Sex, sexuality, and the importance and unimportance of virginity

Virginity is a social construct. Virginity is the most important thing a woman can possess and if she were to lose it outside of marriage, she is worthless.

These are both common ideals. They are also ideals that I have held at one point or another. Neither worked out for me. Your virginity can mean whatever it wants to mean to you, because it is yours and yours alone. It can be as important or unimportant as you like. I do not know why I am writing about this, perhaps because it makes me a little uncomfortable and I am trying to write outside of my comfort zone, perhaps because it took me a long time to realize that, and I would like to publicize it just in case anyone that is ever as confused as I was comes across it.

Sex has never been an uncomfortable subject for me, it both amuses and interests me and so I have no problem speaking or writing about it. Virginity however, had always made me a little uncomfortable. Whether it was from my aunts telling me over and over again how important it is, or girls back in college telling me they thought it was odd I hadn’t had sex yet; I’ve always felt a sliver of discomfort at people essentially telling me what to do with my own genitalia.

I wasn’t always uncomfortable talking about my own lack of sexual experience though, mainly because I spent most of my adolescence in Algeria where it was considered the norm. In fact, it was encouraged. Girls would almost compete with each other when it came to lack of experience. I was placed in the “budding whore” category at the age of fourteen by my own cousins because I admitted to kissing my boyfriend at the time. Another one of my cousins was scandalized that I hugged one of my male friends, “you know that’s haram”, while my aunt smirked when she found out I had gone out on a date. “You won’t find a husband this way”, which left more men for her daughter.

Moving to Belgium changed that for me. I am glad that I live in a country that is so open when it comes to sex, but it is quite difficult to navigate when you lack experience. Men, especially those outside of my own culture, “treasured” me as my virginity further fueled their “innocent, untouched Muslim girl” fetish. I stopped dating white men to avoid being fetishized and found the same thing would happen with men from my own culture. Apparently, it was rare in the diaspora to find women who were still “pure”. Again, I felt discomfort. I was exasperated because it seemed that I could not date without being defined by my virginity. It was almost as if I wasn’t a person, who has a personality, hobbies, passions, ambitions; all that mattered was my hymen. To make things worse, other women thought I was “strange”, that I had no sexual experience whatsoever and had no intention of changing that. Some even went as far as to question my sexuality. Perhaps the reason why I had no interest in having sexual relations with a man was because I was actually interested in women.

Eventually, as time went on and the remarks continued, I started to doubt myself. I started to feel like some sort of sexual pariah, an anomaly of sorts. Was there something actually wrong with me? Why the hell did I not want to have sex with anyone? Was I a closet asexual? Was it even possible for an asexual to be in the closet? Perhaps they were right, maybe I actually was a lesbian and just didn’t know it yet. But no, I was definitely interested in men and the thought of women did nothing for me. I was interested in the topic of sex but had no intention of participating in the act itself. I had never been sexually attracted to a man before, and yet I knew for certain that I was interested in men. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, or if there was something wrong with me at all. I became reluctant to discuss my virginity, in fact I stopped admitting to being a virgin altogether.

Last year, of my own accord, I developed some sort of interest. ‘Some’ might be an understatement as I went on to “roast” for almost a year. But there was still no man in sight, no hint of any form of attraction to anyone, sexual or otherwise. So I became well acquainted with the art of masturbation and life went on. Until earlier this year. I met a guy, as you do, who made me feel like my whole body was on fire, without ever touching me. There was the initial attraction, which both surprised me and sparked my curiosity, and as time went on, it grew, and grew, and grew.

He wasn’t interested in any type of commitment, just sex and friendship. At the time, neither was I, so I agreed. The distance made the sex part difficult so we utilized technology for the time being and worked on the friendship part. The more I got to know him, the more I found that I was attracted to him. I realized that perhaps the reason why I had no interest in having sexual relations with anyone before was because I needed some sort of connection with them on a mental level and no one had ever done that for me before. And once I had that connection with someone, I wanted more than something casual. I had begun to develop feelings for him and I knew that if I began a casual sexual relationship with him, I was going to come out of it quite heartbroken. So I started having second thoughts. If I was incapable of being attracted to someone without having some sort of connection with them, I would never be able to settle for something that was just casual, I would always want something more.

When I first met him, my need for some sort of sexual gratification was on the verge of consuming me whole and so I didn’t give it a second thought, nor did I take my lack of experience into consideration. My friendship with him and the delay in the commencement of our physical relationship helped me figure out a lot of things I had previously been confused and worried about. My virginity is important to me. It is a big deal for me, I have waited and held out for so long, it wouldn’t make sense for me to give it to someone who can’t even give me some kind of commitment. Sex is also a big deal for me. There are many people in the world, who don’t see it as a big deal, who have had or currently have multiple sexual partners and that’s great for them; but I am not one of those people and that is fine. Their body is theirs to give to anyone they choose, just as my body is mine to give to anyone I choose. I just happen to have not chosen anyone yet, nor do I plan to. I am pretty much at peace with my lack of sexual experience now. I no longer feel any pressure to just do something in order to be considered ‘normal’ anymore, nor do I feel trapped between my own culture and the West as I often did before. I have waited and I will continue to wait until I feel the time is right, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Sex, sexuality, and the importance and unimportance of virginity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s