The Virgin Diaries: The Sexiness of Abstinence

twilight_vampire_kissOur contributor Katherine Chen, a sophomore 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 third installment:

These days, every girl between 10 and 50 seems to be obsessed with the Twilight Saga. You’d think it was because a story about an intense love triangle between a teenage girl, a vampire supermodel, and a buff werewolf must have a ton of great animalistic sex in it, right? Wrong. Stephanie Meyer’s four-part story seems to appeal to millions of readers and moviegoers precisely because it doesn’t have any illicit sex in it.

Some movie critics have argued that “Twilight” is the latest form of abstinence-only education — after all, it’s not that Bella and Edward are incapable of having sex; they choose not to until they are married. But there’s no denying that by delaying their gratification they make the moment of their first union so much more meaningful and, yes, special. And that aspect of “Twilight” reflects my own views about virginity and abstinence.

Now before anyone classifies me as a Twihard who dreams about being Bella Swan at night, I just want to set the record straight regarding my feelings about the Twilight Saga: Hate vampires. Hate werewolves. Hate the whole damsel in distress business. And I am not a fan of androgynous good looks. Got it? Okay, we’re moving on.

Virginity has always been a very significant part of who I am. I can’t deny my mother certainly influenced my perspective on sex: she raved about how all my female classmates were sluts and whores just for going out with a boy on Saturday night. But I’ve also had two friends get pregnant and then undergo abortions before they turned 18. The pain and agony they went through by taking a chance on someone they hoped was Mr. Right (who turned out to be Mr. Wrong) did not seem worth it at all. One turned into a total recluse, to the point where her parents were forced to take her out of school. She told me later on that even though she was ashamed of what she had done, it was the gossip and accusations being made at school that truly got to her. My other friend attempted suicide a few times and eventually landed in a hospital after her family threatened to disown her. At one time, these two were the most vibrant, funny, and energetic human beings I knew.

Studies have shown (see here and here) that when women don’t receive the relationship they anticipated after losing their virginity, they feel like their sexual power has been taken away from them. Of course, there is also the emotional and spiritual devastation that comes with feeling deceived, even if that was not the intention of the other party. I believe good sex isn’t just about physical reciprocation, but emotional reciprocation — and that’s not something you can get with a fling or someone as emotionally immature as a student in high school or in college. It may not even be something you can get before the kind of commitment that comes with marriage.

Despite my fairly old school views, I don’t think virginity should be viewed as a treasure, much less a curse or a stigma. The fact that female virginity is so prized among certain (if not all) cultures confirms that women are still viewed as sex objects. I’m not down with that. Nor do I think losing one’s virginity should be considered an automatic rite of passage for young people, like attaining one’s first driver’s license or graduating from high school. When the situation and circumstances are genuinely right, it can happen quite naturally and in its own sweet time, but until then you should have the right to protect your feelings and your body without undergoing external pressures to conform to any arbitrary sexual standards — whether that’s doing it before you hit a certain age to avoid being seen as a freak or not doing it until you get married because of some religious ideology.

Virginity is a one-time thing. You lose it, and you won’t be able to get it back. Stephanie Meyers knows this, which is why it took her four books to get Bella and Edward in bed. Why rush something so sweet? It’s more exciting and ultimately satisfying to take the time to make sure the situation and the person are right for you. Or should I say, right for me.

Katherine Chen


  1. Pushing 30…still a virgin. I have a great job, close with my family, not a social reject and no one is the wiser. I think there is a bit of shame still associated with it, but all in all life is good. Great article.

  2. In responce to audity’s post, different countries have different expectations and social norms for women and men. I’m from Maine where they were the first state to give out birth control to middle school students. I personally believe that it was a great decision because the average age for girls to start having sex is 13, and boys 14, which would be when they are in middle school. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I think oral sex and kissing is not regarded as the same, a kiss is intimate but oral sex is very personal but also reguarded as casual in this country, which is just my opinion. Everyone is different and has different opinions and values which is why this country is so great. I feel that in order to give oral sex, I’d have to know the person really well and I couldn’t just do it to anyone. I’m in highschool and oral sex is “no big deal”. Most of the students that I go to school with have already lost their virginity, or have gotten pregnant, or have had an abortion. I don’t get direct social pressure, but being a virgin is somewhat embaressing or so they make you feel that way. It’s been really hard to hold back and wait because of the social pressure and hormones. I’ve had about 3 boyfriends and I havent had sex yet and I’m 17, about to be 18. I’m with someone that treats me with kindness and respect and I can see myself being with him for a long time and he feels the same. I’ve never met anyone like him, someone who is so open and caring and just amazing. I’m really considering having sex with him and talking to him about it. But I won’t do anything I dont want to do, and he supports whatever decision I make.

  3. hello, read the article and other comments. i am from an Asian country where virginity is highly esteemed and it is suggested that women must be virgin before wedding. But, tradition and modernity are now having tug of wars as women are getting higher education, coming to seek career and hence getting married in a much late age than their predecessors. So, complications are there. But, still what we try is to remain virgin although some of us might experience kiss or getting embraced. I myself has been kissed or embraced but never allowed anybody to have total physical union with me because I am still unmarried. In our country, sex education is rare. In fact, I am not sure that what is ‘oral sex’ although I have crossed thirty. Is it unbelievable? Does ‘oral sex’ amount to ‘kiss?’ Please, forgive my ignorance. I am yet to see any naked man…I fear I would get fainted if I see any. I won’t be able to see that hard scene. I have not yet seen any porno movie or magazine as women in middle class families are very much protected from sight of all evils. We cannot go for date in Saturday and we don’t think it proper to go. So, if anyone of you can ensure me if ‘kiss’ amounts to ‘oral sex,’ I would feel informed. In our society, even a woman cannot discuss these things with another woman until both are married. I have not yet seen any packet of condom or birth control pills although I crossed thirty several years ago. Is it unimaginable to you? And, yesterday I read an American feminist’s book where it has been mentioned that if any woman does not enjoy sex, then she is frigid. I recall two of my past boyfriends who kissed me but I felt myself impure. Thanks God that I did not get totally carried away as they later did not prove to be trust worthy. Although I was mentally injured, I feel physically okay.

  4. This has been a fascinating discussion to read. I love all these different POVs.

    I do still have issues with the term “lost” virginity. I personally think it’s gift you give someone not something you lose. I see sex itself as a gift you give yourself and another person.

    Yes, the first time is special but so are many other times you’ll have sex. Why is the focus only put on the first time? True, it can only be your first time once but there are lots of first in our lives. I don’t think any mother will tell you that the second time she gave birth was any less special than the first. I doubt most people who’s been married twice will tell you that their first wedding was more special than their second.

    I’d really like to see the focus taken off of “saving” your virginity and put on the gift of sex itself. Focus on the giving and receiving of pleasure, emotional connections, and psychological effects of having sex for the for the first time. I think the younger generations would fare much better with this information.

    Just my 2 cents! Thanks for a great conversation.

  5. Elizabeth said: “And that’s why I was upset, because I felt like you were attacking the idea that sex can be special and powerful.” Oh, wow, NO. I think sex is one of the most special, powerful, wonderful things one can do in one’s entire life!

    I’m glad you understood where I was, though. The info about the concept of virginity not existing in societies were young women are not “sold” to a man is SO telling and so true! What movie was that where the guy goes, “How many cattle for your daughter?” Animal House?

  6. Yep, I def. read the article more like the way Elizabeth did. I can identify with the writer’s feelings. But like Madmoiselle L pointed out, she’s a virgin…so it’s a relatively limited and one-sided perspective. But no one is entitled to criticize the choices anyone makes about their sexuality because it’s their own body. And I agree with figleaf…she’s not pointing fingers at anyone else…she’s just explaining her own choices and the freedom she can exercise by making those choices for her own personal benefit.

    That’s a really interesting factoid about virginity, by the way. Did not know that.

  7. Deciding to have sex or not to have sex is extremely confusing. I agree that it’s important to make sure that it’s the right situation for you before having sex with anyone for the first time but sometimes it’s hard to know. The mixture of sexual desires and logic can be confusing. As someone who has never had sex but is seriously considering it even though I am in a casual relationship I don’t know what to follow: my desires or my fears. The interesting thing is that likely the only reason why there is any conflict is because the concept of virginity has such a high value in this society. It’s seen as far less of a big deal to have other first experiences with someone such as kissing, oral sex, or simply being naked. All those things are intimate but yet they are all less terrifying and confusing. Perhaps deciding to have sex for the first time for women is difficult because it may be painful and the person your with has to understand that. Perhaps it’s because it is a much more intimate act. The truth is it all depends on the person and some women feel the same afterwards or perhaps they are treated badly and can’t feel good about it. Also, I don’t agree with the statement “losing one’s virginity” it indicates that something is lost and cannot be found. Having sex for the first time is having a new experience. Nothing is actually lost. I also think less things should be compared to Twilight. They didn’t have sex most likely because of the writer’s religious beliefs. Besides it basically underwrites the power of women in that the main character cares more about being with a guy than about her own life.

  8. Madamoiselle – Sorry I misunderstood you. I think we were both looking at her article in different ways. While I saw her anecdotes about women who were traumatized by the loss of their virginity, to me, her article spoke more about the power of sex (not the first time, but every time) and that she wanted it to matter.

    I have only been sexually involved with one man, who I intend to marry in a few months. And I like that. I like that he is the only person that knows me that way. And I understand that other people have VERY different views on this subject – and I am quite okay with that, as long as they aren’t going to attack mine. And that’s why I was upset, because I felt like you were attacking the idea that sex can be special and powerful.

    An interesting aside here: Did you (all) know that the concept of “virginity” does not exist in societies that do not have transfer of property or titles based on bloodlines? Some sociologists believe that virginity was developed as a way to prove that the child in question was in fact the progeny of a particular man. Hence the issues with “illegitimate” children.

  9. Hi Katherine,

    I think this is a really cool post. Also an important one because you’re locating the gratification of abstinence in yourself instead of the usual (basically universal) way of locating the gratification in someone else.

    The word “sex-positive” gets tossed around a lot and there’s obviously some disagreement about it’s meaning. In its most original sense it doesn’t mean being open to everything early and often. Which is great because that would rule out a lot of people’s positive experience of their sexualities. Instead it meant being tolerant of other people’s sexualities and comfortable with and able to express your own (non-coercive, obviously) sexuality *whatever* that might be. I’ve pointed out in the past that that means making room for asexuality. What you’ve done is make a great case for abstinence as it’s own form or anticipation and enjoyment and as an expression of one’s own sexuality. That’s cool.

    Quick, really important note… actually really important in terms of the discussion here: abstinence doesn’t have to equal virginity. Which brings me to the most important part of your post.

    “Studies have shown … that when women don’t receive the relationship they anticipated after losing their virginity, they feel like their sexual power has been taken away from them.”

    I think that’s right, and I think it’s really critical to get how much that belief in the value or “power” of women’s virginity influences our notions of “innate” gender difference. Because when you’re raised nearly from birth with the expectation that you’ve got this… property value that’s independent of, and maybe even more important that, everything else about you it’s going to overload your actual experience of it with all sort of cultural and emotional freight. Even if it’s not always treated as an outright ‘treasure’ it’s still something you’re expected to assess every potential partnership in terms of whether this is the person you’re going to “bestow” or “give” it to. Or who will “take” it from you.

    And since you’re only allowed one chance (remember, traditionally virginity is valued way more than abstinence itself) you’re just wonderfully setup to have that feeling of loss of power — it really is just sex, the next day you really do still have to “chop wood, carry water” as the Zen guys say about enlightenment.

    And once it’s gone it’s gone, and if the lights don’t flicker all over the Eastern Seaboard when you stop being a virgin then you’re setup to feel screwed.

    And here’s my main point: whereas you can “lose” one’s virginity only once, one can resume abstinence the next day. (That’s another problem with the standard virginity/wait for the right man theory — once you stop being a virgin you’re supposed to lose not just your virginity value but your ability to own your sexuality at all: you’ve given it to someone else!)

    A lot to think about. So I really appreciate your post.



  10. Ah, crap. Now I have to put a better focus on one of my statements, before someone jumps on ONE sentence in my post and thinks I don’t “value” monogamy.

    When I said, “And worshiping female “virginity” (like so many societies and individuals do, for no other reason than to DISEMPOWER women, so that in the end, they BELONG (as in an object) to one and only one man) is NOT healthy.” END QUOTE I was NOT saying anything against Monogamy. My Man and I are monogamous right now, we have been for many years. When I said “Belong to” I MEANT, belong to, as when a man OWNS an object. Like a car, or a pair of shoes or a herd of cattle. So many societies which overemphasis FEMALE “Virginity” do tend to treat women as chattel (the USA not being exempt in the way a lot of people think) and their “virginity” as a “selling point.” UGH.

    It was not an indictment of monogamy. In fact at this point in my life, I LIKE monogamy. I can’t even imagine the drama and suspense, boredom and drama and nail biting horror of dating again. 😉

    Just clarifying….

  11. “Christopher” bizarrely concluded from my post: “There are obviously different ways to view sex. If everyone viewed sexual intercourse the same way as the above commentator, then…I don’t know. I’m picturing the scene in “Caligula” where Tiberius walks Caligula through his circus of mutants and freaks having a giant orgy.”

    REALLY? That’s what “Sex Positive” means to you? An orgy? You don’t’ know me and that is NOT the way I view “Sexual Intercourse.” (LOL!) (There is also a hell of a lot more to “sex” than “intercourse.”) In fact THAT view of sex has never actually crossed my mind, but YOU brought it up? Why is that?

    Perhaps some don’t realize what Healthy Sexuality is. And worshiping female “virginity” (like so many societies and individuals do, for no other reason than to DISEMPOWER women, so that in the end, they BELONG (as in an object) to one and only one man) is NOT healthy.

    You may want to get Caligula out of your head, when you speak to women who are sure of their own sexual power and strengths. Because it is NOT what we are thinking.

    Your mileage may vary.

  12. Elizabeth said: “sex was better and healthier when there was a deep commitment involved. What in the world is wrong with seeing sex as an important aspect and believing that good, healthy things can be very damaging if used badly?” END QUOTE

    Elizabeth I DON’T disagree with you. My “first one” actually turned out to be the man I married (many years and several lovers for both of us later) I wasn’t endorsing a “Caligula” lifestyle (I know you didn’t say this.) I was simply saying that the Commercial Overhyping of “Virginity” is silly, and IMO detracts from a woman’s sexual power.

    Also, the article was written by someone who says she is a virgin, telling us some anecdotes about girls who had HORRIBLE things happpen to them when they lost their “virginity.” I could name more boys and girls who had WONDERFUL things happen to them….also, the author can ONLY look at things from the POV of someone who has NEVER had sex.

    Most of us here have ALREADY BEEN virgins, and most also are now sexualy active. We know BOTH sides of the story, and I think knowing both gives one a better perspective.

    I never said the first time couldn’t be “special.” But, for many people it just isn’t and they don’t attempt suicide, get pregnant (many were smart enough to invest in birth control BEFORE they took the plunge the first time) or felt they LOST anything.

  13. Oh my, talk about taking away a woman’s sexual power! Telling a girl/woman that her views that her body and her first time sharing with someone else isn’t something to be viewed as special, sounds awfully damn degrading to me. I know that there are many things that I’ve experienced for the first time that are quite special to me. I also know many others who view their fist time doing or seeing something as special, too. Why should something as personal as sharing our bodies, the only thing, beyond our thoughts, that we should have full control over be treated as so meaningless, as so much less than our first car or first concert? And screw the whole religious issues, mayhap a girl just views her body as that damn special to her and wants to make sure that she’s with a man who is willing to treat it as special as she holds it. Where’s the shame in that?

    I believe the moment you tell a person what they should do concerning sex, besides being safe and comfortable with their situation, you’ve just stripped them of their sexual power if only because you’ve just tried to strip them of their choice.

  14. Key word. It’s a HYPOTHESIS.

    Frankly, I don’t think any scientific study can answer that age old question. And I would jump to the conclusion that most people believe that there are some differences between men and women. Like John said, the differences don’t even have to be as black and white as strengths and weaknesses.

  15. Hey, John, ever hear of the Gender Similarities Hypothesis? It’s the result of 20 years of in-depth research–not just various studies and surveys. I recommend you look it up.

  16. To Madmoiselle, I don’t think the author is classifying women as “emotionally fragile, porcelain creatures.” I know a lot of men who wish their first time was something a lot more meaningful, something that they can remember beyond…I don’t know…a drunk night, the spur of adolescent desire? It just so happens that the two people the writer mentioned were her friends who also happened to get it wrong the first time around. We don’t know, as the reader, the whole story. They obviously didn’t use protection, but I’m sure the fact that it was their FIRST TIME factored in somehow too. Think about it this way. How traumatizing is thinking you are in love with someone, getting pregnant by accident, and then being abandoned by everyone you thought loved you? It’s not a generalization about women. It’s just a point being made about how important it is to know what you are getting into…

    Also…what’s wrong with expecting more for yourself? Why should people with sex positive lifestyles see everything as negligible, just as “fun”? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Sure, you don’t have to get married. You don’t have to wait until you get married anymore. But what’s wrong with wanting to wait until you find someone you can emotionally identify with?

  17. First off, Christopher, I agree wholeheartedly.

    Also to the above commentor: Men and Women aren’t that different? Really? There are at least a dozen reputable studies demonstrating basic mental differences. (Not stregnths/weaknesses, more like handedness), not to mention the evidence of differences provided by, well sites like this one.

    And if you divorce relationship from sex, that’s fine; it’s not the author’s choice. Both are how you choose to live, and both are equally right. (It is just what you choose to treat as special; I’m sure you didn’t marry that cherry popper; that you consider marriage something to be shared in a serious relationship?)

  18. Hey now Madamoiselle… While I usually agree with you – I have a sex positive lifestyle AND I was raised in a family that valued abstinence (For the record – that was valued for BOTH boys and girls).

    And like I said in my own post – the wasn’t because my parents valued some social construct (virginity) but because my parents actively believed that sex was better and healthier when there was a deep commitment involved. What in the world is wrong with seeing sex as an important aspect and believing that good, healthy things can be very damaging if used badly? I see sex as fun and healthy and recreational. Just as a type of recreation I enjoy within limits. Not necessarily marital limits, but limits nonetheless.

    And, not all people who save sex for marriage expect perfect partners anymore than all people who don’t accept flaws. I know plenty of people who seem to be looking for Mr. and Mrs. Perfect who’ve never believed in abstinence until marriage and plenty of people who’ve never even KISSED someone who realize that everyone has flaws.

    You’ll never catch me saying that virginity matters. Like you said – it’s a dumb social construct based entirely on female oppression and the transfer of property. But what I do believe is that sex is an important and deeply intimate activity… And it’s alright if someone wants the person with whom they share that for the first time with to matter more than some fling.

  19. There are obviously different ways to view sex. If everyone viewed sexual intercourse the same way as the above commentator, then…I don’t know. I’m picturing the scene in “Caligula” where Tiberius walks Caligula through his circus of mutants and freaks having a giant orgy. I’m actually really glad that some people (like the author) still view sexual intercourse as a spiritual thing…without suggesting any religious ideologies.

    There is something special about that first time, and I would definitely encourage more people to recognize that. Virginity IS a thing, and it’s not just the invention of a prudish society. It just depends on the way you look at it.

  20. Katherine Chen seems to think women are emotionally fragile, porcelain creatures who “attempt suicide” and want to die if the first boy they get it on with “doesn’t live up to her expectations.” I’m sorry, but NOBODY could live up to a teenage girl’s (or even some grown women’s) expectations.

    Virginity isn’t a Virtue. It’s an artificial construct designed to deny women sexual power and health.

    (For instance, when does one “stop” being a “virgin.” When I was in school, I knew those “anything but” girls. Meaning they do ANYTHING “but intercourse” (anal, oral, objects, etc) just to “maintain” their virginity. If a man helps you to an orgasm and there is no outright vaginal penetration with a penis, are you STILL considering yourself a “virgin?” Does ONLY penile penetration in the vagina count? (It does to the girls I knew who would partake in anal sex (nothing wrong with that) but NOT have intercourse. Were these girls still “Virgins?” Not in my book.

    As for girls or women “when women don’t receive the relationship they anticipated after losing their virginity, they feel like their sexual power has been taken away from them.” REALLY? I’ve had relationships that didn’t add up to what I “anticipated” and I NEVER felt my sexual power was taken from me. All I thought was, “Oh well. His loss.” I know FEW women who felt she lost ANY power, simply because “the first one” wasn’t a Prince Charming, in fact MOST felt that the “losing” of their virginity was a damn RELIEF! Some were looking for relationships, some weren’t. Most got what they got out of that first relationship. Men and women aren’t that different.

    Maybe it’s just the “Promise Ring” types who expect the “lucky” one who gets to be the first to have sex with their special self needs to be perfect in every way. Maybe this MISUNDERSTANDING of human nature is what causes these hot house flowers to wither, when the “first” relationship doesn’t turn out to be a Knight on a White Horse who will carry us through the sunset and give us a perfect life. Maybe it’s the whole “Virginity Industry” that causes young women to feel a loss of their sexual power. You have NO power if you don’t use it.

    Those of us with Sex Positive Lifestyles, and didn’t believe the hype about “saving oneself for marriage” when we were young, actually see sex as a fun, recreational and healthy activity, and don’t expect our partners to be any more perfect that we are.

  21. I really appreciate this article. While I am not a woman who waited to have sex until I married, I did wait to have sex until it was with someone special, with someone I felt I COULD marry. Not because I percieve VIRGINTY as important, but because I believe SEX is important. For me, having sex with just anyone is a betrayal to myself. Now, I would not marry a man without first having sex with him… Sexual compatibility is very important to me. But, I’m not going to have sex with every guy I date. And I’m not going to have sex early in a relationship.

    And I think that was what the author meant. Not specifically that VIRGINITY was what matters, but that sex was. That’s supposedly the thing with twilight. It’s not that they wait for the whole de-virginization thing, but they wait for sex, and that its ONLY between them, that’s what is important.

    Note: I don’t judge people who disagree with me on this subject… It’s just how i feel, with my life.

  22. “Virginity is a one-time thing. You lose it, and you won’t be able to get it back.”

    Virginity isn’t a thing at all. It’s a construct designed to control people’s sexual behavior and commodify (female) “virtue”. Which is, of course, exactly what’s going on in the Twilight series.

  23. While I agree with what Laura says above (a very fair response), I still think that the majority of people view virginity as some kind of prized possession, especially for women. And being a woman myself, I know that I felt like I “lost” something after I had my first sexual encounter. It wasn’t a bad or good feeling. It was just a realization that I had made a certain choice.

    Not everyone views virginity the same way. I think the writer just sees virginity as something extremely important to her because she feels, like some other people do, that she needs to protect herself more.

  24. (Apologies in advance for the length of this comment!)

    I enjoyed Katherine’s essay and believe that sex-positive, non-shame-based abstinence* messages are important, especially in a culture where young women are pressured to be sexy, yet not given the tools to be sexually healthy. Delaying sex until such knowledge (of both microbiology and one’s self) has been acquired can be a huge benefit to an individuals self esteem and relationship quality.
    That said, I think what is constantly missing from such discourses is the idea of sexual pleasure and the ability of an individual to make self-aware, educated choices to seek it out…and how that can be emotionally fulfilling in it’s own right.
    This piece seems to assume that the reasons for having sex are universal(and almost always due to relationship issues (“Mr. Right who turns out to be Mr. Wrong”)). I worry about ignoring the fact that as a young woman, to be able to say that you know your body, you know the responsibilities that come with it and you know what types of pleasure you want to seek out (whether through sex or abstinence, within or outside of a relationship), can be incredibly empowering. This is especially true in a world that promotes ignorance about the body and sex and deems women “sluts” when they seek such knowledge.
    While I empathize with the sad and all too common stories of unplanned pregnancies,I don’t believe losing one’s virginity** or even “taking a risk on Mr. Right” should be blamed. Losing one’s virginity without the necessary knowledge or resources to avoid such consequences (ie: condom use) is what we should truly be worried about.
    I believe a more useful discussion around delaying sex would take into account the ability of some people to seek out the pleasures of sexual behavior (including non-intercourse activities, masturbation, etc) and to balance them with the responsibilities of such decisions.
    So as much as I agree with this essay and find the writer brave for exploring a lifestyle choice that is often met with judgement, I worry about what happens when we demonize physical pleasure and define some types of first-time sex as “more meaningful” or “special” without actually defining what these terms mean (is the sex more intimate? more comfortable? provides more orgasms?).
    To emphasize, I don’t actually disagree with anything in this article at all. I just wish it defined it’s terms in more detail and acknolwedged the many other reasons for having sex early in life, other than the ones that apply to Katherine personally.
    So let’s advocate for healthy sexuality in all it’s forms (whether with multiple partners or none at all), but let’s do so through acknowledging the myriad of meanings sex can hold and supporting well educated sexual decision making without pressure or moral judgement.
    * I personally don’t like to use this term. I work professionally as a sex educator and I always talk to my classes about “delaying sex” instead of abstaining completely. It allows them more freedom to think about when sex is the right choice for them and how their sexuality may change and grow.
    *I also disagree with this phrase. I agree with Katherine that it shouldn’t be viewed as a “treasure,” but personally, the idea that I LOST anything after having sex for the first time offends me. I shared an experience and yes, that changed things in my life, relationships and self-concept, but I didn’t leave it lacking some intangible “object” I possessed before. Then again, that is just my pesonal experience.

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