Newsflash: you don’t have to be having sex to appreciate sexual freedom.

I was probably in my mid-teens when I realized I was bisexual. At first, I dressed in a fashion that I called "androgynous," but now no longer claim as that serves as a bit of an insult to the androgynous community seeing as I stuck it under that label when in reality, it was just sloppy. However, I was happy. I knew that under the breaths of the peers in the private Christian school I was attending the words “dyke” and “faggot” and the most creative one “ugly” were being thrown around, but in reality, it ceased to bother me. I genuinely mean that because I did not have even the slightest of interest in any of the boys attending my school nor the girls really.

I realized who I was and what I was and truly didn’t think it was the job of anyone else to do that for me. They weren’t obligated to accept me. That was my job.

However, a year passed and I ventured back into the world of makeup. It was one I had a bit of a love-hate relationship as I often felt obligated to do it instead of just doing it for the sheer enjoyment which I truly do think should be the overall purpose of it. Women should in no way have an obligation to be beautiful. When this occurred, the entire subject of sex and sexuality seemed to make a full circle back to me.

As a feminist, I have always celebrated sexuality and the sexual freedom of others. I will always fight for the fact that it is a woman’s right to choose. A woman should be able to show skin if she wants and feel liberation in her own body. However, although I campaign for sexual freedom and stand by my friends who venture into the world of sexuality, I am a virgin myself. This is something I am not embarrassed about and in reality, I could change it easily if I wanted to, but I don’t.

My virginity is nothing something I cling to under the belief that it is precious and I am a special flower. I resent the individual’s who tell a woman her worth is tied to her virginity and you are giving a part of yourself away to someone when you sleep with them. Fun is fun and sex is sex, however, I was always moderately upset when I heard of the casual hookup stories of my friends. I often even heard them through a third party actually, although occasionally from the friend themselves.

I could never really picture what they were telling me and really although this sounds odd and gruesome I always sort of felt you had to see it to believe it. If I had seen them making out in the aggressive fashion they described to me, perhaps it would be easier to understand and believe.

As a bisexual woman, I really do believe people often think of me as someone who has a lot of experience. In reality, I am an 18-year-old virgin who has absolutely none in the slightest. I even wondered how situations turn sexual and how to end them once they do. When I was with a boy I liked, I dropped him off at his house. My heart beat nervously as I pulled into his driveway, as this is often a moment where a kiss goodbye is shared. I just told him goodbye, and he opened the door to leave.

I didn’t take this as an indication of his like or lack thereof for me. If we had begun making out, I would like for it to end there, not further. As I said, though the opportunity has been there, I do not want to be rid of my virginity. This is not because of any negative thoughts that I have of people that do or playing into the patriarchal thought that a woman is defined by her virginity, however, a personal preference of mine is for me to have it. Perhaps I am scared and certainly, I am inexperienced.

Either way, I was filled with a sort of interesting, unusual feeling when I heard of the sexual escapades of my friends. It was often brushed by quickly, just using the broad blanket term “hook up” without a lot of details, however, sometimes it was described in moderate detail. I can’t describe the feeling upon hearing the description and although it’s unfortunate the best way I really do know how to express my feeling is unusual discomfort. I would never show that and I certainly hope all my friends feel free to do what they like without judgment, given that they’re safe and protected.

However, it was never something I could see for myself. If I do take part, some part of me thinks it won’t be based on hormones or being horny. It would be for the experience. It would be for the bragging. It would be so I no longer had to carry around the label of virgin. It would be so that when people asked me about it, I wouldn’t have to lie. If I lost my virginity, it wouldn’t be for me. It would be for the story, the experience, and dodging the judgment of others. I always wondered when hearing these kinds of stories if people were acting on hormones, instincts, feelings, or just the societal feeling that this was what they were supposed to do. If you were a man, you were supposed to be screwing something.

If you are a woman, sex isn’t supposed to be a real desire for you at all. I think that my entire position might actually come as a bit surprising to some. I talk about sex very openly and candidly. I once had a friend text me frequently from my driveway to come out which I ignored because I was finishing personnel business if you know what I mean. I was having my me time... my pleasure time, okay I think you get the picture. I also told an entire class about one of my first vivid accounts of sexuality and how good it felt, and I will not be sharing those details, but it involved a pool noodle. Your imagination can do what that what you’d like.

I talked a lot about sex with my friends. I still do. Although, I guess the difference is before it was just talking. I was speaking about sex and what it could be like and theoretically what I would like, whereas now, people are actually going out and having it. I guess the words themselves are so different when they’re just words and a bit scarier when they morph into actions. I never really intended to ever sleep with anyone, but it was always fun to talk about. Perhaps that is what scares me.

People aren’t just talking anymore, they’re doing. I always assumed the people who talk about sex the most are the ones who have it the least. There are those to talk and those who actually do. It became obvious to me that I was a talker. I assumed everyone else around me was a talker as well. They were doing a lot more than talking though. It actually made me feel weirder and sadder, though, when the sex was a secret.

When I received some backward gossip about who had slept with who and the whole ordeal was a giant secret. This was usually because the girl felt ashamed or maybe even because she felt pressured. The whole concept of secret sexuality made me feel sicker and sadder than the outspoken kind.

I guess in reality, I think there’s a hell of a lot more to life than sexuality. I wish the world wasn’t so damn obsessed with it. It makes me feel a little sad actually because life is full of more beautiful things. There are countries to travel, languages to learn, people to meet, drinks to have, blunts to smoke, and a life to live. It seems that even the situations that are truly only intended for fun such as drinking, smoking, hanging out, or watching a movie can revert to sexual situations quickly.

I believe this to be that sex is often seen as the only way to truly have fun and that annoys me quite a bit. I think there are other ways and I have even avoided doing certain things with certain people in fear that they will shift the situation into one that is sexual. I don’t have a lot of interest in it, but it is evident to me that others do.

In conclusion, I do not believe in shaming people. I also don’t believe in acting like sex is the only thing that anyone is supposed to have interest in. As someone who is concluding their high school career, the lack of knowledge and tact that conversations about sex have to them is often times repulsive and a little bit sad to me. I do truly hope that people are engaging for the right reasons as opposed to wearing the people they’ve been with like medals around their neck. I don't want to take part really. I am happy for those who do though.

I’ve even wondered before it that makes me asexual or if there’s something wrong with me, but in reality, I think I am just a person who realizes I am in no way obligated to do anything I don’t desire to do, especially when that comes to means of sexuality or intimacy. I appreciate sexual freedom and will continue to even if I am a virgin until the day I die. But a word to my friends: y'all scare me sometimes.