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Information

  • My age:
  • 27
  • What is my nationaly:
  • I was born in Greece
  • Sexual preference:
  • Sensitive guy
  • My sex:
  • Woman
  • My Sign of the zodiac:
  • Leo
  • I have piercing:
  • None
  • I have tattoo:
  • None

About

Earlier this month, venturing into my closet in search of something else, when I pulled out a short paper I had written in graduate school about Simone de Beauvoir, I knew exactly why I had saved it. It was an artifact of how ridiculous and utterly abnormal I had felt still being a virgin at I translated a lack of sexual experience that was, in fact, entirely normal into an indictment of my ability to love and be loved. Beauvoir was a chic French feminist thinker who was brilliant and sexy and unapologetic about openly taking lovers and challenging ideas about women. A few months after I wrote that paper, I met the guy — another student in the program — who would become my first boyfriend, and the world of relationships and intimacy opened up to me.

Description

An admission? A revelation? Penetration has always been pretty excruciating for me.

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Whether tampons, fingers, or penises, I tend to be wary of anyone or thing inside me. I have only been with men, and of those men, I have tried having sex with two.

I describe my experiences with those two men as attempts. They were never able to penetrate — endeavouring to get inside me for only a few short moments before retreating, glancing at me like they had shattered my sexual facade, realizing the utterly breakable virgin which lay beneath.

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Recently — with three years of sexual exploits in Montreal under my proverbial belt — this has become less excruciating and more nerve-wracking. The start of this discussion is often the same: a dark room, a bed of messy sheets, and two people undressing one another. In a society in which sexual refusal can be flirtatious and silence misconstrued as consent, my vocality is my security. Still, a deep anxiety roots itself within my chest before these conversations.

To be clear, I am not waiting for a bed of roses, nor a soulmate. I am, however, waiting to be with someone with whom I can discuss sex or my lack thereof openly and honestly.

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Although reactions to the news vary, responses from guys especially those interested in pursuing a more long-term hookup generally range from neutrality to negativity. Furthermore, I find that my explanations usually fall within three realms: the realm of my sexual identity, my feminist identity, and my hazy identity as a twenty-something. And, in so many words, are you damaged goods?

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Of those three questions, a critique of virginity is the only conversation I find worthwhile. The North American notion of virginity is steeped in racialized, classed, and heteronormative assumptions, and to ignore these would be irresponsible as a self-proclaimed feminist and, more importantly, as a critically-thinking human being. Stereotypical images of virgins get recycled throughout our media; I would argue, though, that few virgins manage to fulfill them.

These images include not only an intact hymen but also a sense of sexual innocence and virtue traits, I might add, that seem more politically powerful for the patriarchy than for virgins themselves. This imposed fragility eclipses the wide-ranging reality of virgins. Some of us are waiting for marriage and some of us are waiting for someone to bother putting sheets on their bare mattress; some of us have never been kissed and some of us regularly bring partners home; some of us have had penetrative sex but still choose to self-identify as virgins.

And yet, we only have this one word — a word that has been raked over and imbued with meaning and politically mobilized — with which to describe ourselves.

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The idea of virginity and its accompanying expectations has become yet another site for the control of female sexuality and, when discussing it, I am reminded of the fact that this word utterly fails to speak to my experiences. Nevertheless, I use the word virgin. Basically, I use the word virgin with partners to describe my own needs. For me, my virginity — whether a construct or not — means that putting a penis inside me is going to be difficult. It means I need someone who will be careful and understanding.

I know a lot of women who do not identify as virgins who still require that from their sexual partners. But for me, there can be a lot of comfort in playing into this trope when I renegotiate those meanings for my own experience. Problematizing the notion of virginity, however, is rarely a question I face in the bedroom; more often than not, my sexual subjectivity is questioned.

Picture this: I am on my 16th-floor balcony with a guy — a very handsome guy who studies music and tells funny jokes and is a truly charming human being. We spent the evening in general revelry, dancing and imbibing and, later in the evening, kissing in a corner of the bar.

In my experience, this is the most frustrating yet amusing response. I am, in fact, a woman who holds her sexual subjectivity to be central to her identity. For my music man, it was confusing that I could have possibly cultivated such sexual understanding and — even more surprising — that I was so comfortable expressing that sexuality. I do my best to be aware of my sexual needs, to be open to new sexual encounters, and to put myself in situations in which I feel happy, sexy, and safe.

Still, I often confront a narrow image of virginity — one in which virgins are angelic and uninformed — which stands in direct contrast to my identity as an outspoken sexual subject. Does being a virgin make me less of a sexual subject? And does feeling like a sexy lady make me a bad virgin? At times, I feel trapped in a strange space in between.

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I feel trapped within a strange Foucauldian cycle in which I must constantly talk about not-wanting-to-talk-about my dirty little secret. Fast forward two years from the music man and I am once again standing on my balcony. I have a new haircut and a new man with me.

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This time he is a chef and has just made a crude joke about a blow job. He is expecting one because I am a virgin and I am feeling angry because that is unacceptable. Some guys, not often as explicit as my chef friend, expect a consolation prize for the lack of penetrative sex. Friends and partners try to make sense of my decisions by positioning me within a set of acceptable tropes that, when considered together, are pretty ludicrous. Being a virgin is complicated and awkward and strange and sometimes it really does make me feel like damaged goods. Rationally, I identify that much of this discomfort comes from the problematic images of female sexuality that I confront throughout society.

To repeat the oft-mentioned and nevertheless well-founded argument, we consider women as existing at two ends of the spectrum.

The radical feminist within me feels the need to constantly debunk whatever title it is that I am expected to embody in any given moment. All I know is that these typecasting experiences make me feel worn out. And why why, why, why does it feel like my virginity keeps sabotaging potential relationships? For us, sex became elided with relationships, which became elided with cold feet and a surprise break-up.

To avoid diving off the deep end into a pool of bitter diatribes, I will stay concise. I cared a lot for him. It was a mixture of both trust and timing that kept me from sleeping with him. I needed to trust that he would still be around two imaginary weeks from now — inviting me to shows and drinking beer on my couch.

While a sense of pride makes me want to indignantly argue that he stop assuming what sex means to me, I was pretty forthcoming on the subject. I do feel indignant, however, that he did not communicate honestly with me prior to ending things. His quiet brooding on the subject of my sexuality makes me really hesitant to be quite so straightforward next time.

So, in launching into the future of Montreal dating, what do I do? Do I heed my own advice and stop talking about it?

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And moreover, why would I write this if I want all of you to stop talking about my virginity? Why am I so sexual and why am I virgin and why do I feel the need to write about it? I think, oddly enough, that my response to all of these questions is the same: because in this moment, it feels right, it feels exhilarating, and it feels true. As my sexuality continues to evolve, so too will these answers. I hope that this piece can become situated within a broader discussion that questions not why I am a virgin, but rather, why everyone else cares.

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Tweets by mcgilldaily. The year-old virgin by Features January 28, July 9,

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