Recently I wrote a Facebook post about how I'm proud of my virginity in a time when we are bombarded with pressure from friends, social media, and the society to fall in love or at the very least have lots of sex. The post was one of my most liked Facebook posts ever, and I'd like to elaborate on my point here:
First, I don't mean to shame men, or especially women, who have lots of sex. If you are of age to consent, you fully give your consent, you use contraceptives and you know the risks of pregnancy and/or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (an STI), then go right ahead and have all the sex you want. I don't judge you, and whether or not I do, it's not my place to judge. If you want to let your free flag fly, then go right on ahead.
Second, if you're not of age to consent, you don't use contraceptives and/or you don't know the risks associated with having sex, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it. If you're not of age to consent, wait a few years. If you don't use contraceptives, you should definitely start. If you don't know the risks associated with having sex, then educate yourself; there are numerous reliable sources available to you online in order for you to learn the information you need to keep yourself safe. Here are a few below:
BuzzFeed (This link leads to a specific page within Buzzfeed, not the entire website.)
However, beware of unreliable resources. Websites that say things like "the pull-out method is totally effective" or "blue waffle is a legit and common STI" are not reliable. Avoid them!
Thirdly, if you don't 100 percent give your consent to have sex with whomever is trying to have sex with you, get out of that situation as quickly as you can! You deserve to be treated with respect, and you deserve to treat yourself with respect. If your partner is coercing or forcing you to have sex with them, that is not respect, and that is not a safe situation. If someone does force you to have sex without your consent, here are a few resources that can help you with rape, sexual assault or domestic violence:
STAR (specific for people in Alaska, my home state)
As I said before, as long as you are comfortable and know the risks, have all the sex you want with as many consenting partners as you want. Although I know the risks, I am of age to consent and I know where to get contraceptives if ever I need them, I'm still a virgin. In fact, I've never been in a relationship. And you know what? I'm okay with that.
Of course I have moments where I feel left out and lonely because I've never been in a relationship. But the next day I wake up and remind myself that I'm still working on me. I have my own problems to deal with and my own personal relationships to grow. I'm at an age where I'm starting to look for a career path that I'll probably follow for the rest of my life. I'm learning my personality outside of the people I've known my entire life, including my parents and siblings. I don't need to add a romantic relationship to the hot-mess of my life. So, in a way, I count myself lucky for never being in a relationship at 20-years-old.
Don't get me wrong, if a friend or an acquaintance that I appreciate tells me that they have feelings for me and wants to start a relationship, I'd probably be open to that and wouldn't hesitate to go on a date with them. I'm not opposed to having a relationship, and I'm not opposed to other people being in love at a young age. If you feel comfortable in relationships at 20-years-old and you like finding yourself while spending a lot of time with another person romantically, then all the power and luck to you. But I'm someone who thrives on my own. I don't spend my time going out and searching for "the one," or even "the one for right now." It's not something I give much thought to in my average day. While I wouldn't mind being in a relationship with someone I already trust, it's not something I'm actively searching for.
And that's fine. Whether you want to always have a boyfriend/girlfriend/non-binary or you want to be on your own, either is completely acceptable in your teens, early 20s and throughout your life. What I feel is lost in our society today is the right and acceptance for people of all genders to choose how they want to live their life, and who they want to live it with, even if it's by themselves. I know so many people my age who bully others into romantic relationships that the person isn't comfortable with just because it's not "socially acceptable" to not have been in a relationship at a young age. Of course I make jokes with friends and family about never having been on a date, but I feel privileged that no one has ever pressured me to do so. I know I'm lucky in that regard, so from an outsider looking in, let me offer you some advice.
If you don't want to be in a relationship, then don't do it. If someone comes along and you want to date them (and they want to date you), then do it. Do whatever you want (with consent). It's not anybody's place to judge what you do with your romantic relationships. Of course you should listen if everyone is saying your partner seems like they'll cause physical or emotional harm to you, but otherwise, it's not their concern. Don't let yourself feel pressured by your family, friends, social media or society to do anything you're not comfortable with. It's completely acceptable to be on your own; it's completely acceptable to always be in a relationship. Do whatever makes you happy.
As for me, I don't plan to wait until marriage to lose my virginity. I just haven't found anyone I'm comfortable with to lose it. Maybe one day I will find someone, but until then, I'm going to focus on me and my problems and happiness because right now is the time I should be focusing on myself.
Let me know what you think in the comments down below. Do you agree with me or disagree with me? I want to know your thoughts.