Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Part 3: Growing Up a Girl: Virginity

Virginity and Sexuality: 

-Age 10: I want to watch the movie Titanic. My mom comes in and fast-forwards through the naked scene and sex scene. 

-Age 12: I'm at a babysitters house and I want to watch the movie Titanic. She lets me watch the Whole movie and tells me, "Nudity isn't bad. It's a natural part of being human." 

-Age 12: I'm watching the Disney movie Hocus Pocus and the main character keeps mentioning he's a "virgin that lit the candle" -which ended up bringing back the witches. I ask my dad what a "virgin" is and he tells me point-blank it's a person who has not had sex. I am astonished in that moment because although I'd heard of the word "sex" before, it was always understood as something you NEVER mention or speak of. 

-Age 13: I want to watch the movie "Spice World" starring the Spice Girls because I like they're music and they seem really fun. Mom says no, they are too "slutty". I go to dad's house. He buys the film and watches it with me. The movie is hilarious and fun. I don't think they're sluts. Maybe Posh Spice... but not the other ones. 

-Age 13: My mom sits my down to read a book. It's a book about getting your period and sexual reproduction. I notice she only tells me about the period portion of things. Sex is still a mystery. I ask my step-sister who'd a month older than me if she knows what sex is. She tells me it's the same as when one dog humps another. This does not help me... 

-Age 14: I go to my first semester of Health Class. Our schools then switches the Health Class with the Computer Class. My portion of the Health Class first semester covered the first portion of the book. This included healthy eating, suicide, and STDs -but NOT sex itself in any capacity. I find out the second semester students get the sex-ed talk. 

-Age 15: I sit on the floor of my room a sophomore in high school. I ask myself, "Should I have had sex by now?" I decide, NO. 15 is still a little too young. 16 on the other hand, seems to be the understood "beginning" of sexual times for girls. 

-Age 16: Again I sit on the floor of my room, a year later. "Should I have had sex by now?" I still feel like I'm a bit young, and then I remember that song I heard on the radio: Strawberry wine, 17, the hot July moon saw everything... It was a song about a girl losing her virginity at 17, so I decide that 17 for SURE is the time you're supposed to lose it. 

-Age 17: I make up the excuse of not having a boyfriend for my current state of virginity. I decide it's best not to tell anyone I'm a virgin and let people come to their own conclusions since admitting virginity "isn't cool"...

-Age 18: Well crap, I definitely should have had sex by now. What am I doing with my life??? Will I ever have sex? I'm a walking embarrassment. I will tell no one. 

-Age 19: I see a post on PostSecrets.com. A girl has confessed to be a virgin at the age of 27. I admire her courage for anonymously coming forward. I worry about my condition. I'm a 19 year old college girl. I'm supposed to have had sex by now. And then the question comes to me: Do I WANT sex? 

It had never occurred to me before to ask that. I had only ever focused on the social implications of being a virgin. At that point in time I STILL hadn't had any legitimate form of sex education. I knew sex involved a condom and maybe birth control pills, but sex ITSELF as an act was still something of a mystery. I had no idea what a penis looked like. 

So I asked myself in this state of unknowing ignorance, "Is it o.k. for me to continue being a virgin? Can I live with that?" I worried that one day it would be like that 40 Year Old Virgin movie I had heard of where my friends would make fun of me and I'd regret having never had sex. But I decided if I ever wanted to "undo" being a virgin I would just go to the nearest bar, walk in, and ask someone to take me home with them. It didn't seem like in our society a girl would have trouble having sex if she really wanted it. 

So I decided to make peace with my virginity and accept that it wasn't something I condemned or thought of as bad -only the world around me seemed to. 

-Age19: I get my first boyfriend. Within the first month I decide that at some point we will sleep together. I consider it an inevitability. I don't dread or look forward to it, just accept it. I decide that if my boyfriend wants to have sex I will "go along" with it. Otherwise he might dump me. My boyfriend is a virgin who wants to take it slow and by some miracle the relationship ends 3 months later with both our virginitys in tact. I am grateful the relationship is over and even more grateful we did NOT have sex. I realize it would have complicated things and made the relationship that much harder to end. 

-Age 24: I've been single for 5 years. 5 good years. I've enjoyed being single and have had no romantic prospects. I don't care much about lust and STILL don't entirely know what the act of sex consists of. I don't really care. 

I start hanging out with Tim. He is flirtatious towards me and I want to flirt back because I like him but don't because I'm afraid he will think my flirtation is an open invitation to pursue not just a romantic relationship, but a PHYSICAL one. I am NOT ready for sex and don't want it. I realize Tim is sexually active and would Expect sex in a relationship. 

I admit to Tim I like him. He says he wants to stay just friends. I fear I'm too "matronly" for him, but am grateful again no sex or love ensued. I continue on in my life a virgin. 

-Age 25: I discover porn for the first time. While on an art site called Ffffound.com, I realize the art site has deemed porn an "art form". I see gifs and images every once in a while of sexual acts. Alone in my apartment with no one to judge, I decide to explore porn for the first time in my life. It turns out to feel more like watching National Geographic. I see people having sex with one another, but it feels "arranged", "fake", and "exaggerated". I am not aroused or interested. There is no reality, or depth, or meaning, or truth, or love to these scenes. Only a sexual act indifferently played out between two consenting porn stars. 

I think, "Maybe there's something wrong with me." I never lusted much. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Meaning 2 or 3 brief instances out of an entire year. When I masturbated sometimes it was mostly out of boredom or to distract from stress. Never for lust itself. And when I went on my Social Anxiety medication I was actually happy one of the side effects was decreased sex drive. I felt lust was an annoying distraction. 

Then while wondering on Tumblr.com one day, the humanitarian girl I followed started posting about the Gay community. It was then that I first heard of Asexuality. When I read it I thought, "Oh my god, I think this is me..." But wasn't entirely certain. I kind of wanted to pretend it was an option instead of a reality. 

Asexuality comes in varying forms. Some people are more like Abstainers. They acknowledge they are physically capable of lust, but don't want sex and are Not sexually aroused by people, images, videos...etc. Others aren't sexually OR romantically attracted to people at all and just want to live a life completely single. 

Being on more of the Abstainer portion of the spectrum, I initially thought maybe it's just an IDEAL I want to live up to and not a reality. But the more honest I was with myself the more I came to the conclusion: I am NOT sexually attracted to people. I am physically attracted to beauty and spiritually drawn to the souls of people, but not bodies. I do not want heterosexual sex at all. At any point. Even "after marriage". 

For so much sex being imposed upon a person through the media and so much sheltering and prude/slut shaming on the part of those around you no human being, or girl in particular, can expect to come out of it entirely intact without any psychological  repercussions and negative tendencies. But at some point you DO wake up to the reality of your own existence distinct from the world's preferences and realize in spite of everyone's best efforts at the end of the day you are just YOU. 

No comments:

Post a Comment