1. Choosing not to have sex can be for any reason — and all reasons are valid. Maybe you’re choosing to abstain because of your religion or you want to wait until marriage. Or maybe you’re not waiting until marriage but you want to lose your virginity to someone you love. Or maybe you realize you’re not ready or are scared of any complications or you’re just not interested in sex at all. Any and all reasons are perfectly rational and OK.
2. But really the reasons why we’re still virgins aren’t your business, and we don’t have to explain ourselves. We don’t need to justify why we haven’t swiped our V-cards yet, and it shouldn’t be a decision that we have to defend. Our sex life is our personal business, and unless we want to discuss it with you, it isn’t a topic you need to concern yourself with.
3. Just because we’re virgins doesn’t mean we don’t have any sexual experience. And that level of experience will vary from person to person. Some people do everything else except have sex, while others might not have had their first kiss yet, and both are totally normal. The point is that having sexual experience and being a virgin aren’t mutually exclusive like people assume it is. And on that note…
4. No, this doesn’t mean we don’t know what a penis looks like. We all took sex ed (hopefully) in middle school and are aware of the male anatomy. Whether we’ve seen them in pictures, on television (Game of Thrones, anyone?), or IRL, it’s irrelevant. The point is, contrary to what Ken dolls want us to think, we definitely know what’s going on underneath your boxers.
5. But sometimes when we’re sucked into conversations about sex, we do feel a tiny bit left out. Basically we become mute and pray with every fiber of our being that no one asks, “Who’d you lose it to?” or, “How did your first time happen?” because we have no awkward or nostalgic stories to contribute like,”Oh, Tom and I did it for the first time in the bathroom during a Blink-182 concert,” or, “Rick’s parents were out of town and we finally Netflixed and chilled.” It’s difficult to relate to any of this, and we’re secretly hoping someone will change the topic of conversation ASAP so no one finds us out.
6. We’re not here to fulfill any twisted sexual fantasy of yours. It’s sad and disgusting that fetishizing virgins is an issue that still occurs, and it only perpetuates gender stereotyping. We’re not dares or challenges for you to take on because you think we’re “pure” or “untainted.” We’re not here for you to change us. If you want to have sex with a virgin because you’re trying to check off some deluded sexual bucket list, the only person who needs to change is you.
7. If we trust you enough to tell you we’ve never had sex and you lose interest in us after finding out, then you aren’t good enough for us anyway. It often starts the same way: You’re interested in someone and you’ve been talking for a while, and then when you finally feel comfortable enough to share that you’re a virgin, they freeze up or can’t handle it. They say they want someone with more experience or they’re worried that you’ll become too attached/clingy after you do the deed. Seriously? If this happens to you, it might suck initially, but you should be glad you found out they were an asshole early on. Move on to someone better and actually worthy of you.
8. If you make us feel bad or shame us for not having sex, you’re the worst kind of person. Even if you’re joking around and think it’s all in good fun, sometimes it’s a sensitive subject, and you’re actually making our doubts and insecurity about it worse. You’re not the first person to quote lines from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to us, and it gets old after a while. The topic of our virginity is not open for discussion or for you to make insensitive comments about it, thanks.
9. We appreciate people who understand that sex isn’t everything and don’t freak out when we tell them. Seriously, bless you. Sometimes we’re nervous wrecks and are scared about such personal information coming to light, but when you don’t have an “OMG, REALLY??!?!?” reaction it means a lot to us. We’d like to think it’s not a big deal either, so when other people can be chill about it, it makes us feel 10 times better.
10. Don’t assume being a virgin is part of our personality. Assumptions that we’re prudes or old-fashioned or uptight can be hurtful and just flat-out untrue. Being a virgin is just one fact out of the many way more interesting things about us and doesn’t define our identity.
11. We shouldn’t feel like we’re “behind.” The notion of being “behind” or trying to “catch up” to everyone else is absurd and absolutely relative. No matter how much experience you have or how many people you’ve slept with, you’re always going to be “behind” someone else, and there’s no way around it. And that’s totally fine.