Deciding to devirginize

Originally Published: March 29, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 20, 2009
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Dear Alice,

I am an eighteen-year-old virgin, but my boyfriend wants to have sex with me. We have been dating now for eight months, and he says he has been waiting long enough. I have this fear of having sex because of the consequences, but I try to tell myself that as long as I use protection, things like that shouldn't happen.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for; I'm not sure it's advice either. Right now I'm reasonably sure that I don't want to have sex, but this little voice (probably his) keeps asking "What's the big deal?"

I know it's not a big deal, but it's something I really believe in, and I want to wait. I only have one life to live and I want to do it right. I did a lot of things I ended up regretting, but this is really important to me. The only thing is, I have no problems fantasizing about making love to him. I just have trouble with carrying out the actual act. I really need to ask if you think my fear of sex is unnatural or just a product of the way I've been raised?

Is there any way I can get over all the horror stories of regret and painful first times and just give myself to the guy of my dreams?

—Confused

Dear Confused,

It sounds as though you are choosing not to have sex right now, a perfectly reasonable decision that deserves the support of your boyfriend. Your letter says clearly that this is something you really believe in and that you want to wait. You may feel this way because of personal conviction, your values, or possibly even fear; however it is your choice and deserves to be heard and respected regardless of what's behind it. Your boyfriend may feel he is ready to have sex, which is also a perfectly reasonable decision. Even though the two of you feel differently about sex right now, you may decide that continuing to discuss the issue and trying to understand each others' perspectives will serve to strengthen the relationship.

It's a good sign that in your fantasies you have pleasure when you think about being sexual with him. This is important when you finally do choose to become sexually active. It also is a way to give yourself pleasure now.

Someday you may "give yourself to" or choose to become sexual with the guy of your dreams, and only you can decide when that will be. Making the decision to have sex can be a pretty big deal for many people, you are not alone in feeling confused. To help clarify your feelings, consider asking yourself and your boyfriend, what's the rush? You will undoubtedly be sexually active for many years.  While you're thinking about what you want, here are some more questions that you and your boyfriend may want to discuss: What would having sex mean for our relationship? How do I want to feel about a person I have sex with? Are we prepared to practice safer sex? Are we willing to talk about our feelings openly before and after having sex for the first time?

Continue to explore your feelings of closeness with your boyfriend. Keep talking with him about the things you are willing to do with him — socially, romantically, sexually — as well as the things you are not willing to do with him. Perhaps there are ways that both of you can get your needs met, while you still remain a virgin.

Before you decide to have sex, it would be a good idea to make sure you're aware of your birth control options as well as how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Both of you can read related Alice! questions concerning sex, STDs, and contraception the Sexuality and Sexual Health archives. You and your boyfriend may also want to schedule an appointment with a health care provider. If you are at Columbia you can call x4-2284 or log in to Open Communicator to make an appointment. Alternatively, you could visit a health care provider and find more information about safer sex and contraception at Planned Parenthood

Have courage, girlfriend. Sex can be wonderful — the first, fifteenth, and fiftieth time — when you choose to have it. The when, where, and with whom, are up to you.

Good luck!

Alice

March 9, 2009

21305
To the reader:

My first time wasn't the most noble of experiences and I think becasue of this I have a warped view on sex and sexual acts.

If your boyfriend is trying to pressure you into...

To the reader:

My first time wasn't the most noble of experiences and I think becasue of this I have a warped view on sex and sexual acts.

If your boyfriend is trying to pressure you into it you really have to ask yourself: Is he worth giving yourself to? Just remember that it is YOUR body and your virginity to share with him when YOU feel ready, not when HE wants you to.

As for your fears, it is perfectly normal. I know many virgins who do (and many non-virgins who did) fear sex. It is something that takes time to become comfortable with.

August 3, 2007

21286

I would tell ANYONE to continue to wait if they feel the need. That was my experience too. My first serious relationship began when I was 18 and I wasn't ready to have sex, for many reasons, and...

I would tell ANYONE to continue to wait if they feel the need. That was my experience too. My first serious relationship began when I was 18 and I wasn't ready to have sex, for many reasons, and wanted to wait until we were married, again for many reasons. My boyfriend pressured me a bit. We were together four years, and part of me is not proud that I withheld sex that long...but then we split up, and it was not a pretty split.

I met another guy. He's wonderful. From the first time he kissed me, his hands never went anywhere they shouldn't have, and when I brought up that fact and we had the sex talk and I told him I preferred to wait, he was cool with it, even though I knew he wouldn't mind having sex. We talked about it a few times but he never made me feel guilty or like I was making the wrong decision, unlike my ex. And when I finally was ready...I knew it and I had no regrets afterward, and I'm so glad I waited; the combination of me being older and having a better party were a big part of my readiness, I think.

I waited until I was 24 years old to lose my virginity, and to some that's laughable and/or pathetic, but I knowing what I know now, I would not have done anything else.