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The Virgin Diaries: The Top 10 Pros of Virginity

Thu, Nov 4, 2010

Confessions, Personal Post

photo by ali edwards

Our contributor Katherine Chen, who is a junior English major at Princeton University (check out her personal site here), is penning a series of confessions for EMandLO.com collectively called “The Virgin Diaries.” Here’s her eighth installment. Tune in tomorrow for her Top 10 Cons of Virginity:

  1. If my period skips a month, it’s a cause for celebration, not despair. Living without the fear of becoming pregnant from my choices is extremely liberating.
  2. I don’t shoot up and I’m not worried about blood transfusions, so gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, AIDS, etc, have nothing over me.
  3. I can still imagine my first time being a mind-blowing sexual encounter (replete with orgasms and possibly even female ejaculation) rather than knowing it was a disappointment (like many of my non-virgin friends).
  4. From what I’ve gathered, college sex is not the most satisfying — with women’s orgasms and even pleasure not high on the list of many a male co-ed.
  5. By this point, I’m pretty much immune to any potential sexual peer pressure, and won’t easily give into doing anything I’m uncomfortable with.
  6. It makes my mom happy and helps keep the peace between us. She enjoys having bragging rights about her “virginal daughter,” and never fails to bring it up with family and friends.
  7. My heart is break-proof right now. I haven’t placed myself in a position of emotional risk by having sex with a man I might not realize doesn’t actually care for me.
  8. Being a virgin gives me the objective, outsider perspective on sex and relationships, which is invaluable when it comes to helping friends sort out their personal issues.
  9. You can be sexual without having partner sex (and suffering all its inherent risks). Just because I’m a virgin doesn’t mean I blush at the thought of sex or wear white on a daily basis. Believe it or not, I enjoy masturbation, porn, and the occasional dirty joke.
  10. I get to write The Virgin Diaries!
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39 Responses to “The Virgin Diaries: The Top 10 Pros of Virginity”

  1. gina Says:

    I won’t comment on the whole ideology behind this.

    I’ll just say that I completely disagree with #9 “Being a virgin gives me the objective perspective on sex and relationships”.
    Neither you, nor non-virgin girls can be objective on those subjects. It is in our human nature to be biased.
    However, being a virgin makes you less well informed, and thus, less competent to discuss those subjects, I think.

  2. Johnny Says:

    ^Yeah, nobody has an objective perspective on sex and relationships.

    #6… oh man… the idea of my mom proclaiming her pride in my virginity from the rooftops… I’d change my identity and start a new life in Mexico.

    It’s cool that you and your mom are close to talk enough about these things, but is that really a “pro” of virginity!?

  3. Graphite Says:

    It rocks that you’re able to make a firm decision and stick to your beliefs about it without being influenced by pressure. That genuinely is fantastic and rare, and I hope you are able to take pride in it. I feel similar pride about my decision to have sex despite a heap of parental and religious pressure against it. The important thing, I think, is the ability to make your own choice and decide what works for you, regardless of what others want for you.

    That said, I’d like to raise some questions about some of your points.

    4. This can be easily solved just by picking the right partner with the right attitude. I’m in college, and I, too, eschew sex with anyone who has no interest in making it a satisfying and mutually positive experience. Having found a boyfriend who doesn’t suck (oho, innuendo!), though, it’s never really been an issue. Is it more the idea of casual sex that is unappealing to you at the moment, or is committed sex equally off the menu?

    6. What will you do if your opinion starts to shift and you eventually decide to have sex? Is it going to negatively affect your relationship with her? Would you tell her, or would you feel like it would diminish her respect for you or appreciation for you as a daughter? My mother is quite religious, and expected me to be a virgin til marriage – and thought very well of me for as long as she believed I shared that goal. When I eventually realised the celibate route wasn’t for me, though, I realised just how much it bothered me that she thought I was a “better” daughter for being a virgin, and a more morally wayward one for having sex.

    7. Surely you can be heartbroken without sex ever coming into it. You can be dating someone who breaks your heart without ever having gotten past the makeouts stage – isn’t heartbreak more tied to the loss or breaking of emotional than physical intimacy?

  4. Megan Says:

    I’m not sure I quite like #6…”bragging” about your daughter being a virgin just seems a little weird. Does that make you better than someone who isn’t? Is that why it’s okay to brag about it?

  5. Becca Says:

    Heartbreak has little to nothing to do with sex. If your heart is break proof it’s because you’ve never been in love, not because you’ve never shared your body with someone else.

  6. Michelle Says:

    I think that no matter what stage you are in your sexual life you should be able to be proud of your decisions and how they got you to the place that you are. If you are happy where you are and with the choices you have made, then more power to you, as long as you aren’t shaming someone else for having a different path in life.

  7. cassie Says:

    #1 true

    #2 true

    #3 This almost sounds ironical, you seem to know that you are delusional… What is the point of this?! Postponing it won’t change the value of the actual experience. You sound like those people who are so afraid of failure that they never try anything.

    #4 In college or in “real life”, you just need to choose a worthy partner. Sex, be it casual or committed, is something BOTH people choose to have together. You can’t hold a selfish partner responsible if you end up disappointed. Don’t you trust yourself with the ability to distingush between good and bad potential mates?

    (coming back with the rest soon)

  8. cassie Says:

    Went for lunch and I’m back!

    #5 Good for you

    #6 I find this a bit creepy… I personally believe your sex life, or lack thereof, is a private matter and your family should have no say on it.
    And: do you talk to your mom about how you “enjoy masturbation, porn, and the occasional dirty joke”? If not, why? And why do you treat (non-)virginity differently?

    #7 As others said, heartbreak has nothing to do with sex. Being heartbroken after having sex with someone who doesn’t actually care for you, as you say, would only be a proof of poor judgment: if you are in love, and only want to have sex with a guy if he cares for you, wouldn’t you wait until you’re sure he does to take the leap? Again, trust your judgment. You’re at Princeton, so I’m assuming you’re smart. I see self-esteem issues here. You don’t seem to trust yourself.

    #8 Again, as others said, you are not any more objective than anyone else on this topic. You come with your own biases. I’d add that the most ignorant people also tend to be the more prejudiced. The “I fear what I do not know/understand, and thus reject it” syndrome.
    About the “helping friends”: I think the more aspects you know to a problem, the better you are armed to solve it. Being a virgin, you cannot always fully understand the scope of your friends’ problems.

    #9 I agree with that, and I agree with not underestimating the risks that come with sex.

    #10 Again, good for you. Does your mom read it?

    All in all… I think some of these arguments are full of crap. It’s not necessarily that it’s a bad idea to remain a virgin… but maybe trying to write a top 10 good reasons for it was. Maybe there aren’t 10 good reasons to do it, or maybe just not the ones you wrote. I think this post doesn’t serve your cause at all. And if these are your real reasons, I think time has come to question them. And start believing in yourself.

  9. Brandy Says:

    As a 29 year old virgin I’m going to back you up on #9. I think it’s crazy, but my friends are always coming to me for advice on relationship and sex issues.

    Although #6 – icky.

  10. Georgina Says:

    Am I the only one seeing a smug tone to this article?

    Probably not intentional but to me it kinda reads that way?

  11. Johnny Says:

    ^ You’re not the only one.

    But since I’ve got my own equal and opposite smug tone, who am I to judge? :)

  12. jenojeno Says:

    Let me add my voice to the chorus: not being sexually active will NOT save you from heartbreak, and saying so seems just heartbreakingly young. You can still get every bit as attached to someone without having been sexual with them, and you can still get very hurt. And yes, you can sleep with someone without getting attached to them.

    And #6? Your mom? Really?

    Your first time can be a disappointment even with someone you love, and who loves you. Sex takes practice and many women have to learn how to have an orgasm during partnered sex. So what?

    I am with you on the fear of pregnancy, but that, too, can be nearly eliminated by the consistent use of birth control.

  13. Kajal Says:

    I’m also a virgin and I am appalled by #6!
    I don’t think my virginity (or yours or anyone else’s) should be ANYONE’s business, including a parent’s, especially if you have reached the age of majority. It should never be a topic of discussion. To the OP, are you comfortable that your mom discusses your hymen with your family and her friends? Trust me, it wouldn’t be the same if you were a guy – so yes, I feel its sexist.
    I don’t understand people’s obsession with other people’s virginity and sometimes, the lack thereof. Being a virgin is not a good or bad thing, its a person’s PERSONAL life. Western culture is so obsessed with privacy yet they don’t mind peeping into other people’s privates. Yes, it is a big topic out there, especially if you are a young adult!

  14. emandlo Says:

    In Katherine’s defense, and as we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post, she’s got her Top 10 Cons of Virginity coming tomorrow, so before y’all tar and feather her for highlighting what she feels are positives FOR HER (and her alone), consider for a moment that she also is self-aware enough to realize (and brave enough to share) the negatives that affect her, too — tune in tomorrow for those. And please remember, this is a personal confession, not advice.

  15. Kajal Says:

    @emandlo, I (because I can only speak for myself) am not criticizing Katherine. She is extremely brave and I admire her for it. I am upset at the society in general. There is so much friction and debate in the society in general regarding (generally) a woman’s virginity. And I have read so much backlash on this site for female virgins, which I have to say represents what society thinks of women and their sexuality. Just because a woman chooses to not be sexually active, does not mean she is lesser than a woman who does or a goddess to be idolized. I am 24 and I have never been in love and I have chosen not to sleep with a guy just because this is or was the normal age to do it. Why should I feel embarrassed for that? I don’t owe anything to anyone. No, I don’t plan on waiting for marriage either but seems like most people are fixated with a hymen rather than the experience. The larger experience of life, love and knowing who you are.

  16. philipp Says:

    @emandlo: I think people are not criticizing her for being virgin, but only for the proclaimed reasons. And, yes, it is a valid point to state that most of those reasons are either unbelievable, delusional or plain creepy. My honest belief is that none of them are the actual reasons why she is doing it.

    See it as a positive thing for you, guys. Your readers are expecting more quality from this web site. I am sure in Cosmo this article would not have met much controversy (at least quality-wise) :)

  17. laura Says:

    @philipp, actually if it were a really crappy post, i doubt it would generate so much discussion. i think really crappy posts are ones that churn out what everyone wants to hear.

  18. Chelsea B Says:

    @emandlo reminds us that these are HER OPINIONS and no one else’s. So although we may not agree with them, that doesn’t make them any less true to her. But I do have a question. Do you have a legitimate reason for why you are a virgin? If so, I would really be interested to know why, if not for religious reasons. It’s always refreshing to hear someone else’s reasoning.

  19. Madamoiselle L Says:

    All I can do is *facepalm.*

    Really? She believes this? Any of it?

    I had my heart broken LONG before I ever had sex. The more she thinks her “first time” is going to be phenomenal, the less likely it will be. Some “college guys” actually are GOOD at sex. Her mom….? OMG. Creepy. She’s an adult, her sex life is NONE of her mother’s business. Again, is her mom proud of the porn and the masturbation? Everyone who has HAD sex knows both sides of the coin, virgins CANNOT know what it is like to have a real sex life, with….other people… NO she cannot be “more objective” than the sexually sophisticated. Pregnancy and disease can be prevented with birth control, that’s why most people find BC “liberating.”

    No, people NOT attacking her for being a virgin, they are upset at her delusional stance on things she is not experienced in. This list sounds like excuse making to me.

    *sigh*

  20. Lovereaction Says:

    Help, help, help, please help this woman to have a little cock before she finally settle down.

  21. kurlyky Says:

    Really? I’m glad its so liberating for you but I cannot wait to loose my virginity!

  22. Maria Says:

    Say “no” to premarital sex.
    God bless us.

  23. Tom Says:

    I applaud people who are virgins for ideology. It keeps them out of the gene pool for as long as possible.

  24. Lauren Says:

    The author of this article is misinformed about transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. HPV is not only transmitted through sexual intercourse. There are other ways (including kissing) it is transmitted.

  25. Lali Says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with all your points, but I totally agree with #5. I’m a virgin myself, the last one out there, as I joke around sometimes because ALL of my immediate friends in college aren’t virgins anymore.

    Being the last one out there and not freaking out about it is nothing short of amazing. Maybe, if it were someone else in my position, she would be in a state of panic right now. My friends and I talk a lot about sex and even though I’m a virgin, I’m not a prude, I talk back. I’m 21 years old and I’m not waiting for marriage or Prince Charming. I’m just waiting for a partner that makes me feel safe, that respects me and that turns me on. And I don’t want to settle for less. If that partner comes as a boyfriend or as a fling, I’m okay with both. But I will not settle for anything less than those three aspects, safety, respect and well, chemistry!

    There are indeed pros to being a virgin. Such as not worrying about pregnancy, or skipping a pill, learning how to ignore peer pressure, learning to know my own body and the things that I like and don’t like and being in control of when I’m losing my virginity.

  26. fashionista Says:

    I absolutely agree with everything on that list except numbers 6 and 7…I wouldn’t want my mom going around telling everyone I am a virgin…that’s MY private information. As for 7, being a virgin doesn’t necessarily guarantee one from not getting their heart broken. I know, being a virgin myself, I have had relationships with men, who I have trusted and cared for, men who have only disappointed, hurt and rejected me, and I never had sex with any of them. The author of this list must not be allowing herself to get emotionally attached to/or involved with men–having sex with someone and being emotionally involved with that person aren’t the same thing. So though I am a virgin, I have had my “heart ripped out of my chest” (broken) by men so many times, that I have decided that I won’t be having sex for the first time until my wedding night, that is with my husband, whomever he may be.

  27. Virginia Says:

    6 is higly creepy! and disturbing!

    But I get what she is saying especially 7, yes I have had my heart broken but if I had had sex with them it would have been 10x harder and I think that’s what she means.

    The only thing I regret is that she did not include her reason for staying a virgin. I am an unwilling virgin, but that’s only because I have not found anyone that I know I will not regret. And as much as I hate admitting this, It depresses me. But I can’t lose it just because, I have standards. Sadly, a lot of men now a days are just not worth it so being an unwilling virgin is still a better bet.

  28. Johnny Says:

    ^ That makes you a willing virgin, not an unwilling one.

  29. Abby Says:

    Hahahaha, you think your heart is break-proof because you’re a virgin? Does being a virgin also make you an idiot?

    Also, sex in a relationship is NOT the biggest factor in heartbreak. In my experience, things like ‘cheating’ and ‘lying’ counted more than what we did between the sheets. Giving someone your heart is a much bigger deal than opening up your legs.

  30. DEREK Says:

    Dont let all the non-virgins degrade this
    They’re jealous because they lost it.
    Remember men LOVE virgins ;)

  31. johnny Says:

    ^ I assure you that I am not jealous of virgins.

    You highlight a semantic problem that’s been bugging me lately. Things get lost by accident, by mistake, when they’re taken from you…

    I didn’t “lose” my virginity. I DISCARDED it. I wanted it gone. It was like a humiliating tumor to me. As a high school kid I could imagine no greater shame than going off to college a virgin.

  32. BP Says:

    I was 30 when I met “Mr Right” – and it was RIGHT. I had been pursued by many various fellows over the years (i was an Industrial Designer in college, so almost all of my classmates were male, and then I taught in an Engineering college – with also a high percentage of male students – but they were just not the right one). We got engaged the 2nd time we met and in 6 months we were married. Now we are coming onto our 5th year of marriage and we are expecting our 4th child. He was 32 when we married, and from a very different background. I am glad that I never gave my body to anyone but my husband. Now, after 5 years, the sex is better and better over time. Since we are married and in a monogamous relationship, we don’t need to fear any diseases, and if we get pregnant (we are very fertile – we conceived twins while on birth control!), we are in a stable situation to have the children. We both like children, and married later, so we would rather have as many as we want now rather than to wait and have a lot of increased risk (in pregnancy and birth etc) later.

    Women – moreso than men – are attached to and have deep connection to that 1st guy that they sleep with. I am glad to have saved that bond for my husband: with whom it is good, right, natural and beautiful to bond deeply with.

    Oddly enough – over the years, I have been a sounding board to many of my friends who went through bad relationships – the worst and most sad, are friends who are engaged, and a few weeks/hours/days before the wedding, decide to just “do it” and then suffer extreme guilt and issues into their marriage due to this (I have several friends who did this and a couple had seriously rough starts into their married life). Marriage needs trust, love and commitment. I’m sorry – but a fellow who just wants my 100 pound body, but is not willing to follow that through – too bad for you!

  33. Johnny Says:

    ^ The unhappy and romantically unsucessful friends you mention didn’t blow it by having sex before the wedding. They are just members of the majority – people who marriage hasn’t worked out/isn’t working out for.

    I’m glad things are swell with your husband, but you gotta realize that you are, across the board, the exception. Maybe it’s because of something you and your husband are consciously doing. Probably you’re just extremely lucky. But I doubt it’s the “wait for sex” thing, personally.

  34. me Says:

    Recently I read a book entitled “Lady In Waiting” by Jackie Kendall and Debbie Jones. The authors shared how women should appreciate and set values for themselves. There is one part of the book that impressed me so much. In summary, it was written (more or less) like this:

    “If sex is joyful and brings a lot of good things to us, why does God FORBID us having sex before marriage?

    1. Your body is a holy place where He is dwelling. (Thinking that you have a forbidden sex while God, heavenly angels, saints, and your grandparents are watching from above is really a big turn-off!)

    2. He creates women uniquely and makes a woman’s body very connected with her emotion. A woman cannot have sex without letting her emotion affected and becomes fragile. WHOEVER TOUCHES A WOMAN’S BODY ALSO TOUCHES HER EMOTION. A man is allowed to have sex with a woman IN a marriage because he is obliged and responsible (physically, emotionally, financially, etc.) to the woman as her husband FOREVER (remember, God also FORBIDS divorce). Outside a marriage, the man has no such obligation/responsibility. God wants to prevent a woman from being damaged emotionally by a man who can leave her whenever he wants.

    There are a couple of other reasons, but I forget them. Only the two above I remember, but I hope it helps you to keep your decision. God bless you.

  35. me Says:

    Oh yeah, I also remember a couple of reasons:
    3. Since a woman’s body very connected with her emotion, she will bring memory of the first man who had sex with her FOREVER in her next relationships, even in her marriage. And if the first man is not her husband, it will taunt her relationship with him.
    4. You will have a doubt: Is he really loves me or just loves my body? The question will be across your mind either rarely, occassionally, or always. But it WILL.

  36. Betty boo Says:

    @me.. do you actually like sex? Do you look at your husband with lust every day? do you dream about him? fantasise about him and leap on him just because the urge takes you? the reason I ask is all the talk about a man being ‘allowed’ sex, like it’s a treat doled out for good behaviour rather than something you do for you because you want him deeply both emotionally and physically.. because, believe me, when you meet that guy (and I really hope your husband is that guy for you) trust me, your previous lovers are not taunting (tainting?) your relationship. I can honestly say that when I’m with my boyfriend (who I live with, and plan on growing old with and raising children with) the guy I actually lost my virginity to (who I was at one time engaged to) could not be further from my mind.. If anything memories of former lovers just confirm how lucky I am now that I didn’t stick with my first :0)

  37. Slartibartfast Says:

    This particular thread puts me in mind of Voltaire’s pronouncements, “It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue” and “God created sex. Priests created marriage.” To be sure, I’ve got my own issues and can hardly be considered a libertine but I think Monsieur Arouet had some good points.

  38. Lily Says:

    I completely agree with Katherine, and her pros are also most of mine.
    The people talking about heartbreak being removed from physical intimacy don’t seem to realise that – for some of us at least – sex is an expression of a deeper emotional intimacy, and your first time is something precious that deserves an equally deserving recipient. Heartbreak, especially if that person isn’t who they appear to be, is a huge factor of sex, and a reason many people choose to stay virgins for longer than average. Wise move.

  39. Sangeeta Says:

    ^^ Thank you Lily. Thank God someone replied to the virgin-shamers above. I like how slut-shaming is a bad thing in our society, but virgin-shaming is totally appropriate!

    I’m a 24-year old virgin, waiting till marriage, and yes I am proud about it. I also think I’m a better feminist than the self-proclaimed “feminists” who believe there is only one way for a woman to be empowered.

    And I haven’t had my heart broken despite being fond of guys I’ve dated – know why? Because giving them my body and giving them my heart are two linked actions. Yes, it really is that easy to guard your heart. We don’t reach adulthood with our virginity intact because we lack self-control! The best thing this particular life experience has given me is that I truly am immune to peer pressure – like Katherine – and I absolutely cannot be manipulated.

    I am not going to fall head over heels in love because I know what real love is – it is something that builds slowly, after trust and friendship. Men have tried to sweep me off my feet before and failed at it. When love is there, marriage will come, and then my best friend and I will consummate our love together.

    It just shows how ignorant, callous and limited you are if you don’t understand how intricately physical intimacy is linked to love and emotion for people like us. It’s disgraceful, misogynistic (yes, misogynistic) and completely ignorant.


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