I wouldn’t, because I am perfectly happy where I am. However, one thing does twist my melon. If I could take myself by my teenage shoulders and shake some sense into myself, a. I would look like a nutter, and b. it would go something like this: you’re great, you’re foxy and you don’t need to beat yourself up when things don’t go right with the opposite sex.
But what would be the point? Because you have to find out for yourself. No one can do your growing up for you. This is my issue with virginity pledges. ‘Don’t make mistakes’, they say. And ‘if you have sex you’ll get hurt’. Well yes, Mr True Love Waits, you might because, hey, in case you hadn’t noticed, this is real life and sometimes it sucks. These movements are doing teenagers a disservice by selling them the illusion that life is perfect.
Its not and neither are we - but trying telling that to a teenage girl, or boy for that matter. To a greater or lesser degree, insecurity and cocking things up are par for the course. We have to make mistakes, or else how will we learn?
I would also say this. You are on a hiding to nothing if you make decisions based on fear. Crystal reveals much when she says: ‘I decided at a young age that it would be better to wait until I was married so that I wouldn't get hurt both physically and emotionally’.
Pain cannot be bypassed. People cheat on us. Man or woman, we are all just as capable as the next person of taking someone’s heart and crushing into a little ball. It’s part and parcel of being human. The best thing we can do is to take a chance on the game of life and keep moving forward, no matter what.
Well troops, that’s my pep talk out of the way. I couldn’t do it for myself when I was sixteen but I can do it now – for Crystal.
Crystal, aged 22 from Nebraska
I hope that my virginity story is one that isn’t heard very often, but I really doubt that is the case.
I guess I should start off my story by saying that I had planned on waiting to lose my virginity until I was married. I have, in the past, on numerous occasions said no to sex. This was something I had my heart set on and really wanted to follow through with. Well this all changed when I met a boy named Brady Bradshaw*. We met through a mutual friend and proceeded to flirt for a year and a half because he had a girlfriend. About three months ago he broke up with this girlfriend and a week later we were hooking up. We decided to keep it a secret because of the mutual friends we had.
I thought it was just for fun, but I ended up falling for him. He told me he wanted a real relationship with me, but wasn’t ready. We continued to hook up for the next two months, doing everything but having sex. During this time I found out that he was still contemplating getting back together with his girlfriend. I honestly don’t know why I kept going back, I should have known better, but I liked the way he made me feel. I also had suspicions that he was hooking up with another girl besides me, but he swore it wasn’t true and I believed him.
Over the course of the three months, my view on sex started to change. I really wanted to have sex with him, but I didn’t want to at the same time. I was completely torn and didn’t really know what I wanted. Well, one night I got a little bit drunk and ended up having to stay at his house, with him and his five guy roommates. He told me that night that he and his girlfriend were done for good. When everyone else went to bed I went into his room and we started to fool around. When he asked me if I wanted to have sex, I said yes. We ended up going down to the basement so that his roommates wouldn’t hear us. About half way through someone started to stomp on the floor so we stopped. I stayed downstairs and he went back upstairs to bed.
The next day he came over to my apartment, when we were both sober, and we had sex twice. The sex was great and I really enjoyed it, until everything fell apart.
It turns out that his roommates heard us, which wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I am close friends with a couple of them and we had been lying about everything that was going on between us. Everything got out of control and I ended up admitting to everything that happened. Brady did the opposite; he tried to deny the whole thing even happened. I found out he was trying to deny it because he was still with his girlfriend and because he was hooking up with the other girl also and didn’t want to ruin his chance with them. Things got really ugly between him and his roommates because he was lying and because he had been screwing around with all three of us girls at the same time. Needless to say, we are no longer talking and I finally realized he never meant one word he said to me.
Looking back over the last three months I realize the mistakes I made and I regret what I did. I should have seen the signs and I shouldn’t have let my heart get so involved so fast. I still wish I had my virginity to give to my husband, but I don’t and that is a choice I have to deal with.
I really don’t think I would feel so bad about the whole thing if my first experience hadn’t turned out so horrible. I really liked Brady and thought he felt the same way, but my judgment was blinded by my hope for love. I think in the end this has probably made me a better, smarter person. I will never be able to trust as easily as I could before and I will, hopefully, not be giving my heart to anyone that quickly again. As for my virginity, I’m planning on saving my second round for my husband.
*All names changed to protect identity.