About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Was Losing My Virginity Worth it?

Last week we put out a call to all bloggers to talk about what their virginity was worth.  Virginity is interesting because it’s one of those moments that’s a big deal until it happens, and then suddenly it’s no longer fascinating.  Kind of like turning 21, which seems so important (and is a big deal for awhile), but then after the novelty wears wears off you are having some beer at home or ordering two of your favorite mixed drinks at a local bar instead of getting entirely plastered off of shooters that are only recommended to you because they have racy names (I can’t think of the last time I ordered a Red Headed Slut).

So here’s my virginity story, and then I’ll reflect on what I’ve learned in the years since.

When I was in high school I had a boyfriend on and off for two years, but we never got past the hand-holding and kissing (but not makeout/french kissing, the tame stuff).  I wasn’t putting him off, the entire subject never came up (haha).  When I started college I thought I should start going to church and that I’d be a virgin until my wedding (I also thought I wouldn’t drink until I turned 21).

Then in my second class (literally) I met a guy who thought he was fantastic.  Since he was so convinced, impressionable 18-year old Honey couldn’t help but agree.  We had a very intense flirtation, made all the more intense by the fact that he had a girlfriend back in his hometown.  Things gradually progressed until, one night, one thing led to another in the narrow cot of my dorm room.  We were both trying to be really quiet because my roommate was there, and all I remember is thinking that it was really uncomfortable.  I do remember whispering that I belonged to him now, and that he had to take care of me.

It turned out (not that this is surprising in light of the fact that he was cheating on his girlfriend) that he was an emotionally and sexually abusive bastard and I didn’t have the courage to free myself from him for over a year.  The day that my mother died, my dad called me (I was at college, about 100 miles away) and told me that it was probably going to happen; I didn’t have a car and he obviously couldn’t come get me.  I asked my boyfriend if he would skip class to drive me home–at which point he yelled at me for half an hour about how selfish I was and forced me to give him a blowjob.  After he dropped me back off at the sorority house, one of my sisters offered me her car for as long as I needed it and another sister offered to skip her own classes to go to all of mine and explain to my professors where I was.  When I came back to school two weeks later, I dumped him the first day I got back and started seeing a therapist.

So what did I learn from this horribly depressing tale?  For me, the cultural values associated with virginity led me to try and overlook the fact that this guy was an abusive psychopath–that is, because I bought in to society’s conservative sexual values, I felt I had to stick with this guy or be branded a “slut” (though by no measure a redheaded one).  Now, obviously I had other things going on in my life at that time that made me an easy target for abuse.  But, God how I wish that someone had told me I almost certainly wouldn’t end up with the first guy I slept with, and that was okay.  It might have given me the courage to end things sooner.

Because the entire first year of my sexual life was spent with this jerk, I didn’t learn much about the pleasures of sex until much later.  I had 6 bladder infections during that time and also didn’t even know that a girl was supposed to get wet until my second college boyfriend.  I was never in a position to ask for things that felt good for me or even know that was okay.  In fact, it really wasn’t until I got past the serious boyfriend stage and dated around casually for awhile that I encountered men who were respectful and eager to please, which changed my whole attitude toward sex.  My relationship with Lance was the first sexually satisfying relationship I had ever been in, which is probably why I look back on that time with rose-colored glasses even though I’m sure that we’re both much better now :-)

I think that my observation (and what I’d want to pass on to any inexperienced girls in the house) is that inexperienced guys a) don’t know enough to ask you what you want, and b) are too insecure to ask you what you want because it would call all too much attention to the fact that while the guy, at least, is having an orgasm, the sex isn’t really satisfying for anyone.  The first time I had an orgasm it was because the guy I was dating bought me a vibrator, and I was like holy shit

The older I have gotten the better sex has become–and while I know that women reach their sexual peak later than men, a substantial part of that is the more mature I became, the easier it was to talk about things openly and honestly with my partner.  That way, rather than waiting until I happened to sleep with a guy who happened to be good, we could train each other.  That’s the other thing no one tells you–everyone makes a big deal about training virgins, but you really have to train yourself to your current monogamous partner, because not everything works for everyone.

If this post made you glad that you’ve already lost your virginity, too, you might also enjoy:

  • http://www.worklovelife.com Holly Hoffman

    Ugh. Thanks for stimulating my upchuck reflex with the red-headed slut mention. Blech.

    It took a lot of courage to write about this, and I think it’s important for other women to hear. I never really felt the I-belong-to-you-now thing with my virginity, but then, I didn’t wait as long either. Perhaps if I had, I would have had a stronger emotional attachment. As it was though, I’ve never been religious, so I never had any kind of stigma either. I don’t doubt that this is a pervasive cultural idea.

    I’ve had my share of well… just wrong in the sexual realm. I wish it were uncommon, but it’s not. I hope that the parents raising both boys AND girls will teach them what a healthy, safe and sane sex idea is. Where else will they learn? Their friends? Internet porn?

    From what I can see, you are a stronger woman for your experience. :)

    Holly Hoffman´s last blog post…Allowing the Writer Within to Shine Through

  • http://www.idatewhite.com Eathan

    ughhh…. Nice job. Your memory is better than mine.

    Where did the Lance-ster go? Is waiting to post his? lol

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    I happen to think porn is one of the best ways to learn about interesting and erotic sex. Positions? Dirty talk? Fantasy? Dom-Sub? Toys? It’s all there. If it were up to me, all young men and women would watch porn early and often, and learn what good sex is supposed to look like. What it doesn’t look like is the overly romanticized scenes from television or chick flicks.

    Peers are a terrible way to learn about sex. All of my friends, excepting 1 or 2, have awful bedroom game.

    Honey great post. You always rocked my world!

  • http://blogs.marinij.com/katwilder Kat Wilder

    Honey,
    It’s a sad thing that your first time was with a crappy guy, but owning your sexual power has nothing to do with men — it has to do with you.

    All women need to know how to turn themselves on (and buy their own vibrators!), what they like and don’t like, to be open to try new things and be able to express all that with their partner.

    That’s why it’s so important that sex ed — or whoever teaches kids about sex — should talk about sex as pleasure, and how to discover that for yourself.

    And, coming from a middle-aged women, sex absolutely gets better as we age!

    Kat Wilder´s last blog post…Time to vote — hot or not?

  • http://20-forty.com/ lisaq

    Ugh. Sounds like your first time was as crappy as mine. Thanks goodness we both learned that, as Kat Wilder said, owning our sexual power lies within us and have not only overcome, but risen above. Thanks for sharing.

    lisaq´s last blog post…Addicted to Love

  • http://www.singlemomseeking.com/blog Single Mom Seeking

    Very brave post Honey. It was hard to read because it made me feel so much — thank you for putting this one down. It makes me feel very protective of young women out there.

    Single Mom Seeking´s last blog post…Why I’m aspiring to be a virgin again

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Honey – your first boyfriend sounds like a guy who dated one of my post-divorce girlfriends before she dated me. She had similar stories of forced bjs, abusive behavior, etc. She had trouble leaving him, just like you. She was thrilled that I treated her with respect, and helped her orgasm. (Kind of like you meeting Lance). I’m sorry you had that guy as your first lover.

    But, God how I wish that someone had told me I almost certainly wouldn’t end up with the first guy I slept with, and that was okay. It might have given me the courage to end things sooner. – I was raised the same way. Looking back, I certainly wish I’d been told you could move on from your first lover. There’s so much guilt, most of it brought on by parents and society.

    dadshouse´s last blog post…Smashing Pumpkins, The Fillmore Residency

  • Pingback: Blogger Roundtable: Virginity « Hammertime

  • http://www.yankeeinnewworld.com NewWrldYankee

    Oh, Honey, that was so brave of you to share. I think the title is a question a lot of people face, and it is great that you chose to address it that way. Thanks for doing so.

    NewWrldYankee´s last blog post…You Dragged a Rampaging Virgin out of Me!

  • http://tsquest.blogspot.com T

    Wow. I hadn’t even thought about the feeling of “supposed to end up with the person who took your virginity”… maybe that’s why I felt so awful about my first. He wasn’t bad for me but I knew he wasn’t the one I wanted to end up with. I just felt guilt like I was supposed to save it for someone else.

    What an honest post. And I agree with Single Mom Seeking… it does make me feel protective of girls who don’t know better.

    T´s last blog post…My brother, the race car driver

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Thanks to everyone for all your supportive comments! It’s a little strange for me to think of the post as brave…I certainly wasn’t very brave at the time.

    But I’m happy to share my story if it means others don’t experience it. As Holly says above, bad sexual situations are common for women, and they shouldn’t be.

    Honey´s last blog post…Natalie Dylan on CNN; She Doesn’t Look Like A Virgin

  • The Dateable Dork

    Wow, Honey, I give you a lot of credit for posting this. I’m sorry to hear that you were in such an abusive relationship but am very glad that you were strong enough to get yourself out of it. It’s strange how, when we’re young, we really don’t know any better (about relationships, sex, and pretty much everything else). Looking back, it all seems so clear.

  • http://returntomanliness.com Kevin (ReturnToManliness)

    Honey,

    Thanks for this post. I congratulate you on your courage for writing it. Great post and great site!

    Kevin (ReturnToManliness)´s last blog post…The Effects Of Unemployment On Men And Their Manliness

  • Pingback: Virginity? It’s So Overrated | Dad's House

  • mememoi

    God that sounds awful i lost my virginity to a pedo at 13 sort of similar to you but without the phyical abuse. I waited awhile to have another bf but the second one got me pregnant at 16 telling me he couldnt have kids (i believed him) so no need for contraception. Im now getting married to a brillant guy finally! But still no big O for me :(

  • andrew

    I’m a guy. I don’t if I am a virgin or not, i feel like one. Years ago I went a bit loopy and went on a sort of “world tour” of exotic prostitutes , starting with Hawaiian and ending with Sri Lankan… technically I suppose I am not a virgin but it screwed me up- in my mind..as I never felt intimate with any of them as one doesn’t, it’s just a mechanical process, it depressed me so much- and I havent been with a girl since. I have had girlfriends but it usually ends before it gets intimate

    all this was about the time the www was starting and I went into online stuff heavily and telephone sex. In all honesty I don’t want to look at pictures or videos of women. But online I meet women in video chat and on telephone chat lines and I seem to be liked by them but I can never take things to reality in real life..

    So I dont recommend losing it with a prostitute to anyone.. I hate the exploitation of it all and wish I had had more meaningful relationships that could have built up my confidence… I think guys are more confused by the sex diet offered to them than they will admit…I certainly was. I am angry with myself about it…

  • Lg

    Your first experience was exactly like mine. I was sixteen. I was a very innocent girl who had never even gone to second base. After about four months of dating, he convinced me to give him a blow job. He didnt tell me before he orgasmed and laughed when i choked on it. (I didn’t even fully realize what would happen. Great sex ed I received in a public school in the Bible belt! Unsurprisingly, many of my classmates dropped out of school for pregnancies.) After about six months of dating, he got tired of waiting for me to be ready and date raped me. When I expressed how upset I was at the situation, he told me that it was my fault because a guy can only handle blue balls for so long. I was desperately unhappy for almost two years dating the guy because I’d always envisioned (largely from my family and religious upbringing) that you should marry your first (i.e. only) lover. I couldn’t orgasm at all until I met my husband despite the presence of some very sweet and devoted partners in the interim period. Seven and a half years into my relationship with my husband (and more than a decade since “the @$$hole”) and I still have to use a vibrator during sex to fully get there. The sex is fantastic. He is so kind and patient as well as well-endowed and eager to please (the antithesis of my first “lover”) but I worry that he is getting impatient with my inability to orgasm without a vibrator being involved. I am obtaining a Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology and fully believe that this may be due to emotional scarring from my first abusive sexual relationship. I really wish parents, teachers, etc. would teach teens that they don’t need to stay with a partner who mistreats them just because they had sex!