This piece appeared as part of a series on your "number" - see the rest of the package here.
In my research on sexual numbers, I asked 100 college girls and recent grads across the country to comment on their sexual histories. Below are profiles of five of the women I surveyed, whose insights about numbers and sexuality I found particularly intriguing. Although some of the themes they discuss were brought up in many other responses, their answers are entirely based on their own experiences and these profiles are not meant to represent the majority of the women surveyed.
Katherine*, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Michigan
Q: What do you think about your number?
A: I’m proud to be a virgin and I’m waiting for marriage — I want my husband to be the only one I ever have sex with. But it’s not like I don’t WANT to have sex right now — I’m not innocent, I’m just disciplined. It’s really important for me to wait.
Q: What do you think guys think about your number?
A: The boy I’m dating has had sex before, and he perceives me as being really innocent and naïve. He’s called me a ‘puppy’ before and acts like I’m so prude, which is frustrating. It’s demeaning to always be thought of as ‘the innocent one,’ and it can be really embarrassing.
Q: How important are numbers to you in relationships?
A: I would like to be my husband’s first, as well, but I know that guy virgins will be harder to find. My current boyfriend’s had sex before and it was really hard for me to deal with at first. I realized that his past didn’t have anything to do with me, but it’s still challenging.
Q: Any other thoughts?
A: Zero can be a pain, but I can’t wait to meet my husband and tell him that I’ve been patient enough to wait for him my entire life. I believe that God has set me up with someone fantastic and I just can’t wait.”