Monday, July 21, 2008


Being a virgin

People should only have first time sex whenever they feel ready and being a virgin is not a badge of shame.

What is a virgin?

If we described it as someone who has not experienced penetrative sexual intercourse we'd be technically correct, but ignoring a whole host of alternatives. Why? Because sex isn't simply about penetration, just as being a virgin shouldn't define you as a person. Quite simply, it can mean as much or as little to your life as you like.

Being a virgin doesn't mean you must be sexually naive or innocent
: Nor does it make you a less enlightened person. Whatever your outlook, sexuality or experience, it's always worth finding out the facts about safer sex.

What it really means
: Knowledge is power, and also brings peace of mind. From how to make things safer by using contraception to recognising the laws, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed even if you're not having sex right now. It also means that if sex is on the cards you'll be able to make a considered decision about whether it's right for you, and less likely to just go for it because you feel you have no other choice.

First time sex

Losing your virginity won't make you more sophisticated or mature: It's certainly an experience in life, but so is learning to drive. Getting behind the wheel for the first time might be a buzz. Even so, nobody is going to look at you differently when you walk away from the vehicle (unless of course, it's a smoking heap because you floored it irresponsibly).

What it really means:
First time sex brings its own rewards - under the right circumstances and preferably with someone who shares your feelings. It doesn't have to be about penetration either; it can be as simple as being physically intimate with each other in ways that you both enjoy. If you're planning on turning it into a conquest to impress your friends, the chances are it won't leave you feeling good about yourself.

Peer pressure

Your sexual status isn't something to be embarrassed about: Getting a hard time about being a virgin isn't pleasant, and you have a right to be free from this kind of grief, but sleeping with someone just to get away from the spotlight won't make you feel any better.

What it really means:
If someone makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable because you haven't slept with anyone, it says more about their immature attitude to sex and relationship than it does about you - and won't impress anybody. Aim to rise above it by denying them a response. They'll soon get bored and move on.

How do I know when the time is right?

This is something only you can answer. In every case, however, it helps if you share trust and respect with your sexual partner. It might be a one-night stand, or with someone you've dated for ages. The key is that you feel able to be open and honest with each other, and clear about your boundaries and expectations.

Ultimately, what matters is that you know how to wait until you are ready and make things safe when that time comes. Whatever the experience, whether you're left feeling loved up or less than impressed, it means at least you won't have any regrets.

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