I’m celebrating my 22nd birthday on July 23rd and I still haven’t achieved a major checkpoint in my adulthood: losing my virginity. I have not yet bow-chicka-wow-wowed because before this point in my life, I’ve overhyped my hymen. I’ve come to realize that it’s just sex. So, who cares if you value it or not? We’re constantly told that our first love usually isn’t our last, ya know? So, who cares? (Who cares if you value it or not, I mean.)
Being 21 and still virginal means dating is a little harder than just Tinder-ing for that special someone. Despite my new-found who-gives-a-shit-if-I’m-a-slut attitude and 21+-year-old people’s undying desire to cum, straight cis-gendered men usually don’t want to be the “first” to fuck-the-“thing”. When they’ve just reached the drinking age, men prefer to be a woman’s fourth or fifth. Later in life, men are fixated on a woman’s “number” not being too high. You either want me sexually active or totally untouched! MAKE UP YOUR MIND, BOYS! Except, it shouldn’t matter at all. Their opinions shouldn’t be the main factor in whether or not they get introduced to my lady parts.
I was recently rejected via text message. This kindly gentleman that rejected me used Hemingway’s infamous 6-word-poem, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” It was this man’s way of informing me that since I was a virgin, (“baby shoes, never worn” referring to my unentered vagina) he was no longer interested. In this context, my virginity was a part of the potential relationship that I was selling, and he wasn’t willing to put in a bid for something that he’d have to break in himself. “Not sure I can make it any more plain than what I’ve written,” were his last words to me before ending our conversation for good.
I’m pretty sure that the concept of virginity was made up by some guy who thought he was so important that he could change my identity just by jabbing my body with his penis. Being a virgin passed the age of 18 is like being put under the glass ceiling of sexual activity. I can literally receive all the dick pics in the world, but because I’ve never gone “all the way”, I’ll never go “all the way”. As one man once said to me, “You’ll turn into a clinger, like all the other virgins.” It seems, what most hetero-cis-men really want is a girl who has only had enough sex to “get over” being a virgin, but not enough so that they’re “ruined”.
Men don’t want to carry the burden of having to commit to the girl they are sleeping with. NEWS FLASH: These days, young adult females usually aren’t looking to commit, either. Speaking on a personal level: I’m not really looking to commit. I barely know what profession I’m going to land in, and that’s a hell of a lot more important to me right now than what human I’m going to end up dying with. Before any dating prospect has even sent me a message on OKCupid or come up to me at a bar, they’ve already pinned me with the diagnosis of being a girl. As most movies about mental illness try to teach us, these men can be convinced that “love conquers all”, including my girl syndrome.
Being a virgin is a much less visible disease. I’ve been trained to believe that any date must be “warned”, so they know up front that I have not yet been a completed conquest. These potential dates are left to wonder “How come she’s 21 and no one has fucked her?” And there we have it: my worth is directly connected to how men are attracted to me, and how successful those men have been in their attempts at sleeping with me. With no previous sexual partners under my belt, at an age where I’m expected to have an adult paying job, I appear worthless in the dating scene. There must be something wrong with me, because in most eyes, there is no reason a person would have chosen to be a 21 year old virgin.
Although the past few prospects in my life have rejected me solely based on an unexplored part of my anatomy, I realize that not all men are jerks. Just these, and the ones who act like them. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many wonderful men. I have men in my life that would defend my honor, listen to me whine, dance with me at parties, and who didn’t flinch when they found out I was queer. These men in my life have offered to be my wingmen at bars because they want me to have the same fun as everyone else and who have complimented me on my wonderful virginity. These men laughed along side me when I told them my last rejection was from a man who said “Sorry… I’ve lived a bit longer, beyond petty idealism. You go rant about males. I’m perfectly fine fighting in the opposite direction. So long.” Now, to only convince one of these gorgeous man friends to date me, so the pressure changes from needing to lose my v-card to wanting to get down and dirrrrtay.