Tuesday, November 2, 2010

peer pressure and virginity

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!



    Me again, theycallhimjay.

    This is a really honest post you put up here. The morals and ideals a Christian upbringing puts in a person's head can really leave a person conflicted. When we are children, we are pounded over our head that "sex is bad outside of marriage" and in our little isolated lives as children we have no other choice but to follow along. But when we grow up we quickly find out that there is MUCH more to it than that. Yes you are correct in thinking that people who are sexually active are not "bigger sinners." In the eyes of God, we are all sinners and there really isn't too much we can do about that. Lucky for us God isn't petty, and lets keep in mind that sex is one of the many gifts God has given us (and trust me, it's a GREAT gift). I just think you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Times change, ideals change, thats just a fact. Don't spend the rest of your youth hanging onto ideals that just aren't valid anymore. Now I'm not saying you should go out and bang the first guy that will have you. I'm no advocate for casual sex or multiple partners or anything like that. Just don't let your obsession (yes I took it there) with virginity be the driving force in finding a relationship.

    This idea that marriage is some kind of solution to all things is really a myth, just take a look at todays divorce rates.

    I know the kind of guy you are looking for, and yes they are hard to find. But if you look in the right places and assert yourself you are guaranteed to get one. Trust me, they do exist.

    And when you find that guy, a guy who is funny, modest, shy, and just the right amount of geeky, he's good to you, makes you smile, laugh, and feel like you are the only woman on the planet, just let things go naturally. Don't push him away with this "you ain't gettin' any till you put a ring on this finger" business. It's only going to push people away. Just enjoy each other and when the time comes and it feels right let go. Believe me, you won't regret it.

    I hope this comment doesn't get interpreted as confrontational or negative. I really wan't to see you happy and with a decent guy. I've been in your shoes before and I know the pressure others can put on you and what you put on yourself can be overwhelming. All I can say is you just have to do what is right for yourself.

  2. Thanks Jay! That wasn't offensive. I totally hear what you're saying. It's stuff I've been rolling around in my head. I don't want virginity to be an obsession or something that inhibits a healthy relationship. I think, in terms of human development, saying, "No sex til marriage," makes sense when a girl is a teenager. It's protective. Your body and emotions are really sensitive at that stage (not to mention most teenage girls aren't ready to be moms, should contraception fail or be avoided). Having a sex with a guy and breaking up with him could really mess a teenage girl up emotionally. But in the late 20's? I think I can handle it. I think purity is about being fully you, being authentic, being a whole person, not trying to follow rules to the letter.