that a sexual act occurred (i.e. kissing, cut to lying in bed), then the story is hyper-sexualised no matter what percentage of the story it takes up. This degree of prudery sets the bar so low that describing any relationship beyond that of a fairytale makes it hyper-sexualised. It’s simply not a realistic standard if you want to portray modern romantic love.

        We all learn from stories told about others, but this repression of sex in movies and television means that we can only fill in the sexual blanks with what we already know; i.e. we learn nothing. You say that if I want more information about how the sex takes place, pick up almost any novel in a bookstore. Well, I read a lot of books, but I didn’t learn how not to be selfish in bed from a book. I didn’t learn how to resolve disputes when libidos don’t match from a book. Nor did I learn that it’s quite pleasurable for a man to have his inguinal canal touched by a vibrator from a book. If you think you know all you need to know about sex from mainstream media, then you’re missing out on a lot. I think we could all learn much if society had a less repressed attitude towards depicting sex.

        When Cassi and yourself describe yourselves as living in a “hyper-sexualised society”, I don’t think that either of you are stating a reasoned opinion based on impartially examining the evidence. I think you’re using the term as a tribal identifier, a Christian ‘dogwhistle’ that conservative Christians can use to identify each other. You’re in effect saying “this is where my comfort zone regarding sexuality ends, beyond this I find sexual portrayals confronting”, and this marks you as part of an in-group. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself. If you call yourself blessed/saved/pure/chosen/superior/etc, it’s no skin off my nose. But when you say you live in a hyper-sexualised society, you should be ready to back that assertion up with some evidence, otherwise you’re just insulting those of us who like the society we live in and work hard to make it the way it is.

        Lastly, you said that you’re considering giving up reading anything other than that which has been pre-read by trusted friends. I really hope you don’t. There are so many wonderful books out there that you will never read if you don’t take chances. Even books you don’t agree with can raise your consciousness and help you grow as a person. Rather than shrinking your literary world to avoid confronting content, you could instead work to expand your comfort zone. You’d then find that the world’s best stories don’t fall neatly into preconceived notions of how the world should be.

  6. Totally agree, Cassi. And striving to live out what our Lord says, in His strength, and thinking more highly of others than of myself. Well, trying to.

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