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My Virginity Is Not A Punchline

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

If someone were to ask me, I would openly answer. I have no problem inserting the fun fact of ‘yes, I am a virgin’ into a conversation—it can even be entertaining to watch people’s reactions. It isn’t a piece of information I volunteer to random strangers I meet at a friend’s apartment on a Friday night but if you ask, I’ll tell you. I am a 21 year old, fourth year university student who is a virgin. The horror! I know, right? How can I live my life without sex?

Before you ask, no it’s not due to religious beliefs. I’m not waiting until marriage, I’m not even waiting. I simply haven’t been in a situation where both myself and another were ready and willing. No it’s not because I’m asexual or a lesbian (yes I have been asked that), but even if that were the reason, why is that a problem? No, I don’t want you to set me up so I can “get it over with” and I really don’t want to meet your friend who “likes virgins”—which is a concerning quote, I know. Also I’m not judging you in any way for being sexually active, nor does it make me uncomfortable for you to talk about your sexual encounters or relationships around me. More power to you! Please tell me about the guy you slept with from the bar on Saturday night with the great D—the guy who wouldn’t get out of your bed on Sunday morning. I can get a good laugh out of the mental image of you kicking him out of your apartment.

I find that the only reason talking about my virginity is uncomfortable isn’t because I’m uncomfortable with it, it’s that everyone else is. There’s a stigma surrounding virginity and apparently I don’t meet that stigma: “you don’t seem like you’d be a virgin.” I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard that and I still don’t understand what it means. Either I seem like a slut (which is a stigma too because if you want to be sexually active, go for it) or I seem like someone who is wise beyond my years? I have no idea. I don’t get it but I really don’t care. Where I start to care is when I become the punchline to someone’s joke. Obviously I’ve made jokes about me being sexually inexperienced, how could I not? On my 20th birthday, and numerous times throughout that year, I made jokes to my girlfriends that I was halfway to being Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin. The issue arises when I am continuously mocked or made fun of after someone finds out I’m a virgin. Friend or not, just because you know something about me does not mean you can use it against me. I have never had sex, that does not mean that I am an automatic joke, nor does it mean that my opinion is devalued in any way or that I am a naive girl who knows nothing of the world. The internet exists: it’s not like I’m completely oblivious. If you’re uncomfortable with it, that’s a you problem. Please don’t make it my problem.

Virginity in our society is often portrayed as either something to be ashamed of or as some precious gift that one should hold dearly forever. Neither of those categories apply to me and I came to terms with that many years ago. What I do with my body doesn’t concern you, but I also don’t need to be made to feel ashamed or insecure or inexperienced. I am a 21 year old virgin. It’s not a joke, it’s just a statement. It doesn’t exclusively define me, but in our society it’s impossible for it to not hold some weight within me, so please don’t add to that weight and stigma by making me the punchline.

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Julia is majoring in English at King's at Western. She loves Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl and many shows in between, and you can most often find her in the Library or the Student Centre drinking coffee and listening to Hamilton or Mumford and Sons.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.