Lately, I've been going back and forth between whether or not to stay a virgin until marriage, or even engagement. It didn't seem so naive when I was 18. However, I'm approaching my late twenties this month. It's making less sense now. Recent conversations continue to challenge me.
Very few of my friends and acquaintances know I'm still a virgin. So they speak to me as if I'm sexually active. Last week, a friend of mine posted a facebook status saying, "No sex for you haha." I think that was aimed at a former lover of hers. In a moment of sexual frustration, I replied, "You just had to bring that up," to which she responded, "You better get some!"
Today, while knocking on doors and encouraging people to vote, my partner, a 21 year old man (and a new dad, who is not with the baby mama), said, "You need to get some penis!" I laughed and said, "Maybe." I didn't reveal my virginity to him, but I did reveal that I never had a boyfriend. During our conversation about all things dating-related, he asked if I ever did booty calls or one night stands. I said that I didn't, and he said, "Oh, you're very careful with your partners." I replied, "Yeah, I am." It's true, I am careful, hence my lack of partners!
In high school, I had no problem ignoring media messages about sex. I didn't feel pressure from many peers, but the little I did encounter I brushed off, no problem. I didn't really have a sex drive back then. Even when I crushed on a guy, I didn't consider swaying from my position. Now, when I look around at my friends, I can't help but think, "Am I the stupid one?" Even most of my good, unmarried Christian friends are sexually active. I don't think they're bigger "sinners" or "less pure" than me. In fact, in another conversation with the 21 year old about religion, I said, "If you don't smoke, drink or cuss but are mean to others, that doesn't make you a good Christian. It’s about how you treat other people. It's not about trying to be pure or follow some set of rules. It's about being whole."
After I said that, though, I (internally) put the mirror on myself. Am I also trying to fit some warped idea of purity? Does being a virgin really make me "whole?" Does that really make me a better Christian? I did agree with the young man when he said, “You women have biological needs, right?”
I'm just glad this is all hypothetical thinking. Even if I don't stick to the virgin-til-engagement thing, though, today's conversations with the 21 year old showed me that I won't just give it up to anyone. I will choose a quality man. Even if we don't stay together, I won't regret it...well, unless he's even worse than me in bed!