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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Sonoma chapter.

And when I say “virtue” I also mean there lack of one’s virginity. What I mean is the ability to have sex with you. Right off the bat there are a few things I want you to know. You are more than the ability to have sex with you. You are worth it and worthy beside that aspect. You are worth a relationship excluding sex with you. You are worth the friendship aside from its possible “benefits”.

Today these notions are not the norm but rather the opposite. Boys and girls are encouraged to have sex sometimes as young as 10 and 12, but certainly in their teenage years. No one bats an eye at a 16 year old losing her virginity to the guy who was pressured to take her to prom in order to lose his. We are often surprised however when the college kid is yet to lose it, or God forbid beyond that. We hook up, we use Tinder and Bumble and throw huge parties all in the hope of getting laid. We have monogamous relationships still sure, but most kids “just wanna have fun” and not “get into anything serious”, so they have their regular late night calls. Listen, there is nothing wrong with choosing to participate in these activities. The issue is that it isn’t much of a choice anymore. It’s the expectation and the norm in a way that have made girls extremely susceptible to less than humane treatment. Society has caged them into the belief that these are their only options.

In fact, society has made it as if relationships without sex with you is not worth the time or effort; that a friendship without “benefits” is not worth it. This is not true. Don’t feel pressured to associate with people who do not see you beyond having sex with you. If they cannot have you as a friend or otherwise, without having sex with you, they don’t love you. How can someone claim to like or love if they cannot respect or see past the genuine part of you that does not want to have sex with them.

To pressure you with a “deeper emotional attachment” or “express love to you” is just that; pressure. Undo, unfair, unreal and manipulative pressure… whether they know it or not. This realization that society has equated the worthiness of my friendship with having sex with me, came to me when my “friend”, who is no longer my friend, learned he could not have sex with me. This news came to him abruptly one day. News that frankly, was not his business but became necessary to share at that point. He literally got up and left midday after realizing what was not in store for him. I have not heard from him since. Topically this person is a very good, kind and thoughtful person, but nonetheless his actions made me feel small. Smaller than my rights. Smaller than the ability to have sex with me. As if myself and my company were only valued at the opportunity to have sex with me. It made me question if I was worth being around if I didn’t put out… it is society that has conditioned him to act this way.

He asked why I didn’t tell him sooner that I would not have sex with him. It is not your business, is what I informed him, then processed to ask if he would act or treat me differently if I had told him he couldn’t have sex with me. He said no. Obviously this wasn’t true. I was never trying to fool him or keep him around because he had hope. His false expectations were not, and any man’s, is NOT my fault or responsibility. And I will not coddle a man’s ego for him wrongful assumptions.

I was told recently that an individual would be in a relationship with me if he could only have sex with me. Now I’ve actually liked this person very much for some time, but I did not consider even for a moment changing the fact that he could not have sex with me. What kind of relationship would that even be? Based on the deal breaker of the ability to have sex with me. I could never want someone who could not want me more than the ability to have sex with me. The stakes were higher in this case. It wasn’t just a friend, but someone I felt a great attraction to. The sole basis however, of a relationship with me because you have the ability to have sex with me… that is not a partner I want. I am independent of my sexualty in the same way I am one with it. That is why one could not love me without an acceptance and love for any and all ways I wish to flex my sexualtty. Whether present in any form or absent entirely; that is a part of me too.

It hurt when I feel valuable and worthy enough for a relationship only to find that the ability to have sex with me surpasses the rest of me. In rejection on this basis I am made smaller than my wildest dreams, deepest desires, most excellent skills and loving heart. Do not get me wrong. An individual is entitled to desire whatever they want for their personal relationships. Of the most intimate and personal thing you get to control, you have the right to desire whatever fulfills you. For this reason, neither of these gentlemen are bad people. Their fault came from their expectation of our ill conditioned and rape culture society.

We are at a point where sex is everywhere we look. Even in our childhoods we learn very soon that sex sells, sex is cool, will make us cool, popular and that hypersexualization is normal. Sexuality is a matter of choice, and for women in our society, it often isn’t. To choose to partake in one’s sexuality is as equally a valid choice as to refrain. The choice of the prior is groomed into girls at a young age to the point where it seems like the only option when they become of age(or often before). In your teens and later it seems that the ability to have sex with you is the norm and expectation. But you are worth more than the ability to have sex with you. You are worth friendship (without benefits). You are worth a relationship that is sensitive to your limits and desires or there lack of. Your sexualty is as equally apart of you no matter its activity or complete absence. If someone cannot respect that, they cannot love you. Anyone who expects otherwise of you is wrong in their expectation that society has groomed them to believe is acceptable. Be empowered in your choices that others must respect. You are valuable and worthy of everything beyond the sole ability to have sex with you. You’re big, intelligent and beautiful beyond sex… there is far more to you than that.


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I'm Rebecca DeMent(she/her/they/them), a Buddhist Catholic vegan ecofeminst, and I am a junior at Sonoma State University studying Philosophy in the Pre-Law concentration with a minor in Business. 
Contributor account for HC Sonoma