Health Vagina Sex Periods Std Feminism

Decoding the Stigma Around Virginity in College

One of my first memories coming to the dorms this year was playing the classic game of truth, “hot seat.” The question that my fellow dorm mates asked to mostly everyone was, “What is your body count?” Many people on my floor also took the Rice Purity test, which is an online test that scores how wholesome you are. I was a little culture-shocked, coming from a community college where conversations like this were not really a thing because there, I surrounded myself with adult friends.

The obsession with sex and whether one is a virgin appears to be a common conversation at UCLA. Virginity is a traditional, social construct designed to give “value” to a woman so that families would receive money, livestock or jewelry in return. In modern days, virginity is something to be lost in order to gain social credibility, though whether you popped your cherry or not should have no rational bearing on whether you are better or worse than someone who has engaged in intercourse. In this context, having sex means one has matured, when in fact it has little (if anything) to do with being mature.

Girl Eating Banana Fruit Hoop Earrings Sex

There is a belief that college is not simply about studying and course taking, but is instead about celebrating personal freedoms with respect to sex, alcohol and drugs. It is often used in the context of the phrase a “rite of passage.” From my observations, UCLA appears to have an active hookup culture. Students believe multiple sexual encounters are an act of liberation and show that one is behaving like an adult, but most adults look for connection, not flings.

Sabina Tone

I remember one of the conversations I had with a fellow student who admitted, as a first-year student, he saw his class hooking up at a high rate. Meanwhile, at community college, students often worked at jobs in addition to going to school, were living off campus, often at home, and there was a mix of ages. It caused me to realize that there is something different in university life, with many students (with a limited age range) living in close quarters who often don't have jobs and are just going to class. This leads to a sort of truth or dare culture, which feeds into hooking up.

I think it is important to recognize that having sex is not something to rush or feel pressured to do. Everyone moves at their own pace, after all. Some people had their first sexual experience during high school, others not until after college. There is no timeline you need to be on when it comes to what you do with your body. Whether one remains a virgin until marriage for religious reasons or one simply feels they are not ready to have sex, there is no reason that sustaining from sex is bad. Having said that, it is perfectly fine to lose your virginity and be more free with your sexuality. If you do decide to be a part of hookup culture, it is still important to be safe and be educated about birth control and STDs.

Contrary to what is too often assumed in a hookup culture, sex is not a finish line on the way to growing up. Too many students view sex as being the most important way to achieve intimacy. To all the virgins out there who are worried about their status, don't be. You may feel pressured to have sex, but don't give in to that pressure. You own your body as much as you own your mind. Take your time and be patient with yourself. You are not doing anything wrong, so don't listen to fellow students who might make you feel inferior for having a virgin status. Sex is a physical act of intimacy, not a revelation of Truth.  It is something engaged in for reasons that may be for pure and lustful or because the person you are with feels like "The One." Not having a body count does not make you any less adult or mature, and having a body count may only reveal that you are still a long way from behaving as an adult.